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Scientific Linux 6.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 9293 08-25-2012
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $5.95 6.0

Description: "Scientific Linux 6.0 has been released for both the i386 and x86_64 architectures." Some of the changes and features in this release include "The final release only has the same packages that were originally released by upstream vendor, all security and bug-fix errata are in their respective repositories; we have reduced the number of extra packages we put in Scientific Linux 6; there is no 'contrib' repository; we have added several packages to Scientific Linux that are not found anywhere in the upstream release, including IceWM, OpenAFS, Revisor, Live USB Creator, YUM auto-update, external YUM repositories..."
Keywords: RedHat-based IceWM OpenAFS Revisor Live-USB-Creator Yum

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Old 08-25-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2012
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Kubuntu 12.04 LTS, Scientific Linux 6.3
Posts: 97

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $5.95 | Rating: 6

Pros: Good installation program, fast OS
Cons: Less software available than for some other distros

Having used Ubuntu for the last two months, I thought I'd try another distribution with long-term support. I chose Scientific Linux 6.3 (64 bit) because it is based on Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.3 and will be supported for at least 5 more years. I installed it on a five year old Toshiba Satellite with an AMD Athlon X2 dual-core processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM.

The installion went rather well, and I especially liked the fact that I could chose which packages to install. Following installation, I was presented with a Grub Legacy boot menu. I booted successfully the first time and was taken to a Gnome log in screen. I was able to log in without any problems, and the desktop environment loaded quickly.

The environment is a rather spartan Gnome 2 desktop with a nicely customized top panel. What is very nice about the top panel is that it includes an applet for the weather as well as the full date and time. Open up the applet and you can install additional clocks for different world cities. The left side of the panel contains the usual drop-down menus which is followed by shortcuts for Firefox, Evolution, Gnote, and Terminal. In all, a very smart and pleasant top panel. The bottom panel is a task bar and workspace switcher.

The one thing that is lacking in the Gnome 2 environment is eye candy. But I knew what to expect when I installed SL so I decided to install KDE as well. The KDE environment is nice also with the usual intro music and, of course, the desktop cube can be enabled. The only thing that is an obvious glitch is that the sign out music is garbled. It would be better to play nothing than something that sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.

However, it is immediately clear that these desktop environments are old. There are many features in KDE 4.8 that are not present in SL 6.3. And Gnome 2 is a dinosaur now, but I understand that it is more preferable to many than Gnome 3. There is no option to upgrade these desktop environments.

As far as stability goes, I don't see how it is more stable than, e.g., Ubuntu 12.04.1. I continue to have problems with kppp. Whenever the connection times out, I get an error message and a frozen kppp window, and I have to force quit the program. I've had problems with the “software center” not closing as well. Also, just as I am writing this, I've had a problem with the drop-down menus not closing. They are just little things but they irk me, especially for a supposedly super-stable RHEL-based distro. When the “software center” refuses to close, if I want to re-open it again, I have to log out and log back in so I guess that is not such a small bug. I've really never had such issues with Ubuntu 12.04.1.

Scientific Linux appears to be very fast. Faster than Ubuntu. And I like that. My old laptop feels like it has come alive. However, it boots and shuts down more slowly than Ubuntu.

The one thing that for me is almost a deal killer is that the selection of software is much reduced compared to Ubuntu. I like to chart my CPU temperature and in Ubuntu, I can do it with a utility called psensor. I was dismayed to find out that this simple utility is not available in SL.

To sum up, Scientific Linux has a smart-looking interface, but it is immediately obvious that it is not on the bleeding edge of Linux. I was dismayed that I had a lot of glitches on a distribution that is supposed to be rock solid. Compared to Ubuntu, the software selection is rather sparse even when third-party repositories are added in. Nevertheless, I would recommend Scientific Linux to someone who want a distribution that will be supported for years to come.


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