Red Hat Linux
Red Hat Linux 9's default desktop
|Company / developer||Red Hat|
|Source model||Open source|
|Initial release||May 13, 1995|
|Latest stable release||9 alias Shrike / March 31, 2003|
|Package manager||RPM Package Manager|
|Kernel type||Monolithic Linux kernel|
Red Hat Linux 1.0 was released on November 3, 1994. It was originally called "Red Hat Commercial Linux" It was the first Linux distribution to use the RPM Package Manager as its packaging format, and over time has served as the starting point for several other distributions, such as Mandriva Linux and Yellow Dog Linux.
Since 2003, Red Hat has discontinued the Red Hat Linux line in favor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for enterprise environments. Fedora, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat, is the free version best suited for home use. Red Hat Linux 9, the final release, hit its official end-of-life on 2004-04-30, although updates were published for it through 2006 by the Fedora Legacy project until that shut down in early 2007.
Red Hat Linux introduced a graphical installer called Anaconda, intended to be easy to use for novices, and which has since been adopted by some other Linux distributions. It also introduced a built-in tool called Lokkit for configuring the firewall capabilities.
Version 7 was released in preparation for the 2.4 kernel, although the first release still used the stable 2.2 kernel. Glibc was updated to version 2.1.92, which was a beta of the upcoming version 2.2 and Red Hat used a patched version of GCC from CVS that they called "2.96". The decision to ship an unstable GCC version was due to GCC 2.95's bad performance on non-i386 platforms, especially DEC Alpha. Newer GCCs had also improved support for the C++ standard, which caused much of the existing code not to compile.
In particular, the use of a non-released version of GCC caused some criticism, e.g. from Linus Torvalds' and The GCC Steering Committee; Red Hat was forced to defend their decision. GCC 2.96 failed to compile the Linux kernel, and some other software used in Red Hat, due to stricter checks. It also had an incompatible C++ ABI with other compilers. The distribution included a previous version of GCC for compiling the kernel, called "kgcc".
As of Red Hat Linux 8.0, UTF-8 was enabled as the default character encoding for the system. This had little effect on English-speaking users, but enabled much easier internationalisation and seamless support for multiple languages, including ideographic, bi-directional and complex script languages along with European languages. However, this did cause some negative reactions among existing Western European users, whose legacy ISO-8859-based setups were broken by the change.
Version 8.0 was also the second to include the Bluecurve desktop theme. It used a common theme for GNOME-2 and KDE 3.0.2 desktops, as well as OpenOffice-1.0. KDE members did not appreciate the change, claiming that it was not in the best interests of KDE.
Red Hat Linux lacked many features due to possible copyright and patent problems. For example, MP3 support was disabled in both Rhythmbox and XMMS; instead, Red Hat recommended using Ogg Vorbis, which has no patents. MP3 support, however, could be installed afterwards, although royalties are required everywhere MP3 is patented. Support for Microsoft's NTFS file system was also missing, but could be freely installed as well.
Red Hat Linux was originally developed exclusively inside Red Hat, with the only feedback from users coming through bug reports and contributions to the included software packages – not contributions to the distribution as such. This was changed in late 2003 when Red Hat Linux merged with the community-based Fedora Project. The new plan is to draw most of the codebase from Fedora when creating new Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions. Fedora replaces the original Red Hat Linux download and retail version. The model is similar to the relationship between Netscape Communicator and Mozilla, or StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, although in this case the resulting commercial product is also fully free software.
The official name of the Red Hat Linux distribution is Red Hat Linux (often abbreviated to RHL). The first part, Red Hat, is that of the Red Hat software company. The second part, Linux, refers to the underlying Linux kernel written by Linus Torvalds.
Version history 
Release dates drawn from announcements on comp.os.linux.announce. Version names are chosen as to be cognitively related to the prior release, yet not related in the same way as the release before that.
- 1.0 (Mother's Day), November 12, 1994 (Linux 1.2.8)
- 1.1 (Mother's Day+0.1), August 1, 1995 (Linux 1.2.11)
- 2.0, September 20, 1995 (Linux 1.2.13-2)
- 2.1, November 23, 1995 (Linux 1.2.13)
- 3.0.3 (Picasso), May 1, 1996 (Linux 1.2.X) - first release supporting DEC Alpha
- 4.0 (Colgate), October 3, 1996 (Linux 2.0.18) - first release supporting SPARC
- 4.1 (Vanderbilt), February 3, 1997 (Linux 2.0.27)
- 4.2 (Biltmore), May 19, 1997 (Linux 2.0.30-2)
- 5.0 (Hurricane), December 1, 1997 (Linux 2.0.32-2)
- 5.1 (Manhattan), May 22, 1998 (Linux 2.0.34-0.6)
- 5.2 (Apollo), November 2, 1998 (Linux 2.0.36-0.7)
- 6.0 (Hedwig), April 26, 1999 (Linux 2.2.5-15)
- 6.1 (Cartman), October 4, 1999 (Linux 2.2.12-20)
- 6.2 (Zoot), April 3, 2000 (Linux 2.2.14-5.0)
- 7 (Guinness), September 25, 2000 (this release is labeled "7" not "7.0") (Linux 2.2.16-22)
- 7.1 (Seawolf), April 16, 2001 (Linux 2.4.2-2)
- 7.2 (Enigma), October 22, 2001 (Linux 2.4.7-10, Linux 2.4.9-21smp)
- 7.3 (Valhalla), May 6, 2002 (Linux 2.4.18-3)
- 8.0 (Psyche), September 30, 2002 (Linux 2.4.18-14)
- 9 (Shrike), March 31, 2003 (Linux 2.4.20-8) (this release is labeled "9" not "9.0")
- The Fedora and Red Hat Projects were merged on September 22, 2003.
See also 
- "Free_Versions_of_Red_Hat_Linux_to_be_Discontinued". fusionauthority.com. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- ACC Corp. View profile More options (1995-08-01). "COMMERCIAL: Red Hat Commercial Linux 1.1, Pacific Hi-Tech CD set. - comp.os.linux.announce | Google Groups". Groups.google.com. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "The Fedora Legacy Project". fedoralegacy.org. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- Linux Distributions Compared, Linux Journal, 1996
- "The Truth Behind Red Hat/Fedora Names". Smoogespace.com. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Various Kudzu facts". Everything2.com. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Distributions". LWN. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "a/rh-tools". Lwn.net. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Linus Weighs in on Red Hat 7 Compiler Issues". Linux Today. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "Gerald Pfeifer - GCC 2.96". Gcc.gnu.org. 2000-10-06. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- An Open Letter From Bob Young, Slashdot.org, Thu October 12, 2000 12:52 PM
- "Red Hat Linux 9 Release Notes". Redhat.com. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
- "The Truth Behind Red Hat/Fedora Names". smoogespace.com. Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "Fedora and Red Hat to Merge". Retrieved 2008-08-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Red Hat Linux|
- Fedora Project – History of Red Hat Linux
- Red Hat, Inc. – Linux documentation
- Linux Kernel Organization – Red Hat Archive
- Red Hat Linux at DistroWatch
- Mapping of RedHat Versions and Code Names to LINUX Kernel Versions