RedHat put out a new release this week. Redhat Enterprise 5.4. Here is a summary of the important changes:
About all they could muster in their press release was driver updates and something about KVM replacing XEN. Yawn… KVM is arguable a backwards step over XEN at this point so my guess is the change has more to do with Citrix buying XEN than any real technical advantage.
Setting aside the KVM vs. XEN argument; When is RedHat going to do a major update on its “look & feel” ? The biggest difference from RH4 to RH5? The background color changed from blue to red. wow.
In fact, RedHat has not changed in any significant way since before RHEL 4. It still has the same horrendous system admin tools and awful menu layout. It is now been way surpassed by its competition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (which has improved leaps and bounds since SLES 9), and upstarts like Ubuntu.
On top of that, the anaconda installer is a dog and I’m fairly certain FEMA could come up with a better “rescue mode” than the one on the RH5 media.
And the desktop? Come on Redhat! You’ve got to step up! You’re giving Linux a bad name. As a Linux advocate, I’d be flat-out embarrassed to put RedHat beside Windows7 or Mac OSX.
Yes it’s still Linux and yes it’s still stable and great in many ways, but Redhat must do better. Much much better.