Saturday, November 13, 2010

RHEL 6 has Nothing Noteworthy for Home Desktops

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Final shows up on 10th November 2010, almost 44 months after its previous major release (RHEL 5 was released on 14th March 2007). But at the time it came, it's already bit obsolete for desktop use. Of course, desktop has never been a sweetpot for Red Hat. But was it really tarnishing it's rock-stability by riding a few versions up on some packages? What was holding RH back from appropriating KDE 4.5 series, or for that matter jumping to GNOME 2.32? Sure, it must have backported some goodies from Fedora 13 and 14, but they work underneath, the worry is that it'll put on these DEs till, say, 7 to 10 years. Moreover, KDE has undergone many improvements from its 4.3 to 4.5 versions. Same can be said of GNOME. Debian Squeeze's desktop-readyness (if you consider the DE, system utilities and application software) is more modern compared to Red Hat. Red Hat yet again, indirectly proved that it's not for desktops.

Some enterprise stuff are also bit obsolete. For example, the perl and python versions of this major release are at least a year old. The rock solid redhat stability also leans more towards servers. Though it aims at customers who don't care the version increments but a lot of bug fixes, it still cherry picks bug-fixes. So moving to a later point-release doesn't always solve a problem. For example the boot-delay bug (very important if you value desktops) that crept into RHEL 5.3 is still there in the latest 5.6 beta and it will probably remain in 5.8 (if it ever comes). You can expect similar glitches in RHEL 6.

2 comments:

Open your mind. said...

"What was holding RH back from appropriating KDE 4.5 series, "

Not long after KDE 3.5, it became a bloated, slow and problematic UI...it drove many folks to Gnome...which is also inferior to KDE 3.5. That is why they do not include it in their enterprise product (who needs the problems). I am not sure why more folks don't see this.

manmath sahu said...

"What was holding RH back from appropriating KDE 4.5 series?"

Just their orthodox attitude, if anything at all. Redhat has put KDE 4.3 series out of sheer orthodoxy. Everybody (even the Redhat people) knows KDE 4.5 series is a much better put-together, polished and bugfree version than 4.3.

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