RHEL 6.0 Beta Review

24 04 2010

I finally got a few minutes to try out the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 beta (downloaded RHEL6.0-20100414.0-AP-i386-DVD1.iso ). Here are my thoughts.

Test rig is nothing special, however, the monitor is capable of going up to 1600×1200 resolution and the vid card is a Intel 910. Yet when the install DVD gets to the installation screen, it just gives me a black screen. I can’t even switch to other terminals. Nothing. I hate it when I can’t see log files or error messages. If decent hardware like this can’t run the install display, how exactly are my servers supposed to handle the install with their 32MB embedded ATI cards attached to the 1280×1024 monitor on the KVM switch?

So I restarted the install but this time I noticed another choice; the ‘Basic Video card’ option. Duh. OK, so that answers my last question. It was slightly annoying at first and I do wonder exactly what kinda video power you have to have to use the first GUI installer screen, but at least they recognized that this option wasn’t going to work for everyone. Kudos for being one step ahead!

The basic video has the old blue and black menu we have seen since the beginning. It asks basic questions like where the install media is located (which most everyone else auto scans for now) and if you want to check the disc for errors and so forth and so on. The usual if you have done Red Hat / CentOS installs before. It will then move you over to a GUI installer for things like root password, time, and location. One thing I really liked was the menu options for partitioning hard drives. Same options as everyone else, but unlike everyone else shoving it into a drop-down option they are all laid out with explanations.

So I chose to use the entire drive, selected the encrypt option just to see what it would do, and review and modify partitions. BAM! Crashed on me. It did give me a nice little error box and the option to save the report. So I clicked save and I got a file menu to the location I want to save it to. I plugged in a USB key and was hoping it would auto mount it. No such luck. So I walked the alt-F[1-6] looking at the terminals. My USB key was recognized and the partitions were recognized; just not mounted. So I mounted it manually and saved out the file. Nice touch on saving the logs. I liked this feature. After saving I got a message to “exit the installer” but clicking it just removed the GUI leaving a black screen and a mouse. The rest of the system continued to work. Shouldn’t it reboot? Ctrl+Alt+Del to the rescue!

Started over again and this time I chose “Create Custom Layout”. I got the familiar disk layout screen and when I selected to delete the old partition…BAM! Crashed again. :-/

Well that’s not good. Maybe it is the disk? Tried Debian Lenny and had no problem formatting the drive into the layout that I wanted. Tried again with Red Hat. No Go (sorry, clicked the wrong button and don’t have this crashlog). Tried again with Red Hat but used the Debian layout I created instead of creating a new one. It worked! Don’t know why Red Hat didn’t like to format my drive.

I was planning on a full desktop, but as soon as I saw “Minimal Installation” I clicked it. I missed that so much from the CentOS 5 installs I did. 228 Packages installed using only 636M!! 😀 This is exactly how I like seeing the start of a stripped-down lean and mean server ready to be built up for any task!

Of course, I really want to mess around with it so the first thing I do is start installing packages…still minimal install is great news for me.

Since I chose a minimal install…I got a minimal install! 😀 This also means I didn’t have network at all nor any of the tools I usually use to work on the network. Ifconfig was still there and all but not much else (as expected!). So I had to vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and add “BOOTPROTO=dhcp” so that I could “service network restart” and get an IP address (this statement is more for me when I do this again and can’t remember what I did this time to fix it; it is expected behavior for a bare minimum install).

There were three things I just HAD to check and verify.
1) The Kernel
You have no idea how happy I am to see the “2.6.32-19.el6.i686” kernel! I have a bunch of tests I am itching to try out (starting with PAPI) that were a pain with the old 2.6.18 kernel (looking at you perfctr).
2) Python
Version: 2.6.2 Release: 5.el6
WHOOHOOO!! I have had issues getting Python 2.6 working correctly without breaking things on RHEL/CentOS 5.
3) Gcc and Gnat
Version: 4.4.3 Release: 1.el6

I am so happy right now.

Unfortunately, I am out of time for today and the rest of my testing will have to wait until later…

If anyone has something particular that they want to know or would like for me to test, drop me a note below and I will do what I can to test it out.

[Update Edit 2010-05-02] I finally got some time to work with PAPI. Not as extensive as I want (those tests will come later), however, all that was needed to get PAPI 4.0.0 to work was to extract papi.spec from the tar.gz file and ‘rpmbuild -bb –target=`uname -m` papi.spec &> papi.build.out’ Then rpm -ivh to install the rpms. Tada! That’s it! I am so happy. 😀 Will update later when I run a few more PAPI tests.

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5 responses

25 04 2010
Bilgisayar Teknik Servis

thank you nice sharing

25 04 2010
Maurice Seremet

There’s good info here. I did a search on Google, Keep up the good work mate!

13 08 2010
Sandor G.

About Python 2.6 working on current RHEL/CentOS (5.x) …
Check this out: http://villaroad.com/2009/08/rolling-python-2-6-2-on-centos-5-3/
I got it working without breaking system tools written in Python 2.4 (e.g YUM)

🙂

11 11 2010
SSL Certificate

RHEL6’s Beta and Beta 2 have been covered in depth so no need to give an overview of its many features on this blog.

11 11 2010
~Stack~

The betas may be ‘covered in depth’ now, but not when I wrote this posting 7 months ago. So there was a need back then.

Most will see the posting date so I am not worried about confusing people.

As for RHEL 6…It is now pretty publicly known that it is out.
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/11/10/2248221/Red-Hat-Releases-RHEL-6

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