Why newbies still use outdated Red Hat Linux 9 ?

I’m writing this because I found out that many Linux newbie still prefer to use Red Hat Linux 9 compared to Fedora Core distribution.

Red Hat Linux 9 has been released in 2003, and between that year and at the time of this writing, Red Hat Linux 9 has been superseded by almost 6 newer releases (Fedora Core 1 – Fedora Core 6, Fedora 7 if you want to count that too)

Red Hat Linux 9 has been long abandoned by Red Hat when it discontinued its support in April 2004 (3 years ago) in favor of Community maintained Fedora Core line (now Fedora) .

To show you that how much technology has changed since its release, Red Hat 9 includes linux kernel 2.4.20, mozilla browser 1.2.1, openoffice 1.0.2 as opposed to the latest distribution which includes linux kernel 2.6.19, (or 2.4.34, if you count the 2.4 branches) mozilla 1.8.x.

One might wonder how many security holes left unfixed when Red Hat stopped providing security patches to the operating system since April 2004 (three years ago).

What makes people (especially by newbies) still use Red Hat Linux 9 ?

  • Red Hat Linux is the most popular Linux distribution during late 1990s and early 2000
  • Red Hat made a terrible rebranding move, it rebrands Red Hat Linux to a completely new name Fedora Core.
  • There are still lots of older “Linux for beginner” books that make reference to Red Hat Linux (7.0,7.1,7.3,8.0), this left an impression to newbies that Red Hat Linux 9 is the latest ‘Linux’ release (old book stock with free RH9 CDs is the main culprit)
  • Newbies trust the content in the books 100% without taking account that computer software books has an ‘unofficial expiry date’, they should have done more research through the internet.

Implication of using Red Hat Linux 9

  • People will get the wrong impression about Linux, based on outdated technology
    Drivers support is not up to date with the current hardware (not much wifi support, unstable drivers)
  • Old software which is buggy and crash prone
  • Outdated Server softwares with tons of security vulnerabilities or even with outdated configuration file.
  • Support websites which do not exists anymore, people will get lost without proper documentation
  • No software updates support.
  • Broken software due to changes in communication protocol (gaim msn, yahoo messenger, up2date, etc)
  • Primitive software (that do not conforms with the latest trend) that may cause data loss

So please ditch the idea of using Red Hat 9 as your first distro and use latest Linux distro release for your own good, things changed a lot since RH9 been released.


Say no to Red Hat 9 :p

[tags]red hat, red hat linux,redhat,linux,debian,yum,ubuntu,kernel,distro[/tags]

24 Replies to “Why newbies still use outdated Red Hat Linux 9 ?”

  1. redhat 9 was the very first linux distro I used. It’s still useful as an op sys and should not be downplayed since we all need to remember that there are still lots of people out there with legacy hardware

  2. Redhat 9 (Shrike) is a masterpiece! it’s the only Linux software i use! my other operating system that i use on a daily basis is Windows 98 SE. i dual boot 98SE and redhat 9! they are VERY VERY SECURE! they are both the ultimate operating system! until somebody comes out with a Linux distribution thats more stable and more secure than redhat 9, then im sticking to my Redhat 9! and until Micro$oft comes out with a better system than 98SE i wont switch! Redhat 9 FOREVER!! Win98SE Forever!! THEY ROCK & are solid as a rock! Windows 98 SE runs my Server, and redhat 9 runs my nokia phone!

  3. “Has anyone attempted to upgrade a RH9 installation to CentOS?”

    It can be upgradedly cleanly to centos 3.x

    download the GPG key , download yum, download the release file, configure and install them, then do ‘yum upgrade’.

    I still use RH9 on my old thinkpad R30 – 650mhz cpu and 128 of ram. Runs FAST.

  4. Newer Linuxes have high system requirements!

    The new Suse 11 needs 512 (!) MB of Ram for proper operation and 256 alone for install.

    RH9 will run sweet at full speed with 128 to 192 MB of Ram, installation needs only 64.

    Sure you can use fluxbox,wmaker,xfce and so… but the people want a “real” Desktop, comparable to all the features of XP, and there is only Gnome or KDE that will allow this

    RH9 comes with both and runs very good with requirements where both would today run at slowest speed possible.

    Now don’t tell me to upgrade Ram because its so cheap etc.. There are older Laptops with need for special sort of SDRAM , which are incredible expensive. Also some Laptops cannot be maxed out to a certain amount of Ram.

    My IBM Thinkpad for example can only handle 288MB max mem, it was made in 1999/2000 and is very well supported in RH9,Suse 9.x and distros from that timeframe.

    Ubuntu 6.x,Suse 10.x,fedora will not install or run at nice speed on this device.

    This Laptop could run Windows 2000 or XP ( here begins the slowdown ) officially, and IBM officially was recommending RH 6.x for it as alternative to OS/2 or WinNT based OS.
    It runs and works so well, why should I torture it with something new bloated or something new with a terrible UI ?

    Also RH9 was one of the few distros that had working WLAN out of the Box.If you add/compile yourself ndiswrapper you can use todays wlan too. Add a newer Opera as Browser and ready to go.

    I know people that surf the web with unpatched versions of Windows 98,2000 or XP gold, where XP is dating back to 2001 and has massive holes in it. Now tell me, who is safer out of the box – an RedHat 9 User or someone with a pirated unpatched copy of XP ?

    A fellow Linuxer from Germany with a new Desktop and this old Laptop,

    and not willing nor financially able to invest in Hardware only to be “up to date” – if Linux aquires this attitude, then I am afraid it is as bad as with Microsoft, who force people to buy new PCs only to run Vista. ( best example that people are not willing to do as instructed )

  5. CentOS is Redhat, where can I get Redhat 9?
    I am useing redhat 5.1 now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.1 (Tikanga)
    I need to upgrade to redhat 9 though, if only i waited to update through the RHN,

    just kidding.

  6. Tried to install several versions of Fedora Core, all failed miserably and I kept trying. Red Hat 9, no problems.

  7. I’ve used redhat a long long ago..now using ubuntu..Never try fedora since now..hehe..

    Off-topic, may I? Between fedora and openSuSE, which one is better? I want to give it a try lah..hehe

  8. Thanks for the opinions,

    CentOS is a better alternative if you want to run a corporate server in production environment, there’s no doubt about it. It is supported longer than the Fedora series (which is typically between 9-18 months) and is geared for enterprise env.

    Azmeen: Your company must have use it since 2003. The distro is kept that way for stability issue as migration would disrupt daily operations.

    What i mean here is people who mistook RH9 as the ‘current’ or ‘latest’ gnu/linux distro and install it even now (2007), four years after it went unsupported. The old software, unsupported hardware and other issues might lead them to wrong conclusion about GNU/Linux

    adq890, devnet: The problem is even more serious than that. Red Hat obviously shouldn’t rename their free distro to something other than Red Hat (like SUSE done with OpenSUSE) because it creates confusions among gnu/linux newbie

    I heard two cases (both first hand) of people who would go to great lengths to obtain Red Hat 9 CD in order to study for RHCE examination.

    They clearly can’t differentiate between the outdated Red Hat 9 and RHEL, and assume that RHCE is based on the old Red Hat distro line.

    Sounds silly, but it happens, and i think Red Hat is partly to be blamed by their move to rebrand their free linux distro.

  9. Azmeen , i tried to upgrade RH9 to centos before. it was a nighmare. DONT do it . cannot aggree more, centos is a better choice compare to fedora especialy on server platform. but now i prefer ubuntu LTS .

  10. Not only newbies. My company still uses a RH9 box as a Samba server.

    If I had the balls to upgrade it, it’ll definitely be to CentOS rather than FC. FC seems a bit “hobbyish” for my tastes.

    Has anyone attempted to upgrade a RH9 installation to CentOS? Theoretically I know it’s possible, but I’d like to know how painful was it?

  11. .i also find out that my friend same as you said.still using old redhat.still misunderstand what is LINUX.

    .mostly for newbies or 1st time heard or know about linux, in they mind also know that linux is redhat and redhat is linux.when try to approach another distro like ubuntu or opensuse…they confuse is this LINUX?….


  12. ermm , if they still need old distro which is still supported till 2008 and more likely equal to RH 9 they should opted for safer alt which is Centos 3 series

  13. Well, they use this because bookstores have specials on Red Hat 9 with a book. Yes it came out a while ago…and during that time there wasn’t as much interest in Linux as there is now. So a new user comes in and looks around for a linux book and sees RH9 and thinks WOW! I gotta have that.

    They feel comfortable using something that has an owners manual.

    Instead of creating anti-logos for Red Hat 9, we should create a free open source book for Fedora and get someone to sponsor free Fedora disks with it.

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