[TriLUG] different versions of 7.2 for sale]
Tue, 30 Oct 2001 21:57:27 -0500
On Tuesday 30 October 2001 08:55 pm, al johson wrote:
> And the fact that Mandrake recognizes more varied hardware than Redhat
> undoubtedly earns it the distribution of choice for desktop users as many
> magazines say in the awards they hand out. I tell my friends that if you
> want a desktop system get Mandrake, but if you want a server get Redhat
> (because Redhat has become THE system for most of corporate America!).
> Actually the fact that we have two distributions each specializing in
> producing installations tailored for two different groups is really great,
> all the more so since Mandrake (unlike Debian, for example) uses the same
> RPM system of loading software. Still I would like to see Redhat improve
> it's loading software. My goal whenever I load any operating system is that
> the O.S. has installed every piece of hardware available on my system!! and
> produces a working O.S. (of course). The times I've used RedHat vs.
> Mandrake, Mandrake has consistently installed more of my hardware correctly
> than Red Hat (because Red Hat usually required the use of software OUTSIDE
> the initial installation process to install things like modems, sound
> cards, printers, CD-RW's, etc. In other words, items which are not usually
> found on Servers!!
The hardware detection issue surprises me. We have a pretty wide array of
hardware at work that we test on and we have an active beta team, and we
don't hear lots of complaints about hardware detection. When we do, man, the
beta team lets us know! And then Glen decrees that "This hardware Shall be
detected!" And then we fix it.
If people can provide specific information about hardware that we don't
detect properly, that would be a good start. Like I said before, we can only
detect the hardware that kudzu knows about. Older ISA devices are a thorny
issue, though, since they don't provide as much useful information about
themselves as PCI and USB devices do.
The Red Hat installer will configure PCI devices such as soundcards and
modems (or at least, it will configure /etc/modules.conf) to load the right
module for the modem, but it isn't clear to the user that the devices have
been detected during the install. But most PCI soundcards, like my
SoundBlaster Live, just work after installation, even though the installer
says nothing about detecting it. We should do better about letting the user
know when devices are being configured. Starting with 7.1, Erik made changes
to the installer to set up CD-RW's properly. I don't know if it works for
all CD-RW's, but it works for the models that we have.
We've done testing to make sure that we install on all-USB machines (machines
without PS/2 ports). We don't do as much laptop testing as we would like,
but most of that is due to lack of hardware. Some laptops have some truly
oddball components that makes hardware detection hard. Early LCD panels are
a problem too, because many of them can't be probed in the way CRT's can. We
use a program called ddcprobe to probe the monitor and video card, and it
frequently can't talk to LCD panels. The newer LCD's are better about this.
So, my point is that we do a lot of hardware testing. If Mandrake has better
hardware detection, that's probably due to a large part in more community
feedback. That's partly our fault, and I think many people at work are
making a more concerted effort to talk more to the community. I am, at
least. So if you've got some piece of hardware that we don't detect, let me
(or Bugzilla) know. We'll try to find out why, and then we'll fix it.
For example, we had a few bug reports saying that Red Hat wouldn't work on
old DEC Celebris machines. Some of these were Pentium systems, some PPro,
and some older P2's. We didn't have one, so we couldn't do much to fix the
problem. The bug sat there for most of this year. Then, a guy from Compaq
(which acquired DEC) mailed us a spare that they had lying around. We got
the machine in today, found out what the problem was, and had an updates disk
for anaconda on the web by the end of the day. I'm not suggesting that
everyone send us your computer, but I am suggesting that people should work
with us if you want Red Hat Linux to improve. Feel free to send me your
computer if you want, though. A dual Athlon would be nice... ;)