Red Hat: A just target of my wrath?

In the article I wrote yesterday, I directed my wrath at CentOS for a bad experience I had with a new installation. A lot of people called me out on it, and they’re right. CentOS isn’t the cause of the problems that I mentioned – all they’re doing it copying things from upstream.

The design decisions about installations should be directed at them, to be sure. Here’s a snippit from Chapter 9 of RHEL 6 installation guide:

While text mode installations are not explicitly documented, those using the text mode installation program can easily follow the GUI installation instructions. However, because text mode presents you with a simpler, more streamlined installation process, certain options that are available in graphical mode are not also available in text mode. These differences are noted in the description of the installation process in this guide, and include:

  • configuring advanced storage methods such as LVM, RAID, FCoE, zFCP, and iSCSI.
  • customizing the partition layout
  • customizing the bootloader layout
  • selecting packages during installation
  • configuring the installed system with firstboot

At least CentOS has this under the “known issues” section.

Yesterday, I unjustly accused CentOS of making a crappy installation experience and I’m sorry for that.

For the record, I’d love to try out an evaluation of Red Hat Enterprise, but unfortunately, I use gmail:

We noticed that your Red Hat Login uses a personal email address. We’re sorry, but users must have an enterprise or business email address to obtain product evaluations.

Oh well.

  • Dave

    Hi Matt

    I use google apps to host my email and would gladly set you an account up for the purposes of get a Red Hat trial. They shouldnt kick up a fuss about it as is A) registered to my domain and B) if they dont like google apps they descrimate against a number of people not including google

  • If it’s any consolation, the rumor is that Anaconda is going to be getting a lot of love in the near future. Perhaps that’s something that will be addressed. If the issue exists in Fedora (which I assume it does, since Fedora is essentially the upstream for RHEL), I’d suggest filing a bug so that someone gets nagged about it.

  • Hey Matt,

    As Ben C pointed out, the appropriate place to point the finger would be at Fedora and the Anaconda team. Feel free to create a Bugzilla account and file a bug report.


  • David Filion

    This limitation also affects kickstart installations. If you configure kickstart to use a text installation, it will silently ignore the values for those sections.

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  • Lloyd Collins

    I am forced to use CentOS as a lab environment at University and I can say it is one of the worst experiences I have ever, well, experienced. I don’t know if it is the university’s setup (although I doubt it as these are fresh installs on blank drives) or just Centos, or even RH, but I have had so many problems with “easy” tasks that it’s just unreal.

    First off, we were instructed to install DHCP for Kickstart IP address allocation. This worked after a few minor errors. We then installed VMWare Server to build a VM to kickstart. We built the kickstart file and got it serving via NFS. It failed to work as there is a bug in our version of kickstart that requires you to specify a whole host of options from the kickstart file.

    After getting kickstart to work, we had to get NIS working. No-one in the class managed to get this to work, and the lecturer looked at our configurations, said “these should work” and left. There was no reason for the installations not to work, but they just didn’t.

    Add to that the problems we have had with our second group of labs, where we have to get apache running, and DNS, well, it just leads me to one conclusion: RHEL and CentOS are not as good as Ubuntu or Windows.