Miffed at Red Hat

march 17, 2007

Yes, RHEL5 has been released and it is pretty darned cool -- except if you get RHEL5 Desktop Basic. Yea, Basic works good when installed. It installs and runs pretty fast. It looks exceptionally cool. But, it is utterly useless on my notebook! Red Hat has gone and made it impossible to compile any kernel modules for RHEL5 Desktop Basic, so I can't compile madwifi for my install. Which makes my notebook useless without wifi access! Grr. I'm looking at atrpms and they don't have any build for madwifi that is built against the new kernel. Also, not being able to compile a kernel module makes it impossible for me to run VMware Server. Double Grr. I can kind of understand why Red Hat went this route -- basic desktop support would be a bit more work if people were compiling their own kernel modules -- but, the limitation seems to go completely against the free software philosophy. It would be better if I could get my hands on the packages to do the builds and Red Hat just refuse to support the module. I still like RHEL, I just feel that they should open up their Desktop Basic instead of clamping down on it. I guess I will wait until CentOS5 comes out and run my RHEL5 Desktop Basic in a virtual machine.

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