The improved graphical installer works flawlessly on most common desktop machines. There are not only several canned installations included, but there is also plenty of help to guide the newbie through the harder concepts of Linux installation.
Another notable improvement is the security aspect, which includes three options for a firewall configuration, making your online experience a lot safer. Hardware support was another improvement. This was mainly seen in the X configuration. Red Hat 7.1 includes XFree86-4.0.3-5, which makes DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure) setup a lot easier for gamers and others needing a 3D enabled X environment. It's exciting to see how much easier it has become to configure hardware during a default installation under Linux. This is untrue for Linux's main competitor OS, which still needs a vide driver loaded after rebooting 12 or more times.
I also found that the applications under Red Hat were quite current. Currency is a problem with some distributions. Updated software is a major concern for me, especially since I work and live on the Internet, and security is a must. Plus, Linux moves fast. Software is updated on a monthly, if not daily basis. If the software is not current, it's like taking a step back. Fortunately, Red Hat offers a big leap forward.
This release could be thought of as a recovery from all the problems that plagued Red Hat 7.0 (kernel compiling, Linus calling it "stupid"). In this version, Red Hat has done it's best to address the complaints of the users, and this could be the most stable, robust release of Red Hat yet.
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