Red Hat Linux, assembled by the company Red Hat, was a popular Linux based operating system until its discontinuation in 2004.
Red Hat Linux 1.0 was released on November 3, 1994. It was originally called "Red Hat Commercial Linux" It was the first Linux distribution to use the RPM Package Manager as its packaging format, and over time has served as the starting point for several other distributions, such as Mandriva Linux and Yellow Dog Linux.
Since 2003, Red Hat has discontinued the Red Hat Linux line in favor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for enterprise environments. Fedora, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat, is the free version best suited for home use. Red Hat Linux 9, the final release, hit its official end-of-life on 2004-04-30, although updates were published for it through 2006 by the Fedora Legacy project until that shut down in early 2007.
Version 3.0.3 was one of the first Linux distributions to support Executable and Linkable Format instead of the older a.out format.
Red Hat Linux introduced a graphical installer called Anaconda, intended to be easy to use for novices, and which has since been adopted by some other Linux distributions. It also introduced a built-in tool called Lokkit for configuring the firewall capabilities.
In version 6 Red Hat moved to glibc 2.1, egcs-1.2, and to the 2.2 kernel. It also introduced Kudzu, a software library for automatic discovery and configuration of hardware.
Version 7 was released in preparation for the 2.4 kernel, although the first release still used the stable 2.2 kernel. Glibc was updated to version 2.1.92, which was a beta of the upcoming version 2.2 and Red Hat used a patched version of GCC from CVS that they called "2.96". The decision to ship an unstable GCC version was due to GCC 2.95's bad performance on non-i386 platforms, especially DEC Alpha. Newer GCCs had also improved support for the C++ standard, which caused much of the existing code not to compile.
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