StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.0

april 3, 2007

Well, StartCom was the first to get a RHEL5 rebuild out. They beat out the one that I was waiting for: CentOS. That's pretty good. I downloaded the DVD ISO and gave it a shot in VMware. I have my RHEL5 Workstation to compare StartCom with. StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.0 is a straightforward rebuild project. There is not much polish to the presentation -- especially when compared to the CentOS5 beta release. The graphics used for the installer, boot, and splash are quite...primitive, with jagged edges and strange "I took a transparent GIF and pasted it on a solid color" look. StartCom Enteprise Linux 5.0.0 does not feel professional. The installation when fairly well, no problems at all. What I was happy to see was that StartCom did not feel as though they should replace the Gnome foot icon for the main menu. That was kind of cool. StartCom added packages to the rebuild (one major one that I noticed was YumEx). There are probably more that I haven't spotted yet. I wonder what kind of compatibility StartCom tries to maintain with Red Hat Enteprise Linux 5. StartCom also changed the package structure during installation -- the stuff you see when you choose to customize an installation. Some things are not populated as I saw in RHEL5 Workstation and the default installation does only a bare minimum install. I still need to play with it more to see what it is like and what kind of differences there are with RHEL5. I do think that this distro feels a bit rushed; and maybe that is why it was the first out of the gate. I haven't played with any other versions of StartCom Enterprise Linux, but this one did not impress me -- I would have liked to see more polish to the package. The polish would help StartCom to distinguish itself from the other RHEL rebuild projects.