The new Hat is out of the bag

Red Hat last week released Red Hat 8.0, with a host of improved usability and security features, among others. Both Professional and Standard versions of the new software were released, targeted as a client operating system for PCs or a workstation/server operating system, respectively.

The new Red Hat software includes a new graphical user interface it calls Bluecurve, which rides on top of the core Linux OS and provides a "unified look" for the system, according to the company. Bluecurve promises improved menu organization and access to frequently-used applications compared with previous Red Hat Linux GUIs, which have in the past included a choice between the KDE and GNOME open source desktop environments. The latest KDE and GNOME versions are come with the software as an option.

Graphical management tools have also been extended to system security, with a GUI-based configuration program for changing personal firewall and other PC security settings. GUI tools have also been extended to the areas of peripheral management and display settings.

The latest versions of several popular open source applications are also included in the software. These include the Apache Web Server 2.0, OpenOffice, which is the free software version of Sun's StarOffice office application suite, as well as the Mozilla Web browser. Ximian's Evolution e-mail client, which can work with open source e-mail servers, such as Sendmail, as well as Microsoft Exchange servers, also comes in the box. Applications bundled with the Professional include Sendmail and Postfix e-mail serving programs, Postgres and MySQL databases BIND DNS server and an improved User Management Tool for controlling individual user and user group access and rights.

The software is available now, starting at around $40.00 for the standard version and $150 for the Professional version.

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