A red hat is an American pilot who flies stolen and/or blackmarket Russian (enemy) planes. The red hat squadron is rumored to be/have been based at Groom Lake, aka Area 51.

A popular distribution of the Linux operating system as of 2001 A.D. Many distributions utilize the Redhat Package Manager, or RPM, to handle software installation and maintenance.

Redhat is characterized by a strong software package management utility (RPM), a System V-style init process, a flexible OS installation process that can scale from holding a newbie's hand to performing automated, unattended server installation. Redhat also includes graphical utilities that allow those not familiar with the command line to easily administer the system.

Many Linux geeks are bitter towards Redhat, claiming that Redhat is geared towards newbies due to the available GUI administration tools. This is generally due to the inexperience of the luser making such claims. Any guru understands that Linux is fundamentally Linus Torvalds' kernel combined with GNU tools. All other distribution-provided utilities are essentially superfluous. If you can grok one Linux distribution, you can grok them all.

As a sidenote to these GUIs that Redhat includes, the databases that they store their configuration data in are often very similar to the textual files that other UNIXen operating systems utilize. It is trivial to configure the system using either.

Red Hat is also a common but inaccurate Western name for one or more school of Tibetan Buddhism. It may refer to the oldest form, Nyingma or "Ancient"; or it may refer (I gather) to all of the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu schools.

It is opposed to Yellow Hat Buddhism, more correctly known as Gelug, the later reforming school to which the Dalai Lamas belong. Although still common in some Western texts, the terms Red Hat and Yellow Hat are now deprecated in favour of the correct Tibetan terms.

Thanks to Jinmyo for drawing my attention to my misuse.

Society of women too old (over 50) to contribute to the gene pool who've decided to take the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph to heart ("When I am an old woman, I will wear purple, with a red hat that doesn't go.."...she was all of 31 when she wrote it) by wearing red hats and purple dresses as a sign of being happily irresponsible after a long life of shouldering responsibility as mothers, wage-earners, and community leaders.

They go to tea and cocktails, and engage in the kind of healthy female bonding promoted by Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. This may be all well and good, for them I guess, but even as I reach the magic age, I feel a few qualms. For one thing, most Red Hatters have found a way to make the red-and-purple thing "go", mostly by choosing red with purple undertones and purple with red undertones. Second, it trivializes the name of one of the most divine authors I know, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, or Woman, Clan Purple, and the color most identified with enlightenment and the Spirit. Idiosyncratic, I know, but true. Also, although I enjoy the idea of being old and wise, being old and "professionally" childish (as opposed to maintaining at least the memory of innocence) simply sounds like the classic 20th century idea of being a teenager long after you're old enough to vote and pay taxes.

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