Use the Latest
Before you begin the process of trying to solve Linux problems, there are a couple things you should do. If possible you should first ensure that a currenlty supported version of the distribution is installed. Even if you discover the cause of a problem, a fix may not be available in a very far down-level distribution.
If you have a supported version make certain that the latest updates and patches are already installed. With Red Hat based distributions you can use YUM to do this fairly painlessly. Install the latest updates if the system is not current.
By using the latest version of a distribution and getting it to the latest update level so that it has all currently available fixes you can save a great deal of of time solving problems that could be solved merely by getting to the most current level.
Or perhaps not
One caveat, however, is that some installations require down-level versions of certain packages, usually libraries, in order for some proprietary applications to function properly. This is because many proprietary, closed source software companies support only down-level distributions because they are too cheap to test on more current versions. So be sure to verify that all packages installed on a Linux system may be updated before actually doing so. Some environments also require stability and only install updates and patches after a great deal of testing.