Because firewire is still a "Technology Preview" in RHEL5.3, you must disable the blacklisting of the kernel module in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-firewire
# Comment out the next line to enable the firewire driversBut that's not all you have to do... Oh no... In order for the drive to be visible in your file manager (we use Xfce, but it also applies to Gnome), you must also mark the drive as "hotpluggable" in HAL. Why it isn't done so automatically, I don't know.
Create or update the file /etc/hal/fdi/policy/preferences.fdi with this code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- -*- SGML -*- -->Now, I don't know if that's the best matching, but it works.
<match key="@info.parent:@info.parent:@info.parent:info.linux.driver" string="firewire_ohci">
<match key="info.category" string="storage">
<match key="storage.drive_type" string="disk">
<merge key="storage.hotpluggable" type="bool">true</merge>