While everyone is waiting for RHEL6's general availability, the normal minor update releases for the aging RHEL5 product are still being churned out with today's release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 Beta as a prelude.
Compared to earlier Beta announcements, this one is quite meager with a small list of updates:
- bind 9.7 - improved DNSsec support
- PHP 5.3 - support for namespaces
- ebtables - Ethernet layer firewall
- dropwatch - network stack packet analysis
- IPA fonts - Japan JIS X 0213:2004 support
- sssd - offline credential caching
But we dug up the RHEL 5.6 Beta Release Notes, looked under the hood and compiled our own complementary list of notable changes:
As expected Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Beta. The Release Notes and Technical notes are included in the above link.
This beta update includes:
- New hardware driver support (pmcraid, ibmvfs, bfa, be2iscsi)
- Updated hardware support (too many to list)
- Kickstart improvements to logging post-install
- Run-time memory allocation for KVM guests (memory ballooning)
- PCI passthrough improvements (hotswapping PCI devices, 1:1 performance improvements)
- Detecting kernel tasks stuck in the uninterruptible sleep state (D-state)
- Improved CFQ I/O scheduler performance
- Kernel CIFS updates
- Software updates (openoffice, metacity, samba, freeradius)
At the very same day as Firefox 3.5 hit the mirrors, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Beta with a lot of interesting new functionality:
- KVM hypervisor now supported (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
- Fencing agents for IBM LPAR HMC and Cisco MDS SAN switches
- Updated ALSA drivers (backported to stable 2.6.18 kernel)
- Improved laptop docking support
- Updated graphics drivers
- FUSE support (already available from RPMforge and elrepo.org)
The CentOS community is pretty limited in what we can do to the core distribution. Since our mantra is "aiming to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux" we cannot fix bugs or improve the CentOS core without waiting for Red Hat to make those modifications first. We have limited leverage and a 6-month release cycle against us.
But that is not the complete truth, Red Hat usually has an internal, a vendor and a
publiccustomer beta period and everything that is found within that time-frame might get fixed before it is being shipped (and frozen) for the next 6 months.
Today RHEL 5.3 Beta was announced with a lot of interesting improvements.
I have been playing with (and talking about) this before, so why not take it to the next level and share it with the larger CentOS and RHEL community ?
The CentOS community is pretty limited in what we can do to the core OS. Since our mantra is "aiming to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux" we cannot fix bugs or improve the CentOS core without waiting for RHEL to make those modifications first. We have limited leverage and a 6-month release cycle against us.