Today Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 was released with the following improvements:
- The new certificate-based CDN infrastructure to get faster access to security updates and bugfixes (which was first introduced with RHEL 6.1)
- Various KVM and Xen improvements, including:
- Xen 32bit performance improvement
- Xen boot time reduced
- KVM CD-ROM emulation improvements
- KVM live migration speed improvements
- Updates to network, storage and video drivers (too many to list)
- XFS is now fully supported with RH HA/Clustering
- Many SSSD improvements
So this looks more like a regular hardware improvement update, with some necessary improvements introduced with RHEL5.6. The most exciting part is that there is not a lot to be excited about, which is what Enterprise Linux is mostly about ;-)
Almost 6 months after the first Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 release and 2 months after RHEL 6.1 Beta, Red Hat has announced its RHEL 6.1 update release and everyone testing and using RHEL6 have been waiting for this.
Not only because the second release is usually more important, but also to measure the pace of development and fixes going into its update releases. Ever since I have been running RHEL6, I have had a few kernel crashes and a good share of application crashes. RHEL6.1 Beta was a disaster and I regret having moved to it for my personal laptop (but hey, I like to know what to expect and need something to write about).
So while I do not expect a lot of new features just yet, a whole lot of fixes and improvements should have been coming from vendors, customers and users.
I could not find official release-notes just yet, RHN has not been updated either and no mail yet to rhelv6-announce, but do expect an update on this blog when that happens. And I expect to summarize the items I find the most interesting from the release notes and experience using it.
And 24 hours after RHEL 5.6 Beta, Red Hat announced the official RHEL 6 release ! This release comes with a bold statement on their website: More reliable than Microsoft, more open than Oracle, More comprehensive than VMware. Based on the statement Red Hat must be confident about what took so long to devise.
RHEL6's Beta and Beta 2 have been covered in depth so no need to give an overview of its many features on this blog.
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:
Almost exactly a year ago, I posted a blog article titled Is 7 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?. In that article I make the case that with RHEL major releases moving from 1.5 years to 3 years and virtualization reducing the importance of hardware life cycles, RHEL support should be extended beyond 7 years.
Yesterday Red Hat announced that it did just that. From today Red Hat offers RHEL Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) on top of normal subscriptions for specific versions and variants. Meaning that for RHEL3 only i686 AS/ES and for RHEL4 i686 and x86_64 AS/ES and ia64 AS are taken into consideration and are thus more expensive than regular support. No pricing information is available yet.
Last weekend when reading the latest publication of the most popular (children) comic series in Flanders, De Kiekeboes, I was surprised to see Linux mentioned. And not just any Linux, the most important Linux ;-)
As many others, they spelled Red Hat incorrectly.
Still one wonders, why Windows XP ?!?
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)
Seven years is a long time. Most people won't know where they are in 7 years. I'm interested to find out how many kids will be running around the house in 2016 :-) However if you are responsible for thousands of Enterprise Linux servers, seven years may no longer be sufficient.
Let me explain what I mean. When Red Hat released RHEL2.1, seven years of support was perfect, seemed more than one would want. RHEL3 came 18 months after RHEL2.1 and after one year of testing RHEL3 and 3rd party integration new systems could be deployed, giving you 6 years of support. Your hardware would usually not outlive the operating system support.
Today Red Hat released a minor update (v5.4) of their Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 product line. The minor releases comprise mostly of bug-fixes and feature enhancements and the official announcement is pretty light on both, likely because Red Hat has its yearly summit right now in Chicago. (And yes, I lack the budget to go there :-/)
I noticed there was something wrong with Planet CentOS this evening, and apparently the CentOS website says:
The CentOS websites are current down for some unscheduled maintenance, we hope to have services restored as soon as possible.
But at the same time if you go to www.redhat.com, you get a:
redhat.com will be back soon.Thank you for your patience.
I think there's plenty of food for conspiracy theorists in there :-) Maybe CentOS is running in Red Hat's datacenter ?
Could it really ?
One of the things I do on a weekly basis is follow the kernel development that Red Hat undertakes for their future RHEL5 kernels. This is very interesting because you can check the changelog for fixes, new hardware support, backported features (eg. kvm) and newly supported stuff (eg. fuse, xfs) that is coming in RHEL 5.4.
We discovered xfs was coming to RHEL, new ath5k fixes prove helpful on a friend's laptop, and I was waiting for I/O accounting, kvm and fuse to hit these releases too.
This morning in the shower it hit me, the song "Where's your head at" from the Basement Jaxx could be perfectly spoofed as "Wear your Red Hat".
So the complete song would be:
Wear your Red Hat
- Wear your Red Hat
- Wear your Red Hat
Don't let the walls cave in on you
We can't live on, live on without you
Don't let the walls cave in on you
You get what you give that much is true
When I installed CentOS 5.2 on my Thinkpad X200s only to discover that neither my onboard ethernet (e1000e), nor my onboard wireless (iwlagn) was supported by CentOS 5.2's 2.6.18 kernel, I managed to manually configure my Bluetooth UMTS connection to my cellphone to fix my connectivity problems and get back in business in no time.
Funny how the newest technology (UMTS) apparently is better supported by older kernels than ethernet or wireless (ieee 802.11) technologies.