RHEL 5.5 released today !
Today another update release of RHEL5 was born.
These (minor) update releases typically provide feature enhancements, bugfixes and new hardware support. And as such come as a set of new installation media (CDs and DVD). We already discussed the RHEL 5.5 Beta release not so long ago, and apart from stabilizing the product, a lot of what was known from that Beta is true for the real RHEL 5.5 release.
From the release notes:
Highlights of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 release include hardware enablement for the Intel Boxboro-EX platform, AMD Magny-Cours processor and IBM Power 7 processor. Virtualization is improved, with support for multiple 10 GigE SR-IOV cards, and automatic usage of hugepages for virtual guest memory when enabled on the system. Interoperability improvements include updates to OpenOffice for Microsoft Office 2007 filters, Samba for Windows 7 compatibility and boot support for virtual machines using Microsoft based PXE services.
But our own summary of technical details would highlight:
* Kickstart improvements to logging post-install
* New hardware driver support (pmcraid, ibmvfs, bfa, be2iscsi)
* Updated hardware support (too many to list, but includes wireless driver rebase)
* Support for Intel's Boxboro-EX and Boxboro-MC, AMD's Magny-Cours and IBM's Power7 processor
* 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 and new GFS mount option (for troubleshooting)
* GDB, Valgrind and Systemtap updates for improved debugging
* Software updates (openoffice, metacity, samba, freeradius)
Apart from this Red Hat also shared Technology Previews within each release. Functionality that is not yet supported, but available for testing purposes:
* FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet)
* ext4 filesystem support
* gcc 4.4 and new glibc malloc
* Trusted Platform Module (TPM) hardware support
* eCryptfs cryptographic filesystem
* Stateless Linux
* SGPIO Support for dmraid
* Device Failure Monitoring of RAID sets
* iSER support (block storage transfer across a network)
Which means that the above Technology Preview features of RHEL5.5 may become part of a future RHEL5 release !
Even though there is no predicted timeline for CentOS releases, CentOS 5.5 is not expected before May 4th 2010 (5 weeks).
Update: After the public release announcement I modified this article to reflect this.