red hat

RHEL 6.5 Beta release

So I just received a new batch of updates from the RHEL6 Beta channel, this means RHEL 6.5 Beta has been released. Exciting news (if you're into that, like me ;-)).

Both the Release Notes as well as the Technical Notes are already available. Enjoy !

The important bits (to me) are:

RHEL 5.7 released

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 ;-)

For an overview of the detailed changes, look at the 5.7 Release Notes and Technical Notes.! Enjoy !

Integration with ELRepo and Repoforge (fka RPMforge) are being looked at as we speak...

RHEL 6.1 released

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.

The Release Notes and Technical Notes are out now too ! Enjoy !

RHEL 6 released

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.

For about a week the comprehensive Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 documentation was available, including the RHEL6 Release Notes.

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.

RHEL 5.6 beta released

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:

Is 10 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?

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.

As a result of this the timeline of RHEL releases looks like this:

Click the picture to see it in all its glory

First Linux to appear in Flemish comic series ?

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 ?!?

RHEL 6 beta released

Earlier than I had expected Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 beta. This release is available to everyone through the Red Hat public FTP server.

The release announcement briefly summarizes important changes, but I will blog later about the details of this release.

Exciting times ahead...

RHEL 5.5 beta released

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)

Is 7 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?

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.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 released !

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 :-/)

To get a better picture at what is in RHEL 5.4, you can read the Beta announcement and the (unusual) Beta update announcement.

CentOS too much like Red Hat ?

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, you get a: 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 ?

Red Hat backported I/O accounting to RHEL5

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.

Where's your Red Hat ?

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

RHEL 5.3 released

You may have heard it by now, RHEL 5.3 has been released.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 confirms Red Hat's commitment to Xen with a lot of virtualization enhancements, desktop enhancements, new hardware support, kernel improvements, includes openjdk and much more from the release notes.