Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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:

Chrome no longer supporting RHEL6 (and CentOS-6 and SL6)

As of yesterday, Google pushed Chrome stable v28 into their google-chrome repository and effectively killed RHEL6 support:

Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:27.0.1453.110-202711 will be updated
---> Package google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:28.0.1500.45-205727 will be an update
--> Processing Dependency: libstdc++.so.6(GLIBCXX_3.4.15)(64bit) for package: google-chrome-stable-28.0.1500.45-205727.x86_64
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
Error: Package: google-chrome-stable-28.0.1500.45-205727.x86_64 (google)

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 !

centos-devel ml feels like /dev/null

Today I resigned from the centos-devel mailinglist, after yet another long thread where the core CentOS devs basically ignore the issues raised and use smoke-and-mirror techniques and personal attacks to obfuscate the discussion.

I have been through this recently with the CentOS 5.6 release delays, today it was regarding confusing version changes that make it hard to compare or relate CentOS packages with RHEL packages. After a whole bunch of hypothetical cases and even hard evidence of the past, a mistake I made was sufficient to start the name-calling, I don't know why I even bother. I don't think I deserve this anyway.

So I am out. No need for me to be on the CentOS-devel mailinglist if everything I say is being twisted, mischaracterized or ignored. I can use my free time for more interesting things.

So long CentOS, and thanks for all the fish.

Update: Since there seems to be some confusion about my involvement in CentOS. I had left the CentOS core team two years before announcing that I left the centos-devel mailinglist.

CentOS 5.6 release imminent

Yes, we have heard it a few times before, but this time it is true. CentOS 5.6 is being seeded to mirrors and work has started to bring the Release Notes up to speed. Already 82 days after RHEL 5.6.

Next up is CentOS 6.0, hopefully this one is released before RHEL 6.1, since the RHEL 6.1 Beta is already two weeks out. The fact that CentOS 6.0 is already 145 days behind RHEL 6.0 is something the team will have to think about. Leveraging the community by opening up the QA process is a no-brainer to me.

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

Qualcomm Gobi 2000 WWAN on RHEL5/CentOS-5

The backlight of my Thinkpad X200s stopped working reliably a few weeks ago and before using the warranty and shipping it back, I bought a Thinkpad X201 as a replacement. This system comes with a Qualcomm Gobi 2000 WWAN module (despite the box mentioning Ericsson F3507g) and while a driver exists, the device is something weird.

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 ?!?

CentOS 5.5 has been released

Your systems may already have picked it up, but if you haven't noticed, CentOS 5.5 has been released. You can find more information in the RHEL 5.5 release announcement.

Additionally, the CentOS community compiles its own list of interesting tidbits in the CentOS 5.5 release notes, which is an interesting read as well. The CentOS 5.5 LiveCD is released at the same time and has a its own release notes in the wiki.

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 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.

Removing all 32bit RPM packages

If you happen to come across a pure 64bit system that was installed the default way and includes lots of 32bit stuff. And you know for a fact all the 32bit functionality is not needed, just proceed to:

[root@system ~]# rpm -qa --qf '%{name}.%{arch}\n' | grep 'i[36]86$' | xargs rpm -e

Clean and simple...