RHEL 5.5 released today !

Submitted by dag on Tue, 2010/03/30 - 15:25

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
* FreeIPMI
* 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.

Booting to ext4

Will RHEL 5.5 be able to install and boot into an ext4 based root filesystems?


Too bad, still no SCSI emulation in KVM...

I went to a Red Hat event in Mechelen a few weeks ago, where KVM was presented as a serious alternative to VMware, I don't see that happen without SCSI emulation :-)