RHEL 6 beta impressions – Better, stable and worth the wait.

RHEL 6.0 was long overdue for release and when the beta finally hit the community, the download and the traffic ratesRHEL 6.0 - theprohack.com proved it. There has been quite new releases in Linux camp this year,with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx being released last month. When it comes to RHEL, version 5.0 was released in 2007 with Linux 2.6.18 kernel and despite a barrage of incremental patches,it was beginning to show its age. The major release sports a Linux 2.6.32 kernel, a hybrid of several kernels with a strong emphasis on virtualization. That means that bulk of new features are found in the KVM (created by Qurmanet,purchased by Red Hat in 2008), which allows for managing virtual machines as easily as physical machines. KVM has been upgraded by adding a lot of performance and hardware support based upgrades.XEN has gone and it might be hard for some to make a move towards KVM.
RHEL 6.0 formatting options - theprohack.com
Another addition on board is the addition of SELinux Sandbox which allows you to run any kind of arbitrary or untrusted code on your virtual machine, and is pretty handy with virtual hosts and allows to run guest machines in isolated environments.
Better multi-core support is the buzzword with RHEL 6.0 supporting new chip architectures including Intel's Xeon 5600 and 7500 and the Power7 from IBM. Also RHEL offers a plethora of disk formatting options when it comes to choosing a file system, with native support to ext4 and support being added for XFS file system.Added support for Nvidia display drivers has been added.
RHEL 6 splash screen - theprohack.com
When it comes to installation, the familiar Anaconda installer offers preconfigured software packages to suit your needs. Pre-configured options include basic server configuration,web server packages, the desktop setup or the bare “minimal” install, however you can customize your installation as per your whims by selecting individual packages.
However, upon installing the basic desktop setup, I found out that RHEL is not the place to look for the latest in the GNOME developments (it was already expected as GNOME 2.30 was released early this year and so far its not a part of RHEL 6.0), the beta is stuck at GNOME 2.28 and several other prominent software offerings like Firefox and open office are showcased in their older versions. However on the server front, everything was close to their latest stable version;with Perl 5.10, PHP 5.3, Apache 2 and MySQL 5 bundled for web admins.

RHEL is targeted at enterprise deployment and development and you are better off with light weight linux distros for casual desktop use. But its worth a try if you are just curious.

You can download beta from here (redirects to red hat ftp server),RHEL is available for these architectures, choose your pick from there :)

  • i386
  • AMD64/Intel64
  • System z
  • IBM Power (64-bit)

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1 comment:

  1. <the beta is stuck at GNOME 2.38 and several other prominent software offerings like Firefox and open office are showcased in their older versions.>

    I think you mean Gnome 2.28


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