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Red Hat Software

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Released 110

Posted by timothy
from the progress-continues dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The fourth update in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 family is released. From the press release — this version includes kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) virtualization, alongside of Xen virtualization technology. The scalability of the Red Hat virtualization solution has been incremented to support 192 CPUs and 1GB hugepages. Other updates including GCC 4.4 and a new malloc(), clustered, high-availability filesystem to support Microsoft Windows storage needs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This article covers the upgrade procedure for RHEL 5.4 from the previous version."
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 Released

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  • by BestNicksRTaken (582194) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:15PM (#29290619)

    Well actually 2-4 weeks it seems:

    https://www.centos.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=22004&forum=37 [centos.org]

    Assuming no devs disappear or go on honeymoon ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not only is it only the obvious yum upgrade, but it doesn't even work on my RHEL 5.3 box- I get a ton of dependency errors on devel packages which I have to remove first. Fun Fun.

  • Disclaimer:I love Debian's way of doing things; but wonder whether it (Debian) has any answer to what this Redhat release has to offer. Does it?

    • by whatajoke (1625715) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:23PM (#29290749)

      Disclaimer:I love Debian's way of doing things; but wonder whether it (Debian) has any answer to what this Redhat release has to offer. Does it?

      Debian offers a far wider selection of software backed up by the same reliability level as redhat. But, Redhat is able to feature enterprisey features earlier than other distros because it employs a large number of linux developers.

      • Debian offers a far wider selection of software

        and Red Hat supports the software for 7+ years, in the original version, backporting all the nasty security patches to it for you.

        Rich.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      The thing about Debian is that its not -meant- for use in enterprise. Its more of a general purpose distro. Yes, your pretty much going to get the same level of reliability if you chose RHEL or Debian stable, but you have to remember that Red Hat has a lot more -paid- people to do all the "boring" tasks that Debian has to rely on volunteers for, so enterprise features are generally first to go into a Red Hat distro.
      • by bconway (63464) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:52PM (#29291201) Homepage
        HP offers paid support for Debian in enterprise environments.
      • by rbanffy (584143)

        I am sorry to destroy your fantasies, but Debian is used in a lot of enterprises. The only drawback of using Debian is that pointy-haired bosses frequently will be confused because they are unable to write a check for support to a Debian Corporation or something like that and this is not what PHBs are used to do.

        What creates this distorted perception is that Debian tends to appear in companies that give a little more autonomy to the tech areas than Red Hat and those companies don't have the required PHB den

        • by jabuzz (182671)

          Lack of a in advanced long term planned update support is one drawback of Debian. Redhat's seven year support offering is very useful. We have only just recently ditched our last RHEL3 boxes, and we have significant numbers of RHEL4 boxes that are not going to be upgraded anytime soon.

          Another is there is very little third party software that supports Debian either. So for example we use IBM's GPFS and TSM extensively. You hackor this onto Debian but don't bother ringing IBM tech support if you have a proble

          • by rbanffy (584143)

            Agreed. The main reasons I see RH boxes around is not RH support but Oracle, IBM and Realmedia. Still, this still amount to a handful of boxes.

            I would fire someone who uses it to serve static HTML.

            • by jabuzz (182671)

              Why if the majority of your infrastructure is RedHat/CentOS would you install say SuSE or Debian to serve static HTML?

              Personally I would fire someone who did that.

              • by Bert64 (520050)

                Yes, the primary drawback of RH/Centos is a lack of flexibility (enterprise customers don't want flexibility, they typically have a small number of specific needs)... Flexibility which simply isn't required if you're just planning to serve static HTML.

          • "Lack of a in advanced long term planned update support is one drawback of Debian."

            Only if you approach with the wrong mentality. Why would you want really long term support when you have no less than a year window for a free and quite easy upgrade?

            • by jabuzz (182671)

              But lots of time why would I do that? A DNS server running on say RHEL 4 which is up to date is just as good as the day it was installed. The option to only need to reinstall when the box itself is ditched is in my opinion well worthwhile.

              • "A DNS server running on say RHEL 4 which is up to date is just as good as the day it was installed."

                That's true, but the last version is even better: software is still evolutioning so fast that it's hard not to see advantages aplicable to your environment at each major release (hey! now I can bind registries with LDAP, or hey! the new version supports views the way I need, etc).

            • by simpz (978228)

              To be honest I can't imagine you've ever had to admin too large a setup. If you have, they must be pretty cookie cuttered e.g maybe a web farm. If you have say 100 machines that a lot of which perform unique functions you'd not want to roll out a new OS release annually, just too much stuff changes/breaks.

              Or else consider you are an enterprise application developer you have to port/repair your app as libs change with a whole new OS release. And you end up supporting all the old OS versions out there as your

              • "To be honest I can't imagine you've ever had to admin too large a setup."

                That's true. The environment I manage is only about 100 servers, 25 of which are more or less the same (web servers JBoss-based while still each one with its own peculiarities). Hardly a "large" setup while still not a "short" one.

                "If you have say 100 machines that a lot of which perform unique functions you'd not want to roll out a new OS release annually, just too much stuff changes/breaks."

                Truly not. But I feel quite on point up

            • by jsight (8987)

              Why would you want really long term support when you have no less than a year window for a free and quite easy upgrade?

              The "quite easy upgrade" is often not quite as easy as you make it out to be. Why bother to do that on a box which 100% works already (and still has security patches available for years)?

              • "Why bother to do that on a box which 100% works already (and still has security patches available for years)?"

                Because I don't manage a single box and all of a sudden you find that LDAP client from "current -2" doesn't play well with LDAP server from "current", and the same happens with Samba, and Java, and Amanda, and OO.org on the desktop and a dozen of others, so being able to easily upgrade so all (or at least most of) your machines are at the same OS release suddenly becomes a great win even if at the

    • by iYk6 (1425255)

      Disclaimer:I love Debian's way of doing things; but wonder whether it (Debian) has any answer to what this Redhat release has to offer. Does it?

      Exactly what is it that Debian might have an answer to? What does this Red Hat release have to offer that isn't in every other large Linux distro?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rbanffy (584143)

        Icons with red hats?

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        Oh... The requirement to reinstall the whole system every time you do a major upgrade (say, from 4 to 5).

        • by jsight (8987)

          Oh... The requirement to reinstall the whole system every time you do a major upgrade (say, from 4 to 5).

          Which OS has that requirement?

  • torrents (Score:5, Funny)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:29PM (#29290843)

    Start seeding those torrents!

    No, wait...

    • Actually this is a great idea. Torrents are a great way to help distribute any Linux distro or other free (as in license) software. It saves the organization money while requiring -- at least for most of us -- no additional costs on our end. Just like last night I downloaded OpenOffice 3.1.1 via torrent instead of using the regular download link. My ratio was > 2:1 this morning when I packed up the laptop to go to work.
      • by Bootarn (970788)

        Well, RHEL is a commercial product, so unless your organization feels like being criminal, it's not going to work in a legal context.

        It is, however, a good idea in general.

  • by LinuxWhore (90833) *
    I've got just one question: Does it support XFS yet? We use BackupPC, which generates millions of files, and easily fills an ext3 filesystem with inodes. This is the only thing that's keeping me from switching to RHEL/CentOS from Fedora.
  • Hugepages (Score:5, Informative)

    by ultrabot (200914) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:46PM (#29291105)

    Since it may not be obious to everyone what hugepages are, here's a link that may work out for you:

    http://lwn.net/Articles/188056/ [lwn.net]

  • by Samus (1382)

    I know they strive for package stability and all but Python 2.4 was released in 2005. Can't we get something newer in there please?

    • Re:Python (Score:5, Informative)

      by Loconut1389 (455297) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @04:52PM (#29291199)

      They're trying not to break API/ABI. They will with RHEL 6.

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        Can't they just symlink /usr/bin/python to /usr/bin/python2.4?

        Why would Python 3 (or 2.6/2.5) interfere?

        • by Nimey (114278)

          It's enterprise software with a support contract. You do /nothing/ that could potentially screw something up.

          If you need old RHEL with new Python, you compile it yourself or use a third-party repository, and don't expect support from Redhat.

          • by rbanffy (584143)

            If an upgrade risks screwing something up, you are not doing it in an enterprise-grade fashion. You just don't put all your eggs in the same basket.

            And, as I said somewhere else, if you postpone your upgrades enough you will sure need Red Hat's support when you have to upgrade your mSQL database to MySQL 8.

            • by gbjbaanb (229885)

              but if you postpone upgrades long enough, you won't be running the current RH version, you'll still be on RH3 (for example). And then, yes, you will have problems upgrading and they'll be worse than if you upgraded every time a new version appeared, but you will have the benefit of your old setup working seamlessly.

              I would say that upgrading a system from MySQL 3 to MySQL 4, and then from 4 to 5, and so on, is only slightly less painful than waiting a few years and doing a big upgrade from 3 to 8 all in one

          • by tirnacopu (732831)
            RedHat's support is so expensive, that at current hardware prices I twice chose to buy a new box, install all new stuff on it, migrate the service and throw the old one in the trash. This also offered an almost perfect rollback solution if the transfer went wrong.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheile (724052)
      Python 2.x as well as 3.x will live alongside 2.4 quite happily. Just build your own RPM and you're golden.

      Here... have a specfile for 2.6.2 and modify to your own heart's content... (IIRC you have to unpack the tarball, rename the directory to Python-2.6.2, and repack to make this work, but nothing else.)

      %define dist %(uname_r=`uname -r | egrep 2.6.9`; if [ "$uname_r" != "" ];then dist_tmp="el4";else dist_tmp="el5";fi ; echo "$dist_tmp")

      Summary : Python 2.6.2
      Nam
    • by pembo13 (770295)

      It sucks, but their position is understandable. Also, Python is fairly easily parallel installable.

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        "It sucks, but their position is understandable."

        No.

        I have Python 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 and 3.0 happily living in a Debian box. 2.4 for Zope/Plone, 2.5 because it's there, 2.6 for Django and 3.0 because I can.

        Just get Debian.

        Or Ubuntu. And you can even pay Canonical what you would pay Red Hat.

  • Oblig. XKCD (Score:1, Troll)

    by jabithew (1340853)

    The scalability of the Red Hat virtualization solution has been incremented to support 192 CPUs and 1GB hugepages.

    Here. [xkcd.com]

    Yes, I know an enterprise solution needs good virtualisation more than flash, it's still funny.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gbarules2999 (1440265)
      Okay, it's funny and true, yes, but do you guys have to post that comic on every goddamn Linux story?
      • by Abreu (173023)

        Has it stopped being relevant?

    • Re:Oblig. XKCD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by iYk6 (1425255) on Wednesday September 02, 2009 @06:13PM (#29292311)

      What exactly is funny about that comic? All I see is an inability to understand who is responsible for what (Linux kernel devs are responsible for Adobe Flash now?), and the fallacy that only one problem can be worked on at a time. Sure, jokes don't usually make much sense under scrutiny, but this comic was never funny, and is just an obvious troll.

      • by LizardKing (5245)

        What exactly is funny about that comic?

        Not a lot. And in the strips where the author tries to come across as a maths expert he normally fucks up and ends up looking like a knobhead.

        • by g1zmo (315166)

          And in the strips where the author tries to come across as a maths expert he normally fucks up and ends up looking like a knobhead.

          Examples?

    • by rbanffy (584143)

      Real computers don't have ports for keyboards, mice or monitors.

    • The scalability of the Red Hat virtualization solution has been incremented to support 192 CPUs and 1GB hugepages.

      Here. [xkcd.com]

      Yes, I know an enterprise solution needs good virtualisation more than flash, it's still funny.

      I don't get this comic...I have seamless fullscreen flash (Fedora 11, Firefox 3.5, Flash 10, 64-bit). Do other Linux users seriously not have this???

  • What's the new malloc() do?
    (Yes, I googled it.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      OMG once you've tried the new malloc, you'll never go back to any "last gen" mallocs because this new one is like the shizzle. Seriously.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill (34294)

      glibc new MALLOC behaviour: The upstream glibc has been changed recently to enable higher scalability across many sockets and cores. This is done by assigning threads their own memory pools and by avoiding locking in some situations. The amount of additional memory used for the memory pools (if any) can be controlled using the environment variables MALLOC_ARENA_TEST and MALLOC_ARENA_MAX.
      MALLOC_ARENA_TEST specifies that a test for the number of cores is performed once the number of memory pools reaches this value. MALLOC_ARENA_MAX sets the maximum number of memory pools used, regardless of the number of cores.

      The glibc in the RHEL 5.4 release has this functionality integrated as a Technology Preview of the upstream malloc. To enable the per-thread memory pools the environment variable MALLOC_PER_THREAD needs to be set in the environment. This environment variable will become obsolete when this new malloc behaviour becomes default in future releases. Users experiencing contention for the malloc resources could try enabling this option.

      http://www.redhat.com/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/5.4/html/Release_Notes/ [redhat.com]
      http://www.redhat.com/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/5.4/html/Technical_Notes/ [redhat.com]

      • by hey (83763)

        Thanks for the info.
        Seems like an improvement that would be very unlikely to have a downside.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joib (70841)

      Per-thread pools to reduce locking overhead. See the release notes for more details.

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        And no other distro has it?

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Doesn't look like it at the moment. It's a new feature in glibc 2.10 [livejournal.com], which isn't yet in Debian [debian.org] (not even unstable, though there's a version in experimental) or in the latest Ubuntu [ubuntu.com], though it looks like it's in the dev versions of the upcoming late-October [ubuntu.com] Ubuntu release.

          • by rbanffy (584143)

            I assume people who have hundreds of processor cores in one single box has in-house specialists that can integrate this kind of stuff into whatever distro they happen to like.

            • by GleeBot (1301227)

              Actually, it's more likely they're not using the standard library's malloc at all, so there's nothing to integrate. Just -lmy_custom_malloc and off you go.

              Replacing malloc is pretty common among performance fetishists. Back in the good ol' days, almost nobody used the standard library malloc.

              • by GleeBot (1301227)

                Oh, and if you really, really care about performance, you don't even do dynamic memory allocation at all. You figure out exactly how much you'll need in advance, do it all in one go, and let the CPUs rip.

  • by Morky (577776) on Thursday September 03, 2009 @07:38AM (#29297605)
    I like how they circled back to the version numbers of 10 years ago. Ah, the good old days of kernel 2.0.36 and ext2. I remember the joy of getting my sound card working on that: "...and I pronounce Linux, Leenux".

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