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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business

Red Hat Readies RHEL 5 for March 14 Launch 129

Rob writes "The wait is almost over. It may have taken two weeks longer than Red Hat would have liked, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, the updated version of the company's commercial Linux platform, will be launched along with a bevy of new products and services on March 14. The delivery of RHEL 5, the fourth major commercial server release for Red Hat, will better position its Linux against Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 as well as Windows, Unix, and proprietary platforms. RHEL 5 has been cooking for more than two years and includes changes to the Linux kernel. In addition to the support for the Xen hypervisor, RHEL 5 also has an integrated version of Red Hat Cluster Suite, the company's high availability clustering software, as well as support for iSCSI disk arrays, InfiniBand with Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), and the SystemTap kernel probing tool."
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Red Hat Readies RHEL 5 for March 14 Launch

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  • R Hell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pzs ( 857406 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:43AM (#18249380)
    My experience with RHEL was really not that good. We had an RHEL3 box which had a truly ancient version of Python installed - more than 2 years old. You couldn't force an upgrade, because packages could only be installed if fully compatible with that version of RHEL and that version of Python was the latest that was considered fully compatible. You couldn't do a major version upgrade to, say, RHEL4 without reinstalling the system. When I manually changed the version of Python by compiling it myself, it borked the package manager so it wouldn't get security updates anymore. I ended up with an old and a new version installed next to each other, which is fine, but I had to do all the work of getting them to coexist myself.

    A similar story with PHP. To update from PHP4 to PHP5 was a good day of compiling and tweaking to make sure I could get it installed alongside a pukka packaged version of PHP4, thereby not upsetting the package system and invalidating our support.

    I know their method is to restrict the versions to make it very well understood and easy to support. It just seems a bit pants to pay for a system that has less update capabilities than most of the free linuxes.

  • CentOS 5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nighttime ( 231023 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:48AM (#18249440) Homepage Journal
    By looking at the release dates of CentOS 4.x and comparing them to the release dates of RHEL 4.x, it looks like we can expect to see CentOS 5 released on 28th March 2007.

    The two weeks lead time would appear to be borne out by this CentOS FAQ entry. [centos.org]

  • Re:R Hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:50AM (#18249460) Homepage Journal
    We had an RHEL3 box which had a truly ancient version of Python installed

    Do you realise how long ago RHEL3 came out?

    You couldn't force an upgrade

    I don't think your criticisms should be aimed at RHEL. If you wanted new packages over stability or wanted to be able to force upgrade then you picked the wrong distro. You are not their target audience.

    If the stability of fedora is enough for your needs maybe you should look there instead?

  • crash dump (Score:5, Interesting)

    by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @10:52AM (#18249468)
    One thing Solaris does well which Linux is still struggling with is crash dumps and crash dump analysis. I know it is easier with Solaris due to the integration between the OS and the hardware, as opposed to say Red Hat and a variety of supported vendors, but is definitely a nice thing to have. Especially if a system crashes and you bring it back up without a good analysis of what went wrong - you might have a $10000 system for the business unit (with everything included) yet if you don't know why it crashed, you're always nervous about the box. The Linux core team talks about having to get to the enterprise level, and Linux still has a way to go in terms of this, to get to the level of Sun and vendors like that in this respect.
  • Re:R Hell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Raleel ( 30913 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @11:17AM (#18249750)
    I agree with Martin's comments here. RHEL is Enteprise for a reason. It has long term support, it's stable. One might liken it to Debian stable, although it tends to be a bit more cutting edge than that, although not quite as cutting edge as testing, I believe (I could be wrong here. It's not exactly like I have done a one for one comparison of every package, so feel free to correct me).

    I've been running Red Hat in an "enterprise" environment for about 8 years now. I've seen it go from an upgrade every 6 months to not needing an upgrade for the life of a box. Taking a look at our satellite server, I see 210 machines still subscribed to the RHEL 3, and even 13 subscribed to 2.1 (itaniums, hey, they still run!). These boxes are stable and secure, and I'm happy with that. They are performing their functions.

    No doubt, it's not for everyone. Many people can't afford it, including myself in my personal life (alright, I could, but I really don't feel the need). Fedora is fine for those. Ubuntu is fine for those. Whatever other version you like is fine for those. If you want it to run with minimal upgrades, you stick with something that has support in some fashion for a long long time afterwards, like RHEL, where you can get security fixes for 7 years after release.
  • Re:CentOS 5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fimbulvetr ( 598306 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @11:30AM (#18249870)
    This is far from offtopic. Centos is a complete build of RHEL5 from redhat's released sources, with RH's branding removed. The updates, etc, are then provided for free by the CentOS community. Centos is a great OS for people not needing RH's support, but needing RH's OS.

    This is completely on topic, and I, like (probably) many other people, immediately wondered when CentOS's release would be after seeing this announcement.
  • Re:CentOS 5 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @11:49AM (#18250126)
    Our server at work came with RedHat but now Runs CentOS (I think our RedHat subscription still has a year or so left), primarily because CentOS has all the goodness of RedHat without RedHat's 'prove your not a crook' and 'is your subscriuption up to date' features.
  • by MostAwesomeDude ( 980382 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @02:09PM (#18252330) Homepage
    I've used Red Hat back when it had to be installed from floppy, and have an FC6 box for dev work on my desk today. (Don't get me too wrong. My fileserver's Gentoo, and the personal laptop I'm on right now is Debian Etch.)

    When you say that Red Hat is "greedy," do you mean that they are wrong for selling Linux? After all, people who buy Red Hat's Linux get support, oodles of manuals (good luck getting that brand-new SATA2 RAID card to work in Ubuntu without some arcane incantation halfway through your init (WTF is up with Ubuntu's init anyway? Sure, I appreciate that it's clean and nice-looking, but why is it so damn slow? Even Knoppix CDs boot faster on my friend's dev box than his Ubuntu installation does...)), and they also get a bit of a warranty, which is not something that comes with any flavor of free Linux.

    I like Ubuntu much better than Red Hat e.g. package management etc.
    Yeah, I can't argue with that. Even today, APT still kicks yum out of the water when it comes to being non-buggy and working right. Of course, Ubuntu isn't exactly the best example; they clutter up their repos with an astounding amount of virtual packages.

    Also, Ubuntu is nothing like Red Hat in their philosophy. Red Hat sells Linux in order to make a profit. Thus, they work on making their Linux fast, clean, and fully documented, in order to maximize sales. Ubuntu makes Linux in order to promote Linux's desktop share. Thus, they make their distro complete, with out-of-the-box support for proprietary drivers and with oodles of applications. Neither side is perfect: Red Hat's distro is not free if you want the enterprise support, and Ubuntu's distro is bloated and poorly designed for expert users.
  • by ePhil_One ( 634771 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @03:52PM (#18253898) Journal
    There exists a set of people who either use or intend to use RHEL. I imagine a subset of these are the ones likely to be waiting.

    Actually, I imagine we'll still be waiting after March 14th. Now that RHEL5 is official, we will start waiting for vendor support, Oracle, EMC, IBM, etc. Making it official is just step 1. People who use RHEL don't rush to update.

    The bad news is now my RHCE, earned under RH v8, is officially expired :(

  • by Corson ( 746347 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @04:54PM (#18254666)
    The article doesn't mention real-time support so I guess RHEL-5 will not include such a feature. That's too bad because Novell already have it in SLERT and can price it as they want.
  • RHEL3 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joncombe ( 623734 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2007 @07:09PM (#18256286) Homepage
    I've not been at all impressed with RHEL. At work we use RHEL3. After an upgrade from RH7.3 we found that the C++ IOStream library was unable to open files >2GB in size. This is an issue with the C++ compiler version supplied with RHEL3. Red Hats' "solution" was that it would be fixed in RHEL4. Sorry, but in a product where support is the primary reason for paying, this is a very poor response.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling