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Red Hat Software Upgrades Linux

Red Hat Releases RHEL 6 228

alphadogg writes "Red Hat on Wednesday released version 6 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution. 'RHEL 6 is the culmination of 10 years of learning and partnering,' said Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of products and technologies, in a webcast announcing the launch. Cormier positioned the OS both as a foundation for cloud deployments and a potential replacement for Windows Server. 'We want to drive Linux deeper into every single IT organization. It is a great product to erode the Microsoft Server ecosystem,' he said. Overall, RHEL 6 has more than 2,000 packages, and an 85 percent increase in the amount of code from the previous version, said Jim Totton, vice president of Red Hat's platform business unit. The company has added 1,800 features to the OS and resolved more than 14,000 bug issues."
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Red Hat Releases RHEL 6

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  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:03PM (#34191842) Journal

    RH6: software you can weigh...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by zAPPzAPP ( 1207370 )

      I hope those 14000 bugs were found in the new code, or we're looking at about 16470 more to go.

    • Only 2000 packages (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iYk6 ( 1425255 )

      I tried CentOS about a year ago, and the big problem I ran into was that the OS had so few packages. I am a Debian user and I really like having over 20,000 packages in the official repositories. I rarely have to go somewhere else to download software.

      • its not a general distro, which is what debian is. its based on RHEL and the main packages that go with that OS. there are community maintained repos that offer a larger variety of software packages to use with your centos install. personally ive used debian more, and prefer it just because im more familiar with it.

      • by kwalker ( 1383 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:43PM (#34192150) Journal

        If you install EPEL [] you'll get an additional 4600+ packages.

        However RHEL/CentOS are server operating systems, so a lot of packages that make sense on desktops are omitted.

        • by dpilot ( 134227 )

          Why do they have i386 and x86_64? Is anyone using i386 any more? I can see that some Via processors might not quite make i686 because of CMOV, but shouldn't i586 be the bottom end, these days? For that matter, newer Via processors do have CMOV, and make the grade for i686.

          Anything below i586 is single issue, and I can't believe it isn't giving up a fair amount of performance by optimizing for i386 or i486.

        • Funny thing is, the Fedora community goes out of it's way to say Fedora is bleeding edge and that if you're "just a desktop user" you might want to use CentOS.

      • More than you need (Score:3, Informative)

        by FranTaylor ( 164577 )

        CentOS is a server platform. You run databases and web servers on it. Don't put it on your desktop, that's not what it's for. The lack of desktop support is intentional, it allows them to focus on server performance and quality. My CentOS machines have less than 800 packages installed and they still feel bloated

        Maybe you can run it on a desktop if you load it up with EPEL and rpmfusion, but at that point you are probably better off with something else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AdamWill ( 604569 )

          This is kind of overstated. RHEL works fine as an enterprise desktop; it's used that way internally at RH and by some RH customers. It's probably not what you want on your home desktop, but it's going too far to say RHEL is for servers only.

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            I hope they never send out any videos. The version of vlc with Centos 5, is buggy as hell and lacks support for a great many things.

        • >CentOS is a server platform. Don't put it on your desktop, that's not what it's for.

          And what if your "desktop" is a thin client running from a CentOS/RHEL application server? Mine is...

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:33PM (#34192072) Homepage

      Debian has "over 25000 []". If RHEL6 is "software you can weigh", then Debian must be "software designed to break your scale". :)

      (Note: this is not a claim that "Debian is better" or any such nonsense. Merely pointing out that 2000 packages is hardly an impressive or unprecedented feat in itself.)

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        Assuming it has the same quality as the packages currently in the Redhat 5 repositories - it is indeed saying a lot.
    • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:07PM (#34192320)
      Nonono, 2000 is the year the packages were released. This is really RH6 :)
      • The whole RHEL renumbering makes me feel the same way I felt when I heard a kid say he was glad to be seeing the first Star Wars movie in a theater. This wasn't the CGI-rereleases. It was Phantom Menace.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:05PM (#34191860)

    Chrome will be up to version 783 (beta) in 10 years!

  • Does this include the directory server that mac's and windows machines can work with ?

    • by xiando ( 770382 )
      You'll have to wait for Samba4 to get something fully featured which will rock your boat if you need a directory server, and it's still in alpha status. You can do some things with Samba 3.x, you may even (ab)use it as a replacement -- and RHEL includes it -- but it takes some time to setup and it lacks some important features that you may want.
    • As Sibling states you need Samba 4 (Hopefully) to act as a directory server to Microsoft clients. Macs work fine with OpenLDAP though. I've Authed Mac clients against Red Hat and SuSE servers, and this was several years ago.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In my not so humble opinion 389 is by far the best LDAP server. []

        389 is based on the old Netscape directory server (AKA NDS/IPlanet) code.

    • by buchanmilne ( 258619 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:16AM (#34194194) Homepage

      Does this include the directory server that mac's and windows machines can work with ?

      Windows machines have poor support for "directory servers" compared to most other OSs. If you mean an Active Directory replacement, no, because Windows machines expect that Active Directory has LDAP, Kerberos, CIFS, DNS and a few other services *all* running on the "directory server" (where other OSs allow these to be separated and/or scaled differently). If you need AD support with GPOs etc., you can consider trying samba4, but it's still in alpha (although some sites are running it in production). If you just need to authenticate Windows desktops, and don't need GPO-only features (but user/group policies are sufficient, if crufty), samba-3.5 as provided in RHEL6 may be sufficient.

      The OpenLDAP included with RHEL6 is good enough for all other operating systems with support for "directory servers", including Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, Solaris, AIX etc.

      Of course, RH would prefer to sell you RHDS subscriptions ...

  • CentOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:15PM (#34191946)
    Anyone know when we can expect CentOS 6?
  • by cschepers ( 1581457 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:17PM (#34191970)
    At my workplace, Red Hat server licensing is pricier than Windows Server licensing. I'd love to move servers off Windows, but it'll be hard to justify if it costs more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's amazing. It's also how Microsoft kicked ATT out of the marketplace in the early 1990's. ATT wanted $75 per OEM PC license; Microsoft wanted $10. The rest is history.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bunratty ( 545641 )
      Just use CentOS or Fedora, and pay nothing for the OS. Of course, you'll then have to pay for support if you need it.
      • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:30PM (#34192060) Homepage Journal
        Fedora is a really bad choice for enterprise environments. Fedora provides updates for 13 months. RHEL has a 7 year lifecycle. Enough said.
      • Fedora bills itself as "bleeding edge" as I recall. Anyhow, it's definitely not aiming at enterprise quality, it's trying to push the desktop feature base forward.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Redhats "support" is pretty bad if you don't get the super-ultra-deluxe package or whatever it is called. It's India based email support and often times they don't really understand the question, they just seize upon a couple of keywords and respond back with various kb articles on those keywords. Worthless IMO.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) *

          Redhats "support" is pretty bad if you don't get the super-ultra-deluxe package or whatever it is called. It's India based email support and often times they don't really understand the question, they just seize upon a couple of keywords and respond back with various kb articles on those keywords. Worthless IMO.

          Is this RHEL support or are you talking about some other product?

          I posted a support issue recently regarding some RHEL 3 servers I am stuck maintaining that run a legacy application. It was pretty much an edge case issue that I was experiencing but it was holding me up at the time. I posted it to the their forums and they did eventually post a response (from a RedHat employee) that solved the issue. It may have taken a week or two and I had worked around the problem by then anyway, but it was a much better

    • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:26PM (#34192020) Homepage Journal

      Red Hat server licensing is pricier than Windows Server licensing.

      At first, I guessed that it might have something to do with the common conception that one can run more things on a single Red Hat server than on a single Windows server. But a couple Google searches later, I found this Microsoft white paper [] claiming that Red Hat doesn't charge for client access licenses for RHEL.

      • by seifried ( 12921 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:25PM (#34192452) Homepage
        Or you can just install CentOS which is Red Hat minus the artwork and the word "Red Hat" like most of us. I find Linux generally stable/reliable enough that I don't need support (I can't even remember my last Linux server crash, it's been years and stuff "just works").
        • This. Centos is the same codebase as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL)- sans support and artwork. The Centos folks take the source code and create a set of binaries, install media, and yum repositories. The commercial software installs very nicely on the free (as in beer too) version, since it is all the same under the covers. Personally, I find it easier to use Centos than the commercial variants, just because I don't have any issues giving out a VM with a set of applica

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      If you care about that just use centos.

    • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:43PM (#34192154) Homepage

      On a per server basis, maybe, but once you pay for a year of Red Hat support you're done. No per seat licenses. It's like $200 (more now? I don't know.. I don't actually handle the money part) to "license" a server for a year (really for a year's worth of support). That's it. Got 2 users? $200. Got 2000 users? $200. The support is good too. Got a problem? Open a ticket. They'll pretty much solve it for you, no per incident charges.

      • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:58PM (#34192270)
        I've always thought that one should pay for support on a per-incident basis for software that one considers reliable. Count your incidents per year for the last few years and do the math.
        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:09PM (#34192336)

          Redhat would never make a dime.
          Truth is lots of places use Centos as it is now.

          RHEL should offer site licenses or something like that. No need to be cheaper just even more easy to deal with. The lack of CALs and different levels of the OS already makes them easier to deal with than windows licensing.

          • ***The lack of CALs and different levels of the OS already makes them easier to deal with than windows licensing.***

            Whats next? Oracle licenses?

            • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:25PM (#34192762)

              Touche, but windows licensing really does get people into trouble. I have seen many small shops who had no CALs and in some cases no Sharepoint CALs. They were upset when they found out you had to buy the software and then the right to use it separately. I really think Microsoft does this on purpose, since violations can turn into real money very quickly.

        • I've always thought I should pay a reasonable fixed rate for support, and that whoever calls the software reliable should pay me on a per-incident basis whenever it breaks. If I make out in the long run, that's just incentive to make it more reliable.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:46PM (#34192192)

      Windows Server Licenses do not include support. There is your price difference.

  • According to [] , the included version of PostgreSQL is 8.4.4. I know that PostgreSQL was released about a month ago and that this is an enterprise release subjet to more tests... but this new version has important features (Hot standby, Streaming replication) for a production environment.

    Does anybody know if RH will update the PostgreSQL version as a manteinance package?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by greg1104 ( 461138 )

      RedHat eventually added PostgreSQL 8.4 as an option for RHEL5, so it wouldn't be surprising to find that eventually they decide to make 9.0 (or 9.1) available for RHEL6. This really isn't as big of an issue as people think though. One of the PostgreSQL core team members is employed by RedHat, and the updated PostgreSQL packages available from their yum repo are extremely close to the RHEL builds. The same group of people is involved in the packaging and version updates, and the PostgreSQL yum repo is kep

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      It will not. Just add the official postgres repo.

      9.0 is really nice, and 9.1 promises to be even better.

    • Red Hat is very conservative with its packages. Minor updates come roughly every 6 months and it is then that they update packages if they decide to do so. However third party repositories will have newer versions of programs/packages and other programs that are not included in RHEL 6 by Red Hat. Naturally those packages will not be supported by Red Hat.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Often times they will not even update featuresets for certain packages at all, they will just backport any security fixes that come out. This is both good and bad, good because you don't have to worry about updates breaking anything, bad because you may not be able to use the latest and greatest software packages out there. Whether you should be using bleeding edge at all for "enterprise" is another debate altogether.
    • by kwalker ( 1383 )

      Not that much (to version 9). RHEL doesn't do major version bumps for components before the whole OS bumps. However you will probably be able to find a community-maintained repo with PG9 packages for RHEL6 shortly (There may be one for RHEL5 now), google is your friend.

    • We run our product off PostgreSQL and we were still deploying on 8.3 until 6 months ago. We'll probably be deploying 8.4.x until 2012. I know I want PostgreSQL 9 out for at least a year before moving anything critical over to it.

      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        You do know you can start testing it now right?
        Heck, you should probably have been testing the betas.

        The new streaming replication is so easy a caveman could do it.

  • Now there's something they could trademark!
  • About time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:42PM (#34192144) Homepage

    It's about time they released RHEL 6, RHEL 5 has become outrageously crusty in the almost 4 years that it's been out now. Nevermind that it's a mediocre distro with virtually nothing packaged in the base repository, $dayjob forces a lot of people to use RHEL, and it'll be nice to have something that isn't quite so crusty.

    Anyone know why RHEL 6 took so long? Previous major releases were 2 years or less apart from eachother, 4 years is a really long time...

    • by adosch ( 1397357 )

      Hard to say. I've wondered the same thing myself. But when pushes comes to shove, I don't really have a problem with an enterprise OS taking their time on a release just as long as it's been through a bit more of regression testing to cut some of the bigger bugfixes out of the way. RHEL5 right now is really a stable foundation OS for the most part, even when using more of the COTS packages right out of the distro (e.g. LAMP setups, PostgreSQL, vsftp, ect.).

      So I guess it's now time for RHEL to live up to

  • by proxima ( 165692 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:58PM (#34192268)

    RHEL provides a 7 year lifecycle [], which is unmatched by the other major distributions I know about (even Debian). This is crucial for the enterprise; I know of a number of systems which are still running RHEL3 after 6-7 years. Upgrading production computers is not a trivial process, and 2-3 year lifecycles just don't cut it in some situations.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      You trust the server hardware after 6 years?

      Rotating out hardware is essential, virtualization makes this far less of a chore.

      • by proxima ( 165692 )

        You trust the server hardware after 6 years?

        Rotating out hardware is essential, virtualization makes this far less of a chore.

        It's certainly not always the administrator's choice about whether hardware gets replaced. Besides, there's a long history of UNIX hardware being around forever (well over a decade, sometimes two).

        On a personal note, I just retired my 12 year old P166 desktop which was functioning as a router/firewall. It had been running the same install of Debian, suitably upgraded, for 8 years.

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          I have machines like that at home. I still use an old ultrasparc 5, but in production at work things are a little different.

          Also, RHEL != UNIX
          My ultrasparc running solaris 10 is UNIX. For the record, I prefer GNU/linux or what ever you want to call it. So much so that any solaris machine I touch gets the GNU tools installed.

          • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

            Dammit, Sun Ultra 5 is the name of that thing. The CPU is an ultrasparc.

            I even have it maxed out with 512MB of RAM, had to harvest 4 machines they were tossing out to do that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by afidel ( 530433 )
            5 years is generally the limit I will push, since I can buy 5 year support contracts (and did with our most recent SAN purchase since year 4 and 5 can be outrageously expensive if bought after the fact) I feel I'm well enough protected. Also as you pointed out virtualization means that an OS install isn't tied to any particular box so it can live on well after the host has been retired. Since it generally takes 6-18 months to really get comfortable with a new OS, then 6-18 months to bring any new large scal
          • >Also, RHEL != UNIX

            RHEL = Linux &
            Linux = Unix thus
            RHEL = Unix

            Linux UNIX, however

      • You trust the server hardware after 6 years?

        What does that have to do with the OS install? You just use dd to copy the file system to the new drive and your new hardware is up and running with no need to worry about getting the software config right.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          In reality a 5 year old kernel may well not support the new hardware.

          • by TheLink ( 130905 )
            That's why some people pay extra for "Enterprise" hardware. Basically the vendor keeps old stock/parts around for years so they can fix/replace the old hardware.

            Then you can run your old software on it for years without rocking the boat.

            Even if companies start virtualizing stuff, VMs might not work so well when your new virtualizing software doesn't provide the same virtual hardware. So you'd have to run old virtualizing software on new hardware :).
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        It's not like MS Windows in that the machine owns the licence and not you, plus if you put the old hard disk into something with vaguely similar hardware it will run. The server might still be called psiduck but it may not have an original part from six years ago in it.
        Plus I do have some six year old servers - they just are not doing anything important these days and have had the original disks swapped out. I've got a sixteen year old machine for specific jobs but it's only been on for a few hours this y
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by arkane1234 ( 457605 )

        Code doesn't always run on the same box.
        If you have something in prod on a certified OS with a certified install environment, if the hardware dies you re-install the certified OS ecosystem on the new hardware.

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby&comcast,net> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:59PM (#34192276)

    I distinctly remember when a lack of bloat was one of Linux's bragging points. What happened to Red Hat? Time was they were also once cheaper than the windows servers they lampooned.

  • ... that Duke Nukem Forever would ship before RHEL 6! ;-)

    But seriously, congratulations are due to all the Fedora and RedHat folks who made this happen. This opens the door to a modern package set for many, many organizations.

  • How long before there is a new Oracle Linux based on RHEL6?

    Laugh all you want, but their kernel is much more stable and solid than RHEL, and has better network performance too.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      Define more stable.
      Are you having uptime problems with RHEL?

      You can build a more modern kernel and run that with RHEL too if you wanted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gethoht ( 757871 )
      I call bullshit on Fran. I work with OEL and RHEL everyday at work. I have done a bunch of installs of RAC on both platforms over many years and support many clusters both in house and at customer sites. There is hardly a difference between the two distro's at all... the main difference is some tweaked entries in /etc/sysctl.conf and their "custom" kernel, which will more than likely turn out to be a tool they use to lock you in to their hardware/software stack even more. Oracle software itself isn't te
  • Finally. I've been running RHEL6 Beta on my new work laptop and was about to give up hope on this and literally was going to install Fedora 14 in the next few hours.

    I will be installing Fedora 14 for my personal laptops (two down last weekend, two to go. We're a family of 4 kids, 2 adults).

    But, instead I will be installed RHEL6 tonight for my work laptop and Friday for my work desktop (currently on Fedora 12, which is pretty much on par for the versioning as RHEL6). We've got spare EL licenses for server

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:30PM (#34192488) Homepage

    No official link given in the OP, but here's the Red Hat blog post [], titled "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: A Technical Look at Red Hat’s Defining New Operating Platform", which gives a good look at some of the changes.

    The less-interesting press releases are here [] (Red Hat Enables Expanded Deployment Flexibility and Application Portability with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6) and here [] (Red Hat Sets a New Standard for the Next Generation of Operating Systems).

  • by Craig Ringer ( 302899 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:12AM (#34193266) Homepage Journal

    Alas, right now I'm moving many services from RHEL to Windows 2008 Server.

    Why? Group Policy, and Volume Shadow Copy Service.

    I cannot overstate the importance of Group Policy in simplifying the management of a client network. Especially when combined with Windows Software Update Services, it's been wonderful. I've been a Linux guy since forever, but I'm really being swayed against my will toward the Windows server stuff for managing Windows clients.

    As for the Volume Shadow Copy Service - it's all well and good to have 10-minutely Bacula incrementals thoughout the day, but nothing beats near-zero-cost snapshots that automatically age out when space is exhausted and that are very space efficient because they're done at the file system level. No, LVM cannot do this, it's block level and thus wastes a lot of space snapshotting changes to "free" space etc. Additionally, snapshots must be mounted, and old snapshots age out rather ungracefully. I've had a server fail to boot because of a broken LVM snapshot multiple times, and it's a major piss-off. It can't touch versioned files in NTFS. Maybe BTRFS will be there in 5 years.

    Truly, though, it's Samba's quirks/limitations, and the lack of Group Policy, that's driven me to drop Linux for managing Windows clients. This isn't surprising, as Microsoft doesn't want to make it easy to manage Windows clients with anything other than Windows servers, and while the Samba folks are doing a heroic job there's only so much they can do.

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:18PM (#34197246) Homepage

      There are a couple ways around doing this, but none of them seem to make much sense from a time investment perspective - your's included.

      There's something to be said for 'knowing' through GPOs and the like, what's on a system. You can't do this with registry hacks.

      As for LVM2... I've avoided it like the plague that it is: slow/inefficient and buggy are good words for it. It's also awkward to manage.

      This is what I've done... we've got a Windows domain for our Windows servers (mostly terminal servers), and a domain for our Windows workstations. The Windows servers are all virtualized, and workstations are locked down to a bare minimum - most of what they use now is either online or on the terminal servers. Heavy, non-networked applications, like Office, remain on the workstations.

      The virtual hosts, as well as a mess of BSD and OpenSol/Nexenta servers, are all on Kerberos + LDAP. Samba is on systems where it is appropriate to allow one or more domain to access files. Anything important goes on in Unixland, and the ZFS snapshots kick the snot out of VSS. In fact, with the ZFS SAN and XenServer, I'm able to integrate VSS into ZFS to take snapshots at the SAN level transparently. I can ship those over the network to another system for backup using the snapshot mechanisms.

      Currently, I'm playing with the idea of Samba 4 on the Unix machines, because it's easier to handle (though the maturity isn't there yet for AD master, and you sort of need to know what you're doing - while having a fairly intimate understanding of krb5 and ldap in the process). I might be able to do away with the use of a handful of pricey CALs for the Windows servers while improving network file transfer performance for the users by doing this: somehow, beta Samba still manages to trump W2k8R2 for CIFS performance.

  • Fixes? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @12:07PM (#34197086) Homepage

    So, forget their 'improvements'. How about 'fixes' - specifically, NFS (due to nfs-tools?)? All throughout 5.x, NFS performance has been atrocious - despite any attempts to tune it. We're talking a 5th of the throughput that should be realizable.