Red Hat Releases RHEL 5.4

Sep 03, 2009

Announced at the Red Hat Summit in Chicago, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5 update intends to set the groundwork for future virtualization products and cloud computing.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 concentrates foremost on virtualization and cloud computing. The new version should become the basis for the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization product still planned for release this year. According to the company's announcement, with RHEL 5.4 it is the first provider to support Intel's VT-d virtualization technology and PCI-SIG's Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) specification. However, Red Hat assures customers still using Xen virtualization that they can continue with it through the full lifecycle of RHEL 5 releases.

RHEL 5.4 is still only an update to the major release with the minimum of changes. The Kernel version continues to be 2.6.18, albeit with a series of backported patches such as for the WLAN stack, ext4, XFS and virtualization support. Red Hat provides details on the changes in their Kernel technical notes for RHEL 5.4. The release also includes the newest GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) version 4.4.

On the desktop, Red Hat improved audio and video card support and fixed the rebooting on undocking/docking problem. Some of the version numbers are rather archaic: KDE users will get 3.5.4 and GNOME is in version 2.16.

Customers with active RHEL 5 subscription will get the new version as an automatic update. New buyers for server products can expect to pay from $349 for a basic subscription; the desktop version starts at $80.

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