With its release this week of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9, the open source developer marks an end to the first phase of its decade-long, three-phase production process for its flagship software, meaning no more features will be added and developers will now turn their attention to stability.
On the whole, RHEL 5.9 is a minor release and adds just a few new features. The most noteworthy are perhaps improvements to its implementation of SystemTap, a set of tools for extracting performance and diagnostic information from a running system without the need for instrumented code.
The release includes compile-server and client support for IPv6 networks, smaller SystemTap files, faster compiles, and compile server support for multiple concurrent connections, according to a Jan. 8 Red Hat press release announcing the news.
In beta since September, RHEL 5.9 also supports development with OpenJDK 7, the open-source implementation of the Java 7 Standard Edition.
With RHEL 5.9, Red Hat introduces drivers for Microsoft Hyper-V, which it says enhances the ability of Red Hat Linux 5 to work as a guest in heterogeneous environments.
Red Hat continues to expand its enterprise platform to support the latest hardware and security platforms as they emerge, including the latest CPUs from AMD and Intel, as well as supporting chipsets and device drivers. As such, the platform now implements Samba 3.6, delivering SMB2 support, an improved print server and beefed up security defaults.
RHEL 5.9 can also now work with sites that use FIPS, the Federal Information Processing Standard, including its new RAID-device discovery capability and related features.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 is backward compatible with all prior versions of RHEL 5.x as well as all previously supported hardware and software platforms, according to company claims. Phase two of Red Hat's software production lifecycle for both Linux 5 and 6 spans one year.
PUBLISHED JAN. 9, 2013