Linux Top 3: RHEL 5.9, Fedora 18 and Linux 3.0.58
It's a busy time for Linux vendor Red Hat.
1) Fedora 18
After multiple delays, Fedora 18 , aka the Spherical Cow is finally set to arrive on January 15th. Originally set for a November 2012 release, Fedora 18 has been hit with multiple delays related to the massive overhaul of the Anaconda installer.
The revised Anaconda is the most obvious and impressive user-facing innovation in Fedora 18, providing a modern interface and tools to get up and running with the Spherical Cow.
With MATE, Fedora 18 Desktop users will now also for the first time get a GNOME based alternatives to Shell directly from Fedora's repositories. A new 'offline' updating mechanism is also a key part of the Spherical Cow release.
"By "offline" OS updates we mean package installations and updates that are run with the system booted into a special system update mode, in order to avoid problems related to conflicts of libraries and services that are currently running with those on disk," Fedora's feature wikiexplains. "Updates will be downloaded in the background, and the user will be informed about available updates only once they are actually ready to be installed."
Fedora 18 also tackles the UEFI secure boot issue, providing Linux users with the ability to install the Linux OS on Windows 8 hardware.
For server virtualization users, Fedora 18 introduces a number of interesting innovations including virtual live snapshots and virtual guest suspend/hibernate and resume. The latest OpenStack Folsom cloud release as well as the oVirt 3.1 virtualization platform are also part of the Fedora 18 release cycle.
2) RHEL 5.9
While Fedora 18 represents the bleeding edge of Linux development from Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.x (RHEL) is going the other way.
RHEL 5 was first released in 2007 and this past week, the RHEL 5.9 hit general availability. The RHEL 5.9 release is particularly noteworthy in that it marks the final RHEL 5.x release for which Red Hat will still add new features. From this point onwards, RHEL 5.x drops into security and bug fix maintenance support.
3) Linux 3.0.58
This past week has also been a busy one for the release of new stable Linux kernels. Not one, but three new stable kernels debuted. Linux Foundation fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman released Linux stable kernels 3.0.58, 3.4.25, and 3.7.2 on January 11th.