New Linux Kernel, New RHEL and New Boss for SUSE Linux
The Linux Planet is a place of rapid change. Unlike the world of Windows where new releases are measured in years, the pace of innovation in Linux is measured in months with new technologies and distributions.
1. Linux 2.6.39 Released
At the core of Linux is the kernel, which is the foundation of all Linux distributions. The Linux kernel development community led by Linux founder Linus Torvalds now pushes out a new Linux kernel every 10 to 12 weeks.
This past week saw the third major new kernel release of 2011, with the 2.6.39 kernel. The new kernel eliminates the last elements of the big kernel lock, freeing up performance. Linux 2.6.39 will also benefit from the new block device plugging model, which provides a per-thread approach which also benefit performance.
The new kernel also provides CPU scheduling improvements optimized for virtualized guests. As always, the new kernel includes new driver support for the latest hardware as well.
2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the flagship operating system release from Red Hat. RHEL 6, which debuted in November 2010, was the culmination of more than two years of effort, as the Linux vendor made significant strides in scalability, performance and virtualization.
This past week, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) upped the ante with its first major update to RHEL 6 with the RHEL 6.1 update. A key focus of the update is hardware enablement with support for the latest generation of hardware.
Red Hat has also taken steps to improve networking by moving network packet handling from userspace into optimized kernelspace.
The other key thing users will notice is the inclusion of a tech preview of Red Hat Enterprise Identity (IPA) services. IPA provides an open source identity directory service and could become the foundation of a broader set of Red Hat system management tools over time.
3. SAP and Red Hat Partner for Support
While here on the Linux Planet we all love Linux for multiple reasons, out in the enterprise computing world, Linux servers are tools that enable enterprise applications to run.
One of the biggest enterprise application vendors in the world is SAP. SAP's applications have long been certified to run on Red Hat's Linux servers. This past week, SAP and Red Hat took another step to making SAP applications run well on Linux with new integrated support.
SAP on Red Hat Enterprise Linux users can now use a single system to submit trouble tickets and get their issues fixed. In the past, users would have to deal with SAP and Red Hat though separate systems if they had an issue.
The move is a key one that will make it even easier and more comfortable for SAP users to run mission-critical applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
4. SUSE Gets a New Boss
As part of the evolution of what used be the company known as Novell, there is now a new SUSE Linux business unit. Attachmate acquired Novell for $2.2 billion this year, and it is now carving up the former Novell products into separate business units.
SUSE Linux is being restored to its original home in Germany where the unit will be led by new President and General Manager, Nils Brauckmann. As opposed to how SUSE was run within Novell, Brauckmann is tasked with both product and sales responsibilities.
Although Attachmate has already shown some of its intentions by laying off Mono developers in the United States, Brauckmann said last week that Mono remains part of the SUSE Linux business.
The new SUSE Linux business also apparently remains fully committed to open source as well as the continuity of its existing projects. When Novell acquired SUSE back in 2003, there were all kinds of rumors and hearsay about there being division between the SUSE group and what had been Ximian and the core Novell teams.
With SUSE getting its own direct leadership, it appears as though SUSE Linux is moving to restore its pre-Novell era glory.
5. Linux Running in the Browser
Developer Fabrice Bellard released a Linux emulator for running Linux inside a browser.