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RHEL Clones Advance

  • September 20, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

Love it or hate it, Red Hat commands a significant share of the world's enterprise Linux revenues. This week on the Linux Planet, updated versions of Red Hat's enterprise clones were released, even as Red Hat moved forward with its own plans.

1. CentOS/Scientific Linux 5.7

CentOS and Scientific Linux are two of the most popular community projects that develop clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The RHEL clones are essentially the same as what Red Hat provides from a code perspective, with Red Hat's name stripped out. This week, both projects issued their respective 5.7 updates, matching the RHEL 5.7 release.

Red Hat released RHEL 5.7 in July, so the two community clones aren't too far behind from a timing perspective. In contrast, CentOS took eight months to deliver its cloned version of RHEL 6, so this is a significant improvement for release timing.

The key new addition in the 5.7 release is in the inclusion of the OpenSCAP protocol. OpenSCAP is an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) framework for creating a standardized approach for maintaining secure systems.

2. Red Hat Gets SAP Certified

While the clones are busy getting caught up to Red Hat, Red Hat has been busy getting caught up with its software vendor certifications.

This past week, Red Hat announced it achieved SAP applications certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6). RHEL 6 was released last November, providing new hardware enablement, virtualization capabilities and improved performance.

Although RHEL 6 has been available since the end of 2010, Red Hat has said that the certification process did not take 10 months. Rather, Red Hat said the certification process is linked to specific timelines from software vendors.

Red Hat is still in the process of getting RHEL 6 certified for common criteria certification and continuing to grow its list of software certifications in general.

3. Fedora 17 Seeks a Name

The Fedora Linux project, which is sponsored by Red Hat, is currently looking for a name for its Fedora 17 release.

Unlike other distributions, where names are chosen by the project leader, with Fedora contributors submit name choices. Community members then get to vote on the name.

The only requirement is that the new name be somehow connected to the name of the previous release. Fedora 16 is codenamed Verne. As such, Fedora 17 will need to somehow link to that.

The name collection process ran from September 3 through September 20. Community voting on the final name will run September 30 though October 6.

Fedora's wiki on the names currently includes a long list of potential candidates, including Potter, Neptune and Piccard.

Fedora 17 is not scheduled to be released until 2012. Fedora 16 is currently on track for a November release.

4. Chrome 14 Released

Google updated its Chrome 14 web browser this past week. The new release includes a long list of security fixes that affect Linux as well as both Mac and Windows users.

In addition to the security fixes, Chrome 14 marks the return of Native Code to Chrome. With Native Code, the general idea is that it will enable C and C++ code to run natively in a browser. The effort could serve to further differentiate application performance on Chrome as opposed to other browsers like Firefox.

For the most part, most Linux distros continue to package Firefox as the default browser, although Chrome is easily installable for Linux.

5. Solaris 10 Gets Updated

Yes, we know, this is the Linux Planet. That said, Solaris still has some impact, from a competitive perspective, as enterprises continue to migrate from Solaris to Linux. With Oracle now running Solaris development, there is also a new dynamic in place, since Oracle also supports and contributes to Linux.

The latest Solaris 10 update is likely the last major update ahead of an expected Solaris 11 release at the Oracle OpenWorld conference next month. The Solaris 10 8/11 update improves ZFS coverage, enabling more use cases for Oracle filesystem.

ZFS has found interest outside of Oracle over the years, although it's not really a fit for Linux at this point. Thanks to Oracle, Linux has Btrfs, which in some ways can be seen as a successor and an improvement over the ZFS system that Solaris includes.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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