Scientific Linux pushes RHEL clones forward
From the 'Clone Wars' files:
Scientific Linux 6.1 is now available providing users with a stable reliable Free (as in Beer) version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1.
Red Hat released RHEL 6.1 in May, providing improved driver support and hardware enablement. It also includes a preview of a technology preview of Red Hat Enterprise Identity (IPA) services, based on the FreeIPA project.
Scientific Linux is a joint effort by Fermilab and CERN and is targetted at the scientific community, but it's a solid RHEL version in its own right. It's also one that could now be attracting some new users, thanks to delays at the 'other' popular RHEL clone -- CentOS.
The CentOS project just releases CentOS 6 and are many months behind Scientific Linux and even more time behind RHEL. That's a problem for some and could also represent a real security risk for most.
With the more rapid release cycle of Scientific Linux I will not be surprised if some disgruntled CentOS users make the switch and/or if new users just start off with Scientific Linux first.
While Scientific Linux is faster than CentOS at replicating RHEL 6.1, they aren't the fastest clone.
Oracle Linux 6.1 came out in June, barely a month after Red Hat's release.
It's somewhat ironic that Oracle is now the fasted clone tracking RHEL, since Red Hat has made it harder to clone with the way they package releases. As it turns out, it's not slowing Oracle down at all - though it might be impacting the community releases.