Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 hits Beta

From the “but where is RHEL 6?” files:

Red Hat is out today with a beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.3. If I’m not mistaken this should be the last major update to RHEL before the release of RHEL 6 which should come sometime in 2009. RHEL 5.3 adds a long list of enhancements to Red Hat’s flagship Linux distribution.

Among them are virtualization enhancements to support up 126 CPUs. RHEL 5.3 also gets the new NetworkManager functionality which improves both wired and wireless networking. As a bonus Red Hat is also improving SELinux for NetworkManager audit. (It’s not clear to me at this point if this directly related to the secTOOL effort that is in the upcoming Fedora 10 release.)

According to Red Hat’s release notes, Window interoperability is also improved in this beta release.

Rebased samba from 3.0.28 to 3.0.32 which supports Windows
Vista and 2008 and various fixes for DC functionality
(interoperability with Citrix and Domain trusts)

The RHEL 5.3 beta is the third incremental update from Red Hat for RHEL 5.x since the original release in March of 2007. RHEL 5.1 beta appeared in August of 2007 while RHEL 5.2 beta came out in March of 2008.

Red Hat expect that the beta testing period for RHEL 5.3 will continue through
Jan 6, 2009.

Personally I have heard very little so far about RHEL 5.x’s successor, RHEL 6 (though I always ask). It’s likely that the upcoming Fedora 10 release will showcase some of its early features. We’ll have to wait until 2009 to know for sure.

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