Red Hat has released a self-confessed "minor" release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux at its 5.9 iteration with boosts seen in areas including hardware enablement, security, standards and certifications, developer tools, and virtualization.
The firm positions these so-called minor increments as part of what it calls its 10-year lifecycle to promote stability and the preservation of customers' investments in the platform.
There is backwards compatibility with both hardware and software platforms across the lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
The hardware enablement includes support for some of the latest CPU, chipset, and device driver enhancements. The security updates include the ability to verify and check the robustness of new passwords and support for the latest government password policy requirements.
NOTE: It also adds support for using Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) mode with dmraid root devices. FIPS mode now supports RAID device discovery, RAID set activation, and the creation, removal, rebuilding, and display of properties.
In terms of new developer tools, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 includes the ability to develop and test with the latest version of open source Java available through OpenJDK 7.
NOTE: New SystemTap improvements have also been added including compile-server and client support for IPv6 networks, smaller SystemTap files, faster compiles, and compile server support for multiple concurrent connections.
The firm says that enhanced application support means that there is a new rsyslog5 package, which upgrades rsyslog to major version 5 and is faster (and more reliable) than existing rsyslog packages available in previous RHEL releases. Samba has also been updated to version 3.6 with several new features, including SMB2 support, a reworked print server, and security default improvements for all versions.
NOTE: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 enhances the operating system's usability in multi-vendor environments by introducing Microsoft Hyper-V drivers for improved performance.