Feeds

RHEL 6 - your sensible but lovable friend

Ubuntu it isn't

SANS - Survey on application security programs

What ever you want

As with previous versions of RHEL, the Anaconda installer will offer you a number of pre-configured sets of software packages depending on your needs. You can choose from the basic server configuration, web server packages, the desktop setup (GNOME by default), what RHEL calls a "software development workstation", or the bare essentials available in the "minimal" option. There is also an option to customize your installation further, selecting individual packages.

For testing purposes, I started with the basic GNOME desktop package, adding the server platform, along with common tools like MySQL, PostgreSQL, FTP server and e-mail server, as well as the new virtualization tools.

The RHEL desktop isn't the place to look for the latest and greatest in GNOME developments. While GNOME 2.30 was released earlier this year, so far it's not part of the default RHEL 6 beta installation. At least for the beta GNOME remains at 2.28, Firefox is stuck at 3.5, and OpenOffice is at 3.1.

Installation options in RHEL6 beta

RHEL6 is what you want it to be, thanks to various install options

Red Hat has also gone the conservative route with a number of other GNOME packages. For example, it's opted for Pidgin over the less mature - but more feature-rich Empathy - that has largely replaced Pidgin in Fedora, Ubuntu and other desktop distros.

While many common software package haven't been updated to the latest releases that's to be expected from a conservative distro like RHEL, which has always erred on the side of stability rather than newest features.

RHEL 6 includes the same Nvidia hardware support found in recent Fedora releases and had no trouble automatically configuring out Nvidia graphics hardware.

Performance on the desktop matched what I've seen in recent releases of Fedora and Ubuntu - snappy even on somewhat dated hardware.

For casual desktop use, you're better off with one of the many free Linux distros available. As the name suggests, RHEL is aimed squarely at the enterprise market.

System Admins get some new tools in RHEL 6, most notably the new service System Security Services Daemon (SSSD), which provides central management of identities. SSSD also has the ability to cache credentials for offline use, handy if you're managing a large number of laptops that often leave the local network.

LAMP update

Of course, RHEL typically ends up on servers and there's good news to be found in the standard LAMP server stack. Just about everything is close to the latest stable version - Perl 5.10, PHP 5.3, Apache 2 and MySQL 5. Python remains at version 2.6 - it would be nice to have a parallel installable Python 3.x - and other software common on Cent or Debian servers (like Nginx and Memcached) remain absent from the basic RHEL server installation.

Red Hat hasn't yet set a final release date for RHEL 6, it is expected to arrive sometime before the end of 2010. In the mean time, you can grab the beta from Red Hat's website.

Is it worth the wait? For Red Hat's corporate and enterprise customers, the upgrade to 6.0 will be an important one - particularly those that need the virtualization and hardware support improvements. The only problem? That move from Xen to KVM, which may prove a stumbling block for many. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.