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Red Hat bumps Enterprise Linux 6 to Beta 2

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Commercial Linux distributor Red Hat said today that it has kicked out the second beta of its Enterprise Linux 6, moving the operating system one step closer to production.

In a blog post announcing Beta 2, Red Hat said that the updated stack includes a tweaked installer, fixes for issues that were raised in Beta 1, and some new packages and programs. You can read the full release notes for Beta 2 here if you want to look before you leap, and grab the code here.

Red Hat is asking those who participated in Beta 1 to stick with it and install and test Beta 2 as it goes through the process of hardening RHEL 6 for production work. That said, Red Hat adds that it is perfectly happy to have new testers come in at the Beta 2 level to hunt for bugs and offer advice for improvements. So if you didn't participate in Beta 1, don't think you aren't being invited to the party.

RHEL 6 will be available on x64 systems as well as on IBM Power and mainframe systems. Itanium didn't make the cut, as El Reg exclusively reported last December.

The first beta for RHEL 6 came out on April 21. The distro is based on a Fedora development release using the Linux 2.6.32 kernel with some features in later kernels backported to that kernel, as is Red Hat's standard practice with RHEL versions.

RHEL 6 is all about scalability, theoretically up to 64,000 cores and 256TB of main memory — 128TB for the kernel and 128TB for the userspace for physical memory addressing, which is set at 48-bits — plus an integrated KVM hypervisor that can support 64 cores and 1TB of main memory in a guest operating system running on top of that hypervisor.

Depending on how Beta 2 goes, there may be a Beta 3, says Red Hat, before the software goes into Release Candidate and final release. RHEL generally takes six months or so to go from first beta to production, but Red Hat is in no hurry to rush code out. RHEL 6 won't explicitly drive revenues — like a Windows release does — so there's no point in driving customers nuts. ®

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