Red Hat refreshes its Enterprise Linux distro with version 5.2

The latest version of the company's commercial version of Linux for businesses offers new hardware support, several new features, and performance and stability improvements.

The company's Enterprise version is the premium edition of its Linux distribution. Back in 2003, the company split its business up into the Enterprise effort and Fedora, its sponsored open source project.

Users wishing to receive support, training and documentation pushed to deploy the RHEL releases. Thus for general consumers, Fedora is a much more economical option. By comparison, with RHEL, update cycles are roughly every 18 months, with various levels of support available. Additionally, any documentation and training provided by Red Hat typically focuses on the Enterprise release.

Red Hat says version 5.2 includes "extensive driver updates," and that the company will certify IBM's new Cell Blade systems. Enhanced capabilities including power usage, scalability, and manageability are now provided for x86/x64, Itanium, IBM Power, and IBM System z in this release.

The OS should provide better support for suspend, hibernate, and resume functions on laptops, while also improving graphics capabilities, Red Hat said this morning. Additionally, the included application set has also been given an update, which includes a Firefox 3 Beta (perhaps now replaced with a release candidate) and OpenOffice 2.3.

All fixes that have been released since 5.1 are also included in this update. Red Hat says it does this so that users who may not install fixes individually are able to patch their systems in a single step.

Work has also been done in the field of virtualization for this release. Virtualized large systems with up to 64 CPUs and 512 GB of memory are now possible, and support for NUMA-based architectures is also available.

The new release is available today to subscribers of the Red Hat Network. A standard subscription to the service is available for $1,499 USD.

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