Archive for July, 2010

Experiences with RHEL6 Beta 2.1

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Like promised I’ll keep you updated on the RHEL6b2.1. The “official name” is not Beta2.1, it is “Beta 2 refresh”. Why not calling it Beta3? Anyway: The good news first: In contrary to the first release of Beta 2, it works fine again! The first release of Beta2 was quite crappy, it was not installable as a KVM guest. This was obviously due to severe bugs in some virtio drivers.

So, what are the news?

1. The bugs in the virtio drivers have been fixed, you can deploy RHEL6 in KVM environments again.
2. The vmware_ballooning driver has been backported.
3. A lot of minor bugs have been fixed, see the announcement.

Especially point two is cool, running RHEL6 in a VMware ESX environment does not necessarily need the vmware-tools installed anymore. RHEL6 now provides all three important vm-ware related drivers: The vmxnet3, vmware_ballooning and pvscsi. At the end of the day, this means one can dismiss the always-hated vmware-tools. A test of the behavior w/o vmware-tools by a ESX specialist is pending.

The alternative of vmware-tools are the open-vm-tools. This would add the benefit of controlled shutdown of the ESX guest with the vCenter tools. Since VMware does not provide (yet) RHEL 6 packages of the open-vm-tools I was unable to test it.

I made the same brief tests as I reported here. It seems that Red Hat is back on track, RHEL6b2.1 is reliable and not far away from being ready for production.

When can we expect a Beta3? Will there even be a next beta, or is Red Hat release a RC1 soon? There is still no published release schedule, all we know is “later this year”.

Anyway: Download Beta2.1 and test it, its a pretty cool release. If you find bugs, report them.

Have fun!

Red Hat annouces RHEL6 beta 2.1

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Red Hat today announced the availability of a “refreshed” RHEL6 beta2. Is seems that the problems that I have reported before was hitting not only me, but a lot of users too.

You can download the beta, lets call it 2.1 at

I’ll keep you posted about the news….

Have fun!

RHEL6 Beta2 – experiences so far

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

In short: It was a non-experience because the RHEL 6 Beta 2 distribution is not installable…

[Update]It is not a anaconda bug, but a bug in a paravirt driver. On ESX installation runs smooth, expect a more detailed report in the next few days[/update]

While downloading the ISO, I was very curious about it and my nerves were all on edge, like a little boy waiting for Christmas.

Afterwards I tried to install it as a KVM guest on my Systems, on OpenSUSE 11.2 and Fedora 13. On both the installation failed. Depending on the size of the RAM is was failing before the actual installation begun (1GB), or it was hanging while the packages are being installed (2GB RAM).

Connected bugs: #610510, #610261, #610255

Because of the non-installation, I only have seen one progress since beta 1: The critical security hole in anaconda have been closed. In beta 1, during the installation there was a sshd running and everyone was able to login as root without authentication.

I hope Red Hat will release a corrected ISO in the next few days to allow us testing the beta2.