What is possibly going into RHEL6 GA and what is not

As I wrote different times before, RHEL6 is going to have a Kernel based on upstreams 2.6.32 Kernel. Meanwhile Linus Torvalds and his fellows released 2.6.34. Since then – from a System Engineers Point of view – there have some “minor” changes which are affecting the daily work in enterprise environments.

I think that Red Hat is aware that RHEL6 is one of its most important releases made so far. RHEL6 Beta-Testers have acknowledged that this is one of the best Linux distributions made so far.

So lets have a look to http://bit.ly/98yNsk (https://bugzilla.redhat.com search for RHEL6 select all states, sort by Bug-ID and having RFE (Request For Enhancement) in Summary).

I requested to add “unrar” to RHEL, unfortunatly they refused because of the strange license of unrar. This is really not understandable, because *ALL* major Linux distros such as SLES, Debian, Ubuntu are providing a package for it. Red Hat think (and they are right) it is a “unfree” license. From my point of view it does not hurt because nobody is forced to use its libs in own software. Unfortunately SAP distributes a lot of software components in RAR-compressed files, this is a problem.

virtio net/vhost net speed enhancements from upstream kernel
This was reported as bug #593158 and later appeared as #595287. Since Red Hat is keen to improve virtualization things, I think this is going to GA.

DRBD was getting into upstream Kernel 2.6.33. DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device) is some kind of RAID-1 over TCP/IP and is rock solid since years. From my point of view it is the best invention since sliced bread when it comes to cluster technologies. It is widely used, also on RHEL. Have a look to Florians Haas’ comment about support, and further to Alan Robertson’s comment. While Florian is working at Linbit (the developer company of DRBD) points to support problems existing on current releases on RHEL, Alan is a “Urgestein” (sorry, cant find a English word for it, it is meant in a very positive manner) of Linux clustering likes too to have DRBD in RHEL6. Quite a lot of people are included in the bugs CC list (as I’m writing 37 people). This brings quite some preasure on Red Hat to include DRBD in RHEL6. @Red Hat: Do it! include DRBD! If not as a “supported” product, deliver it and find a way with Linbit for the support.

Getting rid of the crappy VMware-tools
For people urged to use VMWares ESX stuff as virtalization technology, there is another important thing that changed: In 2.6.34 upstream Kernel, Linus Torvalds accepted VMWares ballooning driver (vmmemctl). In 2.6.33 Linus accepted VMWares vmxnet3 and pvscsci drivers which have been already backported to RH’s Kernel 2.6.32-EL. So, also backporting vmmemctl is *THE* chance to get rid of those crappy VMWare Tools. For companies relying on ESX this would be a *VERY* important feature. I’ll made a service request (SR 2021028) @Red Hat and will file a RFE-Bug at bugzilla ASAP. Please vote for it!

Other stuff
There are other RFE’s pending. Most of them are not really important for enterprise computing (my point of view). Mostly this RFE’s are about virtualization and bound to libvirt. Most of these RFE’s seems to be trivial and are on status “ON_QA” which means they are most probably included in RHEL6.

What is your favorit RFE-Bug? Please let me know…

Have fun!


4 thoughts on “What is possibly going into RHEL6 GA and what is not

  1. ian says:

    vmmemctl, vmxnet3 and friends wont eliminate the need for vmware tools there’s a lot more code in there than just the kernel modules.

    • Luc de Louw says:

      Dear Ian,

      Yes there is other code in vmware tools. Such things like drivers for graphics and mouse. There is also a daemon which allows an ESX host to shutdown the guest system and stuff like that. All of those things are not really important for operating Linux in ESX environments.

  2. dean says:

    We have requested perl 5.12. The rhel6 is planned to include the new 2 year old and no longer maintained perl 5.10.

    Comments about RHEL6 being useless as a webserver in two years are already true for those of us running perl and mod_perl.

    Perl may be less fashionable than Python and Ruby, but many companies (like my day job) have huge infrastructures built in perl. Amazon for example – perl.

    Its disappointing that RH have forsaken unix’s old friend.

    • Luc de Louw says:

      Dear Dean,

      Thanks a lot for your input. Perl 5.10 vs. 5.12, PHP 4.x vs 5.x vs. 5.1.x vs. 5.2.x, Python 2.2 vs 2.4 etc… Almost all scripting languages are insane! The problem of perl is that there a load of system dependencies and they could not switch to a higher version easily. The same applies to Python.

      Dependencies such as this are very annoying. Please post the main differences between Perl 5.10 and Perl 5.12 to teach the readers of this blof about it.



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