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Red Hat takes the wraps off RHEL 5.9

New Microsoft Hyper-V drivers in this updated Linux distribution offer improved performance in multivendor environments.

Red Hat on Tuesday announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9, a new update to the company's popular open source enterprise platform.

Though the software maintains backwards compatibility with hardware and software platforms across the RHEL 5 life cycle, it also brings several key new features to the table.

Ready for a rundown? Here are some of the most notable new features in this latest release.

1. Microsoft Hyper-V drivers

Perhaps first and foremost for companies with multivendor environments are new Microsoft Hyper-V drivers included in RHEL 5.9. "This enhances the usability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 for guests in heterogeneous, multivendor virtualized environments and provides improved flexibility and interoperability for enterprises," the company explains.

2. Heightened security

Also part of the new update are tighter security controls and the ability to verify and check the robustness of new passwords. In addition, RHEL 5.9 includes support for the latest government password policy requirements as well as for using Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) mode with dmraid root devices. "FIPS mode now supports RAID device discovery, RAID set activation, and the creation, removal, rebuilding, and displaying of properties," Red Hat says.

3. Wider hardware support

With RHEL 5.9, Red Hat's software gains support for some of the latest CPU, chipset, and device driver enhancements, the company says.

4. Easier subscription management

Meanwhile, Red Hat Subscription Management comes by default in RHEL 5.9, allowing users to manage their RHEL subscriptions more easily.

Among other updates in the new software are developer tools including the ability to develop and test with the latest version of open source Java available through OpenJDK 7; a new rsyslog5 system logging package; and an update to Samba 3.6, which offers SMB2 support, a reworked print server, and security default improvements for all versions.

More details about RHEL 5.9 can be found in the software's release notes. Ready to test it out? Subscribers can download the new software from the Red Hat site.

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