RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta

RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta 1 has finally been released as a public beta. It is available as an ISO from the public RedHat FTP site.

A couple of days ago, I decided to play with the beta, and I discovered, as expected, there are a lot of significant differences between RHEL5 and RHEL6.

The the main difference which I found to be very frustrating is that there is no longer any support for Xen dom0.

I had heard about RedHat’s decision to stop supporting Xen, but I did not think that this would mean they would stop shipping it with the distribution.

The loss of dom0 support means that you can no longer use RHEL as a Xen virtualization host, rather only as a guest under other Xen supporting distributions.

Xen has been dropped in favour of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), which is a  virtualization infrastructure included with the Linux kernel. Linux KVM is a hardware-assisted virtualization infrastructure which requires the CPU to have a special CPU feature called Intel-VT on Intel CPUs and AMD-V on AMD CPUs.

KVM has limited paravirtulization support, but I found in my very simple tests that fully paravirtualizaed guests inside Xen had much better performance.

This latest release of RHEL also means that my RHCE will soon expire. I am hoping to get re-certified as soon as I can. At the same time, I am also considering taking the “Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator” course and exam, but I still have some time to think over that. 🙂

One thought on “RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta”

  1. TBH, I’m not too upset to see the back of Xen in RHEL.

    Whilst it works most of the time, I’ve seen far too many bugs over time, particularly on the i386 platform vs the x86_64 platform.

    KVM is far nicer and most robust from what I’ve seen so far and hardware with virtualisation capabilities is becoming more and more common.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.