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5.5 Release Notes

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Release Notes


Red Hat Inc.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux minor releases are an aggregation of individual enhancement, security and bug fix errata. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Release Notes documents the major changes made to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 operating system and its accompanying applications for this minor release. Detailed notes on all changes in this minor release are available in the Technical Notes.
Highlights of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 release include hardware enablement for the Intel Boxboro-EX platform, AMD Magny-Cours processor and IBM Power 7 processor. Virtualization is improved, with support for multiple 10 GigE SR-IOV cards, and automatic usage of hugepages for virtual guest memory when enabled on the system. Interoperability improvements include updates to OpenOffice for Microsoft Office 2007 filters, Samba for Windows 7 compatibility and boot support for virtual machines using Microsoft based PXE services.

1. Installation

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 introduces many bugfixes and enhancements to the system installer (anaconda).
The interactive installer has been enhanced, adding the abilty to specify additional Network File System (NFS) mount options when installing from an NFS source (BZ#493052). Additionally, install sources (e.g. kickstart files) located on password protected File Transport Protocol (FTP) servers can now be retrieved during installation (BZ#505424).

Kickstart provides a way for users to automate a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation. Using kickstart, a system administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during a typical installation.

Kickstart debugging and error reporting has been improved. The installer now retains kickstart scriptlets during debugging, logs standard output (stdout) and standard error (stderr) streams, and logs error messages to anaconda.log (BZ#510636).
Package groups can now be excluded in a kickstart installation in the same manner that individual packages are excluded (BZ#558516). Additionally, the bootloader command now supports the --hvargs parameter, allowing Xen hypervisor arguments to be specified during a kickstart installation (BZ#501438).
Previously, the kickstart installation method offered two options to select all packages @Everything and * (wildcard). As of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, both of these options have been deprecated. Attempting to use a select all packages option will fail, unless the kickstart file also includes package negation for conflicting packages. Therefore, to install all packages but conflicting packages, the kickstart file must contain:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 includes the new package sets samba3x, freeradius2, postgres84. These package sets are only available via kickstart during system installation or through yum for existing systems.
Hardware Support

The following device drivers are now supported during installation:

  • the pmcraid driver for PMC Sierra MaxRAID Controller Adapters (BZ#532777)
  • the ibmvfs driver for Power6 Virtual FC devices (BZ#512237).
  • the bfa driver for Brocade Fibre Channel to PCIe Host Bus Adapters (BZ#475707)
  • the be2iscsi driver for ServerEngines BladeEngine 2 Open iSCSI devices (BZ#529442).


For detailed information on installation, the Installation Guide documents how to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.