Chapter 11. General Updates

Improved PDF/A support

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 include improved support for PDF/A—the ISO-standardized version of the Portable Document Format—by upgrading to GhostScript version 9.01.

connectiontimeout parameter for httpd

The httpd service includes a new connectiontimout parameter which specifies the amount of time the service should wait for the creation of a connection to the back-end to complete. By specifying this parameter, the number of timeout errors propagated to the client when using load balancing via Apache is greatly reduced.

iptables reload option

The iptables services now includes a reload option which refreshes iptables rules without unloading/reloading the modules and dropping any already-established connections.

xz support for RPM

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8, RPM utilizes the xz package to handle compression/decompression of packages that use LZMA encryption.

The python-ctypes package

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 adds a new python-ctypes package. python-ctypes is a python module which creates and manipulates C data types in Python, and calls functions in dynamic link libraries (DLLs) or shared libraries. It allows wrapping of these libraries in pure Python. This package serves as a dependency of the iotop utility.

64-bit version of unixOBDC

A new 64-bit version of unixODBC has been added to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 via the unixODBC64 package. Along with the unixODBC64 package, two packages providing specific database support have been added: mysql-connector-odbc64 and postgresql-odbc64. Users who need to interoperate with third-party ODBC drivers are advised to install the unixODBC64 package, and then install the postgresql-odbc64 and/or mysql-connector-odbc64 packages if needed.

The iotop utility

A new iotop utility has been added. iotop is a Python program with a user interface similar to the one of the top utility, and used to show continuous I/O operation statistics for running processes.

binutils for BD-capable gcc44

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 provides a new binutils220 package, capable of using BD instructions when compiling with gcc44. This enables users to build programs which take advantage of the AMD Bulldozer CPU features.

httpd service restart after an upgrade

The httpd service is now automatically restarted after the httpd package is upgraded.

Curl support for Kerberos negotiation

The curl utility now includes negotiate proxy support in order to use Kerberos authentication to communicate with remote machines.

ssl_request_cert option for vsftpd

The vsftpd package now includes a ssl_request_cert option which allows client certificate checks to be disabled. If enabled, vsftpd requests (but not necessarily requires) a certificate on incoming SSL connections. The default setting for this option (in the /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf file) is Yes.

Added device IDs in the hwdata package

The hwdata package contains tools for accessing and displaying hardware identification and configuration data. Device IDs have been added for the following hardware:

  • Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and other processors formerly code named "Sandy Bridge"
  • the latest HP Integrated Lights-Out 4 (iLO) devices
  • Atheros 3x3 a/g/n (Madeira) wireless LAN