Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 beta now available

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 beta now available

Summary: If your business lives and dies by its Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers, here's your chance to get a quick peek at what's coming next.

The new Red Hat Enterprise Linux beta is ready to go.

On December 4th, Red Hat announced the release of the next beta for its flagship operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.4 is now available. According to the company, the release includes a broad set of updates to the existing feature set and provides rich new functionality in the areas of identity management, file system, virtualization, and storage as well as productivity tools.

While still primarily a server operating system RHEL 6.4 is designed "for optimized performance, stability and flexibility to cater to today’s diverse workloads running in physical, virtual and cloud environments." The shipping version of RHEL 6.4 is due out in the first quarter of 2013.

Perhaps RHEL 6.4 most significant improvement is that it will include Microsoft's Hyper-V Linux drivers.These will improve RHEL's overall performance on Microsoft Hyper-V and enable Microsoft Azure users to run RHEL 6.4 as persistent virtual machines.

In addition, the new RHEL includes installation support for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V para-virtualization drivers. This new feature enhances the user deployment experience of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a guest in either of these virtualization environments." It will include " KVM virtualization virtio-scsi support, a new industry storage architecture, provides industry leading storage stack scalability."

Other key new features and improvements include:

Identity Management:

  • System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) enhancements improve the interoperability experience with [Microsoft Active Directory] by providing centralized identity access control for Linux/Unix clients in a heterogeneous environment.

File system:

  • Parallel NFS (pNFS client (file layout only) remains in technology preview, however now delivers performance improvements with the addition of Direct I/O for faster data access. This drives particular performance benefits for I/O intensive use cases including database workloads.


  • The use of swap functionality over NFS enables more efficient read/write trade-offs between local system memory and remote disks. This capability increases performance in very large, disk-less server farms seen in ISP and Web hosting environments.
  • Enhancement in c-groups delivers the ability to migrate multi-threaded applications without errors.
  • Optimized perf tool for the latest Intel processors


  • New system log features identify mapping from block device name to physical device identifier – allowing an administrator to easily locate specific devices as needed.

Productivity Tools:

  • Microsoft interoperability improvements with Microsoft Exchange and calendar support in Evolution. Productivity functions, such as calendar support with alarm notification and meeting scheduling is improved.
  • Customers such as animation studios and graphic design houses now have support for the newer Wacom tablets.

Want to check this out for yourself? Registered Red Hat users can download the RHEL 6.4 beta now.

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Topics: Linux, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Servers, Virtualization, VMware, Windows

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  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 beta now available

    Kudos Red Hat, always bring the best to the Enterprise.

    • Soft spot for Red Hat

      Red Hat was the first distro I ever tried many years ago.
      new gawker
  • daikon.Loverock Davidson should be here any minute to tell you differently

    He just loves to try and pour rain on anything to do with Linux.
    Over and Out
    • In 5...

    • Hey, it's precompiled

      Those who want to compile everything themselves can run Gentoo.
      John L. Ries
      • Actually

        The CentOS and Scientific Linux projects, along with the Oracle Corporation, all take Red Hat's source code and ... drum roll ... compile it.

        Mr. Davidson is correct just like a broken clock is correct two times a day.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Yippee - another beta

    So, only testers will be using this, no enterprise with a brain will use it in production.

    In other words, it doesn't matter.
    • To the contrary

      Actually, a fair number of large corporations (including those using my employer's software and whom therefore I have to support) use RHEL. This isn't just a handful of hippies and malcontents we're talking about.
      John L. Ries
      • You are a fool - it's beta

        John L. Ries
        The comment was not about RHEL, it was about BETA code.

        If you use Beta in Production, you are truly a fool and moron, and have no brain.
        • But that didn't seem to be your point

          Betas matter because that's how even free software developers shake the last bugs out. Of course it's not going to be used in production (but open source betas tend to be a lot more widely used than are proprietary ones).

          Do you deride beta tests of proprietary software too?

          Saving me the trouble of looking for another previous post...

          You gave the formal modern definition of cynic, but it amounts to what I said. And logically, self-proclaimed cynics plead guilty to all that they accuse their fellow human beings of (making the attitude more of a commentary on those who hold it than on humanity as a whole).

          Classical Cynicism is another matter (I find some parts of it rather appealing), but few people have called themselves Cynics in that sense in the last 15 centuries.
          John L. Ries