Keeping your Red Hat Enterprise Linux current

If you want the newest of the new open-source software, you use Fedora Linux, but if you use Red Hat Enterprise Linux in your business, you had to wait for major releases… until now.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

In the eternal IT war between development and operations, one perpetual battle has been between the developers, who want the newest software tools, and the system operators, who want nice stable. reliable programs. Red Hat wants to bring a truce to these old enemies, and no, it's not DevOps.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Logo
Red Hat Enterprise Linux adds up-to-date software.

Instead, Red Hat has released Red Hat Software Collections 1.0. This is a set of the newest, most stable versions of popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) open-source server programs.  

"To deliver a cutting-edge application, Jim Totton, the VP and general manager of Red Hat's Platform Business Unit, explained in a statement, "organizations must often choose between innovation and stability, a balancing act that frequently leads to chronic instability or feature stagnation. Red Hat Software Collections tackles this mutual exclusivity by allowing developers to use the latest, stable versions of Python, Ruby, MySQL, and other languages and databases used for modern web applications, all delivered with the full value and enterprise-grade qualities of a RHEL subscription."

Totton added that this brings MariaDB database management system (DBMS) to RHEL as an officially supported option for the first time. Since the next major RHEL update will use MariaDB as its default DBMS, Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 offers RHEL users a chance to start get up to speed on this popular MySQL DBMS fork.

If you have a current RHEL 6.x subscription, you can get the Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 with  you choice of service-level agreements (SLAs) with a three-year lifecycle. The Collections 1.0 include:

  • Dynamic Web programming languages: Ruby 1.9.3 with Rails 3.2.8, PHP 5.4, Python 3.3 and 2.7, Perl 5.16.3, and node.js 0.10 (delivered as a Technology Preview).
  • DBMS:  MariaDB 5.5, MySQL 5.5, and PostgreSQL 9.2

Red Hat hasn't forgotten its more hard core programmers. Red Hat is also offering Red Hat Developer Toolset 2.0. This includes Eclipse 4.3.0, Dyninst 8.0, and Strace 4.7, as well as the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 4.8 update for C, C++, and Fortran programmers.

According to Red Hat, "These additions to version 2.0 allow developers to use some of the latest innovative tools without dedicating cycles to installing and troubleshooting unsupported community versions.allowing developers to compile once and deploy across multiple versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6."

The new Toolset is available for RHEL Developer, RHEL North American Academic Site Subscriptions; and some RHEL partners.

Will this bring peace in our time to developers and system administrators? Nah. Just like with dogs and cats, some battle will never end. But, it will bring more peace and quiet to IT departments that have built their infrastructure around RHEL.

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