The release candidate of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 has been made available to select testing partners ahead of the product's final release later in the year the company announced on its blog on Monday.
The newest iteration of the open source OS will offer a number of improvements over previous versions including more efficient power management, better networking —including comprehensive IPv6 support.
In addition, the release includes more robust enterprise security features that promise an easier to use interface, increased coverage of system resources and application sandboxing, the process of isolating system components from potentially malicious code.
Red Hat also says that RHEL 6 will offer significant scalability benefits, allowing for future growth in a physical, virtual or cloud deployment.
The release is built on an updated core that includes a newer system kernel and user-space management tools, as well as bringing updates to core applications such as httpd, Samba and NFS, which the company says brings general performance benefits.
Other tweaks include support for larger file sizes and reduced repair times by using the ext4 file system instead of ext3 and better resource management in the kernel, resulting in better allocation of memory processes and I/O resources.
The final release is expected to be ready for distribution before the end of the year, according to the Red Hat announcement.
"We encourage all of our independent software vendor (ISV) partners to enable our joint customers to experience the significant enhancements in performance, reliability and security offered in this version of what is intended to become our new flagship platform by accelerating testing and final certification of ISV offerings on the Release Candidate."
The company also says that it expects no further changes to the API or ABI (Application Binary Interface) that would affect application compatibility ahead of the final release.
RHEL 6 release candidate is only compatible with x86 64-bit systems but the first and second betas —released in April and June, respectively— will work with i386, AMD64/Intel64, System z and IBM Power (64-bit) architecture.
Neither the Release Candidate nor betas are formally supported by the company.