Red Hat has released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.1 beta this week, a minor upgrade that includes a laundry list of tweaks and improvements for virtualization, laptops and desktops, storage, networking, interoperability, serviceability, security and storage.
The release announcement highlights a number of virtualization upgrades, including complete "virtualization support on Itanium2 platforms," as well as support for a number of para-virtualized (PV) and fully-virtualized (HV) options. Additionally, the libvert management layer has been updated.
Laptop and desktop enhancements include improved power management and a "technology preview" of a new Firewire stack. Samba has been updated for better Windows interoperability, as well as PAM/Kerberos and NSS-LDAP updates for better integration in Active Directory environments. There's also a better crash analysis tool.
Additionally, this beta incorporates IPv6 improvements, an expanded in-kernel socket API, and "technology previews" of a couple new wireless stacks. For enhanced security, there is improved auditing, Smartcard support for SSH, and integration of changes related to LSSP certification.
The release announcement, which describes a number of already-known bugs, says the testing period will run through September 4. The development release usual caveats apply, and Red Hat specifically discourages the publication of benchmark or performance results based on the beta.