Officially released Monday, Scientific Linux 4.5 can now be installed as a Xen paravirtual guest which, according to the developers "gives a significant speed increase over fully virtualized guests."
Scientific Linux is a product of Fermilab, CERN, and other research institutions worldwide.
It offers "a common install base" -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux -- for the scientific community, which reduces/eliminates duplication of effort, and can be customized by end users to meet specific needs. SL 4.5 is rebuilt from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 -- more specifically, according to the release announcement, "based on the rebuilding of RPMS out of SRPMS's from Enterprise 4 AS, including Update 5."
As always, see the complete release notes for details. CD image sets for i386 and AMD64 may be downloaded from the project's FTP server or mirrors.
Scientific Linux 5.0 -- which includes virtualization, GFS, clustering, better hardware support and an upgraded installer -- was released last month. A live CD version is available.
If you're interested in open source scientific software generally, Shawn Hermans provided a nice overview here last September.
Shirl Kennedy is the senior editor of theDocuTickerandResourceShelfWeblogs as well as the "Internet Waves" columnist forInformation Today. She has been writing about technology since 1992.