Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 features and benefits

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5, originally released in March 2007, contains more than 1,200 components covering a range of functionality. Red Hat Enterprise Linux gives CIOs and IT managers the means to cut costs while improving operational flexibility throughout their computing infrastructures.

The following list provides a brief summary of the more important enhancements.

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  • Virtualization with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

  • Kernel and performance

  • Packaging

  • Security

  • Networking and interoperability

  • Desktop

  • Development environment

  • Storage

  • Management

Virtualization with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

  • Virtualization is provided in all Red Hat Enterprise Linux server products and is optionally available for desktop products

  • Red Hat Network supports virtualized guest operating systems

  • virt-manager, libvirt/virsh management tools are available for single system or scripted virtualization management

  • Integration with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is available for enterprise virtualization management

Learn more about virtualization support in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Kernel and performance

  • Currently in update 5

  • Based on the Linux 2.6.18 kernel

  • Optimized for multi-core processors

  • Continued hardware support for maximum flexibility

  • Development and performance tools, including SystemTap

  • advanced I/O performance and virtualization technologies, such as SRIOV

  • Large SMP support for both physical and virtual systems

  • IPv4/IPv6 fragmentation offload and buffer management

  • Dynamically switchable per-queue I/O schedulers

  • Kernel buffer splice capability for improved I/O buffer operations



  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop


  • SELinux enhancements include Multi-Level Security and targeted policies for all services

  • SEtroubleshooter GUI simplifies SELinux management

  • Integrated directory and security capabilities

  • IPSEC enhancements improve security and performance

  • ExecShield enhancements, such as a call frame Canary word, strengthen hacker defenses

  • New Audit features provide powerful new search/reporting and real-time monitoring

Networking and interoperability

  • Network storage enhancements include Autofs, FS-Cache, and iSCSI support

  • IPv6 support and conformance enhancements

  • Improved Microsoft® file/print and Active Directory integration, including support for Windows


  • Desktop enhancements include updated configuration tools, applications, and laptop support

  • Foundational Stateless Linux features (X autoconfigure, NetworkManager, etc.)

  • Improved ACPI support with features such as suspend to disk

  • Smart card login - with PKI/Kerberos authentication

  • Integrated multimedia support

  • Enhanced plug and play hardware support (cameras, printers, scanners, etc.)

  • Network Manager provides automatic wired and wireless network configuration

  • Enhanced graphics using AIGLX/Compiz (with fading, transparency, etc.)

Development environment

  • Enhanced application development tools including SystemTap profiler and Frysk debugger

  • GCC 4.1 and glibc 2.5 toolchain


  • Support for root device multipath IO (MPIO) improves availability

  • Single system/guest version of Red Hat Global File System included in the base server product

  • Block device data encryption support


  • Numerous installer improvements make system configuration simpler

  • Yum/Pup-based updater for Red Hat Network

  • Conga cluster and storage management (with Advanced Platform)

  • Integrated support with Satellite server

Transition off previous Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, ES, WS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop offerings with simplified server and client products: