Linux Platforms

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.

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 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


  • Enhanced application development tools including SystemTap profiler and Frysk debugger
  • GCC 4.1 and glibc 2.5 toolchain

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