Latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux Update Demonstrates Value of Subscription

Customers receive new security features ahead of schedule


Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq:RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, today announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3. Accessible through Red Hat Network, the update features several security enhancements, which were originally targeted for delivery in early 2005, several months ahead of schedule. With this update Red Hat demonstrates the ongoing value delivered via a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription.

"The open source development model coupled with the subscription business model creates a unique combination for customers in that features, upgrades and updates are delivered in real-time,"said Brian Stevens, vice president of Operating Systems Development at Red Hat. "Rapid innovation with consistent delivery means that customers are able to benefit from performance gains and security enhancements as they become available."

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 was released in Fall, 2003. To provide the best mix of technology and stability, Red Hat created the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 products using a hybrid kernel approach: features from the Linux 2.6 kernel that would be of most value to commercial/enterprise customers and ISVs were backported for use with the latest and most stable Linux 2.4 kernel. As a result of this approach Red Hat Enterprise Linux products are provided with kernels that are highly stable and also deliver many of the performance and scalability features of the 2.6 kernel.

Since the initial release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, subscribers have received regular technology updates such as SATA device support, Intel® EM64T support, and the IA-32 execution layer for Intel® Itanium® 2 processors. The latest update, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3 has a focus on security.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3 security features include:

  • Exec-shield and PIE (Position Independent Executable) features, which provide protection against stack, buffer or function pointer overflows, and against other types of security exploits that rely on overwriting data structures in memory.
  • NX (No Execute) support has been extended from the Intel® Itanium® 2 processer to include Intel® x86, Intel® EM64T and AMD64 processors. NX technology restricts execution of program code in specific areas of memory such as the stack or the heap, preventing many common buffer overflow security vulnerabilities.

These features further enhance the security of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems, significantly reducing the ability of hackers to trigger the execution of compromising code.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3 also provides numerous other enhancements, including support for IBM POWER5 servers, extensive new driver support, and miscellaneous bug fixes.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3 is available now. Subscribers can access Red Hat Network immediately to apply the update to their systems. For more information or to become a subscriber, please visit or call 866-2-REDHAT.
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About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships. Red Hat's open source strategy offers customers a long term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more:

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