CentOS 5.6 now available
The developers of CentOS have announced the availability of CentOS 5.6. The CentOS developers build the operating system from the upstream source releases of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux, with all packages for server and client versions included and the various repositories combined into a single repository. The CentOS developers also remove the trademarks, images and branding associated with Red Hat as they are only allowed to clone the non-protected elements of the distribution.
The release was somewhat later than expected, in part because the CentOS developers are also working on CentOS 6, and also due to a limited resources. A last minute persistent bug in the installer and a problem with the x86_64 ISO images also added to the delays. The delay has prompted LWN.net to call for more support for CentOS from web hosting companies; many web hosts use the distribution extensively.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 was released at the start of January and the CentOS 5.6 release notes detail what changes the CentOS developers have made to their release. These include, as usual, the removal of the Red Hat Network package and removal of upstream branding from other packages. RHEL 5.6 saw the introduction of the Ext4 file system as a fully supported standard file system, updated versions of libvirt (to 0.8.2), Bind (9.7) and PHP (5.3) and updated printer and scanner drivers for HP devices. There are also updates to some wireless drivers, Samba, ghostscript, LVM, subversion and Gcc; details of the many changes can be found in the Red Hat release notes. All these changes are carried over to CentOS 5.6.
CentOS 5.6 is available for i386 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64-bit) architectures and download mirrors have CD, DVD and LiveCD ISO images available. The announcement also lists torrent files for the various available versions.