CentOS and Oracle release RHEL 5.8 clones
The CentOS project has released version 5.8 of its free of charge Linux distribution. As usual, the CentOS distribution clones the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), carries the same version number and is designed to be fully compatible; the CentOS developers sometimes even deliberately reproduce the original's bugs ("bug-to-bug compatibility") because correcting such flaws can confuse users and cause other problems.
CentOS 5.8 includes all the improvements of RHEL 5.8, which was released two and a half weeks ago and is available via a subscription model; among the improvements are bug fixes and added hardware support as well as new virtualisation and power management features. The CentOS 5.8 release notes describe various details that differ from those of the original; these differences are sometimes caused by removing the elements that are Red Hat's intellectual property.
A few days ago, Oracle released its Oracle Linux 5.8 clone of RHEL 5.8. This clone also contains all the improvements of the original and is designed to be compatible with RHEL 5.8. However, the distribution's default configuration uses Oracle's own Linux 2.6.32-based Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) instead of cloning the RHEL 5.8 kernel, which is based on Linux 2.6.18 and is installed in parallel; while the UEK kernel behaves differently in various places, Oracle says that it offers added functionality and improved performance in certain environments.
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