First alpha for Scientific Linux 6.1
The first alpha for Scientific Linux (SL) 6.1 has been announced by the developers. The SL 6.1 Alpha is said to install "and it appears to work, but no major testing has been done". Downloadable images are available for 32 bit and 64 bit x86 processors but, as with all testing releases, it should not be used for production purposes.The most recent stable release of Scientific Linux available is version 6.0.
Scientific Linux is a release based on "Enterprise Linux" which is in fact Red Hat's Enterprise Linux, although SL developers themselves refer to "The Upstream Vendor" or "TUV" to avoid trademark issues. It is recompiled from the source in a similar fashion to CentOS. Unlike CentOS though, the Scientific Linux community seems to have kept up with the latest releases; CentOS is yet to ship a CentOS 6.0. Red Hat released RHEL 6.1 in the middle of May and the SL developers have now released their first alpha – for comparison purposes, RHEL 6.0 was released in November 2010 and Scientific Linux 6.0 was released at the start of March 2011.
The Scientific Linux releases are assembled by labs and universities such as Fermilab and CERN, and designed to reduce duplicated effort and to provide a common platform for experimenters. The developers also attempt to make the distribution as customisable as possible for different "sites"; as an example, Fermilab have their own "site" which includes their own Kerberos packages. Scientific Linux was officially launched in 2004 and is now seven years old.