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CentOS turns 6.1, still trails Red Hat by a lap

Dec 12, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

CentOS 6.1 has arrived to bring the features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 to those who can live without a Red Hat subscription. CentOS 6.1 offers almost all the non-proprietary portions of RHEL 6.1, including virtualization performance optimizations, enhanced development and monitoring tools, and YUM package management enhancements.

As usual with CentOS releases, there's not much to talk about in version 6.1 because the distro is a free community clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.1, released back in May. In addition, RHEL 6.1 appears to be a relatively minor release compared with versions 6.0 and 6.2.

Nevertheless, a CentOS release is always newsworthy in the Linux world due to its continuing popularity. The server-focused distro has ranked between seven and 10 on the DistroWatch page rankings over the last year.

Considering that Red Hat has just released RHEL 6.2, the CentOS community has once again fallen behind Red Hat's development schedule, although it is a bit more timely this time compared to the much delayed CentOS 6.0 released in early July. It must be harder to strip out all the Red Hat trademarked components in the operating system than one might think.

CentOS 6.1 follows RHEL 6.1's lead in offering virtualization performance optimizations, improved operational efficiency, and high availability improvements. Newly enhanced development and monitoring tools are said to include a Gdb debugger with improved C++ and Python handling and a Valgrind memory tracing tool tuned for multicore processors. There's also an updated Eclipse development environment that includes enhanced breakpoint and code generation for C/C++ and Java.

Enhancements to YUM command-line package manager

According to the CentOS community, the new release carries through a number of RHEL 6.1 enhancements to the Yellowdog Updater, Modified (YUM) command-line package manager. These are said to include a more user-friendly search function, new "updateinfo" and "versionlock" commands, and the ability to add one's own .repo variables.

CentOS users who run the continuous release CentOS-Release-CR, starting with version 6.0, are already running code that is included in the 6.1 install media, says the CentOS community.


CentOS 6.1 is available now for free download on 386 and x86_64 computers. More information may be found in the CentOS 6.1 announcement and the CentOS 6.1 release notes.

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