Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 reaches beta 2 phase

Earlier this week Red Hat released beta two of its Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6, the first Linux distribution of the company that completely replaces Xen with KVM as virtualization platform of choice.

The first public beta appeared at the end of April and at that time Citrix, which is the main supporter of Xen, suggested Red Hat customers that invested in Xen to look elsewhere, including the Oracle Enterprise Linux. Oracle in fact, is another key supporter of Xen, used as the foundation of the Oracle VM virtual infrastructure.

Red Hat says that RHEL 6.0 may have a third beta, according to The Register.

The version of KVM included in current beta introduces the following features compared to what’s available in RHEL 5.5:

  • A stable guest ABI (PCI devices can be mapped statically into PCI slots. It is possible to control the existence/removal of all devices and features)

  • Added support for High Precision Event Timer (HPET) clock emulation on the x86 architecture

  • Support for hot-plugging emulated PCI devices

  • Support for MSI-X

  • Added support for network booting via gPXE (formerly Etherboot)

  • irq, mmio, mmu tracing

  • virtio-console – which serves as a virtual communication channel between a host and a guest.

RHEL 6 also includes a virtual 2 virtual (V2V) migration tool, called virt-v2v, that is able to import and convert RHEL 5.x Xen and VMware ESX virtual machines.