Red Hat will deliver version 7.0 of its Linux distribution next week, which promises improved security, a richer user interface and added applications.
According to open source enthusiast website maximumlinux.com - which has published the news ahead of Monday's official announcement - the improvements fall into three categories, addressing the needs of enterprise IT departments, developers and workstation users. Uniting these three strands is a drive to improve ease of use and manageability.
For the enterprise, Red Hat 7.0 improves secure communications on the internet through integration with OpenSSL. On the applications side, similar integration with the open source SQL database is included in Red Hat 7.0.
With a view to the future, features to provide easier migration to the forthcoming 2.4 kernel have been provided.
Red Hat will woo workstation users with a more customised desktop environment, and a greater range of desktop applications, such as programs to support digital photography. There is also much improved 3D graphics support.
Red Hat 7.0 also features expanded support for USB peripheral devices and other hardware integration improvements.
The security of default installations for users who have always-on connections to the internet, such as people who use ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line), has been tightened up.
Developers and Linux hackers have not been forgotten. The release is said to include more complete C++ support with a new compiler, as well as an enhanced internationalisation sub-system. There is also a new GNU compiler for Java.
Red Hat 7.0 will be available in three versions: Standard, Delux, which includes phone support and the StarOffice productivity suite, and Professional, which features higher levels of support including help running the Apache Web server.
Red Hat would not comment ahead of the launch.
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