Scientific Linux 6.0

Release Notes

Release Notes for Scientific Linux 6.0
March 3, 2011

The Upstream Vendor 6.0 release notes.

Send comments/issues/test reports to

Table of Contents

Differences from SL5
Added compared to Enterprise 6
Tweak RPMs added
Changed compared to Enterprise 6

Differences from SL5

"Sites" and "Spins"

From the beginning, we always wanted people to take Scientific Linux and make it their own. Derivatives from Scientific Linux, such as Scientific Linux Fermi (SLF) or Scientific Linux Cern (SLC), were called "sites".
Because "sites" can refer to many things (web-sites, building-site, etc..) we have started calling "sites" "spins". The same as Fedora calls them.

Only Original Packages are in the install

In SL3-SL5 we always put the security and bugfix packages into the release as we built the release. So when we released a release it always "had the latest errata up until (date)".
For SL6 the final release will only have the same packages that were originally released by TUV. All security and bugfix errata are in their respective repositories.

Fewer Packages Added

Many scientific programs were being put in external repositories, such as EPEL. These external repositories often had the same packages that we added to Scientific Linux 5. To reduce duplicating efforts, reduce version and dependency problems, and create less confusion, we have reduced the number of extra packages we put in Scientific Linux 6.
Some packages have also become part of TUV's release, and so are automatically part of SL6.

Current status of packages added to SL5
Package Location Comments
915resolution atrpms
alpine epel
cfitsio epel
dkms epel, rpmforge
fftw atrpms, epel
fuse in SL6Provided by TUV
graphviz in SL6Provided by TUV
gv epel
icewm In SL6Provided by SL
iwp*, iwl*in SL6Provided by TUV
jdk - obsolete by openjdk
can still get from Oracle if needed.
kdeedu - Must get from KdeEdu site
luain SL6Provided by TUV
numpyin SL6Provided by TUV
openafsIn SL6Provided by SL
scipy - Must get from scipy site
tidyin SL6Provided by TUV
XFSin SL6 x86_64 Provided by TUV

There is no contrib repository.

The SL contrib repository held extra drivers that weren't in the normal kernel. This effort was duplicated by repositories elrepo and atrpms. Instead of duplicating their efforts, we have make it easy to install their repositories.

ADDED compared to Enterprise 6

Packages added

We have added several packages to Scientific Linux that are not found anywhere on the Enterprise releases.

Summary : Fast and small X11 window manager
Added because we needed a lightweight modern window manager. There are some machines that just don't have much CPU and/or memory, and both KDE and GNOME can really slow these machines down.
This is not installed by default.
-- icewm
-- icewm-l10n
-- imlib - for dependancies
-- gtk+ - for dependancies
-- glib - for dependancies

Summary : OpenAFS distributed filesystem
Added because many educational and research centers around the world use AFS as some type of central file system.
This is not installed by default.
-- openafs
-- openafs-authlibs
-- openafs-client
-- openafs-compat
-- openafs-firstboot
-- openafs-kernel-source
-- openafs-kpasswd
-- openafs-krb5
-- openafs-plumbing-tools
-- openafs-server
-- kmod-openafs

revisor, livecd-tools, liveusb-creator
Summary : Scientific Linux Spin Creation
Tools to create Scientific Linux "Spins" or "Sites"
This is not installed by default.
-- revisor
-- revisor-cli
-- revisor-gui
-- revisor-isolinux
-- revisor-rebrand
-- revisor-reuseinstaller
-- revisor-unity-scripts
-- sl-revisor-configs
-- livecd-tools
-- liveusb-creator

Summary : Automatically update your machine daily via yum.
Added for those users who want their system automatically updated without having to worry about doing it by hand.
This is installed by default.
-- yum-autoupdate

external yum repositories
Summary : Various External Yum Repositories
These are not supported by Scientific Linux but are here for your convenience.

This is not installed by default.
-- adobe-release
-- atrpms-repo
-- elrepo-release
-- epel-release
-- rpmforge-release


One of the goals of Scientific Linux is to be as close to the original vendor release of Enterprise Linux. But there are several things that people want to change, for one reason or another. In order to have both worlds we have created these tweak rpm's, more commonly known as SL rpm's. These rpm's can be added or removed to add or remove a feature. It is up the individual user to determine if they want a particular feature or not.

None of these packages are installed by default unless it is noted that they are.


This adds a terminal icon to the kicker panel for GNOME. It also adds the "add/remove programs" menu item to KDE.
Installed by default for the GNOME and KDE desktop groups.

Who Needs This?
Pretty much any previous desktop user of linux. It's not a necessity, and the icons can be added manually, but it's much nicer to just have them there from the start.


This script makes all the changes necessary to send console output to both the serial port and the screen. This also creates a login prompt on the serial port and allows users to login at this prompt.

There are 4 packages, which correspond to a serial port speed
SL_enable_serialconsole-96 (9600 baud)
SL_enable_serialconsole-192 (19200 baud)
SL_enable_serialconsole-384 (38400 baud)
SL_enable_serialconsole-1152 (115200 baud)

Note: It is usually best to install this package after an install. You can either do this by hand, or in the %post section of a kickstart file. This is because the grub file and bootloader aren't created during an install, until after all the packages are installed.

Who Needs This?
Headless servers that want to redirect their output through their serial console during bootup, and also plan on logging in on those consoles.


Turns off "color" of ls.

Who Needs This?
People who don't like the colorized ls


Changes /etc/inittab to require the root password for single user mode.
This package used to be called SL_inittab_change

Who Needs This
In my opinion everyone, and we're quite surprised that Enterprise Linux isn't this way. If you are concerned about someone getting root access to your computer by just sitting down to it, then this is something you will want to install.

CHANGED compared to Enterprise 6

Packages Changed

Changed index.html. Changed release name

Removed the red colors for text mode.

Changed all trademarked icons and pictures.
Changed styles of items such as background, gdm, and kdm to change the tradedress style.

Removed the options to send reports to TUV.

sl-bookmarks replaces redhat-bookmarks

sl-index replaces redhat-index

sl-release replaces redhat-release

sl-release-notes replaces Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux-Release_Notes*

Packages Changed for building reasons

Some packages would not build in our build environment. We changed these packages in order for them, or other packages, to build.
We did comparisons of the binary packages after recompiling.
To distingish these packages we put 0.sl6 at the end of the release number.

epydoc needed a bug fix patch in order for python-nss to build. We put in the following patches from Fedora 13.
Fix crash with newer docutils (#578920) - Patch provided by Lubomir Rintel
Add texlive-dvips and texlive-latex requirements (#522249) - Patch provided by Matthias Saou

We commented out it's final check.

Added patch required to build with the webkit (bz#660581)

We Changed "--with-krb5=/usr/kerberos" to "--with-krb5=/usr" because the krb location changed in SL6.

We removed several tests.

opal needed a bug fix patch in order for ekiga to build. The opal-3.6.6-buildopts.patch was missing one line for it to work properly.

when "autoreconf -is" is called this causes libtool to run from /usr/bin/libtool which is version 2.2.6b but the source ships its own libtool in pilot-link-0.12.4/libtool which is version 2.2.6 and called from the make files. This version mix does not work.

TUV 6 provides jdom-1.1.1 and not jdom-1.0 so we changed it to 1.1.1

Fixed a patch. We fixed the shellwords arguments building bug.
Note: The first ruby update from TUV fixed this problem.


The comps.xml file determines what packages are in groups. This determines what packages get installed automatically when you select a group during install, or when you use yum groupinstall.
We have made the following changes to comps.


Web Site

Iso Download area
Mirror List

Mailing Lists - Development of Scientific Linux - Users of Scientific Linux supporting each other - Announcements concerning Scientific Linux - Announcements about Security Errata