RHEL (and Rocky and Alma Linux) 9.4 Released – Plus AI Offerings

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.4 has been released. But also released is Rocky Linux 9.4, reports 9to5Linux:

Rocky Linux 9.4 also adds openSUSE’s KIWI next-generation appliance builder as a new image build workflow and process for building images that are feature complete with the old images… Under the hood, Rocky Linux 9.4 includes the same updated components from the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.4

This week also saw the release of Alma Linux 9.4 stable (the “forever-free enterprise Linux distribution… binary compatible with RHEL.”) The Register points out that while Alma Linux is “still supporting some aging hardware that the official RHEL 9.4 drops, what’s new is largely the same in them both.”

And last week also saw the launch of the AlmaLinux High-Performance Computing and AI Special Interest Group (SIG). HPCWire reports:

“AlmaLinux’s status as a community-driven enterprise Linux holds incredible promise for the future of HPC and AI,” said Hayden Barnes, SIG leader and Senior Open Source Community Manager for AI Software at HPE. “Its transparency and stability empowers researchers, developers and organizations to collaborate, customize and optimize their computing environments, fostering a culture of innovation and accelerating breakthroughs in scientific research and cutting-edge AI/ML.”

And this week, InfoWorld reported:

Red Hat has launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux AI (RHEL AI), described as a foundation model platform that allows users to more seamlessly develop and deploy generative AI models. Announced May 7 and available now as a developer preview, RHEL AI includes the Granite family of open-source large language models (LLMs) from IBM, InstructLab model alignment tools based on the LAB (Large-Scale Alignment for Chatbots) methodology, and a community-driven approach to model development through the InstructLab project, Red Hat said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

From Software Developer To CEO: Red Hat’s Matt Hicks On His Journey To the Top

ZDNet’s Stephanie Condon spoke with Red Hat’s new CEO, Matt Hicks, a veteran of the company that’s been working there for over 14 years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from their discussion: Matt Hicks, Red Hat’s new CEO, doesn’t have the background of your typical chief executive. He studied computer hardware engineering in college. He began his career as an IT consultant at IBM. His on-the-ground experience, however, is one of his core assets as the company’s new leader, Hicks says. “The markets are changing really quickly,” he tells ZDNet. “And just having that intuition — of where hardware is going, having spent time in the field with what enterprise IT shops struggle with and what they do well, and then having a lot of years in Red Hat engineering — I know that’s intuition that I’ll lean on… Around that, there’s a really good team at Red Hat, and I get to lean on their expertise of how to best deliver, but that I love having that core intuition.”

Hicks believes his core knowledge helps him to guide the company’s strategic bets. While his experience is an asset, Hicks says it’s not a given that a good developer will make a good leader. You also need to know how to communicate your ideas persuasively. “You can’t just be the best coder in the room,” he says. “Especially in STEM and engineering, the softer skills of learning how to present, learning how to influence a group and show up really well in a leadership presentation or at a conference — they really start to define people’s careers.”

Hicks says that focus on influence is an important part of his role now that he didn’t relish earlier in his career. “I think a lot of people don’t love that,” he says. “And yet, you can be the best engineer on the planet and work hard, but if you can’t be heard, if you can’t influence, it’s harder to deliver on those opportunities.” Hicks embraced the art of persuasion to advance his career. And as an open-source developer, he learned to embrace enterprise products to advance Red Hat’s mission. He joined Red Hat just a few years after Paul Cormier — then Red Hat’s VP of engineering, and later Hicks’ predecessor as CEO — moved the company from its early distribution, Red Hat Linux, to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It was a move that not everyone liked. […] “As he settles into his new role as CEO, the main challenge ahead of Hicks will be picking the right industries and partners to pursue at the edge,” writes Condon. “Red Hat is already working at the edge, in a range of different industries. It’s working with General Motors on Ultifi, GM’s end-to-end software platform, and it’s partnering with ABB, one of the world’s leading manufacturing automation companies. It’s also working with Verizon on hybrid mobile edge computing. Even so, the opportunity is vast. Red Hat expects to see around $250 billion in spending at the edge by 2025.”

“There’ll be a tremendous growth of applications that are written to be able to deliver to that,” Hicks says. “And so our goals in the short term are to pick the industries and build impactful partnerships in those industries — because it’s newer, and it’s evolving.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.