I'm a bit late on this one, but ...
CentOS version 5 was released the other day. For those of you unfamiliar with CentOS it is RedHat Enterprise Linux recompiled and supported by the open source community.
Pretty much RHEL for free.
I can't say there is anything *really* exciting in the new version of RedHat, sure there is Xen support and the general updated versions of the applications included.
New version of Open Office, PostgreSQL etc.
One big difference is that everything has to be NTPL threaded. NPTL threading is the first real *good* threading implementation in Linux. The old Linux threads model is way old. Although NPTL has been available (and the default) in RHEL since version 3, it is not the only supported threading model.
-So what does this mean for Oracle?
No more LD_ASSUME_KERNEL hacks.
10g is fine with this, no problem at all. However 9i will have some issues with this, the old way to get Oracle running was simply to set LD_ASSUME_KERNEL to 2.4.19 and Linux would use the Linux threads model. No go in version 5.
Big question, will Oracle support 9i under RHEL5? I'm honestly not to bothered, by the time RHEL5 is mature and tested I really hope that people have switched to 10gR2.
9iR2 has been around for a lng time now and will be for some time. But new system design implementation on 9iR2?
I've done a quick test install of Centos 5 and 10gR2 (10.2.0.1 and patchset 10.2.0.2) and the install was very painless, pretty similar to Centos 4 with a few changes in the RPM's needed.
RedHat did add a few SHM parameters to sysctl.conf so that section needs reviewing though.