Following their mandate to be binary compatible with Red Hat, CentOS is preparing to release version 5.3.
Red Hat released version 5.3 on January 21st of this year. The CentOS developers generally follow with a CentOS release about 3-5 weeks after Red Hat. This should put the release as generally available around March 1st.
We can expect to see some very nice feature enhancements on this release. NetWorkManager and wpa_supplicant have a whole host of updates listed. This means improved wireless security and better driver support. For those of us using Broadcom wireless drivers the b43 driver from linuxwireless.org has been backported. Following the links on that page should lead you to the proper firmware as well.
The new ext4 filesystem is also incuded in the new release. Laptop users like myself will be glad to know that anaconda now supports encrypted block devices during installation. Red Hat continues their commitment to Xen and has released many updates for virtualizaton including support for up to 126 CPUs in the x86_64 Xen-based hypervisor (up to 32 CPUs per virtual server) and support for up to 1TB memory per host on x86_64 (up to 80GB per virtual server).
Other enhancements include 802.1q VLAN tagging support for kickstart, iSCSI installation and boot support, ability to install Xen and KVM guests and for fibre channel users Emulex FCoE HBA support through the lpfc driver and QLogic FCoE HBA support through qla2xxx driver. See a full list of new features here.
With all of these new enhancements desktop users and server administrators are sure to be pleased.