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Red Hat launches Enterprise Linux 9 beta

Changes will require less work from admins and IT Ops

Red Hat sign at a convention centre in Boston

Red Hat has launched its eponymous Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9 beta and promised admin and IT ops people there will be less of a need for them to learn new ways of doing things.

Red Hat said the latest beta is based on upstream kernel version 5.14 and provides a preview of the next major update of RHEL. It punted the new version as being designed for “demanding hybrid multi-cloud deployments that range from physical, on-premises, public cloud to edge”.

It also said the beta was a departure from previous major releases of RHEL. While it contains many improvements and enhancements customers asked for, it has fewer changes that require admins and IT Ops to learn new ways of doing things, said the firm. It added that anyone familiar with RHEL 8 should find RHEL 9 easy to pick up.

Among the new features are enhanced web console performance metrics that allow access to additional information that will allow admins to better identify the potential causes of performance bottlenecks. It is also now easier to export these data to analysis and reporting tools such as Grafana.

There is also kernel live patching via the web console and streamlined image building that includes the ability to build RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 images via a single build node. It also features better support for customized file systems (non-LVM mount points) and bare-metal deployments.

There are also several enhancements for security and compliance.

Users can use smart card authentication to access remote hosts through the RHEL web console (Sudo, SSH, etc.).

Red Hat also added more security profiles to help achieve compliance with standards like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and others. When coupled with intelligence gathering and remediation services such as Red Hat Insights and Red Hat Satellite, customers now have access to powerful tools to rapidly resolve compliance issues at scale.

SSSD, the built-in enterprise single sign-on (SSO) framework, now adds more detail for events such as time to complete tasks, errors, the authentication flow, and more. New search capabilities provide admins the ability to analyze performance and configuration issues.

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The OS has also integrated new OpenSSL 3 cryptographic frameworks. Built-in RHEL utilities have been recompiled to utilize OpenSSL 3 to provide organizations with new security ciphers for encrypting and protecting data.

RHEL 9 Beta also ships with cgroup2 by default and a recent release of Podman with new defaults for RHEL 9. Users will get signature and short-name (e.g.: ubi8 instead of registry.access.redhat.com/ubi8/ubi) validation by default when pulling container images. This will enable organizations to test container-based applications with the "out-of-the-box" configuration planned for RHEL 9.

RHEL 9 Beta is available for Intel/AMD64 (x86_64), ARM 64-bit (aarch64), IBM Power LE (ppc64le), and IBM Z (s390x) hardware platforms

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