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Chapter 1. Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8 is the last feature update in this major release, allowing enterprise customers access to upstream innovation on the secure, stable, and reliable Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 platform. This section highlights the most notable enhancements.


  • libreswan, an implementation of one of the most widely supported and standardized VPN protocols, replaces openswan as the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 VPN endpoint solution, giving Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 customers access to recent advances in VPN security.
For more information about new security features, refer to Chapter 13, Security.

Authentication and Interoperability

  • Enhancements to Red Hat Identity Management include increased client-side performance as well as simplified client management through the addition of new capabilities to the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD). For example, cached authentication lookup on the client reduces the unnecessary exchange of user credentials with Active Directory servers. Also, support for adcli simplifies the management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 systems interoperating with an Active Directory domain. In addition, SSSD now supports user authentication using smart cards, for both system login and related functions, such as sudo.
For details about new Identity Management and SSSD enhancements, as well as other features related to authentication and interoperability, refer to Chapter 3, Authentication and Interoperability.

System and Subscription Management

  • Relax-and-Recover (ReAR) is a new a system archiving utility that enables administrators to create local backups in ISO format that can be centrally archived and replicated remotely for simplified disaster recovery operations.
  • An enhanced yum utility simplifies the process of locating required packages to add and enable new platform features.
For details about subscription-management related features, see Chapter 16, System and Subscription Management.


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8 provides increased visibility into storage usage and performance through dmstats, a program that displays and manages I/O statistics for user-defined regions of devices using the device-mapper driver.
For other storage features, see Chapter 15, Storage.

File Systems

  • The Scalable File System Add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 now supports XFS file-system sizes up to 300 TB.
For detailed changes in file systems, refer to Chapter 8, File Systems.

Deploy Anywhere

  • An updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8 platform image enables customers to migrate their traditional workloads into container-based applications. The image is available in the Red Hat Container Registry and is suitable for deployment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.

Red Hat Insights

Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7, the Red Hat Insights service is available. Red Hat Insights is a proactive service designed to enable you to identify, examine, and resolve known technical issues before they affect your deployment. Insights leverages the combined knowledge of Red Hat Support Engineers, documented solutions, and resolved issues to deliver relevant, actionable information to system administrators.
The service is hosted and delivered through the customer portal at or through Red Hat Satellite. To register your systems, follow the Getting Started Guide for Insights. For further information, data security and limits, refer to

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs is a set of tools in a section of the Customer Portal available at The applications in Red Hat Customer Portal Labs can help you improve performance, quickly troubleshoot issues, identify security problems, and quickly deploy and configure complex applications. Some of the most popular applications are, for example: