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Chapter 20. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 for IBM Power LE (POWER9)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 for IBM Power LE (POWER9) introduces Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 user space with an updated kernel, which is based on version 4.14 and is provided by the kernel-alt packages. The offering is distributed with other updated packages but most of it is the standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server RPMs. Installation ISO images are available on the Customer Portal Downloads page.
For information about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 installation and user space, see the Installation Guide and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 documentation. For information regarding the previous version, refer to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 for IBM Power LE (POWER9) - Release Notes.


Bare metal installations on IBM Power LE using a USB drive require you to specify the inst.stage2= boot option manually at the boot menu. See the Boot Options chapter in the Installation Guide for detailed information.

20.1. New Features and Updates


  • KVM virtualization is now supported on IBM POWER9 systems. However, due to hardware differences, certain features and functionalities differ from what is supported on AMD64 and Intel 64 systems. For details, see the Virtualization Deployment and Administration Guide.

Platform Tools

  • OProfile now includes support for the IBM POWER9 processor. Note that the PM_RUN_INST_CMPL OProfile performance monitoring event cannot be setup and should not be used in this version of OProfile. (BZ#1463290)
  • This update adds support for the IBM POWER9 performance monitoring hardware events to papi. It includes basic PAPI presets for events, such as instructions (PAPI_TOT_INS) or processor cycles (PAPI_TOT_CYC). (BZ#1463291)
  • This version of libpfm includes support for the IBM POWER9 performance monitoring hardware events. (BZ#1463292)
  • SystemTap includes backported compatibility fixes necessary for the kernel.
  • Previously, the memcpy() function from the GNU C Library (glibc) used unaligned vector load and store instructions on 64-bit IBM POWER systems. Consequently, when memcpy() was used to access device memory on POWER9 systems, performance would suffer. The memcpy() function has been enhanced to use aligned memory access instructions, to provide better performance for applications regardless of the memory involved on POWER9, without affecting the performance on previous generations of the POWER architecture. (BZ#1498925)


USBGuard is now available as a Technology Preview on IBM Power LE (POWER9)

The USBGuard software framework provides system protection against intrusive USB devices by implementing basic whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities based on device attributes. USBGuard is now available as a Technology Preview on IBM Power LE (POWER9).
Note that USB is not supported on IBM Z, and the USBGuard framework cannot be provided on those systems.