Chapter 3. Distribution of content in RHEL 8

3.1. Installation

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is installed using ISO images. Two types of ISO image are available for the AMD64, Intel 64-bit, 64-bit ARM, IBM Power Systems, and IBM Z architectures:

  • Binary DVD ISO: A full installation image that contains the BaseOS and AppStream repositories and allows you to complete the installation without additional repositories.


    The Binary DVD ISO image is larger than 4.7 GB, and as a result, it might not fit on a single-layer DVD. A dual-layer DVD or USB key is recommended when using the Binary DVD ISO image to create bootable installation media. You can also use the Image Builder tool to create customized RHEL images. For more information about Image Builder, see the Composing a customized RHEL system image document.

  • Boot ISO: A minimal boot ISO image that is used to boot into the installation program. This option requires access to the BaseOS and AppStream repositories to install software packages. The repositories are part of the Binary DVD ISO image.

See the Performing a standard RHEL installation document for instructions on downloading ISO images, creating installation media, and completing a RHEL installation. For automated Kickstart installations and other advanced topics, see the Performing an advanced RHEL installation document.

3.2. Repositories

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is distributed through two main repositories:

  • BaseOS
  • AppStream

Both repositories are required for a basic RHEL installation, and are available with all RHEL subscriptions.

Content in the BaseOS repository is intended to provide the core set of the underlying OS functionality that provides the foundation for all installations. This content is available in the RPM format and is subject to support terms similar to those in previous releases of RHEL. For a list of packages distributed through BaseOS, see the Package manifest.

Content in the Application Stream repository includes additional user space applications, runtime languages, and databases in support of the varied workloads and use cases. Application Streams are available in the familiar RPM format, as an extension to the RPM format called modules, or as Software Collections. For a list of packages available in AppStream, see the Package manifest.

In addition, the CodeReady Linux Builder repository is available with all RHEL subscriptions. It provides additional packages for use by developers. Packages included in the CodeReady Linux Builder repository are unsupported.

For more information about RHEL 8 repositories, see the Package manifest.

3.3. Application Streams

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 introduces the concept of Application Streams. Multiple versions of user space components are now delivered and updated more frequently than the core operating system packages. This provides greater flexibility to customize Red Hat Enterprise Linux without impacting the underlying stability of the platform or specific deployments.

Components made available as Application Streams can be packaged as modules or RPM packages and are delivered through the AppStream repository in RHEL 8. Each Application Stream component has a given life cycle, either the same as RHEL 8 or shorter. For details, see Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle.

Modules are collections of packages representing a logical unit: an application, a language stack, a database, or a set of tools. These packages are built, tested, and released together.

Module streams represent versions of the Application Stream components. For example, two streams (versions) of the PostgreSQL database server are available in the postgresql module: PostgreSQL 10 (the default stream) and PostgreSQL 9.6. Only one module stream can be installed on the system. Different versions can be used in separate containers.

Detailed module commands are described in the Installing, managing, and removing user-space components document. For a list of modules available in AppStream, see the Package manifest.