Chapter 1. Overview

Installer and image creation

In RHEL 8.3, you can configure a root password and create a user account before you begin the installation. Previously, you configured a root password and created a user account after you began the installation process. You can also create customized images based on a much more reliable backend and also push images to clouds through the RHEL web console.

RHEL for Edge

RHEL 8.3 introduces RHEL for Edge for remotely installing RHEL on Edge servers. RHEL for Edge is an rpm-ostree image that you can compose using Image Builder. You can install the image using a Kickstart file and then manage the image to include image updates and to roll back an image to a previous functional state.

Following are RHEL for Edge key highlights:

  • Atomic upgrades, where the state of each update is known and no changes are seen until you reboot the device.
  • Custom health checks and intelligent rollbacks to ensure resiliency.
  • Container-focused workflows, where you can separate core OS updates from the application updates, and test and deploy different versions of applications.
  • Optimized OTA payloads for low-bandwidth environments.

For more information, see Section 5.1.2, “RHEL for Edge”.

Infrastructure services

The Tuned system tuning tool has been rebased to version 2.13, which adds support for architecture-dependent tuning and multiple include directives.

Security

RHEL 8.3 provides Ansible roles for automated deployments of Policy-Based Decryption (PBD) solutions using Clevis and Tang, and this version of the rhel-system-roles package also contains an Ansible role for RHEL logging through Rsyslog.

The scap-security-guide packages have been rebased to version 0.1.50, and OpenSCAP has been rebased to version 1.3.3. These updates provide substantial improvements, including a profile aligned with the CIS RHEL 7 Benchmark v2.2.0 and a profile aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that is required by North-American healthcare organizations.

With this update, you can now generate result-based remediation roles from tailored profiles using the SCAP Workbench tool.

The USBGuard framework now provides its own SELinux policy, it notifies desktop users in GUI, and the version 0.7.8 contains many other improvements and bug fixes.

Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers

Later versions of the following components are now available as new module streams:

  • nginx 1.18
  • Node.js 14
  • Perl 5.30
  • PHP 7.4
  • Ruby 2.7

The following components have been updated in RHEL 8.3:

  • Git to version 2.27
  • Squid to version 4.11

See Section 5.1.11, “Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers” for more information.

Compiler toolsets

The following compiler toolsets have been updated in RHEL 8.3:

  • GCC Toolset 10
  • LLVM Toolset 10.0.1
  • Rust Toolset 1.45.2
  • Go Toolset 1.14.7

See Section 5.1.12, “Compilers and development tools” for more information.

Identity Management

The Rivest Cipher 4 (RC4) cipher suite, the default encryption type for users, services, and trusts between Active Directory (AD) domains in an AD forest, has been deprecated in RHEL 8. For compatibility reasons, this update introduces a new cryptographic subpolicy AD-SUPPORT to enable support for the deprecated RC4 encryption type. The new subpolicy allows you to use RC4 with RHEL Identity Management (IdM) and SSSD Active Directory integration solutions.

See Section 5.1.13, “Identity Management” for more information.

The web console

The web console provides an option to switch between administrative access and limited access from inside of a user session.

Virtualization

Virtual machines (VMs) hosted on IBM Z hardware can now use the IBM Secure Execution feature. This makes the VMs resistant to attacks if the host is compromised, and also prevents untrusted hosts from obtaining information from the VM. In addition, DASD devices can now be assigned to VMs on IBM Z.

Desktop and graphics

You can now use the GNOME desktop on IBM Z systems.

The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) kernel graphics subsystem has been rebased to upstream Linux kernel version 5.6. This version provides a number of enhancements over the previous version, including support for new GPUs and APUs, and various driver updates.

See Section 5.1.14, “Desktop” and Section 5.1.15, “Graphics infrastructures” for further details.

In-place upgrade and OS conversion

In-place upgrade from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8

The supported in-place upgrade paths currently are:

  • From RHEL 7.8 to RHEL 8.2 on the 64-bit Intel, IBM POWER 8 (little endian), and IBM Z architectures
  • From RHEL 7.6 to RHEL 8.2 on architectures that require kernel version 4.14: IBM POWER 9 (little endian) and IBM Z (Structure A)
  • From RHEL 7.7 to RHEL 8.2 on systems with SAP HANA.

To ensure your system remains supported after upgrading to RHEL 8.2, either update to the latest RHEL 8.3 version or enable the RHEL 8.2 Extended Update Support (EUS) repositories. On systems with SAP HANA, enable the RHEL 8.2 Update Services for SAP Solutions (E4S) repositories.

For more information, see Supported in-place upgrade paths for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For instructions on performing an in-place upgrade, see Upgrading from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8.

Notable enhancements include:

  • Leapp now supports user input by generating true/false questions to determine how to proceed with the upgrade.
  • You can now upgrade multiple hosts simultaneously using the Satellite web UI.
  • The in-place upgrade is now supported for on-demand instances on AWS and Microsoft Azure, using Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI).
  • With the release of the RHBA-2021:0569 advisory, you can create custom scripts for the Leapp pre-upgrade report. See Automating your Red Hat Enterprise Linux pre-upgrade report workflow for details.

In-place upgrade from RHEL 6 to RHEL 8

To upgrade from RHEL 6.10 to RHEL 8.2, follow instructions in Upgrading from RHEL 6 to RHEL 8.

Conversion from a different Linux distribution to RHEL

If you are using CentOS Linux 8 or Oracle Linux 8, you can convert your operating system to RHEL 8 using the Red Hat-supported Convert2RHEL utility. For more information, see Converting from an RPM-based Linux distribution to RHEL.

If you are using an earlier version of CentOS Linux or Oracle Linux, namely versions 6 or 7, you can convert your operating system to RHEL and then perform an in-place upgrade to RHEL 8. Note that CentOS Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 6 conversions use the unsupported Convert2RHEL utility. For more information on unsupported conversions, see How to convert from CentOS Linux 6 or Oracle Linux 6 to RHEL 6.

For information regarding how Red Hat supports conversions from other Linux distributions to RHEL, see the Convert2RHEL Support Policy document.

OpenJDK 11 is now available

New version of Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) is now available. For more information about the features introduced in this release and changes in the existing functionality, see OpenJDK features.

Additional resources

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs is a set of tools in a section of the Customer Portal available at https://access.redhat.com/labs/. 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: