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Chapter 1. Overview

1.1. Major changes in RHEL 8.6

Security

In RHEL 8.6, SELinux, the fapolicyd framework, and Policy-Based Decryption (PBD) for automated unlocking of LUKS-encrypted drives support the SAP HANA database management system. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Security Hardening Guide for SAP HANA 2.0 Knowledgebase article for more information.

Packages for fapolicyd have been upgraded to the upstream version 1.1. Among other improvements, you can now use the new rules.d/ and trust.d/ directories, the fagenrules script, and new options for the fapolicyd-cli command.

OpenSSH servers now support drop-in configuration files.

The pcsc-lite packages have been rebased to upstream version 1.9.5, which provides many enhancements and bug fixes.

You can now verify the versions of installed SELinux policy modules with the newly added --checksum option to the semodule command.

The SCAP Security Guide (SSG) packages have been rebased to upstream version 0.1.60, and the OpenSCAP packages have been rebased to upstream version 1.3.6.

See New features - Security for more information.

Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers

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

  • PHP 8.0
  • Perl 5.32

See New features - Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers for more information.

Compilers and development tools

Updated compiler toolsets

The following compiler toolsets have been updated:

  • GCC Toolset 11
  • LLVM Toolset 13.0.1
  • Rust Toolset 1.58.1
  • Go Toolset 1.17.7

See New features - Compilers and development tools for more information.

Java implementations in RHEL 8

The RHEL 8 AppStream repository includes:

  • The java-17-openjdk packages, which provide the OpenJDK 17 Java Runtime Environment and the OpenJDK 17 Java Software Development Kit.
  • The java-11-openjdk packages, which provide the OpenJDK 11 Java Runtime Environment and the OpenJDK 11 Java Software Development Kit.
  • The java-1.8.0-openjdk packages, which provide the OpenJDK 8 Java Runtime Environment and the OpenJDK 8 Java Software Development Kit.

For more information, see OpenJDK documentation.

Java tools

RHEL 8.6 introduces a new log4j:2 module, which contains Apache Log4j 2, which is a Java logging utility and a library enabling you to output log statements to a variety of output targets.

For more information, see New features - Compilers and development tools. information.

Identity Management

The ansible-freeipa roles and modules are now available in the Ansible Automation Hub, which provides fast updates of the ansible-freeipa content.

1.2. 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 7.9 to RHEL 8.4 and RHEL 8.6 on the 64-bit Intel, IBM POWER 8 (little endian), and IBM Z architectures
  • From RHEL 7.6 to RHEL 8.4 on architectures that require kernel version 4.14: IBM POWER 9 (little endian) and IBM Z (Structure A). This is the final in-place upgrade path for these architectures.
  • From RHEL 7.9 to RHEL 8.2 and RHEL 8.6 on systems with SAP HANA on the 64-bit Intel architecture. To ensure your system with SAP HANA remains supported after upgrading to RHEL 8.2, 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. For instructions on performing an in-place upgrade on systems with SAP environments, see How to in-place upgrade SAP environments from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8.

Notable enhancements include:

  • With the release of RHEL 8.6, multiple upgrade paths are now available for the in-place upgrade from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8. This allows you to decide which RHEL 8 minor version you want to upgrade your system to instead of upgrading to the latest RHEL 8 minor version by default. Note that the available upgrade paths differ between RHEL systems and RHEL systems with SAP HANA.
  • The Leapp utility now runs significantly faster during the pre-upgrade and the initial stages of the in-place upgrade.
  • The in-place upgrade is also supported for SAP hosting systems for the following cloud image types:

    • Bring-your-own-subscription (BYOS) systems on any public cloud platform which uses Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM) for a RHEL subscription.
    • Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) instances on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure with Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI).

In-place upgrade from RHEL 6 to RHEL 8

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

In-place upgrade from RHEL 8 to RHEL 9

Instructions on how to perform an in-place upgrade from RHEL 8 to RHEL 9 using the Leapp utility are provided by the document Upgrading from RHEL 8 to RHEL 9. Major differences between RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 are documented in Considerations in adopting RHEL 9.

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 perform an unsupported conversion from a RHEL-derived Linux distribution to RHEL.

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

1.3. 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:

1.4. Additional resources