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Chapter 1. Overview

1.1. Major changes in RHEL 8.7

Installer and image creation

Following are image builder key highlights in RHEL 8.7-GA:

  • Image builder on-premise now supports:

    • Uploading images to GCP
    • Customizing the /boot partition
    • Pushing a container image directly to a registry
    • Users can now customize their blueprints during the image creation process

For more information, see Section 4.1, “Installer and image creation”.

Security

The DISA STIG for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 profile available in the scap-security-guide (SSG) package is now better aligned with DISA’s content. This leads to fewer findings against DISA content after SSG remediations.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) profiles available in the scap-security-guide (SSG) package are now aligned with CIS Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Benchmark version 2.0.0. This version of the benchmark adds new requirements, removed requirements that are no longer relevant, and reordered some existing requirements. The update impacts the references in the relevant rules and the accuracy of the respective profiles.

Changes in the system configuration and the clevis-luks-systemd subpackage enable the Clevis encryption client to unlock also LUKS-encrypted volumes that mount late in the boot process without using the systemctl enable clevis-luks-askpass.path command during the deployment process.

See New features - Security for more information.

Shells and command-line tools

RHEL 8.7 introduces a new package xmlstarlet. With XMLStarlet, you can parse, transform, query, validate, and edit XML files.

The following command-line tools have been updated in RHEL 8.7:

  • opencryptoki to version 3.18.0
  • powerpc-utils to version 1.3.10
  • libva to version 2.13.0

For more information, see New Features - Shells and command-line tools

Infrastructure services

The following infrastructure services tools have been updated in RHEL 8.7:

  • chrony to version 4.2
  • unbound to version 1.16.2

For more information, see New Features - Infrastructure services.

Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers

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

  • Ruby 3.1
  • Mercurial 6.2
  • Node.js 18

In addition, Redis 6 has been upgraded to version 6.2.7.

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

Compilers and development tools

Updated performance tools and debuggers

The following performance tools and debuggers have been updated in RHEL 8.7:

  • Valgrind 3.19
  • SystemTap 4.7
  • Dyninst 12.1.0
  • elfutils 0.187
Updated performance monitoring tools

The following performance monitoring tools have been updated in RHEL 8.7:

  • PCP 5.3.7
  • Grafana 7.5.13
Updated compiler toolsets

The following compiler toolsets have been updated in RHEL 8.7:

  • GCC Toolset 12
  • LLVM Toolset 14.0.6
  • Rust Toolset 1.62
  • Go Toolset 1.18

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 8.7 introduces Maven 3.8 as a new module stream.

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

Identity Management

Identity Management (IdM) in RHEL 8.7 introduces a Technology Preview where you can delegate user authentication to external identity providers (IdPs) that support the OAuth 2 Device Authorization Grant flow. When these users authenticate with SSSD, and after they complete authentication and authorization at the external IdP, they receive RHEL IdM single sign-on capabilities with Kerberos tickets.

For more information, see Technology Previews - Identity Management

Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles

Notable new features in 8.7 RHEL System Roles:

  • RHEL System Roles are now available also in playbooks with fact gathering disabled.
  • The ha_cluster role now supports SBD fencing, configuration of Corosync settings, and configuration of bundle resources.
  • The network role now configures network settings for routing rules, supports network configuration using the nmstate API, and users can create connections with IPoIB capability.
  • The microsoft.sql.server role has new variables, such as variables to control configuring a high availability cluster, to manage firewall ports automatically, or variables to search for mssql_tls_cert and mssql_tls_private_key values on managed nodes.
  • The logging role supports various new options, for example startmsg.regex and endmsg.regex in files inputs, or template, severity and facility options.
  • The storage role now includes support for thinly provisioned volumes, and the role now also has less verbosity by default.
  • The sshd role verifies the include directive for the drop-in directory, and the role can now be managed through /etc/ssh/sshd_config.
  • The metrics role can now export postfix performance data.
  • The postfix role now has a new option for overwriting previous configuration.
  • The firewall role does not require the state parameter when configuring masquerade or icmp_block_inversion. In the firewall role, you can now add, update, or remove services using absent and present states. The role can also provide Ansible facts, and add or remove an interface to the zone using PCI device ID. The firewall role has a new option for overwriting previous configuration.
  • The selinux role now includes setting of seuser and selevel parameters.

1.2. In-place upgrade and OS conversion

In-place upgrade from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8

The possible 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 remains supported after upgrading to RHEL 8.6, either update to the latest RHEL 8.7 version or ensure that the RHEL 8.6 Extended Update Support (EUS) repositories have been enabled.

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.

Note

For the successful in-place upgrade of RHEL 7.6 for IBM POWER 9 (little endian) and IBM Z (structure A) architectures, you must manually download the specific Leapp data. For more information, see the Leapp data snapshots for an in-place upgrade Knowledgebase article.

Notable enhancements include:

  • The in-place upgrade of SAP Apps systems is now possible on Microsoft Azure with Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI).
  • The in-place upgrade is now possible on Google Cloud Platform 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