Chapter 5. Installer and image creation
The Open Security Content Automation Protocol (OSCAP) add-on is enabled by default in RHEL 8.
The Kdump add-on adds support for configuring kernel crash dumping during installation. This add-on has full support in Kickstart (using the
%addon com_redhat_kdump command and its options), and is fully integrated as an additional window in the graphical and text-based user interfaces.
5.2. Installer networking
A new network device naming scheme that generates network interface names based on a user-defined prefix is available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. The
net.ifnames.prefix boot option allows the device naming scheme to be used by the installation program and the installed system.
- For more information, see RHEL-8 new custom NIC names helper or Customizing the prefix for Ethernet interfaces during installation.
5.3. Installation images and packages
5.3.1. Ability to register your system, attach RHEL subscriptions, and install from the Red Hat CDN
Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, you can register your system, attach RHEL subscriptions, and install from the Red Hat Content Delivery Network (CDN) before package installation. Interactive GUI installations, as well as automated Kickstart installations, support this feature. For more information, see the RHEL 8.2 Release Notes document.
5.3.2. Ability to register your system to Red Hat Insights during installation
Red Hat Insights is a managed service that gathers and analyzes platform and application data to predict risk, recommend actions, and track costs. Insights alerts you about warnings or optimizations that are relevant to several operational areas: system availability (including potential outages), security (for example, a new CVE is discovered for your systems), and business (such as overspending). Insights is included as part of your Red Hat subscription and is accessible through the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console. See also the Red Hat Insights documentation.
Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, you can register your system to Red Hat Insights during installation. Interactive GUI installations, as well as automated Kickstart installations, support this feature. For more information, see the RHEL 8.2 Release Notes document.
5.3.3. Unified ISO
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, a unified ISO automatically loads the BaseOS and AppStream installation source repositories. This feature works for the first base repository that is loaded during installation. For example, if you boot the installation with no repository configured and have the unified ISO as the base repository in the graphical user interface (GUI), or if you boot the installation using the
inst.repo= option that points to the unified ISO.
As a result, the AppStream repository is enabled under the Additional Repositories section of the Installation Source GUI window. You cannot remove the AppStream repository or change its settings but you can disable it in Installation Source. This feature does not work if you boot the installation using a different base repository and then change it to the unified ISO. If you do that, the base repository is replaced. However, the AppStream repository is not replaced and points to the original file.
5.3.4. Stage2 image
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, multiple network locations of
stage2 or Kickstart files can be specified to prevent installation failure. This update enables the specification of multiple
inst.ks boot options with network locations of
stage2 and a Kickstart file. This avoids the situation in which the requested files cannot be reached and the installation fails because the contacted server with the
stage2 or the Kickstart file is inaccessible.
With this new update, the installation failure can be avoided if multiple locations are specified. If all the defined locations are URLs, namely
FTP, they will be tried sequentially until the requested file is fetched successfully. If there is a location that is not a URL, only the last specified location is tried. The remaining locations are ignored.
5.3.5. inst.addrepo parameter
Previously, you could only specify a base repository from the kernel boot parameters. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, a new kernel parameter,
inst.addrepo=<name>,<url>, allows you to specify an additional repository during installation. This parameter has two mandatory values: the name of the repository and the URL that points to the repository. For more information, see the inst-addrepo usage.
5.3.6. Installation from an expanded ISO
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 supports installing from a repository on a local hard drive. Previously, the only installation method from a hard drive was using an ISO image as the installation source. However, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 ISO image might be too big for some file systems; for example, the FAT32 file system cannot store files larger than 4 GiB. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, you can enable installation from a repository on a local hard drive; you only need to specify the directory instead of the ISO image. For example:
inst.repo=hd:<device>:<path to the repository>.
For more information about the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 BaseOS and AppStream repositories, see the Repositories section of this document.
5.4. Installer Graphical User Interface
5.4.1. The Installation Summary window
The Installation Summary window of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 graphical installation has been updated to a new three-column layout that provides improved organization of graphical installation settings.
5.5. System Purpose new in RHEL
5.5.1. System Purpose support in the graphical installation
Previously, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation program did not provide system purpose information to Subscription Manager. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, you can set the intended purpose of the system during a graphical installation by using the System Purpose window, or in a Kickstart configuration file by using the
syspurpose command. When you set a system’s purpose, the entitlement server receives information that helps auto-attach a subscription that satisfies the intended use of the system.
5.5.2. System Purpose support in Pykickstart
Previously, it was not possible for the
pykickstart library to provide system purpose information to Subscription Manager. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8,
pykickstart parses the new
syspurpose command and records the intended purpose of the system during automated and partially-automated installation. The information is then passed to the installation program, saved on the newly-installed system, and available for Subscription Manager when subscribing the system.
5.6. Installer module support
5.6.1. Installing modules using Kickstart
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the installation program has been extended to handle all modular features. Kickstart scripts can now enable module and stream combinations, install module profiles, and install modular packages.
5.7. Kickstart changes
The following sections describe the changes in Kickstart commands and options in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.
auth or authconfig is deprecated in RHEL 8
authconfig Kickstart command is deprecated in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 because the
authconfig tool and package have been removed.
authconfig commands issued on command line,
authconfig commands in Kickstart scripts now use the
authselect-compat tool to run the new
authselect tool. For a description of this compatibility layer and its known issues, see the manual page
authselect-migration(7). The installation program will automatically detect use of the deprecated commands and install on the system the
authselect-compat package to provide the compatibility layer.
Kickstart no longer supports Btrfs
The Btrfs file system is not supported from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. As a result, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the Kickstart commands no longer support Btrfs.
Using Kickstart files from previous RHEL releases
If you are using Kickstart files from previous RHEL releases, see the Repositories section of the Considerations in adopting RHEL 8 document for more information about the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 BaseOS and AppStream repositories.
5.7.1. Deprecated Kickstart commands and options
The following Kickstart commands and options have been deprecated in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.
Where only specific options are listed, the base command and its other options are still available and not deprecated.
install- use the subcommands or methods directly as commands
authconfig command, using the commands in Kickstart files prints a warning in the logs.
You can turn the deprecated command warnings into errors with the
inst.ksstrict boot option, except for the
5.7.2. Removed Kickstart commands and options
The following Kickstart commands and options have been completely removed in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. Using them in Kickstart files will cause an error.
install- use the subcommands or methods directly as commands
upgrade(This command had already previously been deprecated.)
part --fstype btrfsor
partition --fstype btrfs
logvol --fstype btrfs
raid --fstype btrfs
Where only specific options and values are listed, the base command and its other options are still available and not removed.
5.8. Image creation
5.8.1. Custom system image creation with Image Builder
The Image Builder tool enables users to create customized RHEL images. As of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3, Image Builder runs as a system service osbuild-composer package.
With Image Builder, users can create custom system images which include additional packages. Image Builder functionality can be accessed through:
- a graphical user interface in the web console
a command line interface in the
Image Builder output formats include, among others:
- TAR archive
- qcow2 file for direct use with a virtual machine or OpenStack
- QEMU QCOW2 Image
- cloud images for Azure, VMWare and AWS
To learn more about Image Builder, see the documentation title Composing a customized RHEL system image.