Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta Released and Ready to Take Your Servers to New Heights

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RHEL 9 is designed for stability, security, reliability, and agility. You can now try RHEL 9 in its beta version.

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For many companies, the production operating system begins and ends with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is an operating system designed for stability, security, reliability and agility. It’s everything many businesses depend on and consistently raises the bar on every conceivable front.

The upcoming release of RHEL 9 is no exception. This upcoming iteration also marks a first in the history of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in that it is the first release based on CentOS Stream, which allows developers to contribute and test code before a release.

As always, RHEL 9 will be available for the following architecture:

  • Intel/AMD64 (x86_64)
  • ARM 64 bit (aarch64)
  • IBM Power LE (ppc64le)
  • IBM Z (s390x)

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What’s new in RHEL 9?

One of the goals of RHEL 9 is to stay committed to providing your operations teams with everything they need to work efficiently and effectively. For RHEL 9, this equates to easier automation and deployment at scale. To that end, there are three exciting new features to check out in the upcoming release.

Improved web console performance metrics

RHEL 9 makes it easier for administrators and operators to identify performance bottlenecks through performance metrics. In the Cockpit web GUI, you will find a Diagnostic Reports section that allows you to collect system configuration and diagnostic information to help you diagnose system issues. With just a click of a button, the report will be generated and presented, so that you can glean the necessary information about what is happening to slow down your server performance.

Kernel Live Patch

Another cool new feature in RHEL 9 is the ability to manage live kernel patches through the Cockpit web console (Figure A).

Figure A

Kernel live patch activation is now handled with a single click from Cockpit.
Kernel live patch activation is now handled with a single click from Cockpit.

You can apply live patches to the current kernel and all future kernels without having to use third-party software or the command line.

Simplified image creation

RHEL 9 includes several image builder enhancements, including the ability to build RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 images through a single build node. You’ll also find improved support for custom file systems and bare metal deployments.

Enhanced security

The latest iteration of RHEL 9 also comes with some security and compliance enhancements. These improvements include:

  • Smart card authentication via web console.
  • Additional SELinux security profiles.
  • Detailed SSSD logging and search functionality.
  • Built-in OpenSSL 3.
  • The health measurement architecture allows you to dynamically check the health of the operating system.
  • The SSH root password is now disabled by default.

Other RHEL 9 improvements

RHEL improvements keep coming. With the ninth major iteration, you will find the following additional improvements.

Improved container development

You can now base your containers on the RHEL 9 Beta UBI base images which are available in micro, minimal, and init images. A fully subscribed RHEL 9 Beta container host will allow you to pull additional RPMS from RHEL 9 Beta repositories.

RHEL 9 also comes with default cgroups2 and the latest version of Podman.

Binding time optimization

Binding time optimization reduces the size of application binaries. This has the effect of speeding up applications and services and even allows deeper inspection of source code at compile time. With this in place, GCC diagnostics will be significantly improved.

Application updates

You will find many application updates with RHEL 9, including Node.js 16, Perl 5.32, PHP 8.0, Python 3.9, Ruby 3.0, Git 2.31, Subversion 1.14, Apache 2.4, NGINX 1.20, Varnish Cache 6.5, Squid 5.1 , MariaDB 10.5, MySQL 8.0, PostgreSQL 13, Redis 6.2, LLVM Toolset 12.0.1, Rust Toolset 1.54.0, Go Toolset 1.16.6, GCC 11.2, glibc 2.34, binutils 2.35, GDB 10.2, Valgrind 3.17.0, SystemTap 4.5 , Dynist 11.0.0, elfutils 0.185, Maven 3.6 and Ant 1.10.

How to Test RHEL 9 Beta

If you want to test the RHEL 9 beta, download an ISO image and deploy it as a virtual machine or on bare metal. Remember that this is beta software, so you should not deploy it in a production environment.

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