What’s new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9 beta is now available and delivers exciting new features and many more improvements. RHEL 9 beta is based on upstream kernel version 5.14 and provides a preview of the next major update of RHEL. This release is designed for demanding hybrid multicloud deployments that range from physical, on-premises, public cloud to edge.

RHEL 9 beta is available for the following hardware architectures:

RHEL 9 beta is something of a departure from previous major releases of RHEL. While it contains many improvements and enhancements customers have asked for, it has fewer changes that require admins and IT Ops to learn new ways of doing things. Familiar with RHEL 8? Then RHEL 9 beta will help you feel right at home but with some welcome improvements and new features.

Let’s take a look at what’s in RHEL 9 beta.

We remain committed to providing Operations teams with tools and best practices to make the most efficient use of their most valuable resource – time. In support of this goal, we continue to focus on making RHEL easier to automate and deploy at scale. Some of the new items you’ll see in RHEL 9 beta include:

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Security remains one of the leading concerns for our customers, and RHEL 9 beta delivers a number of capabilities to help increase peace of mind and help you meet your strict compliance requirements.

If you’re building Applications with UBI container images you’ll want to check out the RHEL 9 beta UBI base images. The standard UBI image is available, as are micro, minimal and the init image. To get the full experience, test the UBI images on a fully subscribed RHEL 9 beta container host, which will allow you to pull additional RPMs from the RHEL 9 beta repositories.

RHEL 9 beta also ships with cgroup2 by default and a recent release of Podman with new defaults for RHEL 9. Users will get signature and short-name (e.g.: ubi8 instead of registry.access.redhat.com/ubi8/ubi) validation by default when pulling container images, so this is a great opportunity to test container-based Applications with the “out-of-the-box” configuration planned for RHEL 9.

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RHEL 9 beta ships with GCC 11 and the latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go compilers empowering developers to modernize their Applications. Also, Python 3.9 will be the default version for the life of RHEL 9 and bring new features to assist developers build their Applications, including timezone-aware timestamps and new string prefix and suffix methods, and dictionary union operations. And last, all packaging methods in RHEL 9 including modules, SCLs, Flatpacks, and traditional RPMs are included in Application streams making them easier to use.

This is a watershed release for us. RHEL 9 is a bold step towards Red Hat developing a commercial Linux distribution from CentOS Stream. The CentOS Stream project has allowed us to increase transparency in how we build the distribution; it has also allowed us to reduce the time it takes to test, stabilize and release the distribution. We anticipate that this will allow our ecosystem to get a rapid turnaround on their contributions; it will also allow our user base to get more frequent previews into future versions of RHEL. We remain committed to our open source development model.

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You don’t have to wait to learn more, it’s our goal to make it easy to test RHEL 9 beta. We recently removed requirements to sign up for RHEL beta access, which means that Red Hat accounts (including members of the no-cost Red Hat Developer program) have unlimited access to Red Hat beta Access subscriptions. Learn more about this on the Red Hat Customer Portal in “Introducing the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux beta experience.”

We’ll have a lot more to say about what’s coming in RHEL 9 as we continue working towards general availability. Make sure to watch the RHEL Blog for deeper dives into RHEL 9’s components and features.

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