Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) Release and New Features

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) Release and New Features

Nearly five years after Red Hat last released a major version update, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is now generally available, Production use with lots of developer-friendly capabilities,  providing organizations with new features to help manage modern application deployment infrastructure.

RHEL 8 official release by Red Hat Inc, the company behind Development of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 was announced on May 7, 2019.

Based on Fedora 28 and the upstream kernel 4.18, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 provides users with a stable, secure, consistent foundation across hybrid cloud deployments with the tools needed to support traditional and emerging workloads. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) Release and New Features & Highlights of the release include:

Installation of RHEL 8 with Screenshots


  • Content is available through the BaseOS and Application Stream (AppStream) repositories.
  • The AppStream repository supports a new extension of the traditional RPM format – modules. This allows for multiple major versions of a component to be available for install.

Software Management

  • The YUM package manager is now based on the DNF technology and it provides support for modular content, increased performance, and a well-designed stable API for integration with tooling.

Shells and command-line tools

  • RHEL 8 provides the following version control systems: Git 2.18, Mercurial 4.8, and Subversion 1.10.

Dynamic programming languages, web and database servers

  • Python 3.6 is the default Python implementation in RHEL 8; limited support for Python 2.7 is provided. No version of Python is installed by default.
  • Node.js is new in RHEL. Other dynamic programming languages have been updated since RHEL 7: PHP 7.2, Ruby 2.5, Perl 5.26, SWIG 3.0 are now available.
  • The following database servers are distributed with RHEL 8: MariaDB 10.3, MySQL 8.0, PostgreSQL 10, PostgreSQL 9.6, and Redis 5.
  • RHEL 8 provides the Apache HTTP Server 2.4 and introduces a new web server, nginx 1.14.
  • Squid has been updated to version 4.4, and a new proxy caching server is now included: Varnish Cache 6.0.


  • GNOME Shell has been rebased to version 3.28.
  • The GNOME session and the GNOME Display Manager use Wayland as their default display server. The X.Org server, which is the default display server in RHEL 7, is available as well.

Installer and image creation

  • The Anaconda installer can utilize LUKS2 disk encryption, and install the system on NVDIMM devices.
  • The Image Builder tool enables users to create customized system images in a variety of formats, including images prepared for deployment on clouds of various providers.
  • Installation from a DVD using Hardware Management Console (HMC) and Support Element (SE) on IBM Z are available in RHEL 8.


  • The extended Berkeley Packet Filtering (eBPF) feature enables the user space to attach custom programs onto a variety of points (sockets, trace points, packet reception) to receive and process data. This feature is available as a Technology Preview.
  • BPF Compiler Collection (BCC), a tool for creating efficient kernel tracing and manipulation programs, is available as a Technology Preview.

File systems and storage

  • The LUKS version 2 (LUKS2) format replaces the legacy LUKS (LUKS1) format. The dm-crypt subsystem and the cryptsetup tool now uses LUKS2 as the default format for encrypted volumes.


  • The biggest single change in RHEL 8 system performance is the new upper limit on physical memory capacity.
  • RHEL 8 has an upper limit of 4PB of physicalmemory capacity. It is much higher than the RHEL 7, which is having a physicalupper limit of 64TB of system memory per server.


  • System-wide cryptographic policies, which configures the core cryptographic subsystems, covering the TLS, IPsec, SSH, DNSSEC, and Kerberos protocols, are applied by default. With the new update-crypto-policies command, the administrator can easily switch between modes: default, legacy, future, and fips.
  • Support for smart cards and Hardware Security Modules (HSM) with PKCS #11 is now consistent across the system.
  • The new security is also a key element of RHEL 8. The addition of support for the Open SSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3 cryptographic standard makes RHEL 8 remarkable.
  • System-wide cryptographic policies are functional by default.


  • The nftables framework replaces iptables in the role of the default network packet filtering facility.
  • The firewalld daemon now uses nftables as its default backend.
  • Support for IPVLAN virtual network drivers that enable the network connectivity for multiple containers has been introduced.
  • The eXpress Data Path (XDP), XDP for Traffic Control (tc), and Address Family eXpress Data Path (AF_XDP), as parts of the extended Berkeley Packet Filtering (eBPF) feature, are available as Technology Previews


  • A more modern PCI Express-based machine type (Q35) is now supported and automatically configured in virtual machines created in RHEL 8. This provides a variety of improvements in features and compatibility of virtual devices.
  • Virtual machines can now be created and managed using the RHEL 8 web console, also known as Cockpit.
  • The QEMU emulator introduces the sandboxing feature, which provides configurable limitations to what systems calls QEMU can perform, and thus makes virtual machines more secure.

Compilers and development tools

  • The GCC compiler based on version 8.2 brings support for more recent C++ language standard versions, better optimizations, new code hardening techniques, improved warnings, and new hardware features.
  • Various tools for code generation, manipulation, and debugging can now experimentally handle the DWARF5 debugging information format.
  • Kernel support for eBPF tracing is available for some tools, such as BCC, PCP, and SystemTap.
  • The glibc libraries based on version 2.28 add support for Unicode 11, newer Linux system calls, key improvements in the DNS stub resolver, additional security hardening, and improved performance.
  • RHEL 8 provides OpenJDK 11, OpenJDK 8, IcedTea-Web, and various Java tools, such as Ant, Maven, or Scala.

High availability and clusters

  • The Pacemaker cluster resource manager has been upgraded to upstream version 2.0.0, which provides a number of bug fixes and enhancements.
  • In RHEL 8, the pcs configuration system fully supports Corosync 3, knet, and node names.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is distributed with the kernel version 4.18, which provides support for the following architectures:

  • AMD and Intel 64-bit architectures
  • The 64-bit ARM architecture
  • IBM Power Systems, little endian
  • IBM Z

Improved System Performance

  • Red hat includes many container tools in RHEL8. It brings support for Buildah, Podman, and Skopeo.
  • System management boost up with the composer features. This feature facilitates organizations to build and deploy customRHEL images.
  • RHEL 8 brings support for the Stratis filesystem, file system snapshots, and LUKSv2 disk encryption with Network-BoundDisk Encryption (NBDE).
  • The new Red Hat Enterprise Linux Web Console also enhances the management of RHEL. It enables administrators to deal with bare metal, virtual, local and remote Linux servers.

Application Streams

  • With the idea of Application stream, RHEL8 is following the Fedora Modularity lead.
  • With the release of Fedora 28, earlier this year, Led Fedora Linux distribution (Red Hat’s community) introduced the concept of modularity.
  • Without waiting for the next version of the operating system, User  space components will update in less time than core operating system packages.
  • Installations of many versions of the same packages (such as an interpreted language or a database) are also available by the use of an application stream.

Focused Features of RHEL 8

  • In RHEL8, Nginx 1.14 is available in the core repository
  • Shared copy-on-write data extents are supported by XFS.
  • The new version of YUM4 comes with RHEL 8 which is based on DNF technology.
  • It is compatible with the YUM v3 (which is present in RHEL 7).
  • For desktop users, Wayland is the default display server as a replacement of the server. Yet X.Org is still available.
  • RHEL 8 supports PHP 7.2
  • It provides fast performances and less installed dependencies.
  • To meet specific workload requirements, it provides more choices of package version.
  • Iptables are replaced by the nftables as a default network filtering framework.
  • NTP protocol is implemented only by the chronyd daemon, provided by the chrony package.
  • RPM v4.14 is available in RHEL 8. Before starting the installation; RPM validates the whole package contents.
  • securetty is now disabled by default

This new release removes some of the older technologies

  • Python is not installed by default. The default implementation is Python 3.6.
  • Limited support for python 2.6.
  • KDE support has been deprecated.
  • The Up-gradation from KDE on RHEL 7 to GNOME on RHEL 8 is unsupported.
  • Removal of Btrfs support.
  • The ntp daemon is no longer available. If you used ntp on your RHEL 7 system, you might need to migrate to chrony.
  • The Print Settings configuration tool, which was used in RHEL 7, is no longer available.
  • the NoSQL MongoDB database server is not included in RHEL 8.0 because it uses the Server Side Public License (SSPL).

Additional resources

  • Capabilities and limits of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 as compared to other versions of the system are available in the Knowledgebase article Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology capabilities and limits.
  • Information regarding the Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle is provided in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle document.
  • The Package manifest document provides a package listing for RHEL 8.
  • Major differences between RHEL 7 and RHEL 8 are documented in Considerations in adopting RHEL 8.
  • Instructions on how to perform an in-place upgrade from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8 are provided by the document Upgrading to RHEL 8.
  • The Red Hat Insights service, which enables you to proactively identify, examine, and resolve known technical issues, is now available with all RHEL subscriptions. For instructions on how to install the Red Hat Insights client and register your system to the service

Hopefully “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) Release and New Features”, this will helps your understanding. 🙂

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