2 min read

Earlier this month, Red Hat released RHEL 7.6. Now, Red Hata Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 beta version is available with more container friendliness than ever. This RHEL release is based on the Red Hat community Linux May 2018 Fedora 28 release. It uses the upstream Linux kernel 4.18 for its foundation.

RHEL 8 beta introduces the concept of Application Streams. With this, userspace components can now update more quickly than core operating system packages and without having to wait for the next major version of the operating system. With Application Streams, you can also keep multiple versions of the same package around.

RHEL 8 beta features

RHEL 8 beta introduces a single and consistent user control panel through the RHEL Web Console. Systems admins of all experience levels can easily manage RHEL servers locally and remotely, including virtual machines.

RHEL 8 beta uses IPVLAN to support efficient Linux networking in containers through connecting containers nested in virtual machines (VMs) to networking hosts.


RHEL 8 beta also has a new TCP/IP stack with Bandwidth and Round-trip propagation time (BBR) congestion control. This increases performance and minimizes latency for services like streaming video or hosted storage.

RHEL 8 is made secure with OpenSSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3 support and system-wide Cryptographic Policies.

Red Hat’s lightweight, open standards-based container toolkit comes with Buildah (container building), Podman (running containers) and Skopeo (sharing/finding containers). RPM’s YUM package manager has also been updated. Yum 4 delivers faster performance, fewer installed dependencies and more choices of package versions to meet specific workload requirements.

File Systems in RHEL 8 beta

RedHat has deprecated the Btrfs filesystem. This has really confused developers who are surprised why RedHat would opt out of it especially considering that it is also used for ChromeOS’s Crostini Linux application container.

From hacker news:

I’m still incredibly sad about that, especially as Btrfs has become a really solid filesystem over the last year or so in the upstream kernel.

Indeed, Btrfs is uniquely capable and important. It has lightweight snapshots of directory trees, and fully supports NFS exports and kernel namespaces, so it can easily solve technical problems that currently can’t be easily solved using ZFS or other filesystems.

Stratis is the new volume-managing file system in RHEL 8 beta. Stratis abstracts away the complexities inherent to data management via an API. Also, File System Snapshots provide for a faster way of conducting file-level tasks, like cloning virtual machines, while saving space by consuming new storage only when data changes.

Existing customers and subscribers can test Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta. You can also view the README file for instructions on how to download and install the software.

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