Red Hat Ups the IQ of the Intelligent Operating System with the Latest Release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 delivers on the new release cadence, adds new developer tools and security certifications and expands automation capabilities


Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. The first minor release of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 enhances the manageability, security and performance of the operating system underpinning the open hybrid cloud while also adding new capabilities to drive developer innovation.


The hybrid cloud is fueled by a consistent, reliable and more secure foundation, and we designed Red Hat Enterprise Linux to be this bedrock for enterprise computing’s future.

Stefanie Chiras

vice president and general manager

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, providing the underlying engine that allows complex workloads to be developed and deployed across physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments with greater confidence and control. As the backbone of the hybrid cloud, the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform provides a consistent user experience across on premise deployments and all major public cloud infrastructures. At the same time, it supports key production workloads like Microsoft SQL Server and SAP HANA while also enabling new workloads like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML).

A consistent, predictable release cycle
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 is the first Red Hat Enterprise Linux release to follow the
predictable release cadence announced at Red Hat Summit 2019, with minor releases available every six months. This schedule provides Red Hat’s customers and partners with the capacity to more deliberately prepare for new releases while minimizing unplanned outages and downtime of critical systems. The predictable release cycle also enables Red Hat partners, from software providers to hardware vendors, to build and deliver the next generation of their innovative offerings with a clear timetable of when a new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 release will be available.

More intelligent management through enhanced automation
All supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions now include access to
Red Hat Insights, Red Hat’s proactive analytics offering. Intended to help address configuration and other system issues before they impact production, Red Hat Insights has more than 1,000 rules for operating Red Hat Enterprise Linux on-premises or on public clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.   These rules support analytics for workloads such as SAP HANA and Microsoft SQL Server and help IT administrators to more quickly address performance, security, availability and stability risks to keep operations running smoothly.  

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 also adds new Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Roles, streamlining the process for setting up Red Hat Enterprise Linux subsystems to handle specific functions, such as storage, networking, time synchronization, kdump and SElinux. This expands the existing collection of Ansible system roles for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, better supplementing configuration automation across various versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployed as the backbone of enterprise IT infrastructure.

Pairing innovation with enterprise-grade security
As global organizations seek to gain a competitive edge or simply serve their end users better, they often look to transform through digital technologies like Linux containers, microservices, Kubernetes or hybrid cloud services. All of this innovation, however, requires the same level of security and compliance scrutiny of traditional software and hardware deployments. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 continues Red Hat’s commitment to delivering open innovation paired with the software security advancements required to protect sensitive data and workloads.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 adds full support for live kernel patching to help IT operations teams keep pace with a shifting threat landscape without incurring excessive system downtime. Kernel updates can now be applied to remediate Critical or Important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) while reducing the need for a system reboot, helping to keep critical workloads running more securely. Additional security enhancements include enhanced CVE remediation, kernel-level memory protection and application whitelisting technologies. 

Container-centric SELinux profiles are included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1, making it possible to create more tailored security policies to control how containerized services access host system resources. This makes it easier to harden production systems against security threats targeting cloud-native applications and provides a more streamlined way to maintain regulatory compliance by reducing the risk of running privileged containers.

As the foundation for mission-critical, sensitive workloads, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 has been architected for many of the latest security certifications including Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) and Common Criteria (CC). 

Refining hybrid cloud application development
Developing the next wave of enterprise applications for hybrid cloud deployments requires a consistent set of supported developer tools and services, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 further builds out these capabilities to support enterprise developers. The latest stable versions of popular open source tools and languages, like golang and .NET Core, are included, as well as the ability to power modern data processing workloads including Microsoft SQL Server and SAP solutions. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 is also the first Red Hat Enterprise Linux release in the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux development lifecycle, which includes communities, projects and programs  to meet specific developer needs:

  • Fedora provides an opportunity for developers to engage with the future of the Linux kernel and encourages participation to shape the leading-edge of the operating system.

  • CentOS Stream provides ecosystem developers with a “rolling preview” of what’s next in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, helping them build production applications with the future in mind.

  • The Red Hat Universal Base Image, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, offers a cost-free, redistributable image for creating cloud-native applications based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This provides a clear path for developers to more easily create applications that are ready for certification and production across Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio.

  • The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscription, a no-cost, self-supported subscription that provides a dev/test environment for applications that are meant to be deployed into production on the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 is now available for active Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions via the Red Hat Customer Portal. Members of the Red Hat Developer program may also obtain the latest releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux at no-cost.

Supporting Quotes
Stefanie Chiras, vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat
“The hybrid cloud is fueled by a consistent, reliable and more secure foundation, and we designed Red Hat Enterprise Linux to be this bedrock for enterprise computing’s future. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 continues to build upon this vision for both our customers and our partners like Microsoft and SAP, refining the intelligence, automation and enhanced security needed by IT teams to deliver production workloads across the hybrid cloud while still helping to drive application development innovations.” 

  • About Red Hat
  • Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments. Award-winning support, training, and consulting services make Red Hat a trusted adviser to the Fortune 500. As a strategic partner to cloud providers, system integrators, application vendors, customers, and open source communities, Red Hat can help organizations prepare for the digital future.

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