We are excited to announce the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 (RHEL 9), the latest release of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. RHEL 9 provides a more flexible and stable foundation to support hybrid cloud innovation and a faster, more consistent experience for deploying applications and critical workloads across physical, virtual, private and public cloud and edge deployments.
RHEL 9 includes features and enhancements to help achieve long-term IT success by using a common, flexible foundation to support innovation and accelerate time to market.
Primary features and benefits
Here are a few highlights of what’s included in RHEL 9.
A new platform for developers today and in the future
Completing the migration to Python 3, version 3.9 will be the default Python for the life of RHEL 9. Python 3.9 brings several new enhancements, including timezone-aware timestamps, the recent string prefix, suffix methods and dictionary union operations to help developers modernize existing apps.
RHEL 9 is also built with GCC 11 and the latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go compilers. RHEL 9 is based on glibc 2.34 for 10+ years of enterprise-class platform stability.
And finally, for the first time in RHEL, Link Time Optimization (LTO) will be enabled by default in userspace for deeper optimization of application code to help build smaller, more efficient executables.
Easy contribution path to future versions of RHEL
Organizations can now develop, test and contribute to a continuously-delivered distribution that tracks just ahead of RHEL. CentOS Stream, an upstream open source development platform, provides a seamless contribution path to the next minor release. RHEL 9 is the first RHEL major release built from CentOS Stream, and the RHEL 9 Beta was first available as CentOS Stream 9. All future RHEL 9 releases will be built from CentOS Stream.
Next-generation application streams
Building on the introduction of application streams and module packaging in RHEL 8, all packaging methods in RHEL 9 are incorporated into application streams, including modules, SCLs, Flatpacks and traditional RPMs, making them much easier to use.
Continuing commitment to multiple architecture support
Open source software gives users greater control over their digital future by preventing workloads from being locked into a specific vendor. RHEL extends this control beyond the source code by enabling diverse CPU architectures for users that need an evolving business environment. Whether you're running your workload on x86_64, aarch64, IBM POWER9, Power10, or IBM Z, we have you covered.
If you're building applications with universal base image (UBI) container images, you'll want to check out the RHEL 9 UBI images. The standard UBI image is available, as are micro, minimal and the init image. To get the entire experience, test the UBI images on a fully subscribed RHEL 9 container host, allowing you to pull additional RPMs from the RHEL 9 repositories.
RHEL for edge
RHEL 9 introduces automatic container updates and rollbacks, which expands the capacity to update container images automatically. Podman can now detect if an updated container fails to start and automatically roll the configuration back. Together with existing OS-level rollbacks, this provides new levels of reliability for applications.
Image Builder as-a-Service
Enhancements to Image Builder in RHEL 9 help organizations save time and drive system consistency at scale. With the new Image Builder as-a-Service, organizations can now build a standardized and optimized operating system image through our hosted service and deploy it to a cloud provider of choice.
Identity and security
New capabilities added to RHEL 9 help simplify how organizations manage security and compliance when deploying new systems or managing existing infrastructure. RHEL 9 now offers Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA) to dynamically verify the integrity of the OS to detect if it has been compromised. RHEL 9 has also been enhanced to include digital signatures and hashes that help organizations detect rogue modifications across the infrastructure.
Automation and management
Organizations now have access to the enhanced performance metrics page in the RHEL 9 web console to help identify potential causes of high CPU, memory, disk and network resource usage spikes. In addition, customers can more easily export metrics to a Grafana server. Kernel live patch management is also available via the web console to significantly reduce the complexity of performing critical maintenance. The console also adds a simplified interface for applying kernel updates without using command line tooling.
Red Hat Insights now encompasses Resource Optimization, which enables right-sizing RHEL in the public cloud. Resource Optimization does this by evaluating performance metrics to identify workload utilization. Insights then provides visibility and recommendations for optimizing to a more suitable instance for the workload needs. Insights also adds Malware Detection, a security assessment that analyzes RHEL systems across the enterprise for known malware signatures and provides detailed visibility into the risk.
About the author
Gil Cattelain is Principal Product Marketing Manager for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Cattelain has more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in high-tech software product marketing with a proven track record of managing major product releases and go-to-market strategies. Prior to Red Hat, Cattelain held product marketing leadership roles at Micro Focus, Novell, and Genesys, focusing on the endpoint management and DevOps/agile solutions, including digital marketing for the contact center market.