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We are excited to announce the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6 (RHEL), a new release of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform — the foundation from which organizations can scale existing apps and roll out emerging technologies across bare-metal, virtual, containers and all types of cloud environments.

What’s new?

RHEL 8.6 includes a wide range of new features and enhancements, many of which were made in direct response to suggestions from our customers and partners.

Primary features and benefits

Mitigate potential risks across the hybrid cloud by helping organizations build a platform with greater stability and trust. This sets the foundation for a stronger security posture to scale applications and roll out emerging technologies wherever organizations need them. These capabilities include:

  • Web console support for Smart Card Authentication with Sudo and SSH to use smart card authentication credentials when performing administrative functions and accessing remote hosts through the RHEL web console. This helps to simplify administration and compliance by more transparently utilizing digital certificates stored on smart cards.

  • Support for SAP HANA in production with Red Hat and SAP, a jointly-tested RHEL configuration with SELinux enabled. SELinux's security technology allows process isolation, offering great privilege escalation attack mitigation to SAP users.

  • Enhanced security features designed for SAP solutions, helping organizations to adhere to higher security standards while still providing optimal database performance. With a collection of new best practices and capabilities around SAP security, users may now further harden their operating system in the context of SAP HANA deployments. By using SELinux or the Network Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE), organizations can lessen the attack surface and better protect business-critical data at rest.

Automate and manage to make it easier for organizations to minimize manual tasks, standardize deployment at scale and simplify the administration of their systems. Key enhancements include:

  • Stratis Storage support in the web console (technology preview) to provide users with the ability to use the Red Hat Enterprise Linux web console to create, configure and manage Stratis Storage pools and filesystems.

  • Passthrough host devices to virtual machines using the web console, enabling users to passthrough host PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) and USB devices to virtual machines using the web console. This functionality allows these devices on the host system to be available within a virtual machine.

  • High Availability (HA) Cluster System Role for automated tooling to create more consistent and stable Red Hat Enterprise Linux HA cluster solutions. Organizations can now more easily create a HA cluster utilizing prescriptive use case scenarios, configurations and topology recommendations.

  • System Role for web console to automate the installation and configuration of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux web console, including specifying which web console packages should be installed, starting and enabling the web console, and optionally configuring settings such as the idle timeout.

  • Firewall System Role provides organizations with the ability to automate the management of their firewall configuration.

  • System roles for SAP day-1 Automation offers users Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform automated setup and configuration procedures for SAP HANA environments. Additionally, these new Red Hat Enterprise Linux system roles are now available as Ansible collections, providing organizations with more flexibility to consume SAP automation content.

Solve problems with edge with enhancements that increase workload resiliency and security at the edge. Key updates include:

  • Edge management helps organizations manage and scale deployments with greater security at the edge. The benefits of zero-touch provisioning, system health visibility and quick security remediations are available from a single interface. These capabilities provide control and peace of mind at every edge system’s life stage.

  • Simplified edge installer to better ease the administrative burden in deploying remote systems in the field or at a centralized location more consistently and with higher levels of security. 

  • Edge on-boarding with support for FIDO Device Onboarding (FDO) as a security standard for devices to automate post-provisioning steps and remotely onboard to management platforms.

  • Default health checks through Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s intelligent rollback framework to test network functionality with every OS update and rollback in the event of a failure.

Provide a more consistent foundation for development, giving developers the freedom and flexibility to innovate more quickly across the hybrid cloud. Key language and tool updates include:

  • Perl 5.32 to RHEL8 AppStream

  • PHP 8.0 to RHEL8 AppStream 

  • LLVM Toolset in RHEL8 AppStream

  • Rust Toolset in RHEL8 AppStream

  • Go Toolset in RHEL8 AppStream

Additional resources


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.

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