Note: this article applies to customers utilizing Ansible Core in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Application Stream repositories, and does not apply to customers utilizing Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.
All plans mentioned in this blog are only a roadmap, and are subject to change.
Automation is a key aspect of operating system management, which is why Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) includes a number of features related to automation. This automation provided in RHEL is enabled by the Ansible Core package (ansible-core), which is provided in the RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 Application Stream repositories.
Previous RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 minor releases introduced a new version of Ansible Core for each minor release. This release strategy is planned to continue in RHEL 8 (through 8.10 which is planned to be the final minor release of RHEL 8). However, starting with RHEL 9.3, we are not planning on releasing new versions of Ansible Core in RHEL 9. Instead, we are planning on supporting Ansible Core 2.14 for the remainder of the RHEL 9 lifecycle. Read on for more details.
Intended use of Ansible Core in RHEL
Ansible Core is included in RHEL to enable Red Hat-provided automation content. See the Scope of support for the Ansible Core package included in the RHEL 9 and RHEL 8.6 and later AppStream repositories article for full details. Examples of supported automation content for RHEL customers include RHEL system roles, Identity Management automation, Insights remediation playbooks, etc.
If you are looking for an end-to-end automation platform, we recommend Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.
Previous release strategy for Ansible Core in RHEL
Ansible Core was initially introduced in to the RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 Application Stream repositories during the RHEL 8.6 and 9.0 releases, and has been updated with each RHEL minor release:
- RHEL 8.6 / 9.0 (May 2022) included Ansible Core 2.12
- RHEL 8.7 / 9.1 (Nov. 2022) included Ansible Core 2.13
- RHEL 8.8 / 9.2 (May 2023) included Ansible Core 2.14
Some of these Ansible Core releases also introduced dependencies on newer versions of Python, for example, Ansible Core 2.14 in RHEL 8.8/9.2 introduced a dependency on Python 3.11.
Updated plan moving forward
Due to challenges aligning support lifecycles between RHEL, Ansible Core and Python, we are planning on changes related to Ansible Core for RHEL 9.3 and later so that we are better able to support Ansible Core during the various stages of the RHEL lifecycle.
However, nothing is planned to change for RHEL 8. RHEL 8.9 will include a new version of Ansible Core (2.15), and RHEL 8.10 (the final minor release on RHEL 8) is planned to include Ansible Core 2.16.
RHEL 9.3 and later are not planned to receive new Ansible Core releases, and will continue utilizing Ansible Core 2.14 which is planned to be supported for the remainder of the RHEL 9 lifecycle.
This will result in RHEL 8.9 having a newer version of Ansible Core than what is available in RHEL 9.3. However, all of the automation content supported in RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 is supported with the version of Ansible Core included in the respective releases.
You might also notice that while both RHEL 9.2 and 9.3 include Ansible Core 2.14, the dependency on Python has changed between these two releases. RHEL 9.2 utilized Ansible Core 2.14 with a dependency on Python 3.11, while RHEL 9.3 has Ansible Core 2.14 with a dependency on Python 3.9. This was changed because Python 3.9 is the RHEL 9 system Python that is supported for the full RHEL 9 lifecycle. On systems with Ansible Core installed, if you are not using Python 3.11 for other purposes on the system, it can be removed after updating your system to RHEL 9.3.
This article outlined changes that are coming to the Ansible Core lifecycle in RHEL 9.3+. However, it is important to keep in mind that the automation content supported in RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 will continue to be supported with the version of Ansible Core included in the respective releases. If you’d like to learn more about RHEL system roles, check out the Learn about Red Hat Enterprise Linux system roles page.
About the author
Brian Smith is a Product Manager at Red Hat focused on RHEL automation and management. He has been at Red Hat since 2018, previously working with Public Sector customers as a Technical Account Manager (TAM).