New Red Hat policy allows anyone with a current RHEL subscription to run unlimited copies of RHEL betas for as long as their subscription is valid.
Less than five months after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4, Red Hat today released the beta version of it flagship server operating system, RHEL 8.5. Along with improvements and new features that are an expected part of any Red Hat release, this beta release is also easier for users to access and take for a test drive that previous betas have been.
It also continues the 6-month release cadence that Red Hat announced at Red Hat Summit 2019, when it first introduced the RHEL 8 family. Assuming that things stay on schedule, the ready-for-prime-time version of RHEL 8.5 should drop in November.
“With each RHEL release we work to make RHEL easier to manage, easier to deploy and a better foundation for your workloads, applications and services,” Red Hat said in a statement. “RHEL 8.5 Beta continues this tradition with a number of management features and system roles to help deploy services, manage systems and assess security risks.”
Expanded System Roles
RHEL system roles utilize Ansible roles and modules to configure, automate, and manage services. In this beta, system roles for many enterprise workloads have either been added or updated.
This includes the system role for Postfix, which had previously been included as a tech preview. It’s now fully supported, meaning administrators can skip manual configuration and let Red Hat automate how you install, configure, and start your servers, as well as specify custom settings to better control how Postfix works in your environment.
Red Hat has also expanded the system roles for virtual private networks and Microsoft SQL Server. For the former, it reduces the time it takes to configure VPN tunnels and lessens the risk of misconfiguration or use of non-recommended settings, as well as offering support for host-to-host and mesh VPN configurations. For SQL server, it allows administrators to quickly install, configure and tune SQL Server using Ansible automation.
In addition, system roles for timesync uses a new Network Time Security option as part of the existing timesync system role, and the Storage system role has added support for LVM VDO volumes and volume sizes that can be expressed as a percentage of the pool’s total size.
Web Console Improvements
Improvements have also been made to RHEL’s web console (a Cockpit-based web UI for managing and monitoring systems), including an enhanced performance metrics page that can help IT teams identify potential causes of high CPU, memory, disk, and network resource usage spikes. In addition, exporting metrics to a Grafana server has been made easier.
Perhaps most useful for administrative teams, with RHEL 8.5, live kernel patching can be managed directly from a simplified console interface, without having to use command line tools.
Also included in this beta release: new support for OpenJDK 17 and other language updates for developers, additional security features for personal access tokens and network time security for NTP.
Red Hat Goes Beta Liberal
As it’s done recently with it’s No-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux Individual Developer Subscriptions, Red Hat is loosening up on access to beta versions of RHEL. In this case, pretty much anyone with a single RHEL subscription run as many beta instances of as they want for as long as their RHEL subscription is current.
“Red Hat accounts now have an unlimited quantity of Red Hat Beta Access subscriptions,” the company said. “The end date of the subscription matches the end date of your Red Hat subscription with the farthest end date.”
In other words, like the old Lays potato chips commercial said, “Eat all you want. We’ll make more.”