Red Hat has released a minor beta update to RHEL 8 to improve manageability and add new security enhancements and new drivers to the operating system. RHEL 8 was announced in May this year as a successor to RHEL 7, which is still being used by most customers.

One of the highlights of RHEL 8 was an image builder, which helps users to create custom system images in a variety of formats. With RHEL 8.1 Beta, Image Builder is extended to support more configuration options for adding users and SSH keys.

New image formats have also been added to support cloud platforms such as Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud. With these additions, RHEL 8.1 Beta now supports every major cloud infrastructure platform including AWS, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack and VMWare.

Fine Tune Configurations

With RHEL 8.1, customers can use the web console to fine-tune their configuration options:

  • Better configuration for firewall zones
  • Log filtering based on services
  • Service filtering based on metadata like service name and state.

Those users who are running VMs on RHEL 8.1 can leverage the web console for importing existing QCOW images, managing different types of storage pools and modifying autostart configuration and memory.

Better Security

The container-centric SELinux profiles added to RHEL 8.1 beta hardens container deployments against security violations. Users can create a more tailored security policy for better control of how a container accesses host system resources such as storage, compute and network.

Administrators can also be far more selective about which applications are permitted to be launched on a system using a new application whitelisting functionality.

“This feature reduces the potential risk of running unknown or untrustworthy applications. Additionally, RHEL 8.1 Beta will be used as we pursue additional FIPS-140 and Common Criteria certification for the platform,” Red Hat said in a press release.

Customers and partners with active subscriptions can access Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 Beta today. Developers can download it from Red Hat Developer.

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