​Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 is ready for testing

The more secure Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 is now out in beta.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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Everyone wants a safer operating system, and that's Red Hat's main goal in its just-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5 beta.

RHEL 7.5 Beta is designed to provide a consistent foundation across the hybrid cloud. It also offers key new and enhanced features around security and compliance, platform efficiency, and manageability. The newest member of the RHEL 7 family supports not just x86 chips but also IBM Power, IBM System z, and ARM as well.

For security, besides being a leader in the fight against Meltdown and Spectre, Red Hat is introducing the following security features in RHEL 7.5:

  • Security improvements and usability enhancements for cloud and remotely hosted systems that can more securely unlock Network Bound Disk Encrypted devices at boot-time. This eliminates the need for manual intervention in an often inconveniently timed boot process.
  • The integration of Red Hat Ansible DevOps Automation with OpenSCAP. This makes it easier to automate compliance issue remediation. It also enables administrators to more efficiently scale policies across servers and clouds.
  • Compliance improvements for accurate timestamping and synchronization needs with the addition of failover with bonding interfaces for Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP).

Besides making RHEL more secure, Red Hat is also seeking to improve storage capacity by introducing virtual data optimizer (VDO). This is a technology derived from Red Hat's acquisition of Permabit assets. It's designed to reduce data redundancy through inline deduplication and compression.

The bandwidth and storage, which can be saved by VDO, is little short of amazing. Red Hat claims that, in a RHEL 7.5 primary storage environment, VDO can increase effective capacity by up to six times. This frees up existing storage and reduce the costs associated with offsite data replication. These savings, extended to public cloud block storage, can reduce storage footprints by up to 83 percent, helping to reduce the hourly cost for active storage and the monthly costs of storing snapshots. This will really help you to get the most from your existing storage services.

The new test RHEL also boasts enhanced sysadmin usability for Linux administrators, Windows administrators new to the platform, and developers seeking self-service capabilities. It does this with:

  • An easier-to-use Cockpit administrator console. The new Cockput makes it easier to manage storage, networking, containers, services, and more for individual systems.
  • With RHEL 7.5, you can also automatically create a "known-good" bootable snapshot. This helps speed up recovery and rollback after patching.

Want to know more? You can dive into RHEL 7.5's release notes. Or, better still, you can download RHEL 7.5 and try it out for yourself.

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