Red Hat Universal Base Image: RHEL containers for everyone

With Red Hat Universal Base Image, you can build and share containerized RHEL applications with your friends and customers.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

I love containers. You love containers. We all love containers. But making containers that do everything we want without problems… well, that's not so easy. At Red Hat Summit in Boston, Red Hat has an idea on how to fix that: Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI).

This, as Ron Pacheco, Red Hat's RHEL's director of product management, explained, helps you build truly productive containers. After all, while it's beautiful to deploy applications in containers, "from a Linux perspective, it's complicated." He said, "You have user space and libraries in your container, you have Kubernetes and kernel interoperating in a way that was never done in the hypervisor world."

So, in the UBI, you'll find "a set of essentially everything you need to put into your container." You can then build your RHEL-based application, and it's ready to be deployed anywhere, and fully ready for production.

In other words, you can build a containerized RHEL-based application on UBI, push it to a container registry server of your choosing, and share it. With this UBI, "you can build, share and collaborate on your containerized application wherever you want."

Of course, you could always build your own operating system images. Indeed, Red Hat has been releasing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) images for years now. The UBI difference is that Red Hat supports the base image just as it would RHEL when it's run on a Red Hat supported platforms like OpenShift or RHEL.

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With the launch of UBI, Red Hat is providing two sets of images, one based on RHEL 7 and another based on RHEL 8. These will come the latest programming languages and libraries from Red Hat Software Collections (RHEL 7) and Application Streams (RHEL 8). These images are scheduled to be updated up to four releases per year. This way developers will always have access to the latest programming languages and libraries.

The RHEL 7 UBIs come in eight versions. These include images for Node.js, PHP, Python 2 and 3, and Ruby developers. The RHEL 8 UBIs come in nine flavors. Among other platforms, these support .NET Core, Node.js, Perl, PHP, and Python 2 programers.

The pre-built containers will also be kept up to date whenever a new version of RHEL is released and when critical security bugs are patched. '

Sound like just what your developer and deployment team need? Check out the full Universal Base Image Guides: RHEL 8 How To and RHEL 7 How To.

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