Red Hat Enterprise Linux hits 7.6, with added hybrid cloudiness

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Red Hat took a break from being woo’d by IBM today to push out updates to its core operating system today, with a heavy emphasis on its hybrid cloud credentials.

IBM tabled a $34bn offer for Red Hat on Sunday, in a deal it would said would secure Big Blue’s position as the “undisputed number one in hybrid cloud” according to IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

However, the deal won’t actually happen until next year, and today it was back to business as the company announced general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6, and of Fedora 29. The release went into beta in August.

What’s different? For a start the press release for 7.5 used the phrase “hybrid cloud” six times, but the blurb for today’s release used it 12.

More tangibly, Red Hat highlighted the introduction of Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) 2.0, which together with Network Bound Disk Encryption provides two layers of security for hybrid cloud operations. It also includes enhancements to nftables, and updates cryptographic algorithms.

Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux System roles is included – these are collections of Ansible modules to automate and manage RHEL deployments. It also includes updates to Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux Console.

On the container front, we have the introduction of Podman, a tool to run containers and pods from a CLI without a daemon. Podman, together with Buildah, Skopea and CRI-O, makeup the Red Hat lightweight container toolkit.

For Fedora 29, the company said it featured “numerous bug fixes and performance tweaks”, and updates, as well as updated compilers and languages including Python 3.7, Perl 5.28. glibc 2.28, Gloang 1.11, and MySQL 8

The modularity repository introduced in Fedora 28 Server is now available for all editions. Red Hat said modularity helps make it easier to include alternative versions of software and updates other than those shipped with the default release so users “can have access to enhanced flexibility for a set of use cases across current and future Fedora releases”.

Fedora 29 also makes a beeline for ARM and IoT, including ZRAM support for swap on ARMv7 and aarch64, which Red Hat said can improve its performance and reliability on ARM Single Board Computers, like the Raspberry Pi.