Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 Enters Beta

Friday Sep 2nd 2016 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Preview of Red Hat's next flagship Linux release includes performance and security improvements.

Red Hat is now working on the next milestone of its flagship operating system platform with the new beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 (RHEL). The RHEL 7.3 beta is the first major milestone update for RHEL in 2016 and follows the release of RHEL 7.2 that became generally available in November 2015.

With RHEL 7.3 beta, Red Hat is providing users with a first look at features that will become generally available later this year, as well as a number Red Hatfeatures that will likely remain in tech preview.

Among the most noticeable areas of improvement in RHEL 7.3 is security with the inclusion of new SELinux capabilities. Among the new features is the SELinux Common Intermediate Language (CIL), which could serve to make SELinux easier to use.

"SELinux Common Intermediate Language (CIL) provides clear and simple syntax that is easy to read, parse, and to generate by high-level compilers, analysis tools, and policy generation tools," the RHEL 7.3 release notes state.

Additionally on the security front, RHEL 7.3 supports Media Access Control Security (MACsec) encryption over Ethernet.

"MACsec encrypts and authenticates all traffic in LANs with the GCM-AES-128 algorithm," the release notes explain.

Tech Preview of the System Security Services Daemon Running in a Container

RHEL 7.3 also includes an interesting Technology Preview of the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) running in a container. The goal of the SSSD is to enable the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host authentication subsystem to be connected to central identity providers like Red Hat Identity Management and Microsoft Active Directory.

Also being offered as a Technology Preview is a new Heterogeneous memory management (HMM) feature.

"This feature has been added to the kernel as a helper layer for devices that want to mirror a process address space into their own memory management unit (MMU)," the RHEL 7.3 release notes state. "Thus a non-CPU device processor is able to read system memory using the unified system address space."

Real-Time Linux capabilities are also coming as a Technology Preview as part of the RHEL 7.3 beta milestone.

"This update introduces the SCHED_DEADLINE scheduler class for the real-time kernel as a Technology Preview," the release notes state. "The new scheduler enables predictable task scheduling based on application deadlines."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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