Red Hat Releases RHEL 9 Beta as First CentOS Downstream Release

Red Hat has released RHEL 9 in beta, the first version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux based on CentOS Stream. It runs on Linux kernel 5.14 and contains many new security features.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Beta is now available for everyone to download. For the first time, users no longer need to sign up specifically to download a beta build. RHEL9 is the first full release of the distro that is based on CentOS Stream. The developers of CentOS last year announced that they would no longer release the OS as a rebuild of RHEL, but as an upstream branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. CentOS 8 was the last rebuild of RHEL, specifically RHEL 8. The new beta build is the first release to come out of CentOS Stream.

The beta of RHEL 9 runs on Linux kernel 5.14 on x86_64 and aarch64 systems. It should also be possible to run the distro on Apple’s M1 processor. The OS includes new versions of compilers such as Go and Rust, Python 3.9 and GNU C-library glibc 2.3.4. The GCC compiler has been updated to version 11 to allow programmers to use C++ 17 as the default language.

It contains various security functions, such as Smart Card support and the integration of OpenSSL 3. Link Time Optimization has also been added, which makes packages smaller and compiles faster.

Many CentOS users were not happy with the changes Red Hat made. Several CentOS alternatives were built on it, including AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux.