New CentOS 8 Linux Release

The new CentOS 8 rebuild is out. Christened version 8.0-1905, this release provides a secure, stable and a more reliable foundation for CentOS users such as organizations running high-performance websites and businesses with Linus experts that use CentOS daily for their workloads, but who do not need strong commercial support.

The new OS comes in after Red Hat released RHEL 8 – Red Hat Enterprise Linux – in May of this year. According to CentOS 8 release notes, the contributors note that this rebuild is 100% compliant with Red Hat’s redistribution policy. This Linux distro allows users to achieve successful operations using the robust power of an enterprise-class OS, but without the cost of support and certification. Below are some of the updates as outlined in CentOS 8 release notes that you can expect with this new release and some of the deprecated features.

What’s New in the Just Released CentOS 8?

  • BaseOS and Appstream
  • New container tools
  • Systemwide crypto policies
  • TCP stack improvements
  • DNF

· BaseOS and Appstream

The main repository or Base Operating System offers the components of distribution that in turn provide the running user space on the hardware, virtual machines, or even a container. The Application Stream or App stream offers all the apps you might want to run in particular user space. The Supplemental repository offers software that comes with special licensing.

· New Container Tools

With the aid of Podman, CentOS 8 supports Linux Containers. This replaces Docker and Mobdy, which depend on daemon and run as root. Unlike the previous release, the Podman in the new version does not depend on daemon. Podman allows users to create images from scratch using Buildah.

· Systemwide Crypto Policies

The command “update crypto policies” can be used to update the system-wide cryptographic policy on the new OS. The policies have settings for the following applications and libraries; NSS TLS library, Kerberos 5 library, Open SSH SSH2 protocol implementation, IKE protocol implementation & Libreswan IPsec, Open SSL TLS library and GnuTLS TLS library.

· TCP Stack Improvements

The CentOS 8 Linux distro also brings with it TCP stack version 4.16 with an improved ingress connection rate. The Linux kernel is now able to support the new BBR and NV control algorithms. This is very helpful in helping improve the Linux server internet speed.

· DNF – Dandified Yum

The new Operating System includes the basic foundations of the Yum package but is now upgraded to the DNF (Dandified Yum). Though it maintains a similar command-line interface and API to its predecessor, it does promise to be faster, seamless and super-efficient.

· Other Improvements

The CentOS also has a compiler based on the version 8.2 and includes support for more recent C ++ language standard versions, improved optimizations, more code, and hardening techniques as well as new hardware support and better warnings.

In addition to those features, the new CentOS 8 also supports secure guests, which using cryptographically signed images will ensure that the program retains its integrity. It also boasts of improved management of memory and support. CentOS 8 release notes state that the new OS will allow the Crash dump to take in kernel crash during all booting phases which were not possible before.

CentOS 8 gives encrypted storage to LUKS2. It also allows for enhancements made to the process scheduler to include the new deadline process scheduler. This Linux distro will also enable installations and boot from dual-in-line, non-volatile memory modules.

A great bonus feature is that you can manage the new software with Cockpit via a web browser. This feature is very user-friendly, making it great for system administrators and new users alike.

Deprecated Features and Functionalities

If you are upgrading from previous CentOS versions, the most significant change is seen in the nftables framework which has replaced iptables. Nfatables allows users to perform network address translation (NAT) mangling, packet classification, and packet filtering. Unlike iptables, nfatables helps to provide secure firewall support with enhanced performance, increased scalability, and easy code maintenance.

These changes, though not major, may cause problems with firewall functionality. Although upgrades using RHEL may be supported, it is not advisable to upgrade directly from much older versions of CentOS like CentOs 6 and below as they may not be compatible.

Users of CentOS as a desktop will see an update of the GNOME SHELL default interface to version 3.28, while still carrying the default display server as Wayland.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to upgrade from previous versions, a system to do so directly is yet to be released. As such, your most favorable option would be to back up your data as you install the newly released CentOS 8. When it is up and running, you can then move all the data to the new system.

Nonetheless, the new CentOS 8 Linux release is an exciting feat. This OS provides a manageable and consistent platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. It comes with well-thought-out and ingenious software updates that will help avid users to build more robust container workloads and web apps.