What’s new in RHEL Enterprise 7

redhatYou can find more information at RHEL7

PS! to stay more uptodate with RHEL it is best to stick with Fedora as there are some changes planned around CentOS (Read More).

The top new RHEL 7 features, as I see them, are:

XFS is the default file system: This enables you to scale file-systems up to 500 terabytes.

Microsoft Active Directory (AD) support: With this you’ll be able to have cross-realm trust Windows and RHEL domains. This is ideal if you have users working with heterogeneous operating system-based datacenters or server farms.

The adoption of systemd: This is the replacement for init, the old Unix way of starting processes and services on a system and initializing resources. After years of debate, it’s been adopted by Red Hat, SuSE, Debian, and Ubuntu to become the new default way to start Linux systems. It also incorporates performance profiles and tuning and instrumentation for optimized performance and easy scalability.

The adoption of OpenLMI. This is a standard remote application programming interface (API). Red Hat has used this to provide unified management tools and a management framework to streamline administration and system configuration.

The adoption of Performance Co-Pilot, a set of real-time frameworks and services for recording and monitoring system performance. This lets both system administrators and other sub-systems, such as systemd, keep a close eye on what’s actually happening in a RHEL 7 server instance as it happens.

I know lots of you would say the biggest addition to RHEL7 is Docker. 

The explosively popular application-virtualization technology. With Docker itself hitting 1.0 status, the timing on RHEL 7 couldn’t be more fitting.

Apps packaged by Docker are isolated from the system and from each other, so they can be moved between systems and still run as expected. RHEL 7 is meant to be able to use Docker as efficiently as possible so that apps don’t contend for resources or get confused about which edition of a runtime to use.

Long-term plans on the road map for Docker in RHEL involve possibly breaking the OS itself into a series of Docker containers, allowing as little or as much of a system to be deployed as needed with minimal overhead. Dubbed “Project Atomic,” the initiative is still in the early stages, with Red Hat planning to deploy it first via its Fedora Linux distribution, nominally used as a testing ground for cutting-edge technologies.


I found this great table that shows the differences between RHEL7 & RHEL6

Features RHEL 7 RHEL 6
Default File System XFS EXT4
Kernel Version 3.10.x-x kernel 2.6.x-x Kernel
Kernel Code Name Maipo Santiago
General Availability Date of First Major Release 2014-06-09 (Kernel Version 3.10.0-123) 2010-11-09 (Kernel Version 2.6.32-71)
First Process systemd (process ID 1) init (process ID 1)
Runlevel runlevels are called as “targets” as shown below:

runlevel0.target -> poweroff.target
runlevel1.target -> rescue.target
runlevel2.target -> multi-user.target
runlevel3.target -> multi-user.target
runlevel4.target -> multi-user.target
runlevel5.target -> graphical.target
runlevel6.target -> reboot.target

/etc/systemd/system/default.target (this by default is linked to the multi-user target)

Traditional runlevels defined :

runlevel 0
runlevel 1
runlevel 2
runlevel 3
runlevel 4
runlevel 5
runlevel 6

and the default runlevel would be defined in /etc/inittab file.

Host Name Change In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, as part of the move to the new init system (systemd), the hostname variable is defined in /etc/hostname. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the hostname variable was defined in the /etc/sysconfig/network configuration file.
Change In UID Allocation By default any new users created would get UIDs assigned starting from 1000.

This could be changed in /etc/login.defs if required.

Default UID assigned to users would start from 500.

This could be changed in /etc/login.defs if required.

Max Supported File Size Maximum (individual) file size = 500TB
Maximum filesystem size = 500TB(This maximum file size is only on 64-bit machines. Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not support XFS on 32-bit machines.)
Maximum (individual) file size = 16TB
Maximum filesystem size = 16TB(This maximum file size is based on a 64-bit machine. On a 32-bit machine, the maximum files size is 8TB.)
File System Check “xfs_repair”

XFS does not run a file system check at boot time.


File system check would gets executed at boot time.

Differences Between xfs_repair & e2fsck “xfs_repair”- Inode and inode blockmap (addressing) checks.
– Inode allocation map checks.
– Inode size checks.
– Directory checks.
– Pathname checks.
– Link count checks.
– Freemap checks.
– Super block checks.
“e2fsck”- Inode, block, and size checks.

– Directory structure checks.

– Directory connectivity checks.

– Reference count checks.

– Group summary info checks.

Difference Between xfs_growfs & resize2fs “xfs_growfs”

xfs_growfs takes mount point as arguments.


resize2fs takes logical volume name as arguments.

Change In File System Structure /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are now nested under /usr. /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are usually under /
Boot Loader GRUB 2
Supports GPT, additional firmware types, including BIOS, EFI and OpenFirmwar. Ability to boot on various file systems (xfs, ext4, ntfs, hfs+, raid, etc)
GRUB 0.97
KDUMP RHEL7 supports kdump on large memory based systems up to 3 TB Kdump doesn’t work properly with large RAM based systems.
System & Service Manager “Systemd”

systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, and replaces SysV and Upstart used in previous releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. systemd is compatible with SysV and Linux Standard Base init scripts.

Enable/Start Service For RHEL 7, the systemctl command replaces service and chkconfig.

– Start Service : “systemctl start nfs-server.service”.

– Enable Service : To enable the service (example: nfs service ) to start automatically on boot : “systemctl enable nfs-server.service”.

Although one can still use the service and chkconfig commands to start/stop and enable/disable services, respectively, they
are not 100% compatible with the RHEL 7 systemctl command (according to redhat).

Using “service” command and “chkconfig” commands.

– Start Service : “service start nfs” OR “/etc/init.d/nfs start”

– Enable Service : To start with specific runlevel : “chkconfig –level 3 5 nfs on”

Default Firewall “Firewalld (Dynamic Firewall)”

The built-in configuration is located under the /usr/lib/firewalld directory. The configuration that you can customize is under the /etc/firewalld directory. It is not possible to use Firewalld and Iptables at the same time. But it is still possible to disable Firewalld and use Iptables as before.

Network Bonding “Team Driver”

– DEVICE=”team0”


– DEVICE=”bond0”

Network Time Synchronization Using Chrony suite (faster time sync compared with ntpd) Using ntpd
NFSv2 is no longer supported. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 supports NFSv3, NFSv4.0, and NVSv4.1 clients.
Cluster Resource Manager Pacemaker Rgmanager
Load Balancer Technology Keepalived and HAProxy Piranha
Desktop/GUI Interface GNOME3 and KDE 4.10 GNOME2
Default Database MariaDB is the default implementation of MySQL in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 MySQL
Managing Temporary Files RHEL 7 uses systemd-tmpfiles (more structured, and configurable, method to manage tmp files and directories). Using “tmpwatch”


See the extra features. This is brilliant.

RHEL 7 Extras
Introduction of Docker Docker is an open source project that automates the deployment of applications inside Linux Containers, and provides the capability to package an application with its runtime dependencies into a container.
Device Hotplug Removed While RHEL 5/6 has device hotplug support (udev rule that runs the ifup script for newly created devices), it has been disabled for RHEL 7 since it can result in race conditions when initializing newly found.
No 32 Bit ISO Image No 32 bit ISO for download. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will only provide 64-bit ISO’s, thus allowing only a 64-bit operating environment. RHEL 7 will not natively support 32-bit hardware.
MemAvailable Added to meminfo A new entry to the /proc/meminfo file has been introduced to provide the MemAvailable field. MemAvailable provides an estimate of how much memory is available for starting new applications, without swapping. However, unlike the data provided by the Cache or Free fields, MemAvailable takes into account page cache and also that not all reclaimable memory slabs will be reclaimable due to items being in use.
New Ruby and Python Versions Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 provides the latest Ruby version, 2.0.0 and Python 2.7.5.
OpenJDK7 Made Default Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 features OpenJDK7 as the default Java Development Kit (JDK) and Java 7 as the default Java version.
More Powerful NetworkManager NetworkManager has been significantly enhanced to configure and monitor all the networking features for enterprise class servers and for desktop applications.For the enterprise data centers, NetworkManager can be used for tasks such as basic networking configuration, network teaming, configuring virtual LANs, bridges, bonds, IPv6, VPNs, assigning interfaces to firewall zones, and others. For desktop servers it can manage wired and wireless networks and VPNs.
Support for 40 Gigabit NICs Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 supports 40 Gigabit network interface controllers (NICs) from multiple hardware partners. This provides support for 40 Gigabit Ethernet link speeds enabling faster network communication for applications and systems. Note that the ethtool utility will report interface link speeds up to 40Gb data rates.
No RHN Classic RHN Classic is not supported in RHEL7. Older versions supported different subscription management method being used. Red Hat Subcription Management is the only one used by RHEL 7.
OpenSSH – Multiple Required Authentications Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 supports multiple required authentications in SSH protocol version 2 using the AuthenticationMethods option. This option lists one or more comma-separated lists of authentication method names. Successful completion of all the methods in any list is required for authentication to complete.
Minimum Disk Space for Installation of RHEL7 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 now requires at least 1 GB of disk space to install. However, Red Hat recommends a minimum of 5 GB of disk space for all supported architectures.
Implementation of tmpfs file system Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 offers the ability to use /tmp as a mount point for a temporary file storage system (tmpfs).

When enabled, this temporary storage appears as a mounted file system, but stores its content in volatile memory instead of on a persistent storage device. No files in /tmp are stored on the hard drive except when memory is low, in which case swap space is used. This means that the contents of /tmp are not persisted across a reboot.

New Logging Framework Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 introduces a new logging daemon, journald, as part of the move to systemd.

journald captures the following types of message for all services:

– syslog messages
– kernel messages
– initial RAM disk and early boot messages
– messages sent to standard output and standard error output.

Changes to mount options Unlike ext3 and ext4, the XFS file system enables the user_xattr and acl mount options by default. Ext3 and ext4 file systems do not enable these attributes by default.




Privacy Preference Center