RHEL 8.4 released and here is how to upgrade 8.3 to 8.4

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.4 released. This version includes updates and various improvements for developers, hybrid cloud, edge deployments and more.

Let us see what’s new in RHEL 8.4 and how to update 8.3 to 8.4 using the dnf command-line option.

RHEL 8.4 released

From the RedHat Enterprise Linux version 8.4 product page:

  • Hybrid cloud your way: RHEL 8.4 enables the innovation and transformation required to get to the cloud, the edge and beyond.
  • RHEL at the Edge
  • Red Hat Insights: Expanded capabilities in the Red Hat Insights services — Vulnerability, Compliance, Resource Optimization, and Subscriptions — help organizations to more efficiently and effectively manage their RHEL estates across the open hybrid cloud, including deployments in the public cloud.

New software and feature in RHEL 8.4:

  1. Python 3.9
  2. Redis 6
  3. PostgreSQL 13
  4. MariaDB 10.5
  5. GCC 10
  6. LLVM 11
  7. Rust 1.49
  8. Go 1.15.7
  9. Intel Tiger Lake GPUs are now supported which includes Intel UHD graphics and Intel Xe integrated GPUs.

WARNING: Make sure you keep verified RHEL 8.x backups before performing minor or significant RHEL version upgrades. The author or nixCraft is not responsible for data loss.

How to update RHEL 8.3 to 8.4

The procedure to upgrade or update RHEL from version 8.3 to 7.4 is as follows:

  1. Open the terminal application and then type the following commands. Another option is to log in using ssh
  2. Login as the root user. For example: ssh ec2-user@rhel-8-ec2-box
  3. Check for updates using the sudo dnf check-update command
  4. Update the system using the sudo dnf update command
  5. Reboot the server/box using the sudo reboot command
  6. Verify new kernel and updates

Typically I use Ansible to upgrade and update RHEL boxes running at AWS or Google cloud. Another option is to deploy updated images and get rid of older instances. Let us see all commands and steps in details.

Step 1 – Note down the current kernel version

Type the following uname command or cat command to view RHEL kernel version and OS info:
$ uname -a
$ uname -r
$ cat /etc/os-release

Step 2 – Backups

Make a backup – it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to backup your system before you do this. Most of the actions listed in this post are written with the assumption that they will be executed by the root user running the bash or any other modern shell.

Step 3 – Check for updates using dnf

Type the following dnf command:
$ sudo dnf check-update

Step 4 – Upgrading RHEL 8.3 to 8.4

Type the following dnf command to apply/install updates:
$ sudo dnf upgrade -y

 Package          Arch   Version         Repository                        Size
 kernel-core      x86_64 4.18.0-305.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms     36 M
 kernel-modules   x86_64 4.18.0-305.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms     28 M
 NetworkManager   x86_64 1:1.30.0-7.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    2.6 M
                  x86_64 1:1.30.0-7.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    1.8 M
                  x86_64 1:1.30.0-7.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    145 k
                  x86_64 1:1.30.0-7.el8  rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    327 k
rdma-core        x86_64 32.0-4.el8      rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms     59 k
 tpm2-tss         x86_64 2.3.2-3.el8     rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    275 k
 volume_key-libs  x86_64 0.3.11-5.el8    rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms 149 k
Installing weak dependencies:
 udisks2          x86_64 2.9.0-6.el8     rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms 474 k
 kernel-core      x86_64 4.18.0-240.10.1.el8_3
                                         @rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    62 M
 kernel-modules   x86_64 4.18.0-240.10.1.el8_3
                                         @rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms    21 M
Transaction Summary
Install   38 Packages
Upgrade  210 Packages
Remove     2 Packages

Step 5 – Reboot the RHEL 8.3 box

Type the following reboot command or shutdown command to reboot Linux system:
$ sudo reboot
## OR ##
$ sudo shutdown -r now

Step 6 – Verify the RHEL 8.4 update

Type the following commands:
$ uname -a
$ uname -r
$ cat /etc/os-release
$ tail -f /var/log/logfilenames
$ dmesg | grep -i 'err|warn|cri'
$ ss -tulpn

Sample session from version 8.4:

Summing up

The new RHEL 8.4 available to all active RHEL subscriptions, including the no-cost option via the Red Hat Customer Portal/RHN. Updated developer tools such as MariaDB and Python are great too. Apart from that, we get updated container support and container security with SELinux. Podman 3 (rootless Docker) also brings many enhancements for container workloads, including automatic container image updates. So no more outdated OpenSSL inside your container via UBI (Red Hat Universal Base Image).

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