RHEL 8 Brief: Simplify Container Development


Simplify container development with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Last updated: May 7, 2019

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Containers help you adapt to change 

Organizations are increasingly deploying containerized applications and services to increase agility and consistency across their IT environments. Containerized applications and services can be written once, then deployed, moved, and scaled across infrastructure as needed to meet changing demand. However, in order for containers to be an effective approach, IT teams need tools and infrastructure that address new challenges in stability, scale, and security. 

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 8 delivers advanced, innovative container infrastructure and tools to simplify container development and deployment. It supplies a lightweight, open standards-based container toolkit with everything you need to get started. The included container performance and security features span infrastructures, giving you more choice and confidence. In fact, Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS is a lightweight operating system — based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux —  for clustered container deployments that delivers massive scalability with minimal overhead. Using an immutable, container-optimized Linux host, it provides automated operations for Red Hat OpenShift® and an operator framework to extend Kubernetes capabilities. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 provides several Open Containers Initiative- (OCI) compliant tools to simplify and improve container development, management, and security. 

Red Hat container tools 

Linux containers are ideal for deploying microservices-based, cloud-native applications. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 contains and fully supports Red Hat’s lightweight, open standards-based container toolkit. It also provides several new features to simplify and improve container development, management, and security. 


Buildah allows you to build and modify containers without any daemon or docker. It preserves your existing dockerfile workflow while allowing detailed control over image layers, content, and commits. Buildah also minimizes container image size by using tools from the container host rather than adding them to the container image. 


Podman is a complete, daemon-less container engine for running, managing, and debugging OCI-compliant containers and pods. It lets you manage containers without the daemon dependency and is docker command-line interface (CLI) compatible. It also provides improved integration with systemd. With Podman, you can easily find, build, run, and share containers. Switching from Docker to Podman is very easy and intuitive — two commands are all you need.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 also includes Skopeo, a new, comprehensive tool and library for inspecting, signing, and transferring container images. This advanced container-sharing allows you to: 

Inspect, verify, and sign image manifests. 

Move container images between registries. Skopeo takes advantage the same code base library used by Buildah, Podman, and CRI-O, a lightweight container engine for Kubernetes. 

Red Hat Universal Base Images 

Containers built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux content and running in Red Hat environments deliver production-grade support, stability, and security features. To extend these benefits to all developers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 introduces OCI-compliant Red Hat Universal Base Images (UBIs) for containers. Red Hat UBIs let you take advantage of the reliability, security, and performance of official Red Hat container images, even if you are not a Red Hat customer. Portable application images let you develop once and deploy on any Linux distribution, simplifying container development. You can build a containerized application on a UBI, push it to your choice of registry server, and easily share it with others. Developers can distribute a smaller container image anywhere, while operators can deploy a supportable base image with an enterprise life cycle. 

Application Streams 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 offers Application Streams, an improved method for delivering multiple versions of userspace packages. Application Streams provides new packages at a cadence than makes sense for each package, rather than combining them into a monolithic distribution. They also offer multiple versions of select packages, giving you more choice. Finally, Application Streams combines all previous distribution channels into a single location. As a result, you can more easily access the latest stable versions of the programming languages, tools, and databases you need to be productive. 

Learn more 

Linux containers can help your organization adapt faster and more easily to changing demands. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 provides innovative tools to improve container stability, security, and performance, so you can get more from your investments. Red Hat also provides a variety of developer resources to help you get started. Access developer-specific subscriptions, tools, and resources at