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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is an operating system published by Red Hat, Inc., which is currently a subsidiary of IBM.


A summary of important improvements are listed below.

Kernel and Performance


Users can run virtual machines within RHEL 7 using its built-in Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or KVM. UMIACS also supports the use of Apptainer, a container application that is an alternative to Docker.

File System Capabilities

The default file system is now XFS. Here is an overview of the supported file systems in RHEL7. The information in this section is taken from this Redhat page unless otherwise noted.

  • XFS
    • "[RHEL7] supports XFS filesystem sizes of up to 500 TB."
    • "XFS supports journaling to minimize data loss in the event of a system crash. Journal data are written to the log section while the file system is active and read when the filesystem is mounted (to recover any data not already written to disk)."
  • ext4
    • "The maximum standalone filesystem size for ext4 filesystems...[is]...50 TB."
  • Btrfs
    • This an "an unsupported Technology Preview," and should be used with caution.


In addition to the standard Linux security architecture, RHEL7 includes Security-Enhanced Linux, a module which implements a mandatory access control model. Tutorials for configuring SELinux in RHEL are available here.