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RHEL support in DCI

If you are using RHEL you are probably familiar with CDN or FTP. CDN contains officially released and supported content. FTP contains pre-release content. The FTP is updated manually and on demand. DCI allows you to get access to pre-release content in an automated way.

RHEL compose

Red Hat Enterprise Linux content is in the form of a compose. A compose is a list of RPMs grouped by variants and by architectures.


DCI supports x86_64, aarch64 and ppc64le architectures.


DCI supports AppStream, BaseOS, CRB, HighAvailability, NFV, RT, ResilientStorage, SAP, SAPHANA variants.


RHEL major version corresponds to the first digit in the version number. Currently there is 2 major version of RHEL in DCI: version 8 and version 9

RHEL minor version corresponds to the second digit in the version number. E.g. RHEL-8.8 or RHEL-9.0.


Each composes is tagged. A compose can have the tag nightly, candidate or milestone.

  • nightly composes are built every day, tested and imported to Beaker and Openstack. Those nightlies contain verified RPMs.

  • candidate composes are nightly promoted composes. Those composes are all the very same composes with the very same content, they differ in the amount of testing they received.

  • milestone composes are the final composes before GA (general availability). beta and release candidate are milestone composes.

Note: composes are tested internally. When tests failed DCI ignore those composes. So it is normal that the last nightly could be a few days old.


A topic is an abstraction to group different composes together. The name of the topic contains the major and minor version. E.g. RHEL-8.8.

For example you can list the components for the RHEL-9.0 topic:

  • RHEL-9.0.0-20211121.7 | tags: nightly, kernel:5.14.0-17.el9
  • RHEL-9.0.0-20211120.6 | tags: nightly, kernel:5.14.0-17.el9
  • RHEL-9.0.0-20211026.1 | tags: nightly, candidate, kernel:5.14.0-17.el9

If you want to access RHEL-9.0 nightlies only for example, you will have the appropriate filter in your settings file.

  - name: RHEL-9.0
      - type: compose
        tag: nightly

Note: We recommend to use the topic name without filters. Like that you will always have the latest component available for the topic.

Retention policies

DCI only keeps the latest 2 composes per tag. After GA we only keep the latest release candidate.

We also disable RHEL topics when the minor version reaches end of life.


How can I test the latest major version ?

You can use a wildcard filter RHEL-{8|9}.* to download the latest available RHEL version in the topic name.

E.g. Get the latest RHEL-9 topic available in DCI:

  - name: RHEL-9.*

I can't test all the nightlies. How can I test less composes?

You can filter components by candidate tag.

  - name: RHEL-9.2
      - type: compose
        tag: candidate

Some composes are tagged nightly and candidate, is it normal ?

Yes. nightly, candidate and milestone composes are all the very same composes with the very same content, they differ in the amount of testing they received. Some nightlies are promoted candidate. So you will see nightly and candidate in the tags of those composes.

Where can some documentation about the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle official document