Chapter 4. Application Streams

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Multiple versions of user-space components are delivered as Application Streams and updated more frequently than the core operating system packages. This provides greater flexibility to customize RHEL without impacting the underlying stability of the platform or specific deployments.

Each Application Stream component has a given life cycle, either the same as RHEL 9 or shorter. For RHEL life cycle information, see Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Application Streams Life Cycle.

Application Streams are available in the following formats:

  • the familiar RPM format
  • as an extension to the RPM format called modules
  • as Software Collections
  • as Flatpaks.

RHEL 9 improves the Application Streams experience by providing initial Application Stream versions that can be installed as RPM packages using the traditional dnf install command.


Certain initial Application Streams in the RPM format have a shorter life cycle than Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.

Some additional Application Stream versions will be distributed as modules with a shorter life cycle in future minor RHEL 9 releases. It is recommended to review the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Application Stream Lifecycle definitions for any content life cycle considerations.

Always determine what version of an Application Stream you want to install and make sure to review the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Application Stream Lifecycle first.

Content that needs rapid updating, such as alternate compilers and container tools, is available in rolling streams that will not provide alternative versions in parallel. Rolling streams can be packaged as RPMs or modules.

For information about Application Streams available in RHEL 9 and their application compatibility level, see the Package manifest. Application compatibility levels are explained in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9: Application Compatibility Guide document.

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