2

I have some confusion regarding what kind of packages and updates would be available using RHEL repos on RHEL 6 once it reaches End of Maintenance Support 2 on November 30, 2020. I using the following link:

https://access.redhat.com/support/policy/updates/errata

I understand that after November 30, 2020, RHEL 6 is going to enter ELS (Extended Lifecycle Support) and during this time, no new packages or updates would typically be released.

The question is that during this time, will I be able to use the RHEL repos at all? Will I be able to use the RHEL repos to update and install packages at all during ELS on RHEL 6? Or will I have to purchase an ELS support to be able to continue using RHEL repos on RHEL 6?

  • yes, per your link Red Hat offers subscription services for each major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux throughout four life-cycle phases—called Full Support, Maintenance Support 1, Maintenance Support 2, and an Extended Life Phase. – ron Jan 22 at 18:53
  • that is my interpretation, it would obviously be best to get the answer directly from Redhat by emailing them your specific question if you are really concerned. – ron Jan 22 at 18:54
  • practically... if in RHEL 6.x uses gnome 3.x and RHEL 7.x advances to gnome 4.x then do not expect gnome 4.x to be made available to your extended life RHEL 6. But if a security issue is found then those are addressed and made applicable to your extended life RHEL 6.x. Do not expect package.rpm's that are new & cool in RHEL 7 to be made available in ELP RHEL 6.x after 2020. Don't expect things like cinnamon or wayland stuff to be made available in RHEL 6. – ron Jan 22 at 18:58
2

Bit of a disclaimer first - Since this is a matter of money, you should reach out to the Red Hat support personnel for an authoritative answer. They will be able to provide the information specific to your deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I have added my references in this answer, but please take the steps to verify it yourself.

There are two aspects you are considering here: one is the subscription, and the other is the life cycle.

The subscription part is fairly straightforward. Starting from RHEL 4, you need an active subscription to run RHEL at all stages of the RHEL life cycle. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page defines the life cycle as follows:

Red Hat offers subscription services for each major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux throughout four life-cycle phases—called Full Support, Maintenance Support 1, Maintenance Support 2, and an Extended Life Phase.

The same document goes on to say:

Software changes to Red Hat Enterprise Linux are delivered via individual updates known as errata advisories through the Red Hat Customer Portal or other authorized portals.

....

All released errata advisories remain accessible to active subscribers for the entire Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle.

This document on the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On is more specific on the subscription requirement during the Extended Life Cycle Phase:

What is the difference between the Extended Life Cycle Phase and the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On?

The Extended Life Cycle Phase (ELP) is the post-retirement time period. We require that customers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux products beyond their retirement continue to have active subscriptions which ensures that they continue receiving access to all previously released content, documentation, and Kbase articles as well as receive limited technical support.

There is another document here the states the same: Do retired (EOL) RHEL products still need a subscription?

That should answer the first part of your question. You need to have an active subscription as long as you are running RHEL 6, and you will continue to have access to the package repositories on RHN as long as your subscription is active.

The second aspect, the stage of the life cycle, determines what you are actually able to get from Red Hat as part of your subscription. This is summarized as a table on Life Cycle page, but the key information is as follows.

During the Extended Life Phase, there will be no more work done on that specific version of RHEL. There will be no more bug fixes, security fixes, software enhancements or minor releases. Technical support will also be limited, and is restricted to existing installations. Basically, that major version of RHEL will be frozen in time. You will still have access to all the fixes delivered previously, but nothing new will be delivered during ELP.

To quote to the Life Cycle document once again:

During the Extended Life Phase, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription provides continued access to previously released content on the Red Hat Customer Portal, as well as other content such as documentation and the Red Hat Knowledgebase. Advice for migrating to currently supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions may also be provided.

For versions of products in the Extended Life Phase, Red Hat will provide limited ongoing technical support. No bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement or root-cause analysis will be available during this phase, and support will be provided on existing installations only.

For customers who are unable to migrate from a version of RHEL in the Extended Life Phase, Red Hat also provides the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On. This is an additional subscription that will allow you to receive critical security & bug fixes during the Extended Life Cycle Phase. You can refer to this document for details on the ELS offering: What is the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On (ELS), and what is its support life cycle?

Purchasing the ELS Add-On gets you access to a new repository which delivers the ELS-specific fixes. There are also restrictions on what is supported with the ELS Add-On, so I suggest you read though the document carefully.

I was also able to find this FAQ on the retirement of RHEL 5: FAQ: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Reaches End of Full/Maintenance Phases and Transitions to Extended Life Phase. As the date of retirement of RHEL 6 approaches, you can expect a similar document to be released for RHEL 6 as well. I will try and update this answer when that happens.

0

A reminder that CentOS repos will probably still exist.

The fact that you’d be a couple releases old, the fact that there won’t be any security updates, you can factor in.

8 should be out soon.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.