FAQ: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 reaches End of Maintenance Phase and transitions to Extended Life Phase

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Can you describe the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 life cycle?

Red Hat offers support and services for each major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux throughout four phases – Full Support, Maintenance 1 and 2, and the Extended Life Phase. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the Full/Maintenance Phases span 10 years, followed by an Extended Life Phase. Together, these four phases constitute the “life cycle.” The specific support and services provided during each phase is described in detail on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page.

What is happening to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 on November 30, 2020?

On November 30, 2020, all Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6-based products listed below will transition from the Maintenance Phase to the Extended Life Phase:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Virtual Data Center
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Entry Level Server
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Power Systems
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Z Systems
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP/SAP HANA
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for HPC (all variants)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (Withdrawn from market)

What will happen to my Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 systems on November 30, 2020?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 systems will continue to be subscribed to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 channels via Subscription Manager, continue to require a Red Hat Enterprise Linux entitlement, and continue to have access to:

  • Limited technical support for existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 deployments (for customers with Premium or Standard support only).
  • Previously released bug fixes (RHBAs), security errata (RHSAs), and product enhancements (RHEAs) via Subscription Manager. Software maintenance, new bug fixes and security errata will no longer be provided for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 product family.
  • Red Hat Knowledgebase and other content (white papers, reference architectures, etc.) found in the Red Hat Customer Portal.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 documentation.

Please also note that new bug fix, security, or product enhancements advisories (RHBAs, RHSAs, and RHEAs) will no longer be provided for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Cluster Suite and Global File System Add-Ons after November 30, 2020.

As Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 transitions into the Extended Life Phase, what is Red Hat’s suggested course of action for customers?

Your Red Hat subscription gives you continuous access to all active versions of the Red Hat software in both binary and source form, including all security updates and bug fixes. As Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 transitions out of the Full/Maintenance Phases, we strongly recommend that you take full advantage of your subscription services and upgrade to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or 8, which contain compelling new features, enablement for modern hardware platforms and ISV applications. If you must stay on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, we recommend that you add the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On subscription to your current Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription. See the question below that describes ELS.

I am running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and can’t migrate to a later version at this time. What options do I have?

  • Continue to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and continue to receive access to the subscription services listed above. Note that software maintenance is not provided and only limited technical support is available (Premium or Standard support subscriptions).
  • Continue to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and purchase the Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On subscription to continue to receive limited software maintenance and technical support (see the ELS description below).
  • Migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or 8 as soon as you can.

How can I continue to receive software maintenance (bug and security fixes) and full technical support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6?

If you require software maintenance and full technical support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat strongly recommends that you purchase the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On subscription. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS Add-On complements your Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription and provides software maintenance services not otherwise available in the Extended Life Phase. Customers who purchase the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS Add-On subscription continue to receive software maintenance (per the RHEL 6 Inclusions List, certain Critical and Important security fixes and selected (at Red Hat discretion) urgent priority bug fixes) and technical support as provided in the Maintenance Support 2 Phase. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS is available through June 30, 2024, and requires that you have an existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription with equivalent subscription terms and support level.

For more information on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS Add-On, visit the ELS section of the life cycle and What is the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On (ELS), and what is its support life cycle?.

How do I access the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS Add-On content via Subscription Manager?

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS Add-On content (per the RHEL 6 Inclusions List, certain qualified Critical and Important security fixes and selected (at Red Hat discretion) urgent priority bug fixes) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will be available via Subscription Manager as a child channel of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 base channels. The child channel will be located under the product “Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS.” For more information on how to access Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 ELS content on Subscription Manager, visit How to register and subscribe a system to the Red Hat Customer Portal using Red Hat Subscription-Manager.

What happens to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Add-Ons such as Red Hat High Availability, Load Balancer, Resilient Storage, and Scalable Filesystem on November 30, 2020?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Add-On ISOs continue to be available to active subscribers in their current location in Red Hat Network after November 30, 2020. Note that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) does not include support for the Add-Ons including High Availability, Load Balancer, Resilient Storage, and Scalable Filesystem. Therefore, no software maintenance or bug fix updates are provided for these Add-Ons.

How are Red Hat Satellite installations affected?

After November 30, 2020, customers with active Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 subscriptions can continue to use Satellite to consume previously released bug fixes, security errata, and product enhancements as well as provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 systems. Customers will continue to consume a Red Hat Enterprise Linux entitlement for every server associated with Red Hat Satellite. Red Hat Satellite customers who purchase Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will need to reconfigure their Satellite server to access the RHEL 6 ELS content set when that content set is made available. A link to a Knowledgebase will be provided at a later date which will provide information on how to access this content