How am I supported on a specific RHEL release?

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ISSUE

  • The information on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page is not specific or detailed enough to determine the supportability of an issue.

  • I have an issue and am not sure if and when a fix can be made available to me.

  • Are there different inclusion criteria for Red Hat Enterprise Linux depending on the Production Phase of the current minor release?

ENVIRONMENT

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (All Versions)

RESOLUTION

Three data points determine supportability of a customer issue:

  • Which minor release the issue is reported against

  • Where in the Life Cycle is the RHEL major release today

  • What active entitlements are in the customer's account

Examples:

  • If a support issue is logged against a package belonging in the current active minor release and given the inclusion criteria of the current production phase in the Life Cycle, customers are entitled to both GSS and Engineering support of the release at that point. Customers can therefore report bugs and download/install fixes which are delivered asynchronously within the current release.

  • If a support issue is logged against a package belonging in a non-current minor release, customers are still entitled to Red Hat Support. However, Engineering fixes can only be proposed in a future active minor release and asynchronously delivered (if applicable, given the inclusion criteria of the Life Cycle) in the current active minor release.

    • Non-current minor release "support" defined:

      • If a defect has been root-caused and identified as resolved within the current active minor release, Red Hat Support shall advise the customer to update to the relevant released package. A fix to a defect cannot be back ported to a non-current minor release.

      • If a defect has not been root-caused nor identified as resolved within the current active minor release, Red Hat Support shall request the customer to first try to reproduce the issue with the relevant package in the current active minor release.

        • If the package in the current active minor release resolves the issue, the customer is advised to commit this package into their production environment.

        • If the package in the current active minor release does not resolve the issue, and a fix is available, Red Hat Support can propose the fix to the next active minor release and possibly an asynchronously delivered erratum (if it meets the asyncronous release criteria).

      • NOTE: Customers are not required to update their systems to the active minor release in its entirety, only the specific relevant affected packages.

      • NOTE: For most situations, a fix to a defect must first be committed to the upstream community prior to being proposed in a RHEL minor release.

  • If a support issue is logged against a package belonging in a current active EUS release (Extended Update Support), then a customer is entitled to both GSS and Engineering support, assuming it meets the EUS inclusion criteria and current RHEL minor release inclusion criteria.

    • EUS Add-On "support" defined:

      • If a defect was already fixed in a minor release, then Red Hat Support can propose that Red Hat Engineering back port the fix to the specific active EUS release.

      • If a defect is new to the product, then Red Hat Support can propose the defect be fixed in the current active minor release, as well as propose that Red Hat Engineering back port (clone) the fix to the specific active EUS release.

    • NOTE: A fix to a defect must first be committed to the latest active minor release before being committed to the specific active EUS release.

  • If a support issue is logged against a supported package and architecture associated with an ELS release (Extended Life Cycle Support), then bug fixes are proposed and developed against the latest active minor release. For example, if a customer has an ELS Add-On subscription but is running RHEL 4.7, all proposed fixes are developed against RHEL 4.9. Note that official support is not denied against earlier non-current minor releases, but fixes against an ELS Add-On subscription are committed against the latest minor release.

  • If a defect has been fixed and included in a released Errata, Red Hat Support will not provide a workaround. Red Hat Support recommends that customers update their systems with the applicable Errata.

GLOSSARY

  • Supportability - Defined as support by Red Hat Global Support Services and/or Red Hat Engineering. For example, there may be a situation where a customer can be supported by Global Support Services, but not supported by Engineering depending on which minor release against which the issue is reported, where in the Life Cycle the Red Hat Enterprise Linux major release is today, and what active entitlements are in the customer's account.

  • Major release - Examples: RHEL 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0 etc...

  • Minor release - Examples: RHEL 4.9, 5.11, 6.6, etc..

  • Current active minor release - a minor release stream that still receives fixes, updates, and/or security errata based on the Life Cycle

  • Non-current minor release  (an expired minor release) - one that is no longer active, and therefore does not receive fixes, updates, and/or security errata

  • Asynchronously delivered - fixes are delivered between minor releases as needed or on-demand

  • EUS Add-On (Extended Update Support) - EUS Add-On delivers an independent stream of those Critical impact RHSAs and selected Urgent Priority RHBAs for specific releases for 24 months after general availablity. For EUS Add-On subscribers, Red Hat generally will continue to provide the critical impact security fixes independent of customer requests.

  • ELS Add-On (Extended Life Cycle Support) - ELS Add-On provides critical impact security fixes and selected urgent priority defect fixes that are available and qualified for a subset of the packages beyond the production phases of the life cycle. For ELS Add-On subscribers, Red Hat will generally continue to provide the critical impact security fixes independent of customer requests.

REFERENCES

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