RHEL Developer Edition : development / production - what's allowed

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Every now and then we see posts from (new) users asking how to use the free no-cost RHEL developer edition and how to interpret the terms
and conditions. The T&C's clearly state that the free developer edition can be used for development purpose only, using it in production is not
allowed. Everybody who wants to stick to the rules knows what that means. Red Hat provides solutions - free and paid - for (nearly) everyone's
needs - there's no reason to violate these rules.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux aims at business environments (as the title itself expresses) in the first place. So, now - what does Red Hat sell ?
The company does not sell the software, Red Hat sells support - support that is needed to run an enterprise IT infrastructure continuously
and, without as little interruption as possible. For the "private standard user" Red Hat offers the free CentOS (Community Enterprise OS)
and the fedora distribution as part of the Red Hat eco system.

If someone wants to use the free no-cost RHEL developer edition, it's fine when they use it for developing something on and for an original RHEL
system. For everything else, users who do not want to pay for official Red Hat support should consider to either install and run CentOS (based on
RHEL) or fedora. This is my point of view at least ... and I hope I could make things clear in a short, but nevertheless understandable way for users
who are unsure how to decide.

Developer Program Terms & Conditions
FAQs for no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux



Additional information for those users not being familiar with the differences between the Red Hat family of operating systems :
New CentOS releases appear after general availability of a new RHEL edition or minor point release, it may change in the future.

Fedora (as the laboratory for what later may land in RHEL) currently has a release cycle of six months and ships with the "latest
and greatest" software packages being available at the current release date. Also new features are getting tested in fedora first.


Thanks for assembling this.

I will add that the no-cost RH Developer subscription for RHEL includes the identical bits as RHEL production subscriptions. This is important to ensure that the applications built of the developers subs will have the same packages in place for the deployment systems. This is especially important when using Red Hat Software Collections.

You're welcome, Mike ! Thank you for adding the part about the "identical bits" in both RHEL subscriptions. :)


If red hat doesn't sell the software but the support then why we cant use it in production even as an individual or a small team of 5-10 members why cant we use it in a production ? Stopping from using it in a particular way actually means they are selling the software not just the support.. they are actually stopping us from using a software in a certain way, what about open source licenses which says that softwares are free to use and modify ? Red hat themselves are violating that. They are stopping us from using a software in a certain way.

GPL and other licenses clearly states we are free to use and modify the software. And red hat stops us from using a software in a particular way (production). They are violating the license. Even for a small team which is clearly a money minded red hat scheme.

Hi Jatin,

"GPL and other licenses clearly states we are free to use and modify the software." You're right, but where's the problem ?
Red Hat follows these rules, everybody has free access to the source code, and can build up their own operating system. :)