This post was updated on December 3, 2020
Updated with comments from Red Hatter Jamie Bainbridge
During the Extended Life Phase, technical support is limited. We make a few limitations clear, such as assistance on existing installs only (not new installs), and no investigation of the root cause for unknown issues (so we help with already-known issues only).
To get the level of technical support back to "unlimited" (new installs allowed, new issues allowed) then ELS is required. Even then, we are generally focused on issues that affect production, not low-severity minor things or faults with workarounds.
During the ELP, development support is effectively gone. There are no more errata released.
If ELS is purchased, then we do consider and release errata for very critical issues that are considered on a case-by-case basis. One requires the ELS entitlement to request an errata and to get access to any errata released during the ELS phase.
The minor version doesn't really enter into it. One can call up with a RHEL 6.0 installed on GA day and ask "how do I do this thing?" or report a known problem, and we will assist with it.
Of course, we aren't releasing any fixes for 6.0 anymore. So if a package update is required to solve a problem and that updated package was released during the Full/Maintenance phase, then the package is available. However, if that problem is not fixed yet, then one needs ELS to get any updated ELS package, and one needs ELS to request a problem be fixed.
Generally, we don't want customers to buy ELS under the expectation they will receive anything beyond access to the ELS channel. Definitely don't buy ELS expecting every little problem to be fixed or updates to continue as in the Full/Maint phase. Even with ELS, we may not fix a problem due to technical or other reasons.
I suggest holding off buying ELS until it is needed, and you definitely know your problem will be resolved by the purchase of ELS.
NOTE: RHEL 6.10 Maintenance Support II expired on Nov 30, 2020
- BE AWARE that **you CAN still buy Extended Lifecycle support, however, why not go to a supported version? But if you have to, it is there.
- Please see relevant comments from both Thomas Jones and also Red Hatter Jamie Bainbridge
See this link by Jamie Bainbridge of Red Hat:
- See this documented on the RHEL lifecycle page.
Red-Hat-Linux-VERSION-6.10 Maintenance Support II has expired (Nov 30, 2020.)
A Red Hat solution article on major upgrade for RHEL 5-to-6 and RHEL 6-to-7 is at https://access.redhat.com/solutions/21964
ABOVE this line is on the topic of Red Hat Linux
BELOW this line is IS FOR CENTOS ONLY.
This reminder is a shameless borrow of this post from the CentOS forums
Don't delay, get migrating today
Please note that CentOS 6 now has less than one year of the end of Maintenance Support II left before Maintenance Support II ends, and the only way to acquire updates after November 2020 is through extended support. The countdown has begun and you should plan to either upgrade/replace your systems with a supported Operating System, or buy extended support or decommission your CentOS 6 machines before that date.
It should be noted that, unlike RHEL, there is no extended support option for CentOS. Once RHEL 6 exceeds Maintenance Support II at the end of November 2020, there will be no further updates for CentOS 6 at all.
"Any subscriber to ELS is entitled to the source code for the packages which are distributed to them. The SRPMs are available via the Customer Portal, via the yum package manager, or via Satellite/Proxy/etc download of the ELS channel. Theoretically, someone could get the RHEL ELS package source and rebuild it without branding just like CentOS do, with the aim of providing an "even longer life" repo for CentOS. However, nobody in the EL community has done this afaik."
Those using CentOS 6 and requiring more than 1 year of the end of Maintenance Support II are encouraged to investigate the RH extended support program although that will require a migration to RHEL 6 as it does not apply to CentOS 6.
ADDED Oct 28, 2020 There is a very unsupported method with much risk to go from RHEL 5 to RHEL 7 at this link
Also ADDED Oct 28, 2020 This link here shows a method to go from RHEL 7 to RHEL 8. See that link for specifics.