Use of Redhat is illegal without subscription

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People have mix opinion for Redhat usage. In simple words please clarify, does Redhat Enterprise Linux usage is illegal to use without any subscription in production or test environment.


Hi Red Hat software is an Opensource product so you are able to use it. But if you signed an contract with Red Hat you agreed to their EULA and this says:

1.2 Use of Subscription Services. 1.2 Nutzung von Subscription Services. (a) Basis of the Fees. While you have Subscriptions entitling you to receive Subscription Services for a Red Hat Product, you are required to purchase the applicable Software Subscriptions and Support Subscriptions in a quantity equal to the total number and capacity of Units of that Red Hat Product from the commencement of your use or deployment of such Red Hat Product(s). For Add-On Subscriptions, you must purchase a quantity equal to the total number and capacity of Units that receive the associated Subscription Services. For purposes of counting Units, Units include (a) non-Red Hat Products if you are using Subscription Services to support or maintain such non-Red Hat Products and (b) versions or copies of the Software with the Red Hat trademark(s) and/or logo file(s) removed. The fees are for Subscription Services; there are no fees associated with the Red Hat Software licenses. An instance of a Red Hat Universal Base Image by itself (e.g., not combined or used with Red Hat Products) is not considered a Unit unless such instance receives or uses Subscription Services.

As long as you have one active subscription all your Red hat Software has to be subscriped. If you have no active subscription you are free to use your Red Hat software as long as you want but you will not receive support, patches, updates or upgrades.

If you are looking for free Red Hat Software try CentOS or for Development the Developerprogram CentOS Developer


Matthias answered this pretty well, but I'll just echo.

All of our software is based on open source code. We rather famously are a software company that doesn't "own" any code. What that means is it's all available for use. What you pay us for is support and updates.

Just about anything you find in RHEL, or within Red Hat's product portfolio has an upstream equivalent that is completely free to use. RHEL has Fedora upstream, and CentOS downstream. Satellite has Katello upstream, Red Hat IdM has FreeIPA upstream. These are only a few examples of course.

If you want to use RHEL to learn, look at our developer subscription. If you're looking for something you can use in production and support it yourself, check out CentOS.

I hope this helps answer your question.