Install to use the major level release repositories.

Latest response

I am trying to get a clearer understanding of how to use the content from the Major level release repo for provisioning & updates.
Based on :https://access.redhat.com/articles/1586183
My understanding is that :
- The major release repo will provide updates through the all the minor release
- One is not supposed to mix Xserver with X.y content
- 8.0 is not the same as 8server

(excluding AppStream & Supplementary for brevity)
Looking at the repositories, focusing on BaseOS I find:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS ISOs 8
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS ISOs 8.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS ISOs 8.1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS ISOs 8.2
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS ISOs 8.3
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS Kickstart 8.0
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS Kickstart 8.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS Kickstart 8.3
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS RPMs 8
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS RPMs 8.2
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS RPMs 8.3

Inspecting the ISOs repositories I am only able to see 8.x enumerated, but nothing for 8 / 8server.
For example: I can use the rhel-8.3-x86_64-dvd.iso to create an install that would use the BaseOS RPMs 8.3

So what is the preferred method installing a host that would use the BaseOS RPMs 8?
Is this a post install operation (with subscription-manager), is there a specific software selection, or by some other method such as discovery / provisioning?

Responses

Hi Jon,

Yes, the major release repos always update to the latest stable versions of software packages being available.
Currently this is RHEL 8.3, so whatever minor release iso you pick, it always upgrades to RHEL 8.3, unless you
don't lock the version intentionally ... and if you select the latest boot.iso, the latest stable software packages
will get downloaded during the installation process - so you'll have an updated system after the installation. :)

Oh, and since of RHEL 8 there are no different iso files any more, you can select Server or Workstation in the
Anaconda installer during the installation process, which means that one iso file covers all variants of RHEL 8.

Regards,
Christian

Christian's answer is correct, but I would like to add some more detail as there are some subtleties to Red Hat updates that are easy to overlook.

First, the installation media simply represents a point in time: the RHEL 8.0 install DVD ISO contains packages released in May 2019, the RHEL 8.1 ISO contains packages that were current as of November, 2019, the RHEL 8.2 ISO is from May, 2020, and so on.

The install media does not lock you into a specific version associated with that media. You could use any version of the RHEL 8 media from 8.0 to 8.3 to install a system today; then, assuming a default configuration, when you 'register' the system and run "yum updated" for the first time, the system will be updated to RHEL 8.3 plus current patches as of today. In this scenario, the system "release" will be set to "8" (which is functionally equivalent to the "7Server" or "7Workstation" variants of that older version of RHEL).

Second, after installation of a given version of RHEL, you do have some options to "lock the version" (as Christian mentioned). One method is simply to set the "Release" to e.g. 8.2 (assuming you installed 8.2 or earlier); that will result in 'yum' commands limiting the packages & patches shown or installed to the 8.2 version.

Another method involves using a version-specific repository as a source for your patches; this is most commonly done in a corporate environment using Red Hat's "Satellite server" product, which replaces the Red Hat Content Deliver Network (CDN) with a locally-managed copy. The Satellite server can be configured to supply the generic RHEL "8" repository, or any or all of the version-specific 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, etc. repositories. Which repositories are available to you in that setup is controlled by the administrator of the Satellite server.

Once you have a release-specific version configured, there are yet more options. If you have a system today which is configured for the RHEL 8.2-specific release, that system is effectively "frozen" at the packages and security patches that were available in early November 2020, just before RHEL 8.3 was released. However, if you company needs to keep using version 8.2 (because an application vendor only supports that release) and you need to stay current on security patches, you have the option of purchasing an "EUS" (Extended Update Support) Subscription from Red Hat. With that subscription, you get access to a special "EUS" repository for RHEL 8.2, which will continue to have security patches released until May, 2022 (but will not have the RHEL 8.3 version of the kernel, or significant package updates like the krb5-*-1.18 packages in RHEL 8.3).

Thank you both for the insight!

You're welcome, Jon ! :)