What are Flex Guest Entitlements in Red Hat Satellite?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Satellite 5.8


  • What are Flex Guest Entitlements in Red Hat Satellite 5?
  • How do I manage Flex Guest Entitlements?
  • What is the process to register a KVM hypervisor to utilize Unlimited Guest subscriptions ?


What are Flex Guest Entitlements in Red Hat Satellite?

With the launch of RHEL 5 the following virtualization entitlement models were introduced (now discontinued):
RHEL 5 Server: RHEL-Server + Virtualization Entitlement (4 guests)
RHEL 5 Advanced Platform: RHEL-Server + Virtualization Platform Entitlement (unlimited guests)

These guests consumed what are known as Inherited Guest entitlements.

With the launch of RHEL 6 a new virtualization entitlement model called Flex Guest entitlements was introduced.

A Flex Guest entitlement is the entitlement consumed by a RHEL virtual guest running on a supported hypervisor [1] that is not Virtualization or Virtualization Platform entitled.

The Flex Guest entitlement model allows Red Hat to correctly recognize and entitle a much broader range of RHEL guests running on both Red Hat and non-Red Hat virtualization technologies, including Hyper-V and VMware.

The hypervisor (whether Red Hat or not) must have a subscription with an appropriate number of virtual guest entitlements. Registering a Red Hat hypervisor will consume the physical entitlement of the subscription. If the hypervisor is non-Red Hat then it is not possible to register it, but registering a guest will cause the underlying physical subscription to be consumed.

The virtual guests may be pooled or shared on any other host with a RHEL Server subscription that has the same support level and number of virtual guests, providing that you do not exceed the total number of virtual guests associated with the underlying subscription.

Please contact your Red Hat representative for more information regarding the purchase of Flex Guest entitlements.

[1] Please refer to this document for supported hypervisor platforms:
Virtualization support in Red Hat Enterprise Linux

How do I register a system to use a Flex Guest entitlement?

The registration script should automatically detect whether the system is physical or virtual, and consume the appropriate entitlement.

Where can I see what kind of entitlements I have access to?

You can view a list of all channel entitlements that are available to you on the Software Channel Entitlements page in Red Hat Network.

How do I know which of my systems are using Flex Guest entitlements?

You can view a list of all systems consuming Flex Guest entitlements on the Flex Guest Consumers page in Red Hat Network.

What is currently supported for use of the Flex Guest entitlements?

  • Flex Guest entitlements are currently supported for:

    • Red Hat Virtual Guests
    • VMware
    • HyperV
    • Citrix Xen 6.2
  • NOTE: This list is subject to change.

    • For Citrix Xen 6.2, virtual guest from RHEL 5.8+ is supported.
    • Citrix Xen is not a supported hypervisor for Red Hat Certified Cloud Providers (CCPs) for any RHEL guest entitlements, including Flex Guests.

To use Flex Guest entitlements on Xen or KVM guests of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the host must be:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 and later (including RHEL 6)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 5.2-2.1 and later
  • If there are subscriptions similar to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, (Up to 1 guest) or (Up to 4 guest) or (Unlimited guests) then in such cases the flex entitlements available along with these subscriptions can be used only on the guests which are running on the respective RHEL hosts. Guests not running on the respective RHEL hosts cannot use the flex entitlements provided by these subscriptions.

Flex Guest Entitlements are not eligible for Cloud Access, and therefore cannot be used on a public cloud (CCP).
Regardless of the host type, in order for a RHEL guest to use a Flex Guest entitlement, the guest must have at least the version of rhn-client-tools mentioned in the following errata:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5: RHBA-2010:0270 (first included in RHEL 5.5)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: RHBA-2010:0406 (first included in RHEL 4.8)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3: RHBA-2010:0407 (first included in RHEL 3.9)

Why don't I see Flex Guest entitlements on my Red Hat Satellite 5?

Flex entitlements are displayed as regular physical entitlements on older releases (5.4 or earlier) of Satellite 5.

For Satellite 5 versions 5.4 and above, flex Guest entitlements are combined with regular entitlements on your Satellite and Satellite Certificate (distinguished by keyword "flex"), for example:

  <rhn-cert-field name="channel-families" flex="8" quantity="10" family="rhel-server"/>

For more information please refer to this article: Overview - How to migrate client systems to the new RHEL 6 Flex Entitlement Model

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RHN Satellite contains Flex Guest Entitlement support from version 5.4 - see https://access.redhat.com/kb/docs/DOC-42979

Unlimited Flex Guest Entitlements represent themselves as blocks of 500 entitlements in Satellite.

I heard that each RHEL w/ Unlimited Guests entitlement adds 100 flex entitlements to the satellite certificate. Where is the authoritative statement for this?

Hi John,

I suggest that you open a Red Hat support case with this question to get confirmation.

This article needs to be amended. Xen is not a supported hypervisor for Red Hat Certified Public Cloud (CCP) providers. Second, it should mention somewhere that flex guests are not eligible for Red Hat Cloud Access and therefore cannot be moved to a CCP and used on a public cloud.