- Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
- Red Hat Storage Server
- How do I distinguish between a major release, a minor release, and an asynchronous release?
- How do I identify the release I'm running?
Compare and Contrast
|Major Release||Minor Release||Asynchronous Erratum|
|Examples (Naming)||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1||RHSA-2013:xxxx-x|
|Requirements||None||Major Release||Major or Minor Release|
|Includes: Number of Updated Packages||All (thousands)||Some (hundreds)||Few|
|Includes: Rebases1||All (thousands)||Few||None|
|Includes: Select Backporting||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Includes: Features, Hardware Enablement||Yes||Yes2||No|
|Includes: Critical and urgent security and bug fixes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Includes: Criteria||Liberal||Strict3||Very Strict4|
|Hardware Certification Required||Yes||No5||No|
|Available to all customers||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fully Tested by Red Hat QA||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Utilizes Red Hat Network||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Application compatibility Assurances||No6||Yes||Yes|
Please refer to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle Page for more information.
Identifying a Release
Easily identified via subscribed Red Hat Network channels. Installation of packages between major releases is not supported, and therefore a system is based on a major release until upgrading/migrating to the next major release is required.
- For example, a system may be based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, but not a mix of both.
Installed on top of major releases to provide larger-scale point-release updates via Red Hat Network, after initial installation via traditional methods (PXE, DVD, etc.). More difficult to identify since the installation of packages between minor releases is supported. Red Hat does not require a system to be entirely composed of packages from a single minor release, but many regard the kernel version and the contents of /etc/redhat-release as two data points that assist in labeling a minor release without deeper introspection into additional userspace package updates. Others have stated that minor releases are just hundreds of errata published on the same day and labeled as a release for convenience.
- For example, a system may have the kernel installed from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1, but user space packages installed from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2. This would still be considered fully supported.
IMPORTANT: Red Hat's independent software vendors (ISVs) may require that a system have packages installed solely from a single minor release for it to be fully supported by the software vendor. Please check with the ISV if there are any support caveats to installing packages from different minor releases on a single system.
Easily identified via installed RPMs mapped to specific errata, and can be queried via yum and rpm commands.
"Rebases" refers to user space package rebases, as well as kernel device driver rebases ↩
Each product has its own published criteria for asynchronous errata. ↩
Not required if already certified during the major release. For example, if certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, it is certified on all newer minor releases as well, but not 6.1 or 6.0. ↩
No ISV assurances due to a full rebase of the product/distribution. Please refer to the ISV directly or the Red Hat ISV Software Catalog for a list of certified software solutions on Red Hat products. ↩
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