What is the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On (ELS), and what is its support life cycle?

Solution Verified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS 3 (Extended Life Cycle Support) Add-On
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS 4 (Extended Life Cycle Support) Add-On
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS 5 (Extended Life Cycle Support) Add-On
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS 6 (Extended Life Cycle Support) Add-On

Issue

  • What versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are available with the Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On?
  • What support is available for retired Red Hat Enterprise Linux products?

Resolution

What is Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On?
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On (ELS) is an offering that provides extended support once a product is retired and has entered the Extended Life Phase allowing customers to continue to receive critical impact security fixes and selected urgent priority bug fixes on a specific major version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux from the end of its regular life cycle for an extended, defined period of time. ELS is only applicable to the last minor release of the given major release.

For which versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On available?
ELS is available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 starting with its retirement (March 31, 2017) until November 30, 2020.
ELS will be available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 starting with its retirement (November 30, 2020) until June 30, 2024.

ELS is no longer available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.

Where can I learn more about ELS?
Refer to the following resources:

Which hardware architectures are covered?
For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, the ELS Add-On covers x86 32bit and 64bit variants.
For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, the ELS Add-On covers x86, 32bit and 64bit variants with the exception of Itanium, and IBM z Systems.
For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the ELS Add-On covers x86, 32bit and 64bit variants, and IBM z Systems.

Note that Add-Ons are not covered under ELS.

How is the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On packaged and sold?
ELS is an optional Add-On subscription that allows customers, for a fee, to extend their support one year at a time. ELS is typically sold as single year subscriptions, however it is possible to buy multiple years up front as part of a multi-year contract. A customer must already have paid for a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription before purchasing the ELS Add-On subscription for it. ELS Add-On is applicable to Standard or Premium subscriptions and can not be applied to self-support subscriptions.

Note that ELS should be purchased prior to the start date of the ELS period (April 1, 2017 for RHEL 5, and December 1, 2020 for RHEL 6). Otherwise, the ELS Add-On subscription must be back-dated to that start date.

How long are the ELS Add-Ons available, and supported?
ELS for RHEL 3 retired on January 30, 2014 and is no longer available.
ELS for RHEL 4 retired on March 31, 2017.
ELS for RHEL 5 retires on November 30, 2020.
ELS for RHEL 6 retires on June 30, 2020.
Customers who have subscribed to the ELS Add-On are receiving, or will receive, automated email communicating these dates via the Red Hat Errata system.

Where can I get an archive of the errata notices sent to customers with ELS-enabled releases?
RHEL 3: https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/rhel3els-errata.html
RHEL 4: https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/rhel4els-errata.html
RHEL 5: https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/rhel5els-errata.html

How can I opt-in to future notifications?
Feel free to opt in at https://access.redhat.com/site/security/updates/advisory/.

Is this a global offering?
Yes, the Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On subscription is available worldwide.

Is the ELS Add-On available for use on virtualized guests running on Red Hat KVM, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and other Red Hat supported hypervisors?
Yes. Each version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux under Extended Life Cycle Support is supported as a guest on host versions during its regular life cycle plus the additional time under ELS. The ELS Add-On pricing is instance-based for guests.

What does Extended Life Cycle Support provide during the extension period?
It provides customers access to official Red Hat support as well as delivery of selected urgent priority defect fixes and critical impact security fixes during the Extended Life Phase that would otherwise not be available. Not all packages in each major release are qualified to receive the above-mentioned critical fix support, so you will need to reference the package exclusions/inclusions list for these details. Without this offering, customers would only have access to previously released errata, documentation, and Kbase information that is offered during the Extended Life Phase.

For a detailed list of excluded packages for RHEL 3 and RHEL 4, please refer to: http://www.redhat.com/rhel/server/extended_lifecycle_support/exclusions/

For a detailed list of included packages for RHEL 5, please refer to the Extended Life Cycle Support Inclusions.

In general, what types of components or packages are not included in this support offering?
Desktop applications, the contents of the Extras channel, and any other product covered under a different subscription such as Red Hat Directory Server, Red Hat Satellite or JBoss Enterprise Middleware are not covered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux ELS. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, the same applies to Red Hat Cluster Suite and Global File System. Red Hat reserves the right to exclude additional packages.

Can you transfer your ELS subscription from one RHEL version to another RHEL version?
Yes. The ELS subscription is not version specific.

Where can I obtain more details about Red Hat Life Cycle policies and how they relate to this offering?
Please refer to http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata for more information.

What is the difference between the Extended Life Cycle Phase and the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On?
The Extended Life Cycle Phase (ELP) is the post-retirement time period. We require that customers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux products beyond their retirement continue to have active subscriptions which ensures that they continue receiving access to all previously released content, documentation, and Kbase articles as well as receive limited technical support. As there are no bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement, or root cause analysis available during the Extended Life Phase, customers may choose to purchase the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On during the Extended Life Phase, which will provide them with critical impact security fixes and selected urgent priority bug fixes.

Can I run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 without purchasing a subscription?
Yes. Under the terms of the Red Hat Enterprise Agreement, all systems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux installed or running require a subscription regardless of where the product is in its life cycle. This requirement, although always present in the agreement, was inconsistently communicated with regards to RHEL 3. Red Hat is excluding Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 from this policy because of this previous inconsistent communication. However, the requirement to purchase subscriptions for all systems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux installed or running applies to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and all releases going forward.

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