Skip to content

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) @ CERN

CERN is committed to work with the both the HEP community as well as the open-source CentOS ecosystem. For this reason, we promote the use of CentOS Stream as the 'default' operating system and strongly encourage all users to use CentOS Stream.

RHEL can however be used for use cases that cannot be satisfied with CentOS Stream (life cycle or enterprise software incompatibilities).

License status

As of March 2022, CERN currently holds an academic site-license which allows for certain usage of RHEL on the CERN site.

End of Site License

Our site license ends on May 31, 2029, before the currently-scheduled start of Run 4. After this date, there is no guarantee that we will have another license that will allow you to continue to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is not recommended to use RHEL for any usecase where you will not be able to reinstall completely (migration-in-place will not be supported) and migrate to another operating system before this date.

In addition to the above, CERN also pays for a limited number of full licenses which by default come with full support. These licenses are used for hosts that require a supported operating system as part of their own licensing conditions (Oracle database, etc).

For more information and registration requests please contact linux.support@cern.ch.

Installation

OpenStack images (VM and Ironic bare-metal)

OpenStack RHEL images (VM and Ironic bare-metal) are marked as 'community' images.

This means that if you know the image UUID of a RHEL image, you can spawn a RHEL virtual machine in any OpenStack project.

How do I know the RHEL OpenStack image UUIDs?

We have an automatic process that will inform via email the linux-announce-rhel@cern.ch egroup whenever a new RHEL image is uploaded to https://openstack.cern.ch.

To be added to linux-announce-rhel@cern.ch, please submit a SNOW request to the Linux team explaining your use case and why CentOS Stream is not suitable. We will also provide the UUID of the latest images via SNOW.

Container images (docker / podman)

The RHEL end user license agreement (EULA) does not permit the distribution of RHEL content, and as such running RHEL containers at sites that do not hold a RHEL subscription is a breach of the Red Hat license agreement.

What can be used in lieu of RHEL for containers is the "Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI)". UBI has a different EULA which permits unrestricted distribution of content.

Within CERN, we have UBI images mirrored from Red Hat to gitlab-registry.cern.ch:

The UBI RPM repository is also mirrored locally to http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/cdn-ubi.redhat.com.

AIMS PXE boot

Red Hat Enterprise Linux can also be installed via network boot, using same methods as CentOS distributions.

Please see PXE Network boot and AIMS2 client for more information.


Available versions/products

Additional information


Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (RHEL)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Server

RHEL 9.0

Installation target: RHEL_9_0_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/9/9.0/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-9.0-x86_64

Software repositories

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel9.repo https://linux.web.cern.ch/rhel/repofiles/rhel9.repo

Direct download: rhel9.repo To update your system run as root:

# /usr/bin/yum update

You may also want to consider adding the 'CERN' repository

# curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel9-cern.repo https://linux.web.cern.ch/rhel/repofiles/rhel9-cern.repo
# curl -o /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2 https://linuxsoft.cern.ch/internal/repos/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Server

Update 6

Installation target: RHEL_8_6_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.6/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.6-x86_64

Update 5

Installation target: RHEL_8_5_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.5/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.5-x86_64

Update 4

Installation target: RHEL_8_4_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.4/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.4-x86_64

Update 3

Installation target: RHEL_8_3_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.3/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.3-x86_64

Update 2

Installation target: RHEL_8_2_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.2/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.2-x86_64

Update 1

Installation target: RHEL_8_1_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.1/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.1-x86_64

RHEL 8.0

Installation target: RHEL_8_0_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/8/8.0/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-8.0-x86_64

Software repositories

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel8.repo https://linux.web.cern.ch/rhel/repofiles/rhel8.repo

Direct download: rhel8.repo To update your system run as root:

# /usr/bin/yum update

You may also want to consider adding the 'CERN' repository

# curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel8-cern.repo https://linux.web.cern.ch/rhel/repofiles/rhel8-cern.repo
# curl -o /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2 https://linuxsoft.cern.ch/internal/repos/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server

Update 9

Installation target: RHEL_7_9_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.9/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.9-x86_64

Update 8

Installation target: RHEL_7_8_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.8/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.8-x86_64

Update 7

Installation target: RHEL_7_7_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.7/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.7-x86_64

Update 6

Installation target: RHEL_7_6_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.6/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.6-x86_64

Update 5

Installation target: RHEL_7_5_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.5/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.5-x86_64

Update 4

Installation target: RHEL_7_4_X86_64
Installation path:   http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/server/7/7.4/x86_64/
Release notes:       RELEASE-NOTES-7.4-x86_64

Software repositories

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel7.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel.repo

Direct download: rhel7.repo To update your system run as root:

# /usr/bin/yum update

You may also want to consider adding the 'CERN' repository

# curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel7-cern.repo https://linux.web.cern.ch/rhel/repofiles/rhel7-cern.repo
# curl -o /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2 https://linuxsoft.cern.ch/internal/repos/RPM-GPG-KEY-kojiv2

JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JB-EAP)

Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform is a 'layered product': repositories listed below are to be installed in addition to base system (RHEL) repositories.

Software repositories for RHEL 7 (version 7)

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel7-jp-eap.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-jb-eap.repo

Direct download: rhel7-jb-eap.repo

Software repositories for RHEL 7 (version 7.1)

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel7-jp-eap-7.1.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-jb-eap-7.1.repo

Direct download: rhel7-jb-eap-7.1.repo


Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a 'layered product': repositories listed below are to be installed in addition to base system (RHEL) repositories.

Available versions

RHEV 4.2

Installation ISOs and appliance images available at: http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/rhev/4.2/

RHEV 4.3

Installation ISOs and appliance images available at: http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/enterprise/rhel/rhev/4.3/

Note: access to RHEV requires additional (separate) license for the system.

Software repositories for RHEL 7

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel7-ev.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-ev.repo

Direct download: rhel7-ev.repo


Red Hat Messaging Realtime Grid - Realtime (RHMRG)

Red Hat Messaging Realtime Grid is a 'layered product': repositories listed below are to be installed in addition to base system (RHEL) repositories.

Note: access to RHMRG requires additional (separate) license for the system.

Only 'Realtime' component is available (no 'Grid' / no 'Messaging').

Software repositories for RHEL 8

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel8-rt.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-rt.repo

Direct download: rhel-rt.repo

Software repositories for RHEL 7

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel7-rt.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-rt.repo

Direct download: rhel-rt.repo

Software repositories for RHEL 6

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel6-realtime.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-realtime.repo

Direct download: rhel6-realtime.repo Note: Available only for x86_64


Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Lifecycle Support (RHELS)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Lifecycle Support is a product allowing extension of standard Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle

Note: access to RHELS requires additional (separate) license for the system.

Software repositories for RHEL 6 ELS

Install software repository definitions on your system, by running as root:

# wget http://cern.ch/linux/rhel/repofiles/rhel6-els.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/rhel-els.repo

Direct download: rhel6-els.repo

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Update Support (RHEUS)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Support is a product allowing extension of standard Red Hat Enteprise Linux Life Cycle for specific minor releases. Repositories listed below replace base system (RHEL) repositories.

Note: access to RHEUS requires additional (separate) license for the system.


Software installation and updates

We maintain a local mirror (updated 4 times per day) of Red Hat Enterprise Linux software repositories, and all RHEL systems at CERN are installing/updating from this mirror only.

Red Hat 'Subscription Manager' and 'Red Hat Network' are not used.

In order to update a RHEL system installed at CERN please run as root:

# /usr/bin/yum update

Or if only security updates are to be applied: install yum-plugin-security

# /usr/bin/yum install yum-plugin-security

and apply security errata by running:

#  /usr/bin/yum --security update

Note: above command will install latest versions of package providing at least one security errata: non-security errata will be installed if more recent than a security one.

In order to install ONLY security errata, please run:

# yum --security update-minimal

Repository snapshots

We maintain daily snaphots of RHEL software repositories. These snapshots can be used in order to reinstall system to a known past state and provide greater rollback flexibility than yum rollback can.

Please note that this degree of flexibility is only needed in specific cases: for most systems standard yum update (with security plugin) should be sufficient. RHEL is a stable enterprise class Linux distribution evolving slowly.

In order to use yum repository snapshots please edit yum repository definition files in /etc/yum.repos.d/ and change baseurl in each repository definition.

Example (/etc/yum.repos.d/rhel.repo) - change:

[rhel-7-server-rpms]
name     = Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server (RPMs)
baseurl  = http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel/server/7/7Server/$basearch/os
enabled  = 1
gpgcheck = 1
gpgkey   = file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-redhat-release

to:

[rhel-7-server-rpms]
name     = Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server (RPMs)
baseurl  = http://linuxsoft.cern.ch/**internal/yumsnapshot/YYYYMMDD**/cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel/server/7/7Server/$basearch/os
enabled  = 1
gpgcheck = 1
gpgkey   = file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-redhat-release

where YYYYMMDD corresponds to snapshot date, for example: 20150408

Note: Daily snapshots of yum repositories are kept for 12 months.

Note: Snapshots are by design immutable: if you discover a problem with a snapshot (corrupted repository metadata, conflicting packages .. etc) - that problem can not be fixed: you will need to use snapshot made at different date.


Documentation

Upstream RHEL related documentation can be found on Red Hat site: