Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions include an industry leading 10 year support life cycle. Red Hat provides additional support options so that you can choose the option that best fits your business requirements. For example, at the end of the 10 year life cycle you can extend the life of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux instance for an additional four years with an Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) add-on subscription when ELS becomes available for RHEL 7 (see appendix below).

During the full support life cycle, the first 5 years of the RHEL support life cycle, a new minor release of RHEL occurs approximately every six months. If you do not have a Premium support subscription or the Extended Update Support (EUS) add-on subscription, you will need to update your RHEL instance with each minor release to receive efficient support from Red Hat.

If you have a business requirement or need to stay on a specific RHEL minor release or your application development life cycle prevents you from updating RHEL every 6 months, EUS will support your update life cycle requirements. In this tutorial, I demonstrate how to enable the repositories for EUS on RHEL.

EUS is included with a RHEL 8 and 9 Premium support subscription or can be purchased as an add-on subscription to a RHEL 8 and 9 Standard support subscription. The offering allows you to stay on a minor release for an additional 18 months beyond the end of support for the point release. With EUS you would have 24 months of support for a minor release of RHEL.

Starting with RHEL 9, you have the option to purchase a new EUS add-on subscription called Enhanced Extended Update Support for both standard and premium support RHEL offerings that will extend EUS to 48 months of support for a minor release of RHEL 9.

Starting with RHEL 8.2 and RHEL 9.0, even-numbered minor releases are eligible for EUS.

Extended Update Support Summary

Applicable to even numbered minor releases starting with RHEL 8.2 and RHEL 9.0

Extends minor release support to 24 months of support

Available with a RHEL Premium Support subscription or an EUS add-on subscription

Only Critical and Important impact security updates and urgent-priority bug fixes are made available at Red Hat’s discretion.

Limited new features or hardware enablement may be added to the EUS maintenance streams.

EUS end dates for current minor releases of RHEL 8 and 9

RHEL 8 EUS

RHEL 9 EUS

8.6 (ends May 31, 2024)

9.0 (ends May 31, 2024)

8.8 (ends May 31, 2025)

9.2 (ends May 31, 2025)

Set up for this tutorial

For this article, I'm using two virtual machines running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.8 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2 to demonstrate the enablement of EUS repos on a RHEL instance. Simple Content Access (SCA)is enabled on the Red Hat account associated with theseRHELinstances.

Make sure your system is registered with the Red Hat customer portal before starting the tutorial. For this tutorial I use an activation key to register my RHEL instances. I set my activation key to consume one Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server with Smart Management, Premium (Physical or Virtual Nodes) subscription. 

Where it makes sense, I've provided separate examples for RHEL 8 and RHEL 9.

First, register your RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 systems (do this on both):

$ sudo subscription-manager register --org=xxxxxxxx --activationkey=your_activationkey_here
[sudo] password for pslucas: 
The system has been registered with ID: 1b2d515f-e6fe-45a8-a8cf-9ffaf3839e0c
The registered system name is: eus88.example.com

Check the system status. You see that Content Access Mode is set to SCA. With SCA enabled, you only need to enable the instance and you don't need to assign a specific subscription to the instance.

$ sudo subscription-manager status
+-------------------------------------------+
   System Status Details
+-------------------------------------------+
Overall Status: Disabled
Content Access Mode is set to Simple Content Access. This host has access to content, regardless of subscription status.
System Purpose Status: Disabled

Look at which repos are enabled on the two systems. Here's RHEL 8:

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --list-enabled
+----------------------------------------------------------+
    Available Repositories in /etc/yum.repos.d/redhat.repo
+----------------------------------------------------------+
Repo ID:   rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - AppStream (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel8/$releasever/x86_64/appstream/os
Enabled:   1
Repo ID:   rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel8/$releasever/x86_64/baseos/os
Enabled:   1

Here's RHEL 9:

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --list-enabled
+----------------------------------------------------------+
    Available Repositories in /etc/yum.repos.d/redhat.repo
+----------------------------------------------------------+
Repo ID:   rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 for x86_64 - AppStream (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel9/$releasever/x86_64/appstream/os
Enabled:   1
Repo ID:   rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 for x86_64 - BaseOS (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/dist/rhel9/$releasever/x86_64/baseos/os
Enabled:   1

For RHEL 8, the rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms and rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms repos are from the master branch. They have all the RPMs that will bring you up to the latest minor version. In this example, RHEL 8.8 and then some for RHEL 8.

For RHEL 9, the rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms and rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms repos are from the master branch. They have all the RPMs that will bring you up to the latest minor version. In this example  RHEL 9.2 and then some for RHEL 9.

Now enable the EUS repositories for RHEL 8 and 9. You can find the repository names as demonstrated in the Red Hat Access article How to Access EUS.

On RHEL 8:

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --disable=rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms --disable=rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms
Repository 'rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms' is disabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms' is disabled for this system.
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable=rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms --enable=rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms
Repository 'rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms' is enabled for this system.
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --list-enabled
+----------------------------------------------------------+
    Available Repositories in /etc/yum.repos.d/redhat.repo
+----------------------------------------------------------+
Repo ID:   rhel-8-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - AppStream - Extended Update Support (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/eus/rhel8/$releasever/x86_64/appstream/os
Enabled:   1
Repo ID:   rhel-8-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for x86_64 - BaseOS - Extended Update Support (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/eus/rhel8/$releasever/x86_64/baseos/os
Enabled:   1

And on RHEL 9:

$ sudo subscription-manager repos --disable=rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms --disable=rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms
Repository 'rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-rpms' is disabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-rpms' is disabled for this system.
$sudo subscription-manager repos --enable=rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms --enable=rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms
Repository 'rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms' is enabled for this system.
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --list-enabled
+----------------------------------------------------------+
    Available Repositories in /etc/yum.repos.d/redhat.repo
+----------------------------------------------------------+
Repo ID:   rhel-9-for-x86_64-baseos-eus-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 for x86_64 - BaseOS - Extended Update Support (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/eus/rhel9/$releasever/x86_64/baseos/os
Enabled:   1
Repo ID:   rhel-9-for-x86_64-appstream-eus-rpms
Repo Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 for x86_64 - AppStream - Extended Update Support (RPMs)
Repo URL:  https://cdn.redhat.com/content/eus/rhel9/$releasever/x86_64/appstream/os
Enabled:   1

Enabling the EUS repos gives you access to all EUS errata before and during a particular release (8.0 through 8.8), and errata that comes out after the next minor release (8.9) during the defined minor version’s EUS period. Without setting a specific release, you aren't limiting the errata to 8.8 updates only.

If you wanted to limit the errata to a specific EUS release, then you can use the release --set option with the subscription-manager. For example:

$ sudo subscription-manager release --show
Release not set
$ sudo subscription-manager release --list
+-------------------------------------------+
          Available Releases
+-------------------------------------------+
8
8.0
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.6
8.7
8.8
$ sudo subscription-manager release --set=8.8
Release set to: 8.8

Setting the release to a specific RHEL minor release, you limit EUS errata through the minor release for which EUS is enabled.

RHEL life cycle table

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle support definitions

Full Support

Maintenance Support

Extended Life Cycle Support

Applicable to current minor release

Applicable to last minor RHEL release 6.10, 7.9, 8.10, 9.10

Applicable to last minor RHEL release 6.10, 7.9, 8.10, 9.10

Included in current subscription

Included in current subscription

Add-on subscription

Red Hat defined Critical & Important security errata

Red Hat defined Critical & Important security errata

Red Hat defined Critical & Important security errata

New & improved hardware enablement and software functionality – at Red Hat’s discretion.

New hardware enablement and software functionality are not planned

New hardware enablement and software functionality are not planned

New installation media

No new installation media

No new installation media

Wrap up

Red Hat provides you with a variety of support options for your RHELinstance so you can choose the support options that best suit your particular business needs. EUS provides another support option designed to best meet your specific business requirements.


About the authors

Paul Lucas is a Chicagoland-based Red Hat Solutions Architect working with a variety of enterprise businesses. A 21 year technical sales veteran, Paul was previously a customer working at a benefits consulting firm, where he advised development teams on the use of Java and the then-emerging Java EE.

Read full bio