Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-on

Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) is an optional Add-On subscription for certain Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® subscriptions.1 ELS enhances the value of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, extending the viability of a given Red Hat operating system platform beyond its traditional 10-year support life cycle.

Extended maintenance for your Red Hat Enterprise Linux migration

Red Hat understands the importance of life-cycle planning for our customers, partners, ISVs, and the entire Red Hat Enterprise Linux ecosystem. Enterprises deploying open source software in production need assurances that their chosen platform has clearly defined security and support over the life cycle of the operating system. Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions offer clearly communicated life-cycle strategy and guidance, allowing organizations to plan and execute operating system transitions that meet the needs of their applications and their business.2

While the latest innovations are always available in the most recent Red Hat releases, it is not always possible or desirable for organizations to update to the latest versions. In response, Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 each deliver 10 years of support, with that support broken down into Full Support and Maintenance Support phases depending on the operating system version (Figure 1).3 The optional ELS Add-On subscription provides additional support during the Extended Life Phase to extend limited support services beyond the 10-year point in the operating system life cycle.


  • Extend support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux beyond 10 years with the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On subscription.
  • Strategically plan operating system life cycle transitions with predictable schedules and clear Red Hat guidance.
  • Help ensure stable and secure deployments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions.

Figure 1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle phases by operating system release.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux life cycle phases vary by operating system release:4

  • Full Support Phase. During the Full Support Phase, qualified Critical and Important Security errata advisories (RHSAs) and Urgent and Selected High Priority Bug Fix errata advisories (RHBAs) may be released as they become available. If available, new or improved hardware enablement and select enhanced software functionality may be provided at Red Hat’s discretion.
  • Maintenance Support Phases. During the Maintenance Support Phases, qualified RHSAs and RHBAs may be released as they become available. Other errata advisories may be delivered as appropriate. New functionality and new hardware enablement is at the discretion of Red Hat, and varies by operating system release.
  • Extended Life Phase. During the Extended Life Phase, a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription provides continued access to previously released content on the Red Hat Customer Portal, as well as other content such as documentation and the Red Hat knowledgebase. By default no bug fixes, security fixes, hardware enablement, or root-cause analysis is available during this phase.

ELS Add-On subscription details for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6

Available during the Extended Life Phase, ELS delivers certain critical-impact security fixes, selected urgent priority bug fixes5, and troubleshooting for the last minor release of a given version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The ELS Add-On applies to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux version currently in the ELS phase, with support that includes the following:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. The ELS Add-On covers IBM Z and the x86 architecture, both 32-bit and 64-bit variants with the exception of the Itanium architecture.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The ELS Add-On covers IBM Z and the x86 architecture, both 32-bit and 64-bit variants.

Additional details as well as a list of supported packages can be found on the Red Hat Customer Portal

  1. Note: Only Standard or Premium Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions are eligible for ELS support. Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop or Workstation subscriptions are not eligible for the ELS Add-On. Add-Ons are not covered by ELS.

  2. See the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle page for more detailed information (

  3. With the advent of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and 9, the Maintenance Support 1 and Maintenance Support 2 phases have been consolidated into a single Maintenance Support phase.

  4. Full details can be found at

  5. Bug fixes provided at Red Hat discretion.

As of October 1, 2019, Red Hat has expanded the scope of addressing fixes or remediations for Red Hat-defined Critical and Important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) on all actively supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This includes all active releases with future releases automatically inheriting this enhanced CVE policy, including all future major versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.