[u-u] redhat licensing / subscription

Dan Astoorian djast at ecf.utoronto.ca
Thu Apr 9 11:41:49 EDT 2020

On Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:35:42 EDT, Jim Mercer writes:
> hi,
> i have a project that requires an official RedHat installation, CENTOS won't 
> cut it.

We're going the other direction :-)

> my understanding of RedHat licensing is that you need a subscription, which
> enables access to the repositories (and support forums, etc).

They have different levels of subscription.  U of T, for example, has a
site-licenced subscription with a service level of "Self-Support" that
gives us access to the repositories and customer portal (e.g., the
"Knowledgebase") but doesn't entitle us to file support tickets.

A couple of years ago they tried to squeeze us and other Universities
and jack up the subscription cost by about 1,000%.  They eventually
backed off when it became clear we weren't going to pay that, but the
experience left a bad taste in a lot of mouths around here and pushed a
lot of departments off to other distributions, including CentOS.

No subscription is needed to access https://bugzilla.redhat.com/ , which
is tracked by Red Hat engineers, but sometimes the response is something

    For official Red Hat Enterprise Linux support, please log into the
    Red Hat support website at http://www.redhat.com/support and file a
    support ticket, or alternatively contact Red Hat Global Support
    Services at 1-888-RED-HAT1 to speak directly with a support
    associate and escalate an issue.

I've filed bugs at bugzilla.redhat.com and had them eventually
addressed (especially if I dig deep enough to tell them exactly which
line of code to patch), but it's not typically a timely response.
Sometimes the answer is WONTFIX, and sometimes the bug just sits there
until it closes because the OS has hit end-of-life.

> i'm kinda envisioning this:
> we set up a developer's subscription, and each server we bring up in the dev/
> staging environments would attach to that subscription.
> in production, where will will only have 2-10 live servers, we will attach th
> ose
> to the commercial subscription.
> is that the way it works?

Pretty much, I think.

The customer portal shows me a table showing subscription numbers and
names, the contract number they're attached to (if applicable), the
quantity, and the start and end dates.

For example, U of T has an "Academic Site" subscription with
Quantity=1000, a "Red Hat Satellite Infrastructure" subscription with
Quantity=50, and about half a dozen individual "Red Hat Developer"
subscriptions each with Quantity=1 and various start/end dates (I
presume those were acquired by specific departments separately from the
campus subscription).

(Specific subscriptions can be attached from the customer portal.  I'm
sure it's possible to do it from the system itself, once it's been
registered, but I've always just done
"subscription-manager attach --auto" or the equivalent, which somehow
figures out that our Academic Site subscription is the default.)

Hope this helps,

Dan Astoorian, Systems Administrator
Engineering Computing Facility
University of Toronto

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