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Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL, is a commercial open-source distribution of Linux integrated by Red Hat for the wholesale market. It is published in server editions for x86-64 Power ISA, IBM Z, ARM64 and a desktop edition for x86-64. All the official training and support of Red Hat, with the Red Hat Certification Program, concentrates on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment.

The initial edition of RHEL came on the market as "Red Hat Linux Advanced Server", for bearing the name originally. Red Hat renamed Red Hat Linux Advanced Server to the "Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS" name and included two more versions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES, in 2003.

Red Hat utilizes strict trademark rules to limit free re-distribution of the officially supported editions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux but freely offers its source code. All third-party derivatives can be re-distributed and built by stripping away paid components like the trademarks of Red Hat. Examples contain community-supported distributions such as AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux and commercially forked such as Oracle Linux.

Variants of Red Hat Linux

The server subscription of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is freely available for development purposes. Developers are only required to register for the developer program of Red Hat and acknowledge license terms for production use. The free developer subscription was revealed on 31 March 2016.

Also, there are "Academic" editions of the server and desktop variants. They are provided to students and schools, are inexpensive, and are offered with the technical support of Red Hat as an extra option. Web support based on the total of customer contacts can separately be purchased.

Often, it is assumed the branding WS, AS, and ES stand for "Work Station", "Advanced Server", and "Entry-level Server", respectively. The reason for it is that the Entry-level Server product is indeed the base enterprise server product of the company, while Advanced Server is the more advanced product.

There are new versions that replace the former RHEL Desktop/WS/ES/AS in Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

  • RHEL Advanced Platform (or former AS)
  • RHEL former ES (restricted to two CPUs)
  • RHEL Desktop with Multi-OS and Workstation option
  • RHEL Desktop with only Workstation option (or former WS)
  • RHEL Desktop with only Multi-OS option
  • RHEL Desktop (or former Desktop)

Also, Red Hat had revealed its Red Hat Global Desktop Linux version "for emerging markets".

  • The 3, 4, and prior versions of RHEL had four different variants:
  • RHEL AS for enterprise/mission-critical computer systems.
  • RHEL ES for network servers
  • RHEL WS for high-performance computing for technical power user enterprise desktops
  • RHEL Desktop for single-user desktops multiple deployments for enterprises.

Version History of RHEL

  • Naming convention
    All releases are given a codename chosen by the developer's vote. The codenames do not have a particular pattern (unlike Debian or Ubuntu).
  • RHEL 9
    RHEL 9 was revealed at Red Hat Summit on 10 May 2022 and was officially published on 17 May 2022. In this system version, GNOME 40 and Linux Kernel 5.14.0 versions were introduced. RHEL 9 was the first edition which was CentOS Stream based, while historically, Red Hat Enterprise Linux was based on Fedora Linux directly.
  • RHEL 8
    RHEL 8 was based on GNOME 3.28, Fedora 28, systemd 239, glibc 2.28, GCC 8.2, upstream Linux Kernel 4.18, and the switch to Wayland. The initial beta was disclosed on 14 November 2018. RHEL 8 was officially published on 7 May 2019. IBM has finished the transition of the POWER9 and POWER8 servers to little-endian mode with the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.
  • RHEL 7
    RHEL 7 was based on GNOME 3.8, Fedora 19, systemd 208, and upstream Linux Kernel 3.10. The first beta was disclosed on 11 December 2013, and a publication candidate was there on 15 April 2014. RHEL 7 was officially published on 10 June 2014.
  • RHEL 6
    RHEL 6 was forked through Fedora 12 and included several backported aspects from Fedora 14 and 13.
  • RHEL 5
    RHEL 5 utilized Linux Kernel 2.6.18-8 on 15 March 2007, 15 years ago.
  • RHEL 4
    RHEL 4 announced Linux Kernel 2.6 versions and developed attributed to ext3 and ext2 file systems.
  • RHEL 3
    RHEL 3 utilized Linux Kernel 2.4.21-4 on 22 October 2003, 19 years ago.
  • RHEL 2.1
    RHEL 2.1 AS utilized Linux Kernel 2.4.9-e.3 on 26 March 2002, 20 years ago.

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