Red Hat Enterprise Linux( RHEL) is one of the most powerful and distinct operating systems existing in the Linux environment. It is based on the open source-code concept and is freely available for download. However, copying keywords from Red Hat is prohibited. So, what exactly is Red Hat Enterprise Linux? Well truthfully, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux” (by this name) has not existed since 2003, instead you now have a variety of options offered by Red Hat.
Linux has many operating system options, commonly referred to as Linux distributions. Or if you want to learn more about Linux in general, take a look at our post “What is Linux?”
This post however will focus on helping you understand Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat provides an ecosystem which supports diverse workloads for physical, cloud and virtual environments. Multiple versions of Red Hat are available for desktops, SAP applications, mainframes, servers, and Open Stack. Also Red Hat supports a large number of different software packages which helps in easy use for enterprise level applications.
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux( RHEL) distributions divided into three categories:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux – A commercially supported distribution
- Fedora Linux – A Red Hat sponsored community supported Linux distribution. It is a platform that provides Red Hat and contributor community to rapidly innovate newer technologies for Linux
- CentOS – A community supported Linux distribution. This is a multi-source version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is mostly used for servers.
You will most commonly encounter Red Hat Linux as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a paid Red Hat product that includes support directly from Red Hat. RHEL 7.4 is the latest version released on July 31, 2017 with the core version 3.10.0-693. A typical Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes several applications, development tools and utilities such as Samba, OpenOffice.org, MySQL, GIMP, Firefox, DHCP, Compiz, CUPS, Python to name a few.
RHEL can be installed on the desktop but most likely runs the free version of Red Hat Linux. This option will provide most of the essential features of Red Hat except a few features which will be available only in licensed versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Another suitable alternative for Red Hat home use is Fedora, powered by Red Hat.
Pricing for Red Hat Linux varies based on the choice of platform. A complete list of Red Hat products are in their online store.
Red Hat Linux Features
Over the years Red Hat has been one of the most popular operating systems for development, deployment and enterprise level usage. Due to the features and flexibility of those features Red Hat tends to fall at the top of the list of de facto standards for enterprise platforms.
Red Hat capabilities include:
- Security standards to protect your data, and maintain mandate controls from network firewall to application isolation
- Supports more than 400 software packages such as C and C++ language compiler from Cygnus, X Window System from Consortium, Web Server from Apache
- High performance across diverse areas like computational scalability, database throughput and application performance
- Interoperability and compatibility with most of the operating systems including Microsoft Windows Server and Unix
- Incredibly flexible cloud environment to server enterprise level requirements when using Red Hat Enterprise Linux in conjunction with other systems
- Works on the principle of Reliability, Availability and Serviceability – RAS. You can experience 99.999% up-time for your enterprise usage.
- Established enterprises
- Cloud Providers
- Startups looking for open source solutions
- Clients include – Rackspace, Barclays, Jalisco, British Columbia, Macquarie, FICO, Cisco and many more
In addition lets be familiar with some questions about Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Can I use Red Hat(RHEL) on my personal laptop ?
Yes of course. I’ve put CentOS (a free version of RHEL) on a laptop.
The only issue is that as a long-term stable Linux distribution, RHEL tends to be several versions behind on kernel, device drivers, and applications. Laptops use fully integrated hardware – you can’t add a PCI card for ethernet, WiFI or audio as you can in a desktop. There’s a good chance that a newer model of laptop may use a device for which there is no support in RHEL. Sometimes, there is no support in Linux at all, or you may have to wait for someone to write a driver. In which case it will be available in the development versions of Fedora or Ubuntu long before it appears in RHEL.
And Also the Question of is RHEL free?
Most of the software is based on GPL licensed software and is free (under GNU Public License – GPL terms.)
However, the update service and some of the management software is licensed. Support by Red Hat requires a support agreement.
So None of it is perfectly free. You are not free to resell the GPL licensed software – or derivatives of it outside of the terms of the GPL.
What are the advantages of (RHEL)
- I’ve found RHEL (and CentOS), after a few releases have passed, much more stable.
- RHEL is always more a “setup once.
- RHEL is always better supported by all main server manufacturer and the other way around.
- RedHat is simply corporate world, with a long history behind of commercial relations between RedHat and everyone else involved into servers business.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Training
Red Hat has a steep learning curve and many have found learning Red Hat to be easier by earning a Red Hat certification. It certification exams are as hard as gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to earn your certification. For example, to earn Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification you must complete RH124 & RH134 or RH199 training courses and pass the RHCSA EX200 exam.
In addition on the Internet you can begin your journey with learning Red Hat Linux.