Red Hat’s customers using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and 6 are getting a little more breathing room when it comes to updates. The company announced today that it is extending the support life cycle from seven to 10 years for RHEL 5 and 6. Customers using RHEL 6 will have support through 2020.
According to a FAQ from Red Hat, the move is in response to customer requests. Many of the customers adopting RHEL 5 were doing so mid-cycle, and were looking at dealing with upgrades sooner than what’s desirable. With the extension, RHEL 5 support will be carried through 2017.
Note that customers already had the option of an “extended” life cycle support for three years after the “regular” cycle. In other words, customers could receive support for 10 years already, but after the seven year window no new hardware would be enabled for the release. Red Hat isn’t promising support for all new hardware with RHEL 5, for example, but this does at least provide the possibility for new hardware support in RHEL 5 for a longer period.
Customers still need to upgrade to minor releases, eventually, to continue receiving support as well. For example, the support for RHEL 5.2 ended six months after 5.4 became available. The RHEL 5.6 release was initially supposed to end support six months after 5.8. However, support will be extended for six months after the availability of 5.9. See the updates policy page for full details.