Red Hat Developer Subscription -- WAS: RHEL entitlements for EPEL maintainers

Bryan J Smith b.j.smith at
Tue Apr 3 19:05:56 UTC 2012

From: "Peter Lemenkov" <lemenkov at>
> Not so interesting then - we've got SL and CentOS already.

I've been tracking this thread, and since this comes up regularly, I'd
like to point out a couple of considerations.  The audience of these
considerations vary, so please ignore the ones that are not
appropriate for you.

- Red Hat products and "EL Rebuilds"

There is a difference between building for Red Hat products, including
Enterprise Linux (EL), and community (and even commercial) "EL
Rebuilds," as I will refer to them.  Even if we not only acknowledge
"EL Rebuilds" strive for bit-for-bit compatibility, but always assume
they are, there are more things than delays in errata and updates,
including the fact that only some infrastructure and other products
are built as well.  Having a Red Hat Network (RHN) account, related
subscriptions, etc... to build against is most ideal, including the
child channels.

- Releasing software as both community and supported

If you are an open source project, one that targets both a community
release (ideally via EPEL) and a commercial release (ideally as a Red
Hat ISV), it's nice to build on Red Hat products.  Beyond waiting for
"EL Rebuild" to release errata/updates, if you are considering funding
your developments with a supported release with the latter, being able
to build and reproduce issues on Red Hat stack never hurts either.  In
fact, I would like to see more commercial ISVs release their open
source software directly via Fedora Project EPEL, taking advantage of
its benefits.

I've now been involved with a number of value-add, open source
projects that build on "EL Rebuilds" -- or even Fedora -- but then run
into issues that would be addressed if they were developing on Red Hat
for release.  I.e., by the time they develop/build, the "EL Rebuild"
errata/updates are out as well.  If they wait for the latter, then
their release is even later.  And if they are on Fedora, they are
often half-way to the next release, if not already there.  Having a
Red Hat entitlement for development would be much better.

- Access to Red Hat Customer Portal

I know several professionals on this list, including myself, are not
active EPEL developers.  We use this list to track developments and
other considerations as we leverage Fedora EPEL for distribution of
unsupported components in enterprises.  Although portions of Red Hat
Network is public, including some of the Knowledgebase, having full
access is never a bad thing.  As a professional, I've found this to be
a Godsend, especially when I'm consulting at a site and they have not
given me a login for their Red Hat account.

With that all said ...

- Free Entitlements and the Red Hat Developer Subscription

If RHEL entitlements are being offered for EPEL maintainers, I would
take advantage of such an offering for the reasons above, as they
apply to you.

Otherwise, also know that Red Hat continues to maintain a sub-$100
subscription for developers that comes with the platform and
middleware stacks. [1]  So even if you're not an active EPEL
developer, but regularly building and/or integrating Fedora, EPEL,
etc... in your enterprise, consider the Developer Subscription [1] for
development-usage, such as building and testing.

I'm still surprised how many people are not aware that Red Hat
continues to offer a subscription for Developers, and has e-mailed
various offerings over the years.  E.g., I'm still using my RHN
account that I originally registered for Red Hat Linux almost a decade
ago, and have taken Red Hat up offers ever since they converted my Red
Hat Linux account into Red Hat Enterprise Linux entitlements back in


Bryan J Smith - Professional, Technical Annoyance

More information about the epel-devel-list mailing list