The End Is In Sight For RHEL 3

It's doubtful that anyone really likes having to upgrade, but at some point it has to be done. For those particularly adverse to the upgrade — like enterprise users, with good reason — there are extra-long windows, but eventually even those windows close. Last week, Red Hat announced that the oldest of its supported platforms has officially entered the homestretch.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 was originally released in October 2003, when the kernel was still 2.4 and several of today's most popular distributions weren't even a twinkle in a developer's eye. As one might expect, quite a bit has changed in the Linux world over the past seven years.

Those still holding on to RHEL 3 will see at least a bit of the change come October, when the operating system will reach a well-deserved end-of-life. Per Red Hat's support policy, new software functionality has been unavailable since mid-2006, while minor releases, "new functionality, new hardware enablement [and] updated installation images" ceased in mid-2007.

According to Advisory RHSA-2010:0386-1, as of October 31st:

New bug fix, enhancement, and security errata updates, as well as technical support services will no longer be available for the following products:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS 3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extras 3
  • Red Hat Desktop 3
  • Red Hat Global File System 3
  • Red Hat Cluster Suite 3

Those still running RHEL 3 in a production environment are strongly advised to begin moving to RHEL 5, itself three years into its seven year tenure. (RHEL 6 is currently in beta, with no official word on when a final version may be available.) Active Red Hat subscribers can update to any currently-maintained version at no cost.

Image courtesy of Leonid Mamchenkov.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

i used slackware debian.. i

ipad cases's picture

i used slackware debian.. i will try rhel 3..thanks

Overview Chart

Benjamin Schweizer's picture

Overview Chart

Benjamin Schweizer's picture

Awesomely useful

Jon brett's picture

Wow - that really is a useful link! Way, way, too useful.

Thank you

One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix