Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a Linux distribution developed by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is released in server versions for x86, x86-64, Itanium, PowerPC and IBM System z, and desktop versions for x86 and x86-64. All of the Red Hat’s official support and training, together with the Red Hat Certification Program, focuses on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is often abbreviated to RHEL, although this is not an official designation.
Download the latest version of RHEL here:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server subscription is available at no cost for development purposes. Developers need to register for the Red Hat Developer Program and agree to licensing terms forbidding production use. This free developer subscription was announced on March 31, 2016.
There are also “Academic” editions of the Desktop and Server variants. They are offered to schools and students, are less expensive, and are provided with Red Hat technical support as an optional extra. Web support based on number of customer contacts can be purchased separately.
It is often assumed the branding ES, AS, and WS stand for “Entry-level Server”, “Advanced Server” and “Work Station”, respectively. The reason for this is that the ES product is indeed the company’s base enterprise server product, while AS is the more advanced product. However, nowhere on its site or in its literature does Red Hat say what AS, ES and WS stand for.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 there are new editions that substitute former Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS/ES/WS/Desktop:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform (former AS)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (former ES) (limited to two CPUs)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop with Workstation and Multi-OS option
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop with Workstation option (former WS)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop with Multi-OS option
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (former Desktop)
Red Hat had also announced its Red Hat Global Desktop Linux edition “for emerging markets“.
RHEL 4, 3, and prior releases had four variants:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS for mission-critical/enterprise computer systems.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES for supported network servers
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS for technical power user enterprise desktops for high-performance computing
- Red Hat Desktop for multiple deployments of single-user desktops for enterprises.
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