Frequently asked questions

Learn the answers to frequently asked questions about BigFix Extended Update Support (EUS) and Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) patch add-ons for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6, 7 and 8.

What are the prerequisites for Red Hat?

Access to EUS repositories that you have the Extended Update Support feature as part of your Red Hat OS license subscription. Red Hat’s online store says it is an add-on to the standard subscription and is included in a premium subscription.
The following examples are from the Red Hat store and are not owned or controlled by HCL.
From https://www.redhat.com/en/store/red-hat-enterprise-linux-server

From https://www.redhat.com/en/store/red-hat-enterprise-linux-virtual-datacenters

Access to ELS repositories requires purchasing the Extended Life Cycle Support Add-On from Red Hat, which is available to standard and premium subscriptions only. Please refer to https://www.redhat.com/en/resources/els-datasheet.

Red Hat Enterprise accounts and terms with Red Hat might vary. Confirm licensing details with your Red Hat license representative.

Are SAP, Resilient Storage and the other add-ons for RHEL 6 included in the ELS content?

Red Hat does not offer support to any RHEL 6 Add-On repositories under its ELS program. Refer to https://access.redhat.com/articles/4665701 for more information.

On November 30, when ELS was started for RHEL 6, Red Hat published two new repositories:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Server - Extended Life (RPMs)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Server - Extended Life Cycle Support - Optional (RPMs)

RHEL Extended Support includes applicable patch Fixlets for updates that are released through these two new repositories.

Why do my EUS and ELS patch actions keep failing?

The two most common reasons for EUS and ELS patch action failures are as follows:

  • The GPG key has not yet been imported to the endpoint being patched.
  • The Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM) entitlement certificate that is used for the RHSM Download Plug-in on the BigFix root server are invalid or expired.
Both of these issues manifest themselves by actions that fail to process the "exit" line near the end, as shown in the following figure:
Figure 1. EUS and ELS patch failing

If the GPG key is not imported, run the Import RPM-GPG-KEY-redhat-release task (which is fixlet ID 10 in each of the RHEL Extended Support patch sites) on the target endpoints.

To check whether the Red Hat subscription entitlement certificates that the RHSM Download Plug-in uses are valid, open a command prompt window and run this command in the RHSMProtocol folder (typically C:\Program Files (x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\DownloadPlugins\RHSMProtocol) on your BigFix root server:
rhsmplugin –checkallrepos

If repositories are shown as not enabled, try to download your RHSM subscription entitlement certificates from the RHSM portal at access.redhat.com again.

To diagnose these or other Red Hat patch action failures, it can be helpful to review the EDRDeploymentResults.txt file which contains a log of the RHEL patch Fixlet’s activity. The file can be found in the /var/opt/BESClient/EDRDeployData/ folder on each BigFix RHEL client.

Can I use the Yum Transaction History dashboard to undo EUS and ELS updates?

Undoing a Yum transaction involves reinstalling the package that was installed before the Yum transaction started. If the prior version was sourced from a full or maintenance repository (pre-EUS or pre-ELS), then undoing the transaction by using the dashboard can work. If the prior version was sourced from an EUS or ELS repository, the dashboard cannot undo the transaction.

Can I use the EUS or ELS patch Fixlets without using the RHSM download plugin?

You can use the EUS and ELS patch Fixlets without using the download plug-in by enabling custom repository support by using the Enable Custom Repository Support fixlet (Fixlet ID 13) in the Patching Support site, just as you would do when using the standard Patches for RHEL sites.
Each computer to be patched must have Internet access and must have the EUS or ELS repositories enabled using the RHSM tool to install EUS or ELS patches without using the plug-in.

What are the special disk space requirements?

All repository metadata and update packages are cached locally in the /var/opt/BESClient/rhsmyum/cache folder, similarly to how standard patches for RHEL packages are cached. This data is not subject to the BigFix client cache size limitations and can range up to 3GB.

When are the RHEL Extended Support patch sites added to WebUI and SCA?

The RHEL Extended Support patch sites were added to the BigFix WebUI in January 2021. They are scheduled to be added as patch sites to BigFix SCA in March 2021.