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For developers, getting Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now easier than ever thanks to the availability of the no-cost Red Hat Developer Subscription.

Get the software

  1. Join the Red Hat Developer Program and register at developers.redhat.com to get a subscription. Each system that runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux will need a subscription.

  2. Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server

  3. Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server using one of our guides. For Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, or other Linux users, our guides cover creating a virtual machine (VM) with VirtualBox, Hyper-V, or installing on a physical system.

  4. After installation, you will be prompted to register your system with the Red Hat Customer Portal. This will attach your system to your subscription, which enables the system to download updates and additional software from Red Hat.

Development software and software repositories

For developers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes a large amount of software such as compilers, dynamic languages, development tools, databases, web servers and other middleware. Available software is grouped into software repositories that are used to segregate packages by type, source, or support life cycle. After installation only the base Red Hat Enterprise Linux software repositories are enabled. Additional software is made available for installation by enabling additional repositories. The software in other repositories may not be supported by Red Hat or may have different life cycles.

Updated development tools: Red Hat Software Collections

Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) are part of RHEL 7 provides a set of development tools such as compilers, dynamic languages, and database servers, that are updated yearly. These tools are available as packages in the RHSCL software repository, They can be installed alongside those included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux after enabling the RHSCL software repository.

Since the base packages included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux are supported for 10 years, updated packages will be made available to address critical bug fixes and security updates as needed during the 10 year lifecycle. RHSCL packages are only supported for two to three years depending on the package. Developers are free to choose which package is appropriate for their applications.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases and lifecycle

Releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux have a version number, such as 7.2, which indicates both a major release number, in this case 7, and an update (or minor version) number, in this case 2.

Minor releases (.1, .2, .3, etc.) will be made throughout the 10 year period. Upgrading to the next minor release is straightforward, the process is essentially the same as applying other security and bugfix updates. Great care is taken to ensure compatibility, at the application binary interface (ABI) level, across the entire lifespan of a major release. Therefore, the versions of libraries, compilers, runtimes, and the Linux kernel included with Red Hat Enterprise Linux will change very little during the 10 year life span of a major release. When necessary, for the packages that Red Hat supports, important bug and/or security fixes will be backported and made available as an update.

For more information see Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Release Dates.

Hello World quick starts

Install software and build a “Hello World” application in minutes using our quick starts for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Software Collections. Guides are available for C++, Java, Node.js, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Questions about the no-cost developer subscription

If you have questions about the no-cost subscription offered through developers.redhat.com, see Frequently asked questions: no-cost Red Hat Developer Subscription for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Last updated: November 30, 2021