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Indiana University

IU's software agreement with Red Hat

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About the agreement

Indiana University has signed a license agreement with Red Hat allowing students, faculty, and staff to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). UITS provides access to versions 5, 6, Desktop, WS, ES, and AS. The site license allows for the use of RHEL as follows:

  • Personal: IU students, faculty, and staff are allowed to install any version of RHEL on their personal computers for personal use. When you leave IU, you will no longer be entitled to this license.

  • Workstation: Workstations are computers used at the university for IU-related work while on the job.

  • Server: Servers are computers used at IU as internal or external servers (e.g., file, web, or mail).

Available products

IU's license agreement with Red Hat provides the "base server" version and Desktop with Workstation option of RHEL. Visit the Red Hat site for a full list of Red Hat operating system offerings. Other software offered by Red Hat, such as the Cluster Suite, Global File System, and Application Stack, must be licensed separately from the IU agreement. To request a quote for any additional software you need, email Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure.

Getting the software

IU students, faculty, and staff can download the ISO images from the IU network (or through a VPN connection if connecting from off campus) and burn them to disk. The ISO images are available at:

ftp://iu-only.ussg.iu.edu/rhel/

Note: At the end of the install process, Anaconda will ask you if you want to register your system with the Red Hat Network; select NO. For RHEL 5 and 6, skip the installation number and Red Hat Network registration.

Getting updates from the RHN satellite

Registering your computer and using the RHN satellite

After you install RHEL, you can use a Red Hat Network (RHN) satellite server to retrieve updates for your system. To configure your system to do this:

  1. Download the appropriate bootstrap script from: https://rtcs.indiana.edu/linux/rhel/

    Choose the script that corresponds to the appropriate category and stepping: personal, workstation, or server; version 5 or 6.

    Note: The bootstrap scripts for personal, workstation, and server configurations all perform the same changes to your computer. They are available separately merely for statistical purposes at the request of Red Hat.

  2. Become root on your computer by entering: su -

    Be sure to add the trailing  -  (hyphen) so su will read in all of root's environment variables. If you don't add  - , the bootstrap script will fail.

  3. To make sure the script is executable, enter: chmod 700 scriptname.sh
  4. Read the script so that you will know what it will do to your system. To run the script, enter: ./scriptname.sh

You will then see that your computer has the public authentication key for the satellite server. Your computer will also default to using the local satellite when you run applications such as yum for RHEL 5 and 6.

The bootstrap script is used to retrieve the public GPG key of the satellite server and register your computer with the satellite. After running this script, you'll be able to use up2date, yum, or the RHN application and retrieve your packages from the satellite. Use these scripts after you have installed your RHEL box from CDs.

By default, your computer will check the satellite every four hours (240 minutes) for errata or patches. If new errata appear, you'll be notified via the RHN applet in the top right corner of your screen when running a GUI. You can launch this applet, or use up2date or yum to see what errata are available and decide if you want to install them.

Availability of the service

The satellite syncs with Red Hat twice a day; new patches and errata will be brought down at that time. If an important security erratum is delivered during the day, UITS may be able to sync the satellite at that time and have the erratum available sooner than the scheduled syncs. This may not always be possible; however, the satellite will always have recent errata or patches within 12 hours.

The satellite has a maintenance window 8am-noon on Sundays. Most maintenance will take only about 30 minutes to perform. No services will be available during this maintenance.

The site license for the satellite service is indefinite, and UITS expects to maintain the service for several years. If UITS ever decides to terminate the contract, it will notify system administrators well in advance so that they can arrange to use the standard RHN service.

Administering a group of computers

If you administer more than six computers (any combination of workstations and servers), you can use the RHN satellite web-based services to manage all of your computers from a central location. To request an administrative account on the satellite, email Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure. You will receive a bootstrap script, specifically for your workstations and servers, that has been tailored for your group. The bootstrapping procedure will be the same for your boxes as it is for the general use boxes.

Note: Personal workstations are not eligible for group management.