Red Hat offers no-cost RHEL subscription to developers

It’s not a watered down version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it’s the same RHEL that enterprise customers use.

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Credit: Russ McMullin/Flickr

Developers can now get access to a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription free of cost as part of the Red Hat Developer Program.

Under the program, the company is offering RHEL Developer Suite, which includes RHEL Server, Red Hat Software Collections, Red Hat Developer Toolset and many additional RHEL add-ons.

“The Red Hat Developer Program is already quite robust, encompassing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and a significant number of Red Hat Enterprise Linux add-ons, as well as the Red Hat JBoss Middleware portfolio. This includes JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, JBoss Fuse, JBoss Developer Studio and many more open source middleware solutions for application development, integration and automation,” Harry Mower, senior director, Developer Tools and Marketing, Red Hat told me in an email.

With this program Red Hat is targeting developers and IT teams who can now use RHEL as a development platform without having to pay a subscription fee.

When I asked about any difference between the standard RHEL and the one made available under the program, Mower said, “There’s no 'watering down' of features or additional limitations, so other than the use cases and support, this is the same Red Hat Enterprise Linux that is made available to our enterprise customers.”

What about regular updates that RHEL enterprise customers get? “We are currently evaluating how we will enable updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux through the developer subscription, but our goal is to provide developers with major and minor updates in a timely manner,” explained Mower.

These are some of the products and components that are available as part of the suite:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server - An application development entitlement to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform.
  • Development tools with long-term support - Each major Red Hat Enterprise Linux release includes a broad set of base tools that, like the operating system, are supported for 10 years; including Python, PHP, Ruby, OpenJDK 7 (1.7), OpenJDK 8 (1.8) and many more.
  • Development tools with frequent updates - Multiple open source programming languages, databases, web servers, and development tools are updated yearly with the most recent, stable versions, and are packaged via Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset.

You don’t need any specific qualification to enroll into the program. All you need to do is go and register as a developer on Red Hat and then download the suite from the download page. That also doesn’t mean you have to be a developer to take advantage of the offer. “While the technologies offered most readily fit the needs of enterprise/professional developers, anyone with an interest in Red Hat’s open source technologies is free to sign-up and explore the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform from a development standpoint,” said Mower.

Red Hat is not making any attempt whatsoever to restrict usage. This means a company can download it and use it, bypassing the Red Hat subscription plan.

“This is generally not a problem and we leave it to users/companies to self-manage," says Mower. "The developer subscription is intended, as the name says, for development, not deployment. It’s self-supported and does not undergo the same cadence of patching/testing as paid-for production subscriptions.”

If you are interested in the suite you can register as a developer and download the suite, it’s available immediately.

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