Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Operating Systems for Business. It is most often compared to SUSE Linux Enterprise: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) vs SUSE Linux Enterprise

What is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)?
To put your enterprise in a position to win, you have to break down the barriers that hold you back. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a platform with unparalleled stability and flexibility, you can reallocate your resources toward meeting the next challenges instead of just maintaining the status quo.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is also known as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Buyer's Guide

Download the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2021

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Customers
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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) pricing:
  • "Because it is a subscription, you can go elastic. This means you can buy a year, then you can skip a year. It is not like when you buy something. You don't buy it. You are paying for the support on something, and if you don't pay for the support on something, there is no shame because there are no upfront costs. It changes the equation. However, we have such growth right now on the Linux platform that we are reusing and scavenging these licenses. From a business standpoint, not having to buy, but just having to pay for maintenance, changes a lot of the calculations."
  • "In terms of the solution’s single subscription and install repository for all types of systems, we can have as many RHEL installations as we want because we have a specific subscription that entitles us to have as many RHEL services as we want. We pay for a subscription and with that we get RHEL and Satellite as well."
  • "RHEL is expensive."
  • "Red Hat Linux is inexpensive. Linux solutions are generally inexpensive."
  • "We have a site license on a yearly basis. Generally, we're okay with its price, but everything could be cheaper."

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JonathanShilling
System Analyst II at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Has a standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to develop the servers and production. It's pretty standard usage. We have some Docker running but I haven't been involved in those environments very often. It's a standard server on minimal load and we're not using a full load with our GUI interface. We have multiple applications running on both Windows and RHEL. The database systems are mostly MySQL. There's some Oracle but most of it is MySQL. Dealing with Red Hat is pretty straightforward. I haven't run into issues with it. When we were running multiple versions of Java, if patches came out for both versions, we… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "I like the fact that most of the system configuration is Namespace so it's easy to get to and easy to configure, and most of it still uses text documents. Not all of it's a menu-driven-type entry. I also like the fact that it's a very standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate."
  • "I'd like to see more of NCurses type menu systems in some instances. We're dealing with SUSE Enterprise Linux, they have an NCurses menu system. It's a menu system. It will write there. Even some of the higher-end Unix systems like AIX have some inner menu system where all the configuration tools are right there so your administrator doesn't have to jump through multiple directories to configure files if needed. I like the simplicity of Red Hat because it's pretty easy but having an NCurses menu when you have to get something done quickly would be nice."

What other advice do I have?

I have used Satellite and Ansible in other environments. Satellite integrates very well. It's built by Red Hat, so it integrates thoroughly and it allows a single point of download for all patches and any software deployments you have. You can automate server builds, if you do it right, and make things a lot easier. Ansible can tie into Satellite and RHEL fairly easily. It allows you to build multiple types of deployments for multiple solutions, and allows a playbook-type deal. You develop a playbook and send it out and it builds a server for the user. Done. It would speed up deployment and…
Luc Michaud
Principal Analyst - AIX and Linux at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
The integrated solution approach reduces our TCO tremendously because we are able to focus on innovation instead of operations

What is our primary use case?

It started mostly with websites and open source environments overall for development. Now, we are moving into business applications as we are migrating our ERP, which is a cp -r tree, to Linux. We are also migrating the database of SAP to SAP HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We use RHEL versions 7 and 8. There is a bit of version 6 still lying around, but we are working on eradicating that. It is mostly RHEL Standard subscriptions, but there are a few Premium subscriptions, depending on how critical the applications are.

Pros and Cons

  • "The integrated solution approach reduces our TCO tremendously because we are able to focus on innovation instead of operations."
  • "Linux overall needs improvement. They cannot go much beyond what Linus Torvalds's kernel implementation can do. I come from AIX, and there were very cool things in AIX that I am missing dearly, e.g., being able to support not only adding, but also reducing memory and number of processors. That is not supported on Linux right now, and it is the same for the mainstream file systems supported by Red Hat. There is no way of reducing a file system or logical volume. Whereas, in AIX, it was a shoo-in. These are the little things where we can say, "Ah, we are missing AIX for that.""

What other advice do I have?

We are a bunch of techies here. RHEL is not managed by end users. We don't really mind the GUIs, because the first thing that we do is stop using them. We are using Ansible, which is now part of RHEL, and that can automate the living heck out of everything. For now, we are not using the Power approach, but we may in the future. We are doing a business case for that, as it would be an easy sell for some communities and the use cases are not techie-to-techies. There is a cloud, but we have very little infrastructure as a service in the cloud right now. It delivers to the targeted audiences…
Learn what your peers think about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
511,521 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Fredrik Lehtonen
Systems Analyst at Intraservice/City of G̦teborg
Real User
Allows us to offer our customers an easier way to get a WordPress site or to have POSTGRES or Tomcat installations

What is our primary use case?

We use it for * some of our websites * one of our main applications for the City of Gothenburg * automation * the underlying operating system for our GitLab server.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has features that simplify adoption for non-Linux users. There is an interface that you can activate on RHEL systems, and on other Linux systems as well, so that you will get a graphical user interface instead of just a shell. It's easier for an administrator who is used to only working on Windows."
  • "Sometimes they don't have new versions for applications like Apache or PHP. I understand it's because they have to have support for them, so they can't have the latest version all the time, but that's the main thing I see that could be improved."

What other advice do I have?

Try the product out. If you decide to purchase a subscription, don't be afraid to submit a ticket or a support case to Red Hat, because that's why you pay for a subscription. It took us a long time before we started to open support cases, because we thought, "Ah, we can fix this ourselves." But now we use the support system quite often and it works quite well. One of the things I've learned from using RHEL is that there are applications that work so much better on Linux than they do on Windows.
Ifham Shahid
Associate Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
A Linux distribution solution with good customer support

What is our primary use case?

We deploy front-end and back-end software applications on RHEL, and it's our app server. Most of our app servers and our production servers are on RHEL. They're running on RHEL, and that's why they are profiting from it. I2C is the issuer in the processing payment industry. Basically, we do the issuer processing for credit cards, and all the bank magic that happens when you swipe a credit card is handled by us. We're also using RHEL servers for processing debit card payments.

Pros and Cons

  • "Customer support is valuable."
  • "Their pricing and documentation can be improved."

What other advice do I have?

I would tell potential customers that they should go for the latest releases. If they want to buy it, they should get a developer account from RHEL first and use that dev account before buying it. They might have some hands-on experience before spending too much money on Red Hat. On a scale from one to ten, I would give Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) an eight.
FA
Linux Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 5
An excellent and inexpensive solution with great security, stability, and performance

What is our primary use case?

I use it for running RAID servers, Database clusters, and a lot of other open-source tools. I have also used it as a firewall. We have on-premises dedicated servers located in some data centers. We also have cloud servers on the public cloud. I am currently using the latest version, and I have also worked on previous versions as well as Template.

Pros and Cons

  • "Its security is the most valuable. It is very stable and has many features. It also has good performance. Some of our clients were using Windows servers and products. I suggested Red Hat Linux to them and described the features. They switched to it, and they really loved it. There were around 50 servers in my last company, and they switched all those servers from Windows to Red Hat. I used to manage those servers."
  • "It is mostly better than other solutions. However, it is sometimes difficult for disaster recovery, so we have to plan accordingly."

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. It is my most preferred solution. I like using terminals, and with Red Hat, I get to work on terminals and shell commands. It has good security. I would rate Red Hat Linux (RHEL) an eight out of ten. I find it excellent, but no system can be 100% perfect.
CL
IT Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Useful Red Hat Satellite deployments, integrates well, and very stable

What is our primary use case?

We are using it for application services.

Pros and Cons

  • "We find the Red Hat Satellite deployments very useful. It integrates well with other solutions."
  • "It could be a bit more user-friendly. It could also be cheaper."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. I would advise others to do their research before deploying it and make sure that they are up to speed with the OS and what it can do. It is fairly easy to use as long as you know what you're doing. I would rate Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) an eight out of ten.