Dell RHEL4 plans

Matt Domsch Matt_Domsch at
Thu Mar 24 16:15:12 CST 2005

People keep asking, so here's the scoop.  This info is copied from a
PDF posted on in the past day or so, so it's public
information now.


Matt Domsch
Software Architect
Dell Linux Solutions &
Linux on Dell mailing lists @

Introduction to the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) v4

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) v4 is the successor to Red Hat
Enterprise Linux v3, and RHEL v2.1. RHEL family variants will continue
unchanged from RHEL v3; i.e., the family members will be AS, ES and
WS. The AS and ES products will generally be available on Dell
servers. The WS version will only be available on servers as part of
the Dell High Performance Compute Clusters (HPCC) program.

RHEL v4 will only be supplied as part of a subscription service to Red
Hat Network (RHN). Both 1 year and 3 year subscriptions are
available. Customers purchasing Dell support products should purchase
the 3 year subscriptions.

When are Dell and Red Hat releasing RHEL v4?

Red Hat will be releasing RHEL v4 in approximately February of
calendar year 2005. Dell will follow with an RTS as part of the June
block release in 2005.

Why is the Dell RTS date after Red Hat's RTS?

Dell requires some period of time after the Red Hat release to create
the factory pre-load images and to fully test Dell
OpenManage components on the final Red Hat product.

Can I use my RHN subscription and upgrade my copy of RHEL v3 to RHELv4
as soon as Red Hat releases it to RHN?

It is possible for Dell customers using RHEL v3/v2.1 to upgrade to
RHEL v4 as soon as the ISOs are available on RHN. Before doing so,
please consider the following caveats:

* If Dell has not posted certification of your hardware platform with
RHEL v4 to the Red Hat hardware compatibility page and you upgrade
from RHEL v3 to RHEL v4, you will technically be running an
uncertified and unsupported configuration. While Dell support will
offer "best effort", they may be unable to assist you with major
issues and request you to revert back to RHEL v3.

* If you are using fiber channel (FC) storage adaptors, using EMC
storage or running PowerPath, and you upgrade from RHEL v3 to RHEL
v4 before your storage configuration is listed on the EMC Support
Matrix (ESM), you will be running an unsupported configuration. While
Dell support will offer "best effort", they may be unable to assist
you with major issues and request you to revert back to RHEL v3.
Dell's advice is to wait for the appropriate certifications and
support notices to be posted.

Will Dell offer both Intel IA32 and EM64T versions of RHEL v4?

Yes, both versions will be available and supported. Please note that
only Dell 8th Generation and higher platforms are capable of running
EM64T. The media and documentation kits available from Dell will
contain both sets of discs.

If I have a Silver or Gold support product from Dell and I upgrade my
system myself, am I still supported?

Yes, once all the product certifications are posted you will be able
to upgrade your system yourself and continue to be fully supported.

Will Dell continue to offer support for RHEL v2.1 and v3?

Dell will continue to offer software support to existing customers
using v2.1, however Dell will stop offering v2.1 for sale and
certifying new platforms with v2.1 once v4 has released. Dell will
continue to sell and certify platforms with RHEL v3.

Where can I view the current list of platform certifications?

The best place to view the currently certified combinations for
hardware and software would be Red Hat's HCL web page:

Will my RHEL v2.1 or RHEL v3 applications continue to run and be

RHEL v4 has a suite of compatibility libraries that will allow
binaries from v2.1 and v3 to continue to run. Different software
vendors will have different positions on how they offer application
support on legacy OS versions. Dell suggests that you contact your
application vendor for assistance.

What OS versions will be factory pre-loaded, and what versions will be
"Drop in the Box"?

The ES version of RHEL v4 will be offered as pre-loaded. The AS
version will be offered as "Drop in the Box".  Both are supported by
DSA. While ES is only offered on 2 CPU (and below) systems, AS is
available on all products in case of a standardization requirement. WS
is only available on HPCC platforms and is factory pre-loaded.

Am I still able to use the TG3 Ethernet device driver for my Broadcom
Ethernet hardware?

Yes, if you have a Dell support product then you may choose between
the BroadCom BCM Ethernet device driver or the Red Hat TG3
driver. Both are supported by Dell. If you use Red Hat or another 3rd
party software support organization, then you are likely to continue
to need the TG3 driver only.

Am I able to use the High Availability Red Hat Cluster Suite (RHCS)
product with RHEL v4?

Yes, you will be able to use RHCS only if you have a support contract
with Red Hat. Dell has not tested and will not support the RHCS
software and will be unable to assist you with a support call if you
have RHCS installed.

Dell, Dell Precision and PowerEdge are trademarks of Dell Inc. Red Hat
is a registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Linux is a registered
trademark of Linus Torvalds. PowerPath is a registered trademark of
EMC Corporation. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this
document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names
or their products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks
and names of others.

Copyright 2005 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any
manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Dell
Inc. is strictly forbidden. For more information contact Dell.

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