How to manage your Red Hat subscription on RHEL 7.3

If you're taking Red Hat Enterprise Linux out for a spin, Jack Wallen shows you how to connect your server to your Red Hat account, so you can get the most out of that trial.

Image: Jack Wallen

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 is out and it is taking the enterprise by storm with enhancements to performance, security, identity management, reliability, containers, IoT, and so much more. It's truly a wonder to behold. However, before you can actually see it in all of its glory, you have to manage your subscription. Without that subscription to Red Hat services in place, that RHEL is little more than a server on an island, waiting for rescue.

How do you manage your subscription? If you're installing a fresh instance of RHEL 7.3 (which you should), it's a post-install process. Fear not, it's easy. So long as you take care of one necessary task first. Let me walk you through it.

First things first

Before you do anything, you will have to agree to the terms of the licensing. Click on LICENSING, read through the agreement (if you so choose), and then agree to the EULA. Once you've done that, you'll find yourself back at the main screen, ready to continue on.

For whatever reason, a fresh installation of RHEL, the network interface is not set to come up at boot. That means, even during the post-install process, you will not have an internet connection -- something you must have to connect your server to your Red Hat account. When you come up to the Subscription Manager screen (Figure A), it will be quite obvious you have no internet connection.

Figure A

Figure A

The Red Hat Subscription Manager.

Click on NETWORK & HOSTNAME. When the new screen pops up, all you have to do is click the slider switch (Figure B), to enable networking. This will run the DHCP services so you will at least have a working connection. You can also change that to a static address now by clicking Configure, or do so later. The most important thing at the moment is to simply get a working connection going.

Figure B

Figure B

Turning networking on.

Once your connection is up, click Done.

Your subscription

It's now time to authenticate against your Red Hat subscription. You will have set this account up when you either downloaded the trial or purchased your copy of RHEL. You'll need that email address and password used to log into your Red Hat account.

Click on Subscription Manager and then, in the resulting window (Figure C), enter your login and password for your Red Hat account and click Register. Once the authentication completes, click Done.

Figure C

Figure C

Entering your Red Hat account credentials.

Finally, click FINISH CONFIGURATION and your server will finish its boot and either land on your graphical login screen or your bash login (depending on how you installed the server).

Post-post install

If you've installed a desktop, you'll need to go to Applications | System Tools | Red Hat Subscription Manager. When prompted, type your admin password. The Subscription Manager will open to reveal you've not attached a subscription to the server. Select the product listed and then click Auto-attach (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Attaching a subscription to your server.

Click Attach and you're ready to go. Your RHEL server is now subscribed to your Red Hat account. Enjoy one of the finest releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to date!

Keeps getting better

It's hard to believe that Red Hat has managed to improve on an already incredible product, and yet, they have. If you have yet to give RHEL a try, I highly recommend downloading a trial and kicking the tires. You'll pretty quickly see the light that is Red Hat and Linux.

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