Let me explain my problem :)

I have a VM provisioned by my company's datacenter, RHEL 5.11:

$ lsb_release -a
Distributor ID: RedHatEnterpriseServer
Description:    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.11 (Tikanga)
$ uname -r

Its a minimal "server" installation and it has no access to internet, no installation DVD mounted and no yum repos registered or available locally (not registered to Redhat subscription updates).

My account is in sudoers group so I should have necessary rightd and what I need it to be able to install multiple rather complex packages using yum. Installing with bare rpm is out of question, I am not going to deal with rpm dependency hell.

I am on my own for different reasons, the datacenter's admins are pretty much out of reach for me. Having no internet or yum repo available from local network is not a problem: I could upload and declare a local one on this VM, but the thing is I don't have access to RedHat's installation media. What I have access to, is the media from equivalent Oracle linux (OEL 5.11), and apparently it is possible to use the OEL5 yum repo with RHEL5 : http://public-yum.oracle.com/faq.html#a10

My question is, will I burn bridges doing that? When my admins decide to activate the Redhat's yum repos (let's say two months later), I'll have already plenty of programs installed from oracle's yum. What will happen when I switch from oracle's repo to RH's repo?

closed as off-topic by womble, Ward, mdpc, MadHatter, Flup Aug 11 '15 at 7:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions should demonstrate reasonable business information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault - see the help center." – womble, Ward, mdpc, MadHatter, Flup
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While it should work, I strongly suggest to use the CentOS 5 repository: they are binary compatible with RHEL ones, and supported with similar policies.

  • Yep, that's maybe what I'll end up doing (that is if I decide going with non-native yum repos on RH) – Alexei Dolganov Aug 3 '15 at 12:59
  • Downloading centos 5.11 right now. I'll let you know how it all worked out soon... – Alexei Dolganov Aug 5 '15 at 6:12
  • Here you are, it is working. I was able to declare as yum repo the folder where I've uploaded the rpms from centos and use it as yum source. Everything is working fine apparently, all the "yum install" instructions were able to find RPMs and their pre requisites. – Alexei Dolganov Aug 6 '15 at 13:17
  • Good job! Anyway, RHEL and CentOS repositories are so similar that it works 99.99% of times ;) – shodanshok Aug 6 '15 at 18:03

Oracle supports the switch from RHEL to OEL but not the opposite direction. In practice this simply means that nobody knows or cares about possible issues with that move. So while there's no guarantee that your system will go up in flames after switching back, there's no guarantee that it won't, either. On a production system that's reason enough not to do it.

The most probable outcome is that the system will continue running as before but some of the packages you installed or updated while on Oracle's repo will not receive updates anymore. That, too, is reason enough not to do it on a production system.

On the other hand, RHEL5 is eight years old and in Production Phase 3. (Only critical impact Security Advisories and selected Urgent Priority Bug Fix Advisories, no new hardware enablement, no new functionality.) You'll not gain much by activating the RedHat repos on that. I'd rather decline and stay with OEL5, or reinstall the system with RHEL6. (Or RHEL7 if you have the resources to tackle SystemD.)

  • I had to have the RHEL5 because of compatibility with some old ERP. All my other production servers are on the RHEL6, and the datacenter is not yet confortable with the 7. – Alexei Dolganov Aug 3 '15 at 13:01
  • In that case i second shodanshok's advice: use the CentOS repos. – Tilman Schmidt Aug 4 '15 at 17:08

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