I have a couple of RHEL 7.2 systems, which do not have any online connection - also not through any proxy or satellite. I do have subscriptions which I could attach to the systems as described by RedHat here.

Now, my question is: What is the benefit of doing so? I could still not track the system status online or automatically download any patches. From my understanding, I can manually download any packages from the RHN website as long as I have at least one subscription, correct?

Thanks for any advice!


You (your company) most likely signed an enterprise agreement to requires you have sufficient subscriptions to cover your entire install base. By administrating/managing your subscriptions correctly you ascertain compliance.

  • Good point. So you are saying, you are not allowed to operate any RHEL system without a valid subscription? I thought you could do that - and just do not have any support for it?! – silent Sep 13 '16 at 7:35
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    Not if you have signed an agreement to do otherwise, which @HBruijn suggests your organisation has done. – MadHatter Sep 13 '16 at 7:36
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    ServerFault is not in the business of giving legal advise and details differ from location to location and your license agreement may even be customised, but if you are bound to the default US enterprise agreement: from Appendix 1 here : " We charge you a fee for our Subscription Services based on the total number of Units of Software or other Red Hat Products that you deploy, install, use or execute" - the fact that you do say you have subscriptions means that most likely you/your company did agree to something. – HBruijn Sep 13 '16 at 7:42
  • Ok thanks, got it :) So I take it the main reason is a legal one - not a technical. – silent Sep 13 '16 at 7:44
  • That off hand I can't think of any technical benefits doesn't mean there aren't any, but compliance is the one I did think of :) Of course you don't need to use Red Hat's online registration and you can for instance also maintain compliance using a different tool (your asset management system or CMDB), but by consistently registering servers you make life a little bit easier... – HBruijn Sep 13 '16 at 7:48

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