Append RHEL 6 ELS licenses


On November 30, 2020, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 reached the end of maintenance. After this date, support and access to RHEL 6 VMs that have on-demand licenses for their images are limited according to the operating system lifecycle and support policy.

For extended support, which provides critical impact security fixes and selected urgent priority bug fixes, you can append the RHEL Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) Add-On. The ELS Add-On applies to the last minor release of a major release, so for RHEL 6, the ELS Add-On applies to RHEL 6.10. The ELS Add-On for RHEL 6 is available until June 30, 2024. For more information, see the RHEL Life Cycle and the FAQ.

This document shows you how to append the ELS Add-On to RHEL 6 VMs that have on-demand licenses for their images.

Append ELS licenses

Append the ELS license by doing the following for each VM:

  1. Stopping the VM and appending the license to the boot disk

  2. Validating the license and starting the VM

  3. Installing the Red Hat Update Infrastructure (RHUI) ELS client package on the VM

Billing

After you attach RHEL 6 ELS to a disk, Compute Engine adds an additional SKU to your bill. Then, your bill includes one line item for RHEL 6 and another for RHEL 6 ELS.

You are billed for RHEL 6 according to the pricing for premium images.

Limitations

  • You must stop a VM before appending a license.

Before you begin

  • If you want to use the command-line examples in this guide, do the following:
    1. Install or update to the latest version of the gcloud command-line tool.
    2. Set a default region and zone.
  • The ELS Add-On only applies to the latest minor release of RHEL 6. For each RHEL 6 VM, update to RHEL 6.10 by connecting to the VM and running the following command:

    sudo yum -y update
  • Make sure you have the following permissions on the boot disk:

    • compute.disks.get
    • compute.disks.update

Append the RHEL 6 ELS license

Append the RHEL 6 ELS license to the Linux VM's boot disk by using the following procedure:

  1. Stop the VM by using the gcloud compute instances stop command:

    gcloud compute instances stop VM_NAME
    

    Replace VM_NAME with the name of the VM to stop.

  2. List the disks associated with the VM by using the gcloud compute instances describe command:

    gcloud compute instances describe VM_NAME --format="yaml(disks)"
    

    Replace VM_NAME with the name of the VM.

  3. Verify that the output is similar to the following:

    disks:
    - autoDelete: true
      boot: true
      deviceName: persistent-disk-0
      diskSizeGb: '20'
      index: 0
      interface: SCSI
      kind: compute#attachedDisk
      licenses:
      - https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/rhel-cloud/global/licenses/rhel-6-server
      mode: READ_WRITE
      source: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE/disks/VM_NAME
      type: PERSISTENT
    

    Note that no userLicenses have been appended yet.

  4. Get the name of the boot disk by running the gcloud compute disks list command:

    gcloud compute disks list
    
  5. Update the boot disk with the RHEL 6 ELS license URI by using the gcloud beta compute disks update command:

    gcloud beta compute disks update BOOT_DISK_NAME \
       --zone ZONE \
       --update-user-licenses="https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/rhel-cloud/global/licenses/rhel-6-els"
    

    Replace the following:

    • BOOT_DISK_NAME: the name of the boot disk obtained in the previous step

    • ZONE: the zone containing the boot disk

Validate the RHEL 6 ELS license

Check that the RHEL 6 ELS license is appended to the Linux VM boot disk by using the following procedure:

  1. Get information about the boot disk by using the gcloud beta compute disks describe command:

    gcloud beta compute disks describe BOOT_DISK_NAME \
       --zone ZONE
    

    Replace the following:

    • BOOT_DISK_NAME: the name of the boot disk to check for the appended license

    • ZONE: the zone containing the boot disk

  2. Verify that the output is similar to the following:

    creationTimestamp: '2021-05-05T15:26:27.835-07:00'
    id: '727854272460268924'
    interface: SCSI
    kind: compute#disk
    labelFingerprint: 42WmSpB8rSM=
    lastAttachTimestamp: '2021-05-05T15:26:27.836-07:00'
    licenseCodes:
    - '1000006'
    - '6213885950785916969'
    licenses:
    - https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/rhel-cloud/global/licenses/rhel-6-server
    multiWriter: false
    name: VM_NAME
    physicalBlockSizeBytes: '4096'
    selfLink: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE/disks/DISK_NAME
    selfLinkWithId: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE/disks/DISK_ID
    sizeGb: '20'
    sourceImage: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/IMAGE_PROJECT/global/images/IMAGE
    sourceImageId: '7397991294075835597'
    status: READY
    type: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE/diskTypes/DISK_TYPE
    userLicenses:
    - https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1/projects/rhel-cloud/global/licenses/rhel-6-els
    users:
    - https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE/instances/VM_NAME
    zone: https://www.googleapis.com/compute/beta/projects/PROJECT_NAME/zones/ZONE
    
  3. Validate that the RHEL 6 ELS license is appended to the Linux VM boot disk by checking the output of the previous step for the userLicenses field for the appropriate license string.

    If the userLicenses field doesn't contain the intended licensing string, you might need to clear and then update the user licenses. For more information, see the gcloud beta compute disks update command.

  4. Start the VM by using the gcloud compute instances start command:

    gcloud compute instances start VM_NAME \
       [--csek-key-file ENCRYPTION_KEY]
    

    Replace the following:

    • VM_NAME: the name of the VM to start

    • ENCRYPTION_KEY: an optional flag that specifies the path to the Customer-Supplied Encryption Key (CSEK) file if the boot disk is encrypted

Install the RHUI ELS client package

After appending the license string to the RHEL 6 disk, install the RHUI ELS client package on the VM by connecting to the VM and running the following commands:

  1. Check that you are using RHEL 6.10:

    cat /etc/redhat-release
    
  2. Download and install the latest update:

    sudo yum -y update
    
  3. Remove the RHUI client package and install the RHUI ELS client package:

    sudo yum -y remove google-rhui-client-rhel6
    sudo yum makecache
    sudo yum -y install google-rhui-client-rhel6-els
    

View audit logs

View the history of license updates by using the following procedure:

  1. In the Google Cloud Console, go to the Activity page.

    Go to Activity

  2. In the Filters pane under Categories, for Activity types select Configuration.

  3. In the Filters pane under Categories, for the Resource type select Disk.