Downloading Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 from Red Hat web site


In the old days, when I underwent training to prepare for the RHCE (version 4) exam, I remember having received a mastered CD-set of RHEL 4.0 installer. This was the WS (workstation) edition of the distribution and did not contain server packages that were required for practice in the RH253: Red Hat Network Services and Security Administration module of the training. Nevertheless, having received the CD-set allowed some testing on our home computers.

The practice of supplying the CD-set was discontinued in version 5 of RHCE training. In fact, our centre has never received any student kits having the CD-set. Red Hat discourages training centres from providing copies of the RHEL Server to students. However, students are encouraged to register at the Red Hat web site and download an evaluation copy for themselves. This evaluation is a limited 30-day period during which access to the Red Hat Network web site is allowed. Downloaded software does not stop working at the end of the 30 day period. Even with this provision, it may not be a straight-forward process to download the ISO file.

The Steps

  1. Visit the Red Hat web site. Click on the Register link on the top right corner.
    Red Hat web site
  2. After registration, visit the Customer Portal
    Red Hat Customer portal
  3. Click on the Download an update or evaluation link on the right hand side.
    Download an evaluation
  4. On the left side having Red Hat Enterprise Linux, click on Download a 30-day evaluation (2 pages)
    Download an evaluation page 1 Download an evaluation page 2
  5. Fill out a form with your applicable details
    Fill the form
  6. Wait for the application to be processed. You should see the message on the web page as well as an email with some details. This is followed with an email informing you of activation of your subscription. You may need to allow some time after receiving this email, to begin the next step for downloading.
    Wait for processing Wait for processing email Subscription active  email
  7. Login to the Customer Portal as before and accept any agreements to proceed.
    Accept licence conditions
  8. Click on Red Hat Network on the top side of the page
    Access Red Hat Network
  9. Click on Downloads image on the left side of the page
    Access Red Hat Network
  10. Select the appropriate version of RHEL 6.0 from the list. If this list does not show, try again after 24 hours.
    Download RHEL 6
  11. Download the Binary DVD image. Also save the MD5 and SHA256 checksums. It is advisable to NOT click on the Binary DVD link. Instead, right click on it and copy the link address / location and use wget for download. Also remember to quote the URL with single-quote marks ( ‘http://…’).
    $ wget -c ''
    (example only; will not work if you copy and try to use it)

    Download RHEL 6 DVD Copy link for RHEL 6 DVD Use wget to download

  12. Even with 1 Mbps connectivity, the download failed after reaching nearly half (wget gives a progress bar). Logout of the Red Hat Network web site and login again. Repeat the steps above and copy the link again (some portions to the end would have changed). Start the download with wget again. Since the URL is different and results in a different file name, the download begins from the start and not from where the previous download ended. To remedy this, let the download begin and stop it by pressing Ctrl-C after a few seconds of download. This creates the new file. Overwrite the new file with the contents of the old partially downloaded file. Repeat the wget command to now resume the download beyond the finished portion.
    $ mv 'rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso?__gda__=1298004345_ba14178cdfd078804fc7010af6b0daab&ext=.iso' 'rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso?__gda__=1298005130_8b4b177a72788693ab5e26154463e88c&ext=.iso'


  13. After download is complete, rename the file to remove the extra characters at the end. Run md5sum or sha256sum on the file and compare output with that given on the web site.
    $ mv 'rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso?__gda__=1298005130_8b4b177a72788693ab5e26154463e88c&ext=.iso' rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso
    $ md5sum rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso
    $ sha256sum rhel-server-6.0-x86_64-dvd.iso