RHEL7, How to Enable Software Collections

RHEL6 and RHEL7 now has an option for more recent RPMS than the canonical distro versions, officially supported for 3 years called Red Hat Software Collections RHSCL, an alternative to EPEL.

Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 – now GA Oct 30,2014

It is not enabled by default in all licensed versions of RHEL that are entitled to it.


How to access Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL) and/or Red Hat Developer Toolset (DTS)

Lists the specific license types that can get access, but some will need to request it before it becomes available to them through an automated enabler link on the previous linked page.

In our case we should have access but do not by default:

Products that automatically have access to RHSCL and DTS

Red Hat Software Collections is already available for immediate use with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 to customers and partners with the following Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions:
(this list is not complete, it is abbreviated here)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Academic Site Subscription (all support levels)

The linked page above provides a statement that might lead you to believe "requesting" access is not necessary (but it is necessary):

Products that may require a request to activate RHSCL and/or DTS access

Customers with the following Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions can get access to RHSCL and DTS for free, but they  may  need to initiate a special request for access:
(this list is not complete, it is abbreviated here) 
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Premium
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Standard
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Academic Server
To request access to these channels, log into Red Hat Network and initiate a request at: https://www.redhat.com/wapps/try/RHSCL

Upon clicking on the URL in the message it launched an automated reply page which said a message with instructions would be emailed to the address on file for the RHN account you are logged into.

The email isn't very informative, but generally indicated it was generated automatically, and that an equal number of additional Subscriptions to the Licenses had had been added to the RHN account.

Upon checking the [Active Subscription - View All] in the New Subscriptions portal, a new line item appeared : [ Software Collections and Developer Toolset ]

Selecting [Manage - Subscriber Inventory ] and one of the registered systems by name, one first had to Click [Run Auto Attach] then click [ Attach a Subscription ]. In this dialog window the new option shows up.

Attaching it does nothing by itself.

Then on the registered system running:
# subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms

Results in the RHSCL repo actually being activated and added to the list of repos the registered system is aware of.

Then one of the faster paced packages or one of the testing packages like nginx16 can be installed.

This is preferrable to using EPEL as it is supported for 3 years by Red Hat, as opposed to the "best effort" of the Fedora team managing the EPEL repositories.

It is not as comprehensive as EPEL, however it does include many popular packages for software of great interest, including later versions of php5.5, mariadb and others.