How do I download, install, and register Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

The Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite Server provides software updates and a web based interface to check on the update status of your systems. Everyone that has a UIC account can activate an RHN Satellite account.

Advanced features are also available from the RHN Satellite Server such as configuration profiles, custom RPM channels and automated kickstarts.

Image download

Obtain the ISO images from our UIC RHN ISO directory. This directory is only accessible from within UIC networks or with a UIC proxy. ISOs images should not be redistributed.

In that directory, you will find subdirectories for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 5 and 6 for 32 bit and 64 bit systems. If you need a version that is not currently available, please let us know.

  • The i386 varieties are for Intel and AMD 32-bit systems.
  • The x86_64 variants are for AMD and Intel 64-bit systems


Burning the CD Images

Assuming you have downloaded the ISOs and you are using a Linux system to burn your CD images. You can use the command:

cdrecord -v /path/to/cd/image.iso

After you've burned your CDs, the beginning of your installation procedure should prompt you to check the CDs. Be sure to check all your CDs before beginning your installation. If you have trouble, check the MD5 checksum of your download against the md5sums.txt file in the isos directory. If the checksum of your image is okay, but the pre-install check still fails, try using a different system to burn your images or a different brand of CD-R.

Network Installation

As an alternative to burning a stack of CDs, you may also perform a network based installation, using expanded installation media images on our satellite server. Not all Red Hat versions available as CDs are provided for network installation, be sure to check first. Let us know if you need a version not currently provided. Your boot.iso must match the version of the OS you wish to install.

In order to perform a network installation, you will still need installation media to get started. There are several ways to do this, including network PXE boot options, but the simplest is to download and burn the boot.iso CD image from the appropriate directory.

Begin your installation by booting the system (or virtual system) off the boot CD image. This image will automatically prompt you for your installation media. When prompted, select the HTTP option. For your http server, enter "". For the path, enter the path below /pub/os, for example, if I was installing "RHEL5-i386-server" the path I would use would be /pub/os/RHEL5-i386-server.

Installation Numbers

When you install these Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you will be asked for an installation number. The installation number is not necessary to complete the installation. The core list of packages for RHEL is in the "base channel"; the base channel provides most of the software in the distribution including internet services, administration tools and development toolkits. An installation number can provide access to software that is not in the "base channel" but typically this is software that requires special support contracts from Red Hat that are not included in our site subscription.

For RHEL Server, our site subscription provides access to virtualization tools. Virtualization is the only additional software channel the installation number provides and you only will need an installation number if you intend to run your own virtual servers. The installation number for RHEL Server is "d5abb7dfd5acbdb7". For RHEL Desktop, our site subscription includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop with Workstation and Multi-OS options. The installation number for RHEL Desktop is "a2afcb63a2bb9dca".

Register your System

Once you've got your system installed, register it with our satellite server using our registration script. To register, you may run as root:


Note: We've noticed a trend where on the last screen of registration, it will say that it was unsuccessful even when it succeeds!

During this process you will be asked for your username and password. This will be your UIC NetID and ACCC common password.

Once you've run the script, log in to the RedHat Satellite Web interface and you should see your system listed.

If you plan to use extra software channels such as cluster utilities or virtualization, be sure to edit your System profile -> Software -> Software Channels and add whichever channels you need.

Need help?

Last updated: 

September 20, 2016

Browse by tag