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How To Find The Lost RHEL5 Installation Number?

Let’s say a brand new Dell server preinstalled RHEL 5.5 with a valid subscription number (a.k.a. installation number or registration number) has just been delivered to SA team.

Then, the developers (users of that new machine) require Red Hat Enterprise Linux to be reinstalled (for whatever reasons).

You, as one of the Linux system administrator, found out that the RHEL 5 installation number is missing or misplaced at somewhere. Oh no, God knows they (the developers, and maybe your teammate) will have all fingers pointing to you.

The trick to recover the lost RHEL installation number

This trick MAY or may NOT work. Since this DELL server is known to have preinstalled RHEL 5.5 with a valid subscription number, the chance to recover RHEL installation number is high:

1) Login to the system as root

2) Change directory to /etc/sysconfig/rhn and uses cat command to display the install-num file. Alternatively, you can just cat the file as this:
cat /etc/sysconfig/rhn/install-num

According to RHEL 5 Release Notes, the installation number is saved in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/install-num, if entered during RHEL installation. This install-num file is referred by rhn_register when registering with Red Hat Network.

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