2.5 Year Warning: EPEL-6 will be archived in January 2021.

EPEL builds packages against Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions which are in Production Phases 1,2,3. Currently RHEL-6 will reach this on November 30, 2020. At this point, EPEL will follow the steps it did with RHEL-5 to end of life EPEL-6.
  1. New builds will be stopped in the koji builders.
  2. Branching into EL-6 will be stopped in the Fedora src mechanism
  3. Packages in epel-6 testing will no longer be promoted to epel-6.
  4. After about 2 months, we will archive the packages to fedora archives and have the mirrors point to that. 
What does this mean for users of EPEL-6 currently? Nothing much beyond the fact that you should start planning on moving to newer versions of (RH)EL in the next 2.5 years. [This includes me because my main website runs on CentOS-6.] If your EL-6 is looking to be run past December 1, 2020, then you need to look at getting extended software contracts from Red Hat (or some consultant who is mad enough to do so). [Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 was initially released in 2010, so it will have had 10 years support by then.]

What does this mean for the EPEL Steering Committee? We need to work out a better mechanism than we had in EL-5 for various packages which were end of lifed. Currently the build system composes each EPEL tree like it was a completely new distribution of packages. When a package is retired by its maintainer, the only way for a user to get that copy is to get the last released build from koji.fedoraproject.org versus from a mirror. This puts a lot more load on koji and also on users who have to try and figure out how to keep an old box going. 

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