Anyone running RHEL 5.4 and earlier is probably going to experience the dreaded “The certificate is expired” error when running rhn_register, up2date or yum. Clearly the answer is…
Update the certificate. That 5.4 or earlier SSL CA cert used by Red Hat Network expired on 12 August 2013.
We stumbled on this when trying to register a bunch of older 5.x machines with the Red Hat Network.
The solution is basically to download the appropriate rpms and run “rpm -Uvh” to upgrade with the new certificates. The required packages include:
The articles cited above provide options to force a yum update of these packages by temporarily disabling SSL and then running rhn_register and a “yum update “rhn\*”. I won’t repeat the details here because anyone running RHEL should have a subscription allowing them access to those articles.
To temporarily shut off SSL for rhn_register/up2date edit /etc/sysconfig/rhn/up2date and change the serverURL from https to http.