Red Hat Satellite

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What is Red Hat Satellite Server?

Satellite is a Red Hat system management tool used to configure and maintain systems and provide software updates downloaded from the Red Hat Network.

Satellite synchronizes the OS Package repositories in accordance with the manifest on the Red Hat Network. Primarily this is used to apply patches to registered ie subscribed RHEL systems.

What are the component parts of Red Hat Satellite Server?

For version 6.2 of Satellite:

Foreman – an open source tool used for provisioning both physical and virtual machines.

Once configured, further configuration work can be carried out using for example Ansible Playbook or Puppet.

Katello – a subscription and repository management utility.

Candlepin – this is a sub-service within katello which deals with subscription management

Pulp – another sub-service of Katello which is responsible for repository and sontent management

Hammer – is a CLI or command-line tool which can be used to run Satellite server operations from the command-line.

Capsule Server – is a proxy server of the main satellite Server and is used to extend Satellite server operations to multiple geographical locations. Satellite server is installed and runs at the primary location, while a Capsule server runs on a secondary location and connects to the Satellite server. Client machines at the secondary location are thus registered with their local Capsule server.

How do you install Satellite Server 6.2 ?

1. Register a Satellite subsription with the Red Hat Network for your intended RHEL 6.x / 7.x server.

2. Install Satellite by running:

yum install satellite

3. Download the Manifest for your Satellite server from the Red Hat Portal and onto your Satellite server.

4. Sync the repositories according to your requirements and create the Contents views and Lifecycle environment.

5. Register your RHEL machines by using the Activation Keys.

How do you retrieve a lost Satellite server admin password?

Run the following command:

foreman-rake permission:reset

How do you register an RHEL machine with your Satellite server?

There are two ways to register an RHEL machine with your Satellite server:

1. Deploy the username and password with the subscription-manager command, thus:

subscription-manager register –username {user} –password {password}

2. or by using the activation keys:

subscription-manager subscription-manager register –org=”Test” –activationkey=”RHEL7-Test”

How do you upgrade your Red Hat Satellite server to the latest version?


yum update && reboot

satellite-installer –scenario satellite –upgrade

After executing these commands you can verify your Satellite server version thus:

rpm -qa satellite

How do you enable a specific Red Hat repository on a registered client?

run following commands:

subscription-manager repos –list

subscription-manager repos –enable={repository-id}

How do you deregister a machine from Red Hat Satellite server?

To deregister a machine from your Satellite server, run the command from the server’s terminal “subscription-manager unregister”.

Then open the Satellite daskboard and remove or unregister the machine’s IP hosts entry if still present.

How can you verify the subscription status of an RHEL machine in Satellite?

From the server terminal run:

subscription-manager status

this displays the current subscription status

alternataively, open the hosts Tab –> then content hosts –> subscription details.

Which ports are required to be open between satellite server and its clients when patching?

80 TCP – HTTP (for provisioning)
443 TCP – HTTPS, (for secure web access and api communications)
5646 / 5647 TCP – qdrouterd – (for client and Smart Proxy actions)
9090 TCP – HTTPS – (for communicating with the Smart Proxy)

How can you verify whether the Satellite server service is alive and running ok?

On the Satellite server terminal run:

katello-service status

This will verify and display the service status for each Satellite component

Which agent needs to be installed on RHEL machines in order to use Satellite?

Katello-agent must be installed on registered RHEL machines for Satellite. This provides the goferd service which runs the patching service

What are Content Views?

Content Views determine what content is published into the repositories and with that control what is made available to environment paths and their associated life cycle environments.

Content Views are used to filter the contents of a repository such as including or excluding packages and errata. Content Views enable repositories to work with different environments, for example, Development, Testing and Production.

What is Hammer CLI?

Hammer CLI is a command line tool used to configure and manage your Red Hat Satellite Server. Satellite Dashboard tasks can mostly be carried out using Hammer CLI.

In order to use Hammer CLI, install the package tfm-rubygem-hammer_cli_katello.

To connect to your Satellite Server via Hammer CLI run:

hammer -u -p

What is the manifest file in Satellite and how do you generate it?

Manifest is a zipped file which contains a list of subscriptions and definitions of Product and Content repositories.

You first need to import the manifest file. After which the Red Hat repositories will become visible in the Satellite dashboard.

You generate your manifest file by running the following steps:

1. Access your Red Hat Customer portal, then select ‘All Subscription Management Applications’

2. Click on the Satellite sub-tab, then select ‘Register Your Satellite Server’

Specifying the name of the organization you wish to create in the Name field and then select ‘Version’ (Satellite 6.2), then click on ‘Register’.

3. Next attach the subscriptions you wish to add to this organization and then download the manifest file.

How are Puppet modules imported and managed by Satellite?

Along with Red Hat rpm package repositories you can also create Puppet repositories. Puppet modules can then be imported into your Puppet repository.

How should you backup your Red Hat Satellite Server?

When you install your Satellite Server a tool called katello-backup is also installed. This utility enables you to create backups of the server by running the following command:

katello-backup –online-backup /opt/backup

This backup will take some time as it backs up all your repositories on the server.

However, to create a backup which excludes the repositories, run the following command:

katello-backup –skip-pulp /opt/backup

How do you provision physical and virtual machines using Satellite Server?

Provisioning using Satellite is done by means of an open-source tool called Foreman.

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