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Using RedHat Satellite Server

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Red Hat Satellite Server is a system management tool for configuring new and existing machines with applications and software updates from the Red Hat CDN or Content Distribution Network.


It synchronizes the RedHat OS repositories from the Red Hat CDN and is used to apply patches to Satellite registered RHEL systems.



The components of Red Hat Satellite Server


Foreman – an open source tool for provisioning both bare metal and virtual machines. These machines can be further configured using Puppet modules and Ansible Playbooks.


Katello – is a subscription and repository management tool for Satellite.


Candlepin – this is a service within katello which handles the subscription management process.


Pulp – is a service within Katello which manages the repository and content management functions.


Hammer – is a CLI tool for managing Satellite server operations from the OS shell command line.


Capsule – is a proxy server for the main satellite server in a network. Mostly used to extend satellite server deployment to different geographical locations. Repository content is synced from the main satellite server to the proxy or capsule server.


How to install Red Hat Satellite Server


This is an overview of the steps involved:


Register Your RHEL server with the Red Hat CDN and attach a Satellite subscription to it


Install the Satellite package using yum:


yum install satellite


Then install the actual Satellite server on your machine:


Satellite-installer –foreman-admin-username admin –foreman-admin-password {Enter_Password}


Next, generate the Manifest for the Satellite server from the Red Hat Portal and upload it to your Satellite server.


Then sync the Repositories you require and then Create Content Views and the LCE or Life Cycle Environment.


Register the RHEL systems using the Activation Keys.


How to  retrieve the Satellite Server admin password if it is lost




foreman-rake permission:reset


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


the first way:


Use the username and password with the subscription-manager command thus:


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


the second way:


Use the activation keys to register the RHEL machine with the Satellite server:


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


How to perform an upgrade of your Red Hat Satellite Server to the latest version:


run the following commands:


yum update && reboot
satellite-installer –scenario satellite –upgrade


Then verify your Satellite Server version by running the following command:


rpm -qa satellite


How to enable a specific Red Hat repository on your RHEL client machine





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


How to deregister a machine from your Satellite Server




subscription-manager unregister


next, on the Satellite dashboard remove or unregister that host machine from the content hosts entry if it is listed there.


How to verify the subscription status of a RHEL host machine in Satellite


On the server CLI run:


subscription-manager status


This will display the current subscription status


You can also verify the subscription status from the Satellite dashboard, Go to Hosts Tab –> then Content Hosts –> show subscription details.



Which ports are used by Satellite and its host machines for software package updating and patching?


80 TCP – HTTP – used for provisioning purposes
443 TCP – HTTPS, – used for web access and API communication
5646 / 5647 TCP – qdrouterd – (used for client and Smart Proxy actions
9090 TCP – HTTPS – used for communicating with the Smart Proxy


These ports need to be opened in any firewall between Satellite server and the host machines.



How to verify whether the Satellite server service is up and running


on the Satellite server terminal CLI run the following command:


katello-service status


Which agent is installed on RHEL host machines to communicate with Red Hat Satellite?


‘Katello-agent’ needs to be installed on all registered RHEL host machines to connect to Satellite.


The Katello-agent provides the goferd service.


What are Content Views in Satellite?

Content Views or CVs specify what content is published into the repositories and make it easier to manage what is made available to environment paths and their associated LCEs or Life Cycle Environments.


Content views are used to filter the contents of a repository, by specifying the inclusion or exclusion of specific packages or errata, for example to meet the requirements of different environments such as Test, Development and Production.


What is Satellite Hammer CLI?


Hammer CLI is a command line tool used for configuring and administering your Satellite Server using commands rather than the daskboard interface. Hammer commands can be placed in shellscripts for execution.


To use the hammer cli you need to install the tfm-rubygem-hammer_cli_katello package.


How to connect to Satellite using hammer




hammer -u <username> -p <password> <sub-commands>



What is the Satellite manifest file?



The manifest is a zipped file that contains a list of subscriptions together with Product and Content repository names.


The manifest file must be imported into your Satellite server in order for the repositories to be visible in the Satellite dashboard.


You can generate a manifest file for your Satellite server as follows:


Login to your Red Hat Customer portal and click on ‘All Subscription Management Applications’


Click on the Satellite tab and then select “Register your Satellite Server”.


You need to specify the name of the organization you want to create under the Name field and then select the Satellite version


Then click on Register


Next attach the subscriptions you want to add to this organization


Then download the manifest.



How to create a backup of your Satellite Server


run the following command:


katello-backup –online-backup /opt/backup


Note that a Satellite Sever backup job can require a large amount of free disk space and can take a long time to run as it backs up all repositories.

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