My Red Hat Satellite server version 5.5 or earlier is EOL on 29-May-2015. What are my upgrade options?

Updated -

Your upgrade options

On May 29, 2015, all Red Hat Satellite versions 5.5 and earlier will be End of Life (EOL), in accordance with the Red Hat Satellite and Proxy Server Life Cycle. See also the End-of-Life (EOL) notification for Red Hat Satellite 5.5 and older versions.

Red Hat Satellite and Proxy 5.6 and newer will be supported until January 31, 2018. An Extended Lifecycle Support (ELS) stream will be made available for Satellite/Proxy 5.8[1], which ends January 31, 2020. See the Red Hat Satellite Lifecycle Page for details and updates.

If you want to upgrade to Satellite version . . . And your underlying OS version is . . . Then you should . . .
Satellite 5.6 Either RHEL 5 or 6 Follow the instructions in this article.
Satellite 5.7 RHEL 5 You will need to upgrade the underlying OS to the latest version of RHEL 6 (as of now, RHEL 6.6) . See the first scenario "Upgrading the Red Hat Satellite to version 5.7 and upgrading the underlying operating system" in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/README in the rhn-upgrade package.
Satellite 5.7 RHEL 6 Follow the instructions in this article.
Satellite 6 RHEL 6 You can either install and set up a new Satellite 6 server with no active transition of Satellite 5 data into Satellite 6, or you must first upgrade to either Satellite 5.6 or 5.7 before transitioning to Satellite 6 with data from the existing Satellite 5 server. (Satellite 6 supports both RHEL 6 and 7 as an underlying OS.) See the Satellite 5 to 6 Transition FAQ and Transitioning from Red Hat Satellite 5 to Satellite 6. Also see the Transition Guides in the official Satellite 5.6 / 5.7 / 6 documentation. You will not be able to use the instructions in this article.

[1] As seen on the Lifecycle page, there is a Satellite 5.8 release being planned whose only feature will be the addition of CDN support which allows Satellite 5.8 to consume content directly from the Content Delivery Network (, and Satellite 5 End-of-Life to be decoupled from the Red Hat Network (RHN) Classic Hosted backend End-of-Life, providing additional time for Satellite 5 customers to migrate to Satellite 6.


  • If you have an external Oracle database, and intend to keep that configuration, you cannot use this article to install the upgrade. See the current documents in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/doc/ (provided as part of the run-upgrade package and installed as part of the upgrade).
  • If you have an embedded Oracle database, the directions in this article will work for you, and the database will be converted to pgsql as part of the upgrade.
  • You can upgrade directly from any earlier supported 5.x version of satellite to 5.7


Before you begin


See instructions in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/doc/preparations.txt for a detailed list of pre-requisites.

Take these steps to prepare for the Satellite upgrade.

Step 1. View the README file and hardware/software requirements.

  • /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/README is part of the rhn-upgrade package.
  • See Satellite 5.7 or 5.6 Hardware/Software Requirements.

Step 2. Get a new Satellite 5 certificate.

Step 3. Get a Red Hat Satellite 5.7 or 5.6 ISO.

  • Download the Satellite ISO from Downloads on the Customer Portal.
    Be sure to download the version and architecture for the Satellite to which you will be upgrading.

Step 4. Get current upgrade documentation and scripts.

  • Install the rhn-upgrade package on your Satellite.

    If you are upgrading from Satellite 5.x to version 5.6 and not 5.7, be sure to download and install the rhn-upgrade package for version 5.6 and correct architecture.

Step 5. Bring your system up-to-date.

  • Run this script:

    # yum upgrade

    WARNING: If the upgrade updated the kernel or glibc, reboot the server.

Step 6. Get upgrade estimates.

  • Run this script from the rhn-upgrade package:

    # /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/scripts/satellite-upgrade-estimates

    This script estimates how long the upgrade procedure should take and how much disk space is needed (including the disk space requirements for the database migration, where applicable).

Step 7. Check the system character encoding.

  • The system character encoding must be UTF-8.
    This is the only supported character encoding for the Satellite 5 servers (BOTH for the server on which Satellite will be installed and for the server on which the database is installed, if different).

    Check that you have . . . Example . . .
    A line similar to this on all relevant servers in /etc/sysconfig/i18n: If your language is English and your location is the United States, your LANG setting should be:
    LANG=[language_TERRITORY].UTF-8 (language and TERRITORY must be two-letter codes) LANG=en_US.UTF-8

    WARNING: If you need to change this setting to use UTF-8, reboot the machine before continuing with your installation.

Step 8. Check for entitlement issues.

  • Run this script:

    # cd /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/scripts
    # ./ --rhn-cert=~/new.cert

    ~/new.cert is the path to the new entitlement certificate to use during the upgrade. You should have gotten this certificate in Step 2.

    This script checks your entitlement usage and organizational distributions to ensure that the upgrade goes smoothly. If you have an issue, the script will provide instructions for correcting the issue. You may need to contact Red Hat Support


  • If you get the following warning: "You do not have enough entitlements in the base org," and you do not correct the problems, you will not be able to activate your upgraded server. Your Satellite may also stop working. See Satellite certificate activation error: "You do not have enough entitlements in the base org." for the most common issue.
  • The script may detect guest systems that are using physical entitlements but are not currently recognized as guests (for example, a VMware guest registered on RHEL 5.1). Then, you must run the following script. It converts all guests as they are discovered.

    # /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/scripts/
  • After running this, re-run to re-test the new certificate.

Step 9. Check your kickstart profile names.

They must meet Satellite 5.6 or 5.7 standards:

  • Red Hat Satellite 5.3 and beyond allow only the following characters in a kickstart profile label:

    • alphanumeric characters
    • dash symbol: "-"
    • underscore symbol: "_"
  • You can convert your kickstart profiles (if needed) manually in the Satellite webui or use the following script:

    # /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/scripts/

Step 10. Make a current backup, if you don't have one.

Here are the backup procedures for all current versions of Satellite.

How to upgrade

These steps are for reference and guidance only. They cannot replace the steps in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/satellite-upgrade/doc/, which was provided in the latest rhn-upgrade package.

  1. Mount the Satellite ISO from earlier:

    # mkdir /mnt/sat
    # mount -o loop /path/to/iso /mnt/sat
  2. Disable all services on the Satellite server:

    # /usr/sbin/rhn-satellite stop
  3. Start Oracle:

    # service oracle start
  4. Begin the upgrade:

    # /mnt/sat/ --upgrade
  5. Upgrade the database:

    # /usr/bin/spacewalk-schema-upgrade
  6. Activate the Satellite with the NEW certificate:

    # rhn-satellite-activate --rhn-cert [PATH-TO-NEW-CERT] --ignore-version-mismatch
  7. Rebuild search indexes with the following command:

    #  service rhn-search cleanindex
  8. Restart Satellite services:

    # /usr/sbin/rhn-satellite restart
  9. Remove Oracle database packages and database files:

    # service oracle stop
    # yum remove oracle-instantclient-jdbc oracle-rhnsat-selinux oracle-server-admin oracle-server-admin oracle-server-scripts oracle-server-i386 oracle-server-x86_64 oracle-server-s390x spacewalk-java-oracle spacewalk-backend-sql-oracle -y
  10. Remove Oracle database files:

    # rm -rf /opt/apps/oracle
  11. Restart Satellite services:

    # /usr/sbin/rhn-satellite restart

For problems or questions, contact Red Hat Support. You should have a current sosreport and a spacewalk-debug available to attach to the newly opened case.


On the step 10
rm -rf /rhnsat
if we remove this directory we loss all our packages after the update possible the only directory we need to remove is

rm -rf /opt/apps/oracle

Please modify the kcs to reflect the current step

When updating from 5.5 to 5.7, you may experience a problem with Step 4 if you do not have sufficient space on your /var partition.
The error looks something like:
ERROR: diskspace does not meet minimum system requirements:
Mountpoint: /
Relevant paths serviced by mountpoint: /var/lib/pgsql/data
Disk space needed: 12884901888 bytes (app. 12.0G)
Disk space available: 7195914240 bytes (app. 6.0G)

Basically, the script hasn't been updated to reflect the new location of the postgres database in Satellite 5.7. If you've successfully passed prerequisite step 6, you should be safe to skip this test using the command:

# /mnt/sat/ --upgrade --skip-db-diskspace-check

in case of "Could not install RHN packages. Most likely your system is not configured with the @Base package group. See the Red Hat Satellite Server Installation Guide for more information about Software Requirements. Exit value: 1."