patch management

Latest response


Is there a centralized patch management solution that works with RHN? The Windows admins have a patch tool that allows them to approve each patch and push them out to groups of servers. I would like to have this functionality for our Linux servers.

We have a mismash of servers from AS3 to RHEL 6.3. Any version of Redhat still supported on RHN would need to be managed by this servers.

I am looking at Satellite. From what I have read this may not be the solution we need.


Based on what you have described Satellite sounds like the most capable option. Satellite contains multiple Red Hat repositories specific to a release. You can also build your own repos to manage via Satellite.

Satellite is capable of distributing files, managing configurations, scheduling tasks, reporting status. 5.5 is the current version (I believe) - and 6.x sounds like it will also be a tremendous product.

I guess to accurately answer your question, we would need to ask a few more questions about what your specific requirements are.

You can request a Satellite evaluation (or check out

Personal word of advice: if you decide that Satellite is a solution that will meet your needs I highly recommend either engaging Red Hat consulting, or taking the course (or both). Satellite is not the most complicated environment to build or manage, but I feel that you could possibly miss out on a lot of the benefits and would have to invest more time to reach the same goal.

James, Satellite 5.6 has been around since at least 9/27/2013 (current build listed), and they're going to apparently make Satellite 5.7 as well. I have a number of RHEL 6, Satellite 5.6 servers, and no oracle on them.

Thanks for the reply. I am looking into spacewalk, unfortunatly it will not connect with RHN which is a requirement here. It WILL give me an idea of the look and feel though.

Any other patch management solutions? Anything that just does RHN patches without all the extras?

As far as I know - Satellite (more specifically the Satellite subscription) is the only way to get the Red Hat repo data and packages (aka "connect with RHN") to build RHN repos locally for distribution.

There are other 3rd-party supported patch management solutions available, but I have never had a need to look outside of Satellite. Some are actually even multi-platform. And for the adventurous - there is Puppet and from what I gathered at Summit this year, Puppet will be integrated with RHN Satellite 6.x.

Again - it really depends on your environment. If I had less than 40 or 50 hosts, I might get creative and try to figure out an alternative. But for the size of my shop, it was a "no brainer" to use Satellite as it saved us quite a bit of time not having to reinvent the wheel and the additonal capability Satellite provides us for day-to-day management of our environment is a HUGE time-saver. There are a few independent white-papers that have been published on the cost-savings you can realize by using Satellite, but... it's not the right solution for all problems or environments.

Not strictly accurate. You can make SpaceWalk act as a RedHat repo and do the whole repo data and eratta stuff - it's just "not for the faint of heart". That said, going into detail on how to avoid paying for Satellite likely isn't going to be appreciated by the RH moderators on an RH-supported forum. Only reason I went down that path, in the first place was that it was marginally easier to consolidate RedHat, CentOS and SciLin channels onto a common repository with SpaceWalk than it was with Satellite.

Thaks for the help guys. I have contacted Redhat and will get a demo this week.

Great to hear it.

You might want to review some of the available online sessions regarding Satellite to see some of the functionality that is available.

Thomas Cameron has been with Red Hat for a long time and knows his stuff.

You can also search Youtube for "RHN Satellite" and it should return quite a few results.

Glad we could help, Chuck

Hi, I am having 02 RHEL 6.5 Servers. what is the best solution for patch managment in my case.


To clarify do you have 2 or 20?

If you have 2 (and aren't expanding rapidly) I would suggest using RHN, if you have 20, I would suggest looking at configuring a local Red Hat Satellite.

Agreed - the Satellite "starter pack" manages up to 50 RHEL hosts and is only $5000/year MSRP. For the 20-host use case, you may be able to negotiate a lower cost, if necessary.

I'd say Satellite is always the best solution for patch management - you just have to decide if it's the cost-effective for your needs.

For those that would have a lot of systems virtualized, there is an "unlimited" satellite SKU for those who would have a very robust vmware system(s) where they could create an unlimited amount of RHEL servers to the reasonable limitations of your virtualization method. We have several of these.

It looks like this in the subscription:
"Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Standard (4 sockets) (Unlimited guests) with Smart Management"
"Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Standard (2 sockets) (Unlimited guests) with Smart Management"

Also see this information regarding Satellite 6 to include slides from the 2014 Red Hat Summit among other things. That is a discussion I started on Satellite 6 with a lot of links to useful information, videos, pdfs, etc. Also, here is the product page for Red Hat Satellite (see previous link too