Chapter 6. Content and Synchronization

Your Red Hat Network Satellite Server is now installed. The next step is to provide it with packages and channels to be served to client systems. This chapter explains how to import content and keep it up to date.
Ensure to meet the following prerequisites before performing a Red Hat Network Satellite synchronization:
  • The Red Hat Network Satellite installation must have been performed successfully.
  • The Red Hat Network Channel Content ISOs or Red Hat Network Satellite Exporter data must be available, or the Satellite must have access to the Internet and the Red Hat Network website.

6.1. Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool

The Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool (satellite-sync) enables an Red Hat Network Satellite to update its database metadata and RPM packages with various sources.


satellite-sync imports a large amount of data, especially on newly installed Satellite servers. If your database has performance issues after a significant amount of data changes, consider gathering statistics on the database. Refer to Section 9.4, “Using RHN DB Control for more information.
To launch the Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool, execute the following command as root:
# satellite-sync
The Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool works incrementally. For it to obtain errata information, it must first know the packages contained. For the packages to be updated, the tool must first identify the associated channel(s). For this reason, the Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool performs its actions in the following order:
  1. channel-families — Import/synchronize channel family (architecture) data.
  2. channels — Import/synchronize channel data.
  3. rpms — Import/synchronize RPMs.
  4. packages — Import/synchronize full package data for those RPMs retrieved successfully.
  5. errata — Import/synchronize errata information.
Each of these steps can be initiated individually for testing purposes with the effect of forcing the tool to stop when that step is complete. All steps that precede it, however, will have taken place. Therefore, calling the rpms step will automatically ensure the channels and channel-families steps take place first. To initiate an individual step, use the --step option.
# satellite-sync --step=rpms
In addition to --step, the Red Hat Network Satellite Synchronization Tool provides other command line options. To use them, insert the option and the appropriate value after the satellite-sync command when launching import/synchronization.

Table 6.1. satellite-sync Options

Option Description
-h, --help Display this list of options and exit.
-d=, --db=DB Include alternate database connect string: username/password@SID.
-m=, --mount-point=MOUNT_POINT Import/sync from local media mounted to the Satellite. To be used in closed environments (such as those created during disconnected installs).
--list-channels List all available channels and exit.
-c CHANNEL, --channel=CHANNEL_LABEL Process data for this channel only. Multiple channels can be included by repeating the option. If no channels are specified, the Satellite updates all channels.
-p, --print-configuration Print the current configuration and exit.
--no-ssl Not Advisable - Turn off SSL.
--step=STEP_NAME Perform the sync process only to the step specified. Typically used in testing.
--no-rpms Do not retrieve actual RPMs.
--no-packages Do not process full package data.
--no-errata Do not process errata information.
--no-kickstarts Do not process kickstart data (provisioning only).
--force-all-packages Forcibly process all package data without conducting a diff.
--debug-level=LEVEL_NUMBER Override the amount of messaging sent to log files and generated on the screen set in /etc/rhn/rhn.conf, 0-6 (2 is default).
--email Email a report of what was imported/synchronized to the designated recipient of traceback email.
--traceback-mail=TRACEBACK_MAIL Direct sync output (from --email) to this email address.
-s=, --server=SERVER Include the hostname of an alternative server to connect to for synchronization.
--http-proxy=HTTP_PROXY Add an alternative HTTP proxy server in the form hostname:port.
--http-proxy-username=PROXY_USERNAME Include the username for the alternative HTTP proxy server.
--http-proxy-password=PROXY_PASSWORD Include the password for the alternative HTTP proxy server.
--ca-cert=CA_CERT Use an alternative SSL CA certificate by including the full path and filename.
--systemid=SYSTEM_ID For debugging only - Include path to alternative digital system ID.
--batch-size=BATCH_SIZE For debugging only - Set maximum batch size in percent for XML/database-import processing. Open man satellite-sync for more information.