Chapter 2. Configuring Client Applications

In order to use most enterprise-class features of Red Hat Network, such as registering with Red Hat Satellite, configuration of the latest client applications is required. Obtaining these applications before the client has registered with Red Hat Network can be difficult. This paradox is especially problematic for customers migrating large numbers of older systems to Red Hat Network. This chapter identifies techniques to resolve this dilemma.

Important

Red Hat strongly recommends that clients connected to a Red Hat Proxy Server or Red Hat Satellite Server be running the latest update of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to ensure proper connectivity.
Additionally, if client firewalls are configured, ports 80 and 443 should be open for proper functionality with Red Hat Network.
Not every customer must connect securely to a Red Hat Satellite or Red Hat Proxy within their organization, nor build and deploy a GPG key for custom packages, but every customer who uses these products must reconfigure the Red Hat Update Agent (up2date) and possibly the Red Hat Network Registration Client (rhn_register) to redirect it from Red Hat Network to their Satellite or Proxy.

Important

By default, the yum command on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 uses SSL for communication with remote repositories. Consequently, you should ensure that firewalls allow connections over port 443.
To bypass SSL, change the value of serverURL from https to http in the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/up2date file. Similarly, to use Red Hat Network's Monitoring feature and probes requiring the Red Hat Network Monitoring Daemon, client systems must allow connections on port 4545 (or port 22, if it is using sshd instead).
By default, rhn_register refers to the main Red Hat Network servers. You need to reconfigure client systems to see Red Hat Satellite or Red Hat Proxy.
The latest versions of Red Hat Update Agent can be configured to accommodate several Red Hat Satellite servers, thereby providing failover protection in case the primary server is inaccessible. See Section 2.5, “Implementing Server Failover” for instructions on enabling this feature.
The following sections describe different methods of configuring the client systems to access your Red Hat Satellite or Proxy. See the Red Hat Satellite Getting Started Guide for information about scripting configuration commands.

2.1. Deploying the Latest Red Hat Network Client Packages

The Package Updater (pup), yum, the yum Red Hat Network Plugin (yum-rhn-plugin) and the Red Hat Network Registration Client (rhn_register) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 are prerequisites for using much of Red Hat Network's enterprise functionality. It is crucial to install them on client systems before attempting to use Red Hat Proxy or Red Hat Satellite in your environment.

Note

Systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 or 6 must be registered as part of the firstboot process after installation or by using the rhn_register command.

2.1.1. The Package Updater Applet

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and later feature a running program on the graphical desktop panel that periodically checks for updates from the Red Hat Network or Satellite server and alerts users when updates are available.
Package Updater Applet

Figure 2.1. Package Updater Applet

The Package Updater Applet stays in the notification tray of the desktop panel and periodically checks for updates. The applet also facilitates various package maintenance tasks; click the notification icon and choose from the following actions:
  • Refresh: check Red Hat Network or Satellite for new updates.
  • View Updates: launch the Package Updater application and display any available updates in more detail, and configure the updates to specifications.
  • Apply Updates: download and install all updated packages.
  • Quit: close the applet.