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Chapter 3. Registering Red Hat Systems with Red Hat Network

Red Hat Enterprise Linux features an application called rhn_register. This application works with the yum-based Red Hat Network Hosted and Red Hat Satellite client called Package Updater (or pup) that replaces up2date.
The rhn_register application normally runs as part of the firstboot configuration process just after installation. The first time a newly-installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 or 6 system is booted, the firstboot command runs rhn_register to register the system with Red Hat Network.
You also need to use the rhn_register command in the following circumstances:
  • You skipped the registration process during the initial installation
  • You are reinstalling the system
  • You are moving the system to a new account

3.1. Using the Graphical Interface to Register with Red Hat Network

This section describes how to use the graphical version of the Package Updater to register your system with Red Hat Network.


If the system has not yet been registered, the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/systemid file should not exist. In this case, when you run the Package Updater command, it triggers the rhn_register command.
If this file does exist, you might see a warning that the system is already registered, and that if you continue, it might produce duplicate entries on Red Hat Network. If you are certain you want to reregister with the possibility of duplicating the system on Red Hat Network, continue with the registration. If not, use rhnreg_ks and activation keys instead.

Procedure 3.1. To Use the GUI to Register with Red Hat Network:

  1. On the main panel, click SystemAdministrationRed Hat Network Registration and enter the root password when prompted.
    The Registering for Software Updates page summarizes the steps involved in the registration process. To learn more about the benefits of Hosted and Satellite, click Why Should I Connect to Red Hat Network. Otherwise, click Forward to continue.
  2. Use the Choose an Update Location page to select the source of your software updates - either Red Hat Network Hosted, or Satellite Server or Proxy Server. For Satellite or Proxy, select the associated radio button and enter the URL of your Satellite or Proxy into the Red Hat Network Location field.
    If you connect to the internet through an HTTP Proxy, click Advanced Network Configuration and enter the details for your HTTP proxy. If your proxy requires authentication, enter the user name and password here, and then click Close to return to the Choose an Update Location page. Click Forward to continue.
  3. Use the Enter Your Account Information page to enter your Red Hat Network login information. If you do not have an account and your organization has one, ask the Organization Administrator to create an account for you. Otherwise, you might not be associated with your organization or its resources. Click Forward to continue.
  4. Use the Create Your System Profile page to select a profile name for the system you are registering. The default profile name is the system's host name, but you can change it to any valid profile name. You can also select whether to report hardware and package information to Red Hat Network. It is recommended that you report this information because it allows Red Hat Network to automatically subscribe your system to the base and child channels most appropriate to your system. You can click View Hardware Profile or View Package Profile to inspect the information that rhn_register uploads to Red Hat Network or Satellite in this step.


    This automatic registration does not automatically subscribe your system to optional child channels, such as the Red Hat Network Tools channel. If you want to register a system and automatically subscribe it to a set of channels, consider using a kickstart profile or rhnreg_ks and activation keys.
  5. Click Forward to display the Review System Subscription Details page, which displays the base and child channel information to which your system has been subscribed. Review the channels, and then click Forward to continue.
  6. The Finish Setting Up Software Updates page indicates that you have successfully registered a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system with Red Hat Network. A "package" icon appears in the upper right corner of your desktop when updates are available. Click the icon to apply available updates. Click Finish to exit the wizard.


    If you do not have any entitlements available for this system, this final page indicates that the registration has failed. This does not mean that the system profile has not been stored with Red Hat Network, only that you will not receive automatic updates without manual intervention. You can always log in to the Red Hat Network or Satellite Web interface and either purchase additional entitlements or get an entitlement from your Satellite administrator. Click Exit software update setup to exit the wizard.
Reinstalling the System

If you have already registered the system and the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/systemid file exists on the system, use a reactivation key. On the Satellite server, navigate to the system profile's DetailsReactivation page, which provides a means to create a reactivation key. Use this key with the rhnreg_ks to reregister the system without creating a duplicate entry in Red Hat Satellite.

3.1.1. Command-line Version of rhn_register

There is a command-line version of rhn_register that allows you to register your system for access to Red Hat Network or Red Hat Satellite without using a graphical desktop environment.
Type rhn_register on the command line to start the text-based version of rhn_register. If you are in shell terminal window and want to use the text-based version, type rhn_register --nox to prevent opening the graphical client.
The text-based version of rhn_register has the same configuration screens as the graphical version. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move left, right, up, or down and to highlight selections. Press the Spacebar key to select an option. Press the Tab key to move through different navigational elements such as text boxes, check boxes, and radio buttons.