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Chapter 2. Automatically Synchronizing the Red Hat Satellite Server Repository

Manually synchronizing the Red Hat Satellite server repository with Red Hat Network can be an arduous task. The synchronization can be automated to occur randomly in a designated off peak window for best performance. You can use the cron utility to effectively automate synchronization.

Procedure 2.1. To Use the cron Utility to Automate Synchronization:

  1. Switch to the root user, and run the following command to open the crontab in a text editor:
    # crontab -e
  2. Create a suitable job definition to schedule the synchronization. To create a random synchronization time, use the following entry:
    0 1 * * * perl -le 'sleep rand 9000' && satellite-sync --email >/dev/null 2>1
    This entry runs the synchronization job randomly between 01:00 and 03:30, and discards stdout and stderr messages from the cron utility. This prevents duplicating messages from the satellite-sync command. Other options can be included as needed. See the crontab manual page man crontab for more information.
  3. Exit the text editor to save the updated crontab file. The new rules take effect immediately.


The crontab file opens in vi by default. To change this behavior, change the EDITOR variable to the name of the text editor you prefer.