Chapter 3. Managing Subscriptions

Red Hat Satellite 6 imports content from Red Hat’s Content Delivery Network (CDN). To do this, the Satellite Server needs to know what product subscriptions are available so that it can find, access, and download from corresponding repositories. All subscription information is available in your Red Hat Customer Portal account. To import this information into Satellite, you create a Subscription Manifest.

A Subscription Manifest is a set of encrypted files that contains your subscription information. You import this manifest into your Satellite Server. The Satellite Server then uses this information to access the CDN and find what repositories are available.

For this chapter, we examine how to create a Subscription Manifest containing a subset of your subscriptions.

3.1. Managing Multiple Organizations Using Multiple Manifests

You can have more than one manifest in a Satellite Server if you want to manage more than one organization. Satellite 6 requires a single manifest for each organization configured on the Satellite. The advantage of this is that since each organization maintains completely separate subscriptions, you can support multiple organizations each with their own Red Hat Network accounts.

3.2. Adding a Satellite Server to the Customer Portal

The Red Hat Customer Portal provides access to your subscription information. The Customer Portal can also add Satellite Servers as subscription management applications. This is necessary so that the Customer Portal can assign subscriptions to the Satellite.

For this scenario, we aim to add our Satellite Server as a content distributor in the Customer Portal. Follow these steps:

  1. Open https://access.redhat.com/ in your browser and log into your Customer Portal account.
  2. Navigate to Subscriptions, which is in the top-left corner of the Customer Portal.
  3. This page displays your subscription information. Scroll to the Manage section, which shows all systems registered to the Customer Portal. This section also displays Subscription Management Applications. Click Satellite.
  4. This page lists our Satellite Servers. This includes any previously added Red Hat Satellite 5 or 6 Servers. For our scenario, this list should be empty. Click Register a Satellite.
  5. The Customer Portal provides a form to enter basic details about your Satellite, including a Name and the Version of your Satellite Server. After entering these details, click Register.

The Customer Portal now has an entry for our Satellite Server. Now we can assign subscriptions on this page and create our Subscription Manifest.

3.3. Creating a Subscription Manifest

The Customer Portal page for the Satellite Server provides the ability to collect a group of subscriptions and attach them to the server for distribution to managed systems. As mentioned, we create a Subscription Manifest for our Satellite Server. To attach subscriptions and create the manifest for ACME, follow these steps:

  1. On the Customer Portal page for our Satellite, click Attach a subscription.
  2. A list of your Red Hat product subscriptions appears. Select the products to assign to the Satellite’s Subscription Manifest and also enter the Quantity for each selected product. For our scenario, select a subscription for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and enter 10 for the quantity. Click Attach Selected to complete the assignment.
  3. The Customer Portal encodes the chosen subscription certificates and creates a .zip archive, which is our ACME Subscription Manifest. Click Download manifest to obtain the manifest.

Now we have a Subscription Manifest, which we upload into our Satellite Server.

3.4. Importing a Subscription Manifest into the Satellite Server

Both the Red Hat Satellite 6 Web UI and CLI provide methods for importing the manifest.

For Web UI Users

Make sure the context is set to the ACME organization and navigate to Content > Red Hat Subscriptions. In our scenario, this displays an empty page. Click Manage Manifest to display the manifest page for our organization. Click Choose file, select our Subscription Manifest, then click Upload. The Satellite Server uploads the manifest and, after a few minutes, reports a successful import in the Manifest History section.

For CLI Users

The Red Hat Satellite 6 CLI requires the manifest to be on the Satellite Server. On your local client system, copy the manifest to the Satellite Server:

[user@client ~]$ scp ~/<manifest_file>.zip root@satellite.example.com:~/.

Then import it using the following command:

[root@satellite ~]# hammer subscription upload \
--file ~/<manifest_file>.zip \
--organization "ACME"

After a few minutes, the CLI reports a successful manifest import.

3.5. Updating and Refreshing a Manifest

Note

Manifests should not be deleted. If you delete the manifest from the Red Hat Customer Portal or in the Satellite Web UI it will unregister all of your content hosts.

You can add and remove subscription to a manifest in the customer portal and then add the updated manifest to your Satellite in one of three ways:

  • By using the refresh button in the Satellite web UI as follows: In the web UI, navigate to Content > Red Hat Subscriptions > Manage Manifests and select the Refresh Manifest button.
  • By downloading it from the customer portal and uploading it in the Satellite web UI as follows: In the web UI, navigate to Content > Red Hat Subscriptions > Manage Manifests and click Choose file. Select the Subscription Manifest, and then click Upload.
  • By downloading it from the customer portal and uploading it to Satellite Server using the CLI as follows:
# hammer subscription upload --file ~/<manifest_file>.zip

3.6. Chapter Summary

This chapter showed how to use a Subscription Manifest to take subscription information from the Red Hat Customer Portal and import it into our Satellite Server.

The next chapter looks at how to start importing content, specifically Red Hat’s RPM repositories.