Chapter 1. Preparing your environment for installation

1.1. System Requirements

The following requirements apply to the networked base system:

  • x86_64 architecture
  • The latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server
  • 4-core 2.0 GHz CPU at a minimum
  • A minimum of 20 GB memory is required for Satellite Server to function. In addition, a minimum of 4 GB of swap space is also recommended. Satellite running with less memory than the minimum value might not operate correctly.
  • A unique host name, which can contain lower-case letters, numbers, dots (.) and hyphens (-)
  • A current Red Hat Satellite subscription
  • Administrative user (root) access
  • A system umask of 0022
  • Full forward and reverse DNS resolution using a fully-qualified domain name

Before you install Satellite Server, ensure that your environment meets the requirements for installation.

Satellite Server must be installed on a freshly provisioned system that serves no other function except to run Satellite Server. The freshly provisioned system must not have the following users provided by external identity providers to avoid conflicts with the local users that Satellite Server creates:

  • postgres
  • mongodb
  • apache
  • tomcat
  • foreman
  • foreman-proxy
  • qpidd
  • qdrouterd
  • squid
  • puppet

The Red Hat Satellite Server and Capsule Server versions must match. For example, a Satellite 6.2 Server cannot run a 6.5 Capsule Server and a Satellite 6.5 Server cannot run a 6.2 Capsule Server. Mismatching Satellite Server and Capsule Server versions results in the Capsule Server failing silently.


Self-registered Satellites are not supported.

Certified hypervisors

Red Hat Satellite is fully supported on both physical systems and virtual machines that run on hypervisors that are supported to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For more information about certified hypervisors, see Which hypervisors are certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux?


You can install Satellite Server on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system that is operating in FIPS mode. For more information, see Enabling FIPS Mode in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Security Guide.

1.2. Storage Requirements and Guidelines

This section lists minimum storage requirements and provides storage guidelines for Satellite Server and Capsule Server installation.

1.2.1. Storage Requirements

The following table details storage requirements for specific directories. These values are based on expected use case scenarios and can vary according to individual environments.

The runtime size was measured with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6, and 7 repositories synchronized.

Table 1.1. Storage Requirements for a Disconnected Satellite Server Installation

DirectoryInstallation SizeRuntime Size


1 MB

30 GB


1 MB

500 GB


3.5 GB

50 GB


25 MB

Not Applicable


10 MB

10 GB


100 MB

10 GB


0 MB

10 GB


3 GB

Not Applicable


3 GB

Not Applicable


500 MB

Not Applicable

1.2.2. Storage Guidelines

Consider the following guidelines when installing Satellite Server to increase efficiency.

  • Because most Satellite and Capsule Server data is stored within the /var directory, mounting /var on LVM storage can help the system to scale.
  • Using the same volume for the /var/cache/pulp/ and /var/lib/pulp/ directories can decrease the time required to move content from /var/cache/pulp/ to /var/lib/pulp/ after synchronizing.
  • Use high-bandwidth, low-latency storage for the /var/lib/pulp/ and /var/lib/mongodb/ directories. As Red Hat Satellite has many operations that are I/O intensive, using high latency, low-bandwidth storage causes performance degradation. Ensure your installation has a speed in the range 60 - 80 Megabytes per second. You can use the fio tool to get this data. See the Red Hat Knowledgebase solution Impact of Disk Speed on Satellite 6 Operations for more information on using the fio tool.
  • For improved performance, use solid state drives (SSD) rather than hard disk drives (HDD).
  • The /var/lib/qpidd/ directory uses slightly more than 2 MB per Content Host managed by the goferd service. For example, 10 000 Content Hosts require 20 GB of disk space in /var/lib/qpidd/.

File System Guidelines

  • Use the XFS file system for Red Hat Satellite 6 because it does not have the inode limitations that ext4 does. Because Satellite uses a lot of symbolic links it is likely that your system might run out of inodes if using ext4 and the default number of inodes.
  • Do not use NFS with MongoDB because MongoDB does not use conventional I/O to access data files and performance problems occur when both the data files and the journal files are hosted on NFS. If required to use NFS, mount the volume with the following options in the /etc/fstab file: bg, nolock, and noatime.
  • Do not use the GFS2 file system as the input-output latency is too high.

Log File Storage

Log files are written to /var/log/messages/, /var/log/httpd/, and /var/lib/foreman-proxy/openscap/content/. You can manage the size of these files using logrotate. For more information, see Log Rotation in the System Administrator’s Guide.

The exact amount of storage you require for log messages depends on your installation and setup.

SELinux Considerations for NFS Mount

When /var/lib/pulp directory is mounted using an NFS share, SELinux blocks the synchronization process. To avoid this, specify the SELinux context of the /var/lib/pulp directory in the file system table by adding the following lines to /etc/fstab:  /var/lib/pulp/content  nfs  context="system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0"  1 2

If NFS share is already mounted, remount it using the above configuration and enter the following command:

# chcon -R system_u:object_r:httpd_sys_rw_content_t:s0 /var/lib/pulp

Duplicated Packages

Packages that are duplicated in different repositories are only stored once on the disk. Additional repositories containing duplicate packages require less additional storage. The bulk of storage resides in the /var/lib/mongodb/ and /var/lib/pulp/ directories. These end points are not manually configurable. Ensure that storage is available on the /var file system to prevent storage problems.

Temporary Storage

The /var/cache/pulp/ directory is used to temporarily store content while it is being synchronized. For content in RPM format, a maximum of 5 RPM files are stored in this directory at any time. After each file is synchronized, it is moved to the /var/lib/pulp/ directory. Up to 8 RPM content synchronization tasks can run simultaneously by default, with each using up to 1 GB of metadata.

ISO Images

For content in ISO format, all ISO files per synchronization task are stored in /var/cache/pulp/ until the task is complete, after which they are moved to the /var/lib/pulp/ directory.

If you plan to use ISO images for installing or updating, you must provide external storage or allow space in /var/tmp for temporarily storing ISO files.

For example, if you are synchronizing four ISO files, each 4 GB in size, this requires a total of 16 GB in the /var/cache/pulp/ directory. Consider the number of ISO files you intend synchronizing because the temporary disk space required for them typically exceeds that of RPM content.

Software Collections

Software collections are installed in the /opt/rh/ and /opt/theforeman/ directories.

Write and execute permissions by the root user are required for installation to the /opt directory.

Symbolic links

You cannot use symbolic links for /var/lib/pulp/ and /var/lib/mongodb/,

1.3. Supported Operating Systems

You can install the operating system from disc, local ISO image, kickstart, or any other method that Red Hat supports. Red Hat Satellite Server and Red Hat Satellite Capsule Server are supported only on the latest versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server that is available at the time when Satellite 6.5 is installed. Previous versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux including EUS or z-stream are not supported.

Red Hat Satellite Server and Red Hat Satellite Capsule Server require Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations with the @Base package group with no other package-set modifications, and without third-party configurations or software not directly necessary for the direct operation of the server. This restriction includes hardening and other non-Red Hat security software. If you require such software in your infrastructure, install and verify a complete working Satellite Server first, then create a backup of the system before adding any non-Red Hat software.

Install Satellite Server and Capsule Server on a freshly provisioned system. Do not register Capsule Server to the Red Hat Content Delivery Network (CDN). Red Hat does not support using the system for anything other than running Satellite.

1.4. Supported Browsers

The following web browsers are fully supported:

  • Firefox versions 39 and later
  • Chrome versions 28 and later

The following web browsers are partially supported. The Satellite web UI interface functions correctly but certain design elements may not align as expected:

  • Firefox version 38
  • Chrome version 27
  • Internet Explorer versions 10 and 11

The web UI and command-line interface for Satellite Server supports English, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French, and German.

1.5. Ports and Firewalls Requirements

For the components of Satellite architecture to communicate, ensure that the required network ports are open and free on the base operating system. You must also ensure that the required network ports are open on any network-based firewalls.

The following tables indicate the destination port and the direction of network traffic. Use this information to configure any network-based firewalls. Note that some cloud solutions must be specifically configured to allow communications between machines because they isolate machines similarly to network-based firewalls. If you use an application-based firewall, ensure that the application-based firewall permits all applications that are listed in the tables and known to your firewall. If possible, disable the application checking and allow open port communication based on the protocol.

Integrated Capsule

Satellite Server has an integrated Capsule and any host that is directly connected to Satellite Server is a Client of Satellite in the context of these tables. This includes the base system on which a Capsule Server is running.

Clients of Capsule

Hosts which are clients of Capsules, other than Satellite’s integrated Capsule, do not need access to Satellite Server. For more information on Satellite Topology, see Capsule Networking in Planning for Red Hat Satellite 6.

Required ports can change based on your configuration.

Table 1.2. Ports for Browser-based User Interface Access to Satellite

PortProtocolServiceRequired For




Browser-based UI access to Satellite




Redirection to HTTPS for web UI access to Satellite (Optional)

Table 1.3. Ports for Client to Satellite Communication

PortProtocolServiceRequired For




Anaconda, yum, for obtaining Katello certificates, templates, and for downloading iPXE firmware




Subscription Management Services, yum, Telemetry Services, and for connection to the Katello Agent




Katello Agent to communicate with Satellite’s Qpid dispatch router




Anaconda to download kickstart templates to hosts, and for downloading iPXE firmware




Puppet agent to Puppet master connections




Sending SCAP reports to the Smart Proxy in the integrated Capsule, for the discovery image during provisioning, and for communicating with Satellite Server to copy the SSH keys for Remote Execution (Rex) configuration




Connection to Katello for the Docker registry




Client DNS queries to a Satellite’s integrated Capsule DNS service (Optional)




Client to Satellite’s integrated Capsule broadcasts, DHCP broadcasts for Client provisioning from a Satellite’s integrated Capsule (Optional)




Clients downloading PXE boot image files from a Satellites' integrated Capsule for provisioning (Optional)

Any managed host that is directly connected to Satellite Server is a client in this context because it is a client of the integrated Capsule. This includes the base system on which a Capsule Server is running.

Table 1.4. Ports for Satellite to Capsule Communication

PortProtocolServiceRequired for




Connections to the Pulp server in the Capsule




Connections to the proxy in the Capsule




Downloading a bootdisk (Optional)

Table 1.5. Optional Network Ports

PortProtocolServiceRequired For




Satellite and Capsule originated communications, for Remote Execution (Rex) and Ansible.




Satellite originated communications, for vCenter compute resource.




Satellite originated communications, for compute resources in OpenStack or for running containers.

22, 16514



Satellite originated communications, for compute resources in libvirt.

389, 636



Satellite originated communications, for LDAP and secured LDAP authentication sources.

5900 to 5930



Satellite originated communications, for NoVNC console in web UI to hypervisors.

1.6. Enabling Connections from a Client to Satellite Server

Capsules and Content Hosts that are clients of a Satellite Server’s internal Capsule require access through Satellite’s host-based firewall and any network-based firewalls.

Use this section to configure the host-based firewall on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 system that Satellite is installed on, to enable incoming connections from Clients, and to make the configuration persistent across system reboots. For more information on the ports used, see Section 1.5, “Ports and Firewalls Requirements”.

Configuring the Firewall

  1. To open the ports for Client to Satellite communication, enter the following command on the base system that you want to install Satellite on:

    # firewall-cmd \
    --add-port="53/udp" --add-port="53/tcp" \
    --add-port="67/udp" --add-port="69/udp" \
    --add-port="80/tcp"  --add-port="443/tcp" \
    --add-port="5000/tcp" --add-port="5647/tcp" \
    --add-port="8000/tcp" --add-port="8140/tcp" \
  2. Make the changes persistent:

    # firewall-cmd --runtime-to-permanent

1.7. Verifying Firewall Settings

You can verify changes to firewall settings using the firewall-cmd command.

To verify firewall settings:

# firewall-cmd --list-all

For more information, see Getting Started with firewalld in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Security Guide.

1.8. Verifying DNS resolution

Verify the full forward and reverse DNS resolution using a fully-qualified domain name to prevent issues while installing Satellite.

Ensure that the host name and local host resolve correctly.

# ping -c1 localhost
# ping -c1 `hostname -f` #

Successful name resolution results in output similar to the following:

# ping -c1 localhost
PING localhost ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.043 ms

--- localhost ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.043/0.043/0.043/0.000 ms

# ping -c1 `hostname -f`
PING hostname.gateway (XX.XX.XX.XX) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from hostname.gateway (XX.XX.XX.XX): icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.019 ms

--- localhost.gateway ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.019/0.019/0.019/0.000 ms

To avoid discrepancies with static and transient host names, set all the host names on the system by entering the following command:

# hostnamectl set-hostname name

For more information, see the Configuring Host Names Using hostnamectl in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Networking Guide.


Name resolution is critical to the operation of Satellite 6. If Satellite cannot properly resolve its fully qualified domain name, many options fail. Among these options are content management, subscription management, and provisioning.