Chapter 4. New Features and Enhancements

This chapter introduces new features in Red Hat Satellite 6.6.

SWID passthrough
When repositories contain SWID data, Red Hat Satellite 6.6 mirrors this data and persists it across all Content Views even when filtering.
Warnings for yum transactions when upgrading
When updating or upgrading with satellite-maintain, you are now warned before a yum transaction runs, and can cancel the action to take appropriate steps, if required.
satellite-maintain alias added
The satellite-maintain alias has been added for the foreman-maintain command.
Bypass exclusion when upgrading
When excluding packages from yum updates, if any of the excluded packages are from required Satellite repositories the yum update can fail with dependency issues. To avoid this issue, satellite-maintain can now bypass exclusion when running the yum update, to avoid cases when exclusion was configured and forgotten.
Support for Ansible 2.8
Red Hat Satellite 6.6 supports Ansible version 2.8. Ansible 2.6 reaches its end-of-life (EOL) in 2019.
Support for Ansible variables
Ansible variables are now supported on a similar level as smart class parameters for Puppet. Ansible manifests are scanned to determine what variables are available and allow you to import them. The Ansible variables can then be adjusted (for example, to set the correct type) and overwritten in the same way as for Puppet.
Order of Precedence for Ansible variables
In previous versions of Satellite, the Ansible Keyword become_user was used to escalate Ansible roles to the Effective User when a user required elevated privileges such as overriding Ansible variables. Satellite 6.6 supports the Ansible variable order of precedence for overriding variables. If you have existing Ansible roles that use the Ansible Keyword become_user to escalate user privilege and override variables, you must reconfigure these roles to follow the order of precedence. For more information, see Variable precedence: Where should I put a variable? in the Ansible User Guide.
Support for Ansible Runner
In Red Hat Satellite 6.6 you can set Ansible Runner as the default method for running Ansible jobs, instead of calling ansible-playbook directly. Ansible Runner is the recommended way to run Ansible jobs.
OpenSCAP deployment using Ansible
Previously you could not deploy OpenSCAP without Puppet. Red Hat Satellite 6.6 now supports deploying OpenSCAP with Ansible and reporting on hosts without using Puppet.
Resolved a virt-who report issue
Previously, when sending a virt-who report to Satellite a short time after a previous one (even from a different set of hypervisors), Satellite’s task would fail on undefined method '[]' for nil:NilClass. This issue has now been resolved.
virt-who configuration plug-in enhancements

Red Hat Satellite 6.6 provides simpler and less error-prone configuration of virt-who with the following additional settings:

  • You can now set shorter intervals than one hour (for example: 1 minute VIRTWHO_INTERVAL) through a configurable option.
  • The virt-who-configure-plugin now sets ‘NO_PROXY=*’ by default, which allows Satellite to successfully reach the Content Delivery Network.
Support for Red Hat Virtualization version 4 API
Red Hat Virtualization version 4 API integration was added in Satellite 6.4 as a Technology Preview. It is now fully supported in Red Hat Satellite 6.6.
New task dashboard
Red Hat Satellite 6.6 provides a task page that includes a dashboard with an emphasis on paused tasks and tasks with errors or warnings. This provides a better graphical status of the tasks.
Task notification enhancements

Red Hat Satellite 6.6 includes the following enhancements when a paused task occurs in the system:

  • In the web UI, the admin user receives a notification about the current number of paused tasks in the system, and can navigate directly from the notifications area to the list of paused tasks.
  • In the web UI, the user that initiated the task receives a notification about the specific task being paused, and can navigate directly from the notifications area to the details of the task, and to the Red Hat Knowledgebase article for troubleshooting.
Task logging enhancements
Red Hat Satellite 6.6 now logs better details about the state change of a task (for example, paused or stopped tasks), including the task ID, execution plan ID, new state, and result.
All Satellite and Capsule Servers log to rsyslog
For consistency, all Satellite Servers and Capsule Servers now log by default to rsyslog.
Support for cloud-init
Red Hat Satellite 6.6 includes the foreman-userdata plug-in that provides support for deployments using cloud-init.
Creating Content Views with dependency resolution
When creating a Content View filter, you can add or remove arbitrary packages and errata to or from a Content View. Dependency resolution is now completed on the resultant repositories.
Default scale setting enhancements

Red Hat Satellite 6.6 includes the following enhancements to its default behavior:

  • Satellite now includes a set of predefined custom-heira.yaml templates for various memory and size configurations. These templates provide recommended pre-configured tuning settings that you can use instead of reading a tuning guide and making changes manually. For more information, see Tuning Satellite Server with Predefined Profiles in Installing Satellite Server from a Connected Network.
  • The cleaning unused tasks feature is now enabled by default. This reduces performance issues, disk consumption, and increases success with upgrades. For more information, see Configuring the Cleaning Unused Tasks Feature in Administering Red Hat Satellite.
Reporting enhancements

Red Hat Satellite 6.6 includes the following enhancements to the reporting engine added in Satellite 6.5:

  • A new applied errata reporting template
  • The ability to schedule reports
  • The ability to email reports
Support for provisioning on Google Compute Engine

Red Hat Satellite 6.6 supports Google Compute Engine (GCE) as a provisioning platform, including the following features:

  • Creating a GCE compute resource
  • Image-based provisioning using that compute resource
  • Sending updates from a Satellite Server on-premise using a VPN
  • Decommissioning GCE virtual machines

    Support for the CLI and API will be added in a later release of Red Hat Satellite.

Composer integration
With Composer integration in Red Hat Satellite 6.6, you can download content from Satellite in order to build images for deployment. You can then upload the deployment images into Satellite and use Satellite to provision these images.
Kickstart default provisioning template enhancements
  • The new option fips_enabled is introduced, which ensures that FIPS-related packages are installed.
  • The kickstart statement repo can be modified with the proxy_string variable.
  • If a %post snippet error occurs, the error is reported in the host’s status in the Satellite web UI.
  • The Kickstart default custom post snippet is automatically added to the %post section of the template without the need to change the template itself.