2. Local System Tools (Red Hat Subscription Manager)

Both registration and subscriptions are managed on the local system through UI and CLI tools called Red Hat Subscription Manager. The Subscription Manager tracks and displays what subscriptions are available to the local system and what subscriptions have been consumed by the local system. The Subscription Manager works as a conduit back to the subscription service to synchronize changes like available product quantities or subscription expiration and renewals.


The Red Hat Subscription Manager tools are always run as root because of the nature of the changes to the system. However, Red Hat Subscription Manager connects to the subscription service as a user account for the subscription service.
The Subscription Manager handles both registration and subscriptions for a system. The Subscription Manager is part of the firstboot process for configuring content and updates, but the system can be registered at any time through the Red Hat Subscription Manager UI or CLI. New subscriptions, new products, and updates can be viewed and applied to a system through the Red Hat Subscription Manager tools.
Red Hat Subscription Manager has two tools in its set, a UI-based client to manage the local machine and a CLI client for advanced users (which can be used to work with other applications or in scripting management tasks, like kickstarting machines.
These tools allow administrators to perform three major tasks directly related to managing subscriptions: registering machines, assigning (attaching) subscriptions to systems, and updating the certificates required for authentication. Some minor operations, like updating system facts, are available to help display and track what subscriptions are available.

2.1. Launching the Red Hat Subscription Manager UI

Red Hat Subscription Manager is listed as one of the administrative tools in the System > Administration menu in the top management bar.
Red Hat Subscription Manager Menu Option

Figure 1. Red Hat Subscription Manager Menu Option

Alternatively, the Red Hat Subscription Manager UI can be opened from the command line with a single command:
[root@server1 ~]# subscription-manager-gui
The Red Hat Subscription Manager UI has a single window with tabbed sections that offer quick views into the current state of the system, showing installed products, subscriptions for the system, and available subscriptions the system has access to. These tabs also allow administrators to manage subscriptions by subscribing and unsubscribing the system.
The Red Hat Subscription Manager has three tabs which manage products and subscriptions:
  • The My Subscriptions tab shows all of the current subscriptions that the system is subscribed to.
  • The All Available Subscriptions tab shows all of the subscriptions that are available to the system. The default displays only subscriptions that are compatible with the hardware, but these can be filtered to show any subscriptions which match the hardware, any subscriptions which match installed products, only subscriptions which do not overlap with a currently-attached subscription, or any subscription which matches a given string.
  • The My Installed Products tab shows the currently installed products on the system, along with their subscription status. This does not allow administrators to install software, only to view installed software.
Red Hat Subscription Manager Main Screen

Figure 2. Red Hat Subscription Manager Main Screen