5.3. Viewing Package Profiles for the Local System

A package profile is the list of installed packages on a system (regardless of its subscription status). Once a system is registered, then the rhsmcertd polls the system to determine what products are installed and forwards that information to the subscription service. The package list is an integral part of managing updates, system notifications, and errata notifications.

5.3.1. The Purpose and Use of Package Lists

Red Hat Subscription Manager maintains a local list of installed packages to track the subscription status of the system. The package profile contains some general information about each package in the list:
  • Package name
  • Package version
  • Epoch
  • Publisher
All of that information about currently installed packages is collected in a regular job by the rhsmcertd process and sent to the registering subscription service, along with the user login information.
The package list itself is handled slightly differently depending on how the sysem is registered.
  • For systems registered with Customer Portal Subscription Management through the local Subscription Manager, the package list is sent periodically to the Customer Portal Subscription Management hosted subscription services to check for updates.
    The package list is viewable in the Installed Products tab or by using the list --installed command.
  • For systems where their inventory entry was created in the Customer Portal (rather than using Subscription Manager), the package list is generated by the rhsmcertd process, sent to the subscription service along with the user login, and then stored.
    The package list is displayed on the system entry and used to generate errata notifications (although it is possible to opt out of the notifications themselves).

5.3.2. Viewing the Package Profile for a System

The package list is always visible locally in the My Installed Software tab of the UI or by using the list --installed command with the command-line tools.
The Subscription Manager daemon, rhsmcertd, checks the system periodically — once when it is first registered and then when it runs a refresh operation every four hours — to get the most current list of installed products. When the system is registered and then whenever there is a change to the package list, Subscription Manager sends an updated package profile to the subscription service.
The package profile is stored in a cache file in /var/lib/rhsm/packages/.
Having an updated package profile for a system helps the subscription service identify compatible subscriptions.

5.3.3. Stopping Package List Data Collection

A system can be registered in three main ways:
  • To Customer Portal Subscription Management through Red Hat Subscription Manager on the local system
  • To Customer Portal Subscription Management through the portal itself (as in Section 3.5, “Registering an Offline System”)
  • To an on-premise service such as Subscription Asset Manager
In all three cases, the registration process automatically begins creating and maintaining a package list for the given subscription service. Since package lists are a core aspect of subscription maintenance, this data collection cannot be suspended. If it is necessary to prevent data collection on the system, then remove the system from the subscription management service.
  • Unregister the system, as in Section 3.7, “Unregistering”.
  • Unregister the system and delete the entry from the portal.
    Since package lists for systems registered in the portal are also stored in the portal subscription database, the entire system entry must be deleted for the information to be removed.
  • Unregister the system from the on-premise subscription service, as in Section 3.7, “Unregistering”.