System Patching Using Remediation Playbooks

Red Hat Insights 1-latest

How to review applicable advisories and affected systems and remediate using Ansible playbooks

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Abstract

This document demonstrates how to review applicable advisories and affected systems in your environment and perform remediation using Ansible playbooks.
Red Hat is committed to replacing problematic language in our code, documentation, and web properties. We are beginning with these four terms: master, slave, blacklist, and whitelist. Because of the enormity of this endeavor, these changes will be implemented gradually over several upcoming releases. For more details, see our CTO Chris Wright's message.

Chapter 1. Patch service overview

Patch leverages Red Hat software and management automation expertise to enable consistent patch workflows for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) systems across the open hybrid cloud. It provides a single canonical view of applicable advisories across all of your deployments, whether they be Red Hat Satellite, hosted Red Hat Subscription Management (RHSM), or the public cloud.

Use the Insights patch service to

  • see all of the applicable Red Hat and Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) advisories for your RHEL systems checking into Insights.
  • patch any system with one or more advisories by using remediation playbooks.
  • see package updates available for Red Hat and non-Red Hat repositories as of the last system checkin. Your host must be running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, RHEL 8.6+ or RHEL 9 and it must maintain a fresh yum/dnf cache.
Note

1.1. Criteria for patch and vulnerability errata

The patch service collects a variety of data to create meaningful and actionable errata for your systems. The Insights client collects the following data on each checkin:

  • List of installed packages, including name, epoch, version, release, and architecture (NEVRA)
  • List of enabled modules (RHEL 8 and later)
  • List of enabled repositories
  • Output of yum updateinfo -C or dnf updateinfo -C
  • Release version from systems with a version lock
  • System architecture (eg. x86_64)

Additionally, Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux collects metadata from the following data sources:

  • Metadata from product repositories delivered by the Red Hat Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Metadata from Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repositories
  • Red Hat Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL) feed

Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux compares the set of system data to the collected errata and vulnerability metadata in order to generate a set of available updates for each system. These updates include package updates, Red Hat errata, and Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs).

Additional resources

For more information about Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), refer to the following resources:

1.2. Reviewing and filtering applicable advisories and systems in the inventory

You can see all of the applicable advisories and installed packages for systems checking into Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Procedure

  1. On Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console, navigate to Content > Advisories.
  2. You can also search for advisories by name using the search box, and filter advisories by:

    1. Type - Security, Bugfix, Enhancement, Unknown
    2. Publish date - Last 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, Last year, or More than 1 year ago
  3. Navigate to Content > Patch > Systems to see a list of affected systems you can patch with applicable advisories. You can also search for specific systems using the search box.
  4. Navigate to Content > Packages to see a list of packages with updates available in your environment. You can also search for specific packages using the search box.

1.3. System patching using Insights remediation playbooks

The following steps demonstrate the patching workflow from the Content > Advisories page in Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Procedure

  1. On Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console, navigate to Content > Advisories.
  2. Click the advisory you want to apply to affected systems. You will see a description of the advisory, a link to view packages and errata at access.redhat.com, and a list of affected systems. The total number of applicable advisories of each type (Security, Bugfix, Enhancement) against each system are also displayed. As a bulk operation, you can click the options menu located next to a system, then click Apply all applicable advisories to patch the system with all applicable advisories at once.
  3. Alternatively, select the system(s) you want to patch with this particular advisory, then click Remediate.
  4. On the Remediate with Ansible page, you can choose to modify an existing Playbook or create a new one to remediate with Ansible. Accordingly, select Existing Playbook and the playbook name from the drop-down list, then click Next. Or, select Create new Playbook and enter a name for your playbook, then click Next.
  5. You will then see a summary of the action and resolution. Your system will auto reboot by default. If you desire to disable this functionality, click on the blue link that states "turn off auto reboot." Click Submit.
  6. On the left navigation, click on Remediations.
  7. Click on the playbook name to see the playbook details, or simply select and click Download playbook.

The following steps demonstrate the patching workflow from the Content > Patch > Systems page:

  1. Click the Systems tab to see a list of affected systems. As a bulk operation, you can click the options menu located next to a system, then click Apply all applicable advisories to patch the system with all applicable advisories at once.
  2. Alternatively, click the system you want to patch. You will see the system details and a list of applicable advisories for remediation, along with additional details such as the advisory publish date, type, and synopsis. Select the advisories you want to apply to the system, then click Remediate.
  3. On the Remediate with Ansible page, you can either modify an existing Playbook or create a new one to remediate with Ansible. Accordingly, click Existing Playbook and select the playbook name from the drop-down list, then click Next. Or, click Create new Playbook, enter a name for your playbook, then click Next.
  4. You will then see a summary of the action and resolution. Your system will auto reboot by default. If you desire to disable this functionality, click on the blue link that states "turn off auto reboot." Click Submit.
  5. On the left navigation, click on Remediations.
  6. Click on the playbook name to see the playbook details, or simply select and click Download playbook.

    Important

    Review and test any recommended actions and the playbook, and if you deem appropriate, deploy on your systems running Red Hat software. Red Hat is not responsible for any adverse outcomes related to these recommendations or Playbooks.

1.4. Enabling notifications and integrations

You can enable the notifications service on Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console to send notifications whenever the patch service detects an issue and generates an advisory. Using the notifications service frees you from having to continually check the Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux dashboard for advisories.

For example, you can configure the notifications service to automatically send an email message whenever the patch service generates an advisory.

Enabling the notifications service requires three main steps:

  • First, an Organization Administrator creates a User Access group with the Notifications-administrator role, and then adds account members to the group.
  • Next, a Notifications administrator sets up behavior groups for events in the notifications service. Behavior groups specify the delivery method for each notification. For example, a behavior group can specify whether email notifications are sent to all users, or just to Organization Administrators.
  • Finally, users who receive email notifications from events must set their user preferences so that they receive individual emails for each event.

In addition to sending email messages, you can configure the notifications service to send event data in other ways:

  • Using an authenticated client to query Red Hat Insights APIs for event data
  • Using webhooks to send events to third-party applications that accept inbound requests
  • Integrating notifications with applications such as Splunk to route patch advisories to the application dashboard

Additional resources

Chapter 2. Applying patches to systems in the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console

The Red Hat Insights patch application supports scheduled patching cycles. You can create a patch template to update a group of systems in a test environment, and use the same patch template to update systems in a production environment on a different day.

2.1. How patch templates work

The Red Hat Insights patch application supports scheduled patching cycles. You can create a patch template to update a group of systems in a test environment, and use the same patch template to update systems in a production environment on a different day.

Use patch templates to enter criteria that limit the scope of advisories that apply to your systems. For example, you can create a template to show only applicable advisories that were published up to the date of your current patching cycle. After you create the template, use the wizard to add systems and select the date of the patching cycle. When you have finished adding systems to the patch template, you can remediate all the installable advisories for the selected group of systems.

If a system already has a patch template applied, applying a different patch template overrides the existing template. A system can only have one patch template at a time.

For more information about remediations, see the Red Hat Insights Remediations Guide.

Note

After you apply a patch template to the systems you assign, you will not see more recently published advisories that apply to those systems. Use Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console notifications to ensure that you remain aware of newly published advisories that might affect your infrastructure.

For more information about notifications in the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console, see Configuring notifications on the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console.

Patch templates do not affect yum/dnf operations on the host, but they allow you to refine your patch status reporting in Red Hat Insights. You can use the templates to create remediation playbooks for simple patch cycles.

2.2. Creating a patch template

You can create a patch template to limit the scope of advisories that apply to your systems. For example, you can ignore advisories that were published after the date of your current patching cycle.

Prerequisites

  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Templates.
  2. Click Create a template. The Create patch template wizard opens and displays the Create content template page.
  3. Click the date icon to select the Patch template date. The patch template applies advisories published up to the selected date. Click Next.
  4. Enter a unique name for the template in the Name field.
  5. Optional: Add a description for the template in the Description field.
  6. Click Next. The Apply to systems page displays.
  7. Optional: Select the systems that you want to assign to the template and click Next. The Review page displays.
  8. Review the template information. When you have finished reviewing, click Submit.

A few minutes after you have finished creating the template, the system updates its list of installable advisories. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

Additional resources

2.3. Editing an existing patch template

Edit the patch template to update the patch template name or description, set a new date for your next patching cycle, or add or remove systems.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Templates. The list of available patch templates displays.
  2. Locate the patch template that you want to edit.
  3. Click the menu button on the far right side of the row that contains the template. A pop-up menu appears.
  4. Select Edit template. The Edit template wizard opens and displays the Edit content template page.
  5. Optional: Edit the patch template date. Click Next. The Edit template details page displays.
  6. Optional: Edit the template name and description. Click Next. The Apply to systems page displays.
  7. Add or remove systems assigned to the template and then click Next. The Review page displays.
  8. Review the updated template information. When you have finished reviewing, click Submit.

If you edited the patch template date or added or removed assigned systems from the template, the system updates its list of installable advisories within a few minutes. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

2.4. Adding or removing systems from the patch template

To add systems to the patch template or to remove systems from the template, use the Edit template wizard.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Templates. The list of available patch templates displays.
  2. Locate the patch template that you want to edit.
  3. Click the menu button on the far right side of the row that contains the template. A pop-up menu appears.
  4. Select Edit template. The Edit template wizard opens and displays the Edit content template page.
  5. Optional: Edit the Patch template date.
  6. Click Next. The Edit template details page displays.
  7. Optional: Edit the template name and description.
  8. Click Next. The Apply to systems page displays.
  9. Add or remove systems assigned to the template and then click Next. The Review page displays.
  10. Review the updated template information. When you have finished reviewing, click Submit.

The system updates its list of installable advisories within a few minutes. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

2.5. Applying an existing patch template to selected systems

You can apply an existing patch template to individual systems that you select from a list.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Systems. The list of available systems displays.
  2. Select a system or systems to which you want to apply the patch template.
  3. Click the More options menu beside the Remediate button and Export icon.
  4. Select Assign to a template. The Apply template dialog box displays.
  5. Click Select an existing template, and then select a template from the drop-down list.
  6. Click Apply template to apply the template to the selected systems.

The selected systems update within a few minutes. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

2.6. Removing a patch template

You might want to remove a patch template if you want to assign a system or systems to a different patch template, or if you want the systems to receive patches and updates that have creation dates outside the boundaries of the current patch template.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • The template has systems assigned to it.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Templates. The list of available patch templates displays.
  2. Locate the patch template that you want to remove.
  3. Click the menu button on the far right side of the row that contains the template. A pop-up menu appears.
  4. Select Remove patch template.

A few minutes after you have removed the template, the system updates its list of installable advisories. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

2.7. Applying a new patch template to selected systems

After you select individual systems from a list, you can create a new patch template to apply to the selected systems.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Systems. The list of available systems displays.
  2. Select a system or systems for which you want to create a new patch template.
  3. Click the More options (three dots) menu beside the Remediate button and the Export icon.
  4. Select Assign to a template. The Apply template dialog box displays.
  5. Click the Create button. The Create content template wizard opens and displays the Define template content page.
  6. Click the date icon. Select a date to apply all installable advisories published up to that date, and then click Next. The Details page displays.
  7. Enter a unique name for the template in the Name field.
  8. Optional: Add a description for the template in the Description field.
  9. Click Next. The Apply to systems page appears, and shows the list of systems that you selected.

    Note

    If a system already has an assigned patch template, the new patch template overrides the previous template.

  10. Click Next. The Review page displays.
  11. Review the template information. When you have finished reviewing, click Submit.

The selected systems update within a few minutes. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

2.8. Removing a patch template from selected systems

You can select systems from a list and remove an applied patch template from those systems. Removing the template from the systems does not delete the template.

Prerequisites

  • You have already created a patch template.
  • The patch template has been applied to systems in your installation.
  • You are logged into the Red Hat Hybrid Cloud Console as an Organization Administrator.

Procedure

  1. Use the left menu to navigate to Content > Patch > Systems. The list of available systems displays. The Template column in the list shows the systems that have applied patch templates, as well as the names of the templates.
  2. Select a system or systems for which you want to create a new patch template.
  3. Click the More options (three dots) menu beside the Remediate button and the Export icon.
  4. Select Remove from a template. The Remove systems from a patch template dialog box displays.
  5. Click the Remove button. A success message appears.

The selected systems show a status of No template in the Template column. The update time depends on the number of systems in your installation.

Providing feedback on Red Hat documentation

We appreciate and prioritize your feedback regarding our documentation. Provide as much detail as possible, so that your request can be quickly addressed.

Prerequisites

  • You are logged in to the Red Hat Customer Portal.

Procedure

To provide feedback, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the following link: Create Issue
  2. Describe the issue or enhancement in the Summary text box.
  3. Provide details about the issue or requested enhancement in the Description text box.
  4. Type your name in the Reporter text box.
  5. Click the Create button.

This action creates a documentation ticket and routes it to the appropriate documentation team. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

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