How to activate a Satellite Certificate for a Red Hat Satellite 5 Server?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Satellite 5


  • How to activate, update or refresh a Satellite 5.8 Manfest post-installation via commandline rhn-satellite-activate?
  • How does one activate a Satellite certificate for a Satellite 5 server that is connected to the Internet (connected mode)?
  • How can I activate a Satellite Server that is not connected to the Internet (in disconnected mode)?
  • How do we activate the system as Satellite 5 server and subscribe to the Satellite Channel or Repo?


  1. Red Hat Satellite 5 software is installed on the system.
  2. Red Hat Satellite Certificate (v5.6,v5.7) or Manifest (v5.8) file for the applicable Satellite version has been uploaded onto the system's file system.
  3. (Not applicable for disconnected mode:) Free Satellite subscription is available on Red Hat Customer Portal.
  4. (Not applicable for disconnected mode:) The system should have a Management Entitlement, otherwise the Satellite sub-tab will not be visible in RHN Classic web UI.

Here is how to activate or update the Satellite Certificate (v5.6,v5.7) or Manifest (v5.8) file from the command line. On the Satellite server, execute the following command:

  • If Satellite version 5.8:

NOTE For connected mode, Satellite needs to be registered and subscribed to RHN using Red Hat Satellite subscription. For that :

# subscription-manager register

# subscription-manager list --available --all   ---> Note pool ID for Red Hat Satellite subscription

# subscription-manager attach --pool=<POOL_ID>

# subscription-manager repos --enable rhel-6-server-rpms --enable rhel-6-server-satellite-5.8-rpms && yum clean all
  • Then run following command to activate the manifest
# rhn-satellite-activate --manifest=/path/to/manifestfile

or for disconnected mode(no need to register Satellite server):

# rhn-satellite-activate --disconnected --manifest=/path/to/manifestfile

See documentation for more options and information.

If 'rhel-6-server-satellite-5.8-rpms' does not match a valid repository ID error occurs while activating the manifest, make sure satellite subscription is attached and satellite 5.8 repository is enabled. Use above subscription-manager commands to verify.

  • If Satellite version 5.7 or earlier:
# rhn-satellite-activate --rhn-cert=/path/to/certificate.xml

or for disconnected mode:

# rhn-satellite-activate --disconnected --rhn-cert=/path/to/certificate.xml


  • To sanity test the certificate before activation to check for any potential errors, first run:
# rhn-satellite-activate --sanity-only  --rhn-cert=/path/to/certificate.xml
  • Since a Satellite server will not activate if there is an issue with the certificate, this is not entirely necessary but can be an easy way to quickly assess if there may be a problem.

  • Upon successful completion of the command, the Satellite will be activated and able to serve packages and client systems.

Learn More: Video Presentations and Demos for Satellite 5.6 or 5.7 Certificates

Diagnostic Steps

If the certificate fails to activate, you may find the following solutions helpful:
* The activation of my Satellite certificate failed. How can I find out why?
* Satellite certificate activation error: "You do not have enough entitlements in the base org."

Red Hat Support will need the following information from you to be able to investigate the issue:
* The previous certificate (if applicable)
* The certificate you are trying to activate
* A sosreport from the Satellite
* Satellite debug logs using spacewalk-debug
* Output of:
if Satellite v5.8:

# rhn-satellite-activate --manifest=/path/to/certificate.xml -vvv

or if v5.7 or earlier

# rhn-satellite-activate --rhn-cert=/path/to/certificate.xml -vvv

This solution is part of Red Hat’s fast-track publication program, providing a huge library of solutions that Red Hat engineers have created while supporting our customers. To give you the knowledge you need the instant it becomes available, these articles may be presented in a raw and unedited form.


ERROR: Server not registered? No systemid: /etc/sysconfig/rhn/systemid

This worked first time round for my server.

The link for "Satellite certificate activation error: "You do not have enough entitlements in the base org." appears to be incorrect as the page it links to does not have any relevant information about this error. Can someone please verify? Thanks.

(not applicable anymore)