How to install Satellite Server 6.4

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Satellite Server 6.4 is a wonderful product that will greatly assist in the management and deployment of servers within your environment. In this article we will be covering how to install Satellite Server 6.4. You may be wondering, however, exactly what is Red Hat Satellite.

Red Hat Satellite is a system management solution that enables you to deploy, configure, and maintain your systems across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Satellite provides provisioning, remote management and monitoring of multiple Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments with a single, centralized tool. Red Hat Satellite Server synchronizes the content from Red Hat Customer Portal, and provides functionality including fine-grained life cycle management, user and group role-based access control, integrated subscription management, as well as advanced GUI, CLI, and API access.

Red Hat Satellite Installation Guide

Pre-installation steps

This article will cover how to install Satellite 6.4, which at the time of this article is the latest version available. You will want to install Satellite on a fresh Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server 7.6 installation. Satellite 6.4 should be installed on a @base installation of RHEL without extra packages and GUI environments. I however have had no problem installing a Satellite Server with the Infrastructure packages, both in lab enviornments and in global production enviornments. You can, however, set up Satellite, if required, to provide packages for CentOS or other operating systems.

RHEL 7 KVM
RHEL 7 KVM with an infrastructure installation.

Server Requirements for Satellite 6.4

  • 64-bit architecture
  • The latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server
  • 4-core 2.0 GHz CPU at a minimum
  • A minimum of 20 GB memory is required for the Satellite Server to function. In addition, a minimum of 4 GB of swap space is also recommended. Satellite running with less memory than the minimum value might not operate correctly.
  • A unique host name, which can contain lower-case letters, numbers, dots (.) and hyphens (-)
  • A current Red Hat Satellite subscription
  • Administrative user (root) access
  • A system umask of 0022
  • Full forward and reverse DNS resolution using a fully-qualified domain name

Storage Guidelines for Satellite 6.4

DirectoryInstallation SizeRuntime Size
/var/cache/pulp/1 MB20 GB
/var/lib/pulp/1 MB500 GB
/var/lib/mongodb/3.5 GB50 GB
/var/lib/qpidd/25 MBNot Applicable
/var/log/10 MB250 MB
/var/lib/pgsql/100 MB10 GB
/var/spool/squid/0 MB10 GB
/usr3 GBNot Applicable
/opt500 MBNot Applicable
/opt/puppetlabs180 MBNot Applicable

For the /var/lib/pulp/ and /var/lib/mongodb/ directories, use high-bandwidth, low-latency storage, and solid state drives (SSD) rather than hard disk drives (HDD). As Red Hat Satellite has many operations that are I/O intensive, using high latency, low-bandwidth storage causes performance degradation. Ensure your installation has a speed in the range 60 – 80 Megabytes per second. You can use the fio tool to get this data. See the Red Hat Knowledgebase solution Impact of Disk Speed on Satellite 6 Operations for more information on using the fio tool.

Red Hat Installation Guide

Lab based Satellite 6.4 installations

These, of course, are best practices for a production based Satellite Server. If you are building a Satellite Server in a lab for testing purposes you can scale back quite a bit with little impact on the overall performance. For instance, the disk partitioning can just all be a single partition on standard drives in the / root partition. Just make sure you have about 200 to 300 GB’s of free space to accommodate the repositories you will be syncing later on.

With the CPU and memory requirements, you can get by with 2 cores and 12 GB’s of RAM as you will usually just have a few content hosts you are testing with, and thus not have a large load on the Satellite server.

Preparing RHEL 7 for Satellite 6.4

First we need to register RHEL and attach a Satellite Subscription.

[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager register
[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager list --available
[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager attach --pool <pool-id>

We verify that the proper subscription is attached next.

[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager list --consumed
+-------------------------------------------+
   Consumed Subscriptions
+-------------------------------------------+
Subscription Name:   Red Hat Satellite Employee Subscription
Provides:            Red Hat Beta
                     Red Hat Satellite
                     Red Hat Satellite with Embedded Oracle
                     Red Hat Satellite 5 Managed DB
                     Red Hat Satellite Proxy
                     Red Hat Satellite - Extended Life Cycle Support
                     Red Hat Satellite 5 Managed DB - Extended Life Cycle Support
                     Red Hat Satellite Proxy - Extended Life Cycle Support
                     Red Hat Software Collections (for RHEL Server)
                     Red Hat Satellite 6 Beta
                     Red Hat Satellite Capsule
                     Red Hat Software Collections Beta (for RHEL Server)
                     Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability for x86_64
                     Red Hat Ansible Engine
                     Red Hat Enterprise Linux Load Balancer (for RHEL Server)
                     Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server
SKU:                 SER0232US
Contract:            10790391
Account:             ******
Serial:              ********************
Pool ID:             *********************************
Provides Management: Yes
Active:              True
Quantity Used:       1
Service Level:       Self-Support
Service Type:        L1-L3
Status Details:      Subscription is current
Subscription Type:   Standard
Starts:              09/28/2015
Ends:                12/31/2021
System Type:         Physical

[root@sat64 ~]#

Next, it is best to disable all repositories that are not used with Satellite 6.4 specifically. This removes any issues with conflicting repositories that may be updated or overwrite the Satellite repositories. It also removes the probability of any conflicts within the system. You want to also ensure you do not add third-party repositories such as EPEL on your Satellite Server 6.4.

[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager repos --disable "*"

[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager repos --enable=rhel-7-server-rpms \
> --enable=rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms \
> --enable=rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms \
> --enable=rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms \
> --enable=rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms
Repository 'rhel-7-server-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms' is enabled for this system.
Repository 'rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms' is enabled for this system.
[root@sat64 ~]#

Then we want to make sure RHEL is not locked to a specific version of RHEL 7.x, so it can be updated when required.

[root@sat64 ~]# subscription-manager release --unset
Release preference has been unset
[root@sat64 ~]#

Running yum update on RHEL 7

Our final steps is verifying our repositories on the server, and performing a full yum update to bring RHEL up to the latest version with all patches.

[root@sat64 ~]# yum clean all
Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
Cleaning repos: rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms rhel-7-server-rpms rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms
Cleaning up everything
Maybe you want: rm -rf /var/cache/yum, to also free up space taken by orphaned data from disabled or removed repos
[root@sat64 ~]#


[root@sat64 ~]# yum repolist enabled
Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms                                                                                                                 | 4.0 kB  00:00:00
rhel-7-server-rpms                                                                                                                             | 3.4 kB  00:00:00
rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms                                                                                                               | 4.0 kB  00:00:00
rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms                                                                                                     | 3.8 kB  00:00:00
rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms                                                                                                                       | 3.4 kB  00:00:00
(1/15): rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms/x86_64/group                                                                                            |  124 B  00:00:00
(2/15): rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                       |  13 kB  00:00:00
(3/15): rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                       |  18 kB  00:00:00
(4/15): rhel-7-server-rpms/7Server/x86_64/group                                                                                                | 774 kB  00:00:01
(5/15): rhel-7-server-rpms/7Server/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                           | 3.0 MB  00:00:01
(6/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms/x86_64/group                                                                                          | 4.7 kB  00:00:00
(7/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                     |  40 kB  00:00:00
(8/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                     | 226 kB  00:00:00
(9/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                           | 8.1 kB  00:00:00
(10/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms/x86_64/group                                                                               |  104 B  00:00:00
(11/15): rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms/x86_64/primary_db                                                                          |  15 kB  00:00:00
(12/15): rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms/7Server/x86_64/group                                                                                         |  124 B  00:00:00
(13/15): rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms/7Server/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                    | 944 kB  00:00:00
(14/15): rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms/7Server/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                    | 5.2 MB  00:00:02
(15/15): rhel-7-server-rpms/7Server/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                          |  54 MB  00:00:14
repo id                                                              repo name                                                                                  status
rhel-7-server-ansible-2.6-rpms/x86_64                                Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.6 RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server                          21
rhel-7-server-rpms/7Server/x86_64                                    Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server (RPMs)                                                   23,947
rhel-7-server-satellite-6.4-rpms/x86_64                              Red Hat Satellite 6.4 (for RHEL 7 Server) (RPMs)                                              446
rhel-7-server-satellite-maintenance-6-rpms/x86_64                    Red Hat Satellite Maintenance 6 (for RHEL 7 Server) (RPMs)                                     26
rhel-server-rhscl-7-rpms/7Server/x86_64                              Red Hat Software Collections RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server                    10,971
repolist: 35,411
[root@sat64 ~]#

[root@sat64 ~]# yum update
Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
....

Transaction Summary
======================================================================================================================================================================
Install    1 Package  (+7 Dependent packages)
Upgrade  257 Packages

Total download size: 285 M
Is this ok [y/d/N]:

[root@sat64 ~]# yum install satellite
Loaded plugins: langpacks, product-id, search-disabled-repos, subscription-manager
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package satellite.noarch 0:6.4.2.2-1.el7sat will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: foreman >= 1.18.0 for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: katello >= 3.7.0 for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-ec2 for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-gce for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-libvirt for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-openstack for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-ovirt for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-rackspace for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: foreman-vmware for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: mod_passenger for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: pulp-maintenance for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: puppet-foreman_scap_client for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: satellite-cli for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: satellite-common for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_ansible) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_bootdisk) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_discovery) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_docker) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_hooks) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_remote_execution) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_templates) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_theme_satellite) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(foreman_virt_who_configure) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem(redhat_access) for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Processing Dependency: tfm-rubygem-passenger-native for package: satellite-6.4.2.2-1.el7sat.noarch
--> Running transaction check
---> Package foreman.noarch 0:1.18.0.40-1.el7sat will be installed
....
xml-commons-apis                                        noarch       1.4.01-16.el7                            rhel-7-server-rpms                               227 k
xml-commons-resolver                                    noarch       1.2-15.el7                               rhel-7-server-rpms                               108 k
xorg-x11-font-utils                                     x86_64       1:7.5-21.el7                             rhel-7-server-rpms                               104 k
xorg-x11-fonts-Type1                                    noarch       7.5-9.el7                                rhel-7-server-rpms                               521 k

Transaction Summary
======================================================================================================================================================================
Install  1 Package (+556 Dependent packages)

Total download size: 373 M
Installed size: 1.4 G
Is this ok [y/d/N]: y
...
tomcat.noarch 0:7.0.76-9.el7_6                                                   tomcat-el-2.2-api.noarch 0:7.0.76-9.el7_6
tomcat-jsp-2.2-api.noarch 0:7.0.76-9.el7_6                                       tomcat-lib.noarch 0:7.0.76-9.el7_6
tomcat-servlet-3.0-api.noarch 0:7.0.76-9.el7_6                                   trousers.x86_64 0:0.3.14-2.el7
ttmkfdir.x86_64 0:3.0.9-42.el7                                                   tzdata-java.noarch 0:2019a-1.el7
xalan-j2.noarch 0:2.7.1-23.el7                                                   xerces-j2.noarch 0:2.11.0-17.el7_0
xml-commons-apis.noarch 0:1.4.01-16.el7                                          xml-commons-resolver.noarch 0:1.2-15.el7
xorg-x11-font-utils.x86_64 1:7.5-21.el7                                          xorg-x11-fonts-Type1.noarch 0:7.5-9.el7

Complete!
[root@sat64 ~]#

Time Sync with chronyd

If the kernel was updated, you should reboot before proceeding at this point. Otherwise we ensure time synchronization is enabled and running. Note that chronyd and sos will already be installed if you did infrastructure.

# yum install chronyd
# systemctl start chronyd
# systemctl enable chronyd
# yum install sos

Installation of Satellite 6.4

The next step in the installation process is running the Satellite 6.4 installation scripts.

[root@sat64 ~]# satellite-installer --scenario satellite \
> --foreman-initial-organization "ACME" \
> --foreman-initial-location "Denver" \
> --foreman-admin-username admin \
> --foreman-admin-password redhat
Resetting puppet server version param...
Installing             Done                                               [100%] [...................................................................................]
  Success!
  * Satellite is running at https://sat64.home.therootuser.com
      Initial credentials are admin / redhat

  * To install an additional Capsule on separate machine continue by running:

      capsule-certs-generate --foreman-proxy-fqdn "$CAPSULE" --certs-tar "/root/$CAPSULE-certs.tar"

  * To upgrade an existing 6.3 Capsule to 6.4:
      Please see official documentation for steps and parameters to use when upgrading a 6.3 Capsule to 6.4.

  The full log is at /var/log/foreman-installer/satellite.log
yum install -y -q rh-mongodb34-syspaths finished successfully!
[root@sat64 ~]#

Configuring Firewalld for Satellite 6.4

Before we can connect to the GUI, or have content hosts communicate with the Satellite server we must open a number of firewall ports on the Satellite server first.

[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=RH-Satellite-6
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port 53/tcp
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port 53/udp
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port 67/udp
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port 68/udp
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port 69/udp
success
[root@sat64 ~]# firewall-cmd --reload
success
[root@sat64 ~]#

Lauching the Satellite 6.4 GUI

Finally, once all tasks are completed, and the firewall rules are in place we can log in to the GUI and begin the next phase of the installation.

Satellite GUI
Image of the Satellite 6.4 GUI login page.

What is next?

The next article in this series will cover how to configure Satellite 6.4, such as attaching a subscription manifest, synchronizing repositories, and setting up networking in preparation for provisioning. Later articles will also cover building a Capsule server within AWS with secure communication between the Capsule server and the Satellite server. Also, we will cover how to provision a server into AWS with a Satellite / Capsule setup.

If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to reach out to me.

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Ivan Windon

Ivan Windon is a Lead Engineer at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. Ivan is actively engaged in Cloud Technologies with AWS, Google, and Azure. Ivan has extensive experience with Linux and Windows administration, DNS, Networking, IDM, and Security. In his free time, he enjoys being with his wife and two children. The family enjoys hiking, and traveling when able. His favorite locations are Yosemite NPS, and San Francisco, California.

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