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7 Systems

If you select Main Menu › Systems › Overview, an overview of all Systems appears. From this page you can select systems to perform actions on and may create system profiles.

7.1 Overview Conventions

The Main Menu › Systems › Overview page displays a list of all your registered systems. Several columns provide information about each system:

Select box

Systems without a system type cannot be selected. To select systems, mark the appropriate check boxes. Selected systems are added to the System Set Manager, where actions can be carried out simultaneously on all systems in the set. For more information, see Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager”.

System

The name of the system specified during registration. The default name is the host name of the system. Clicking the name of a system displays its System Details page. For more information, see Section 7.3, “System Details”.

  • Virtual Host — Virtual Host.

  • Virtual Guest — Virtual Guest.

  • Non-Virtual System — Non-Virtual System.

  • Unprovisioned System — Unprovisioned System.

Updates

Shows which type of update action is applicable to the system or confirms that the system is up-to-date. Some icons are linked to related tasks. For example, the standard Updates icon is linked to the Upgrade subtab of the packages list, while the Critical Updates icon links directly to the Software Patches page.

  • Check Circle — System is up-to-date.

  • Exclamation Circle — Critical patch (errata) available, update strongly recommended.

  • Warning — Updates available and recommended.

  • Question — System not checking in properly (for 24 hours or more).

  • Lock — System is locked; actions prohibited.

  • Rocket — System is being deployed using AutoYaST or Kickstart.

  • Clock — Updates have been scheduled.

  • Times — System not entitled to any update service.

Patches

Total number of patch alerts applicable to the system.

Packages

Total number of package updates for the system, including packages related to patch alerts and newer versions of packages not related to patch alerts. For example, if a client system that has an earlier version of a package installed gets subscribed to the appropriate base channel (such as SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP2), that channel may have an updated version of the package. If so, the package appears in the list of available package updates.

Important
Important: Package Conflict

If SUSE Manager identifies package updates for the system, but the package updater (such as Red Hat Update Agent or YaST) responds with a message such as "Your system is fully updated", a conflict likely exists in the system’s package profile or in the up2date configuration file. To resolve the conflict, either schedule a package list update or remove the packages from the package exceptions list. For more information, see Section 7.3, “System Details”.

Configs

Total number of configuration files applicable to the system.

Base Channel

The primary channel for the system based on its operating system. For more information, see Section 11.1, “Channels”.

System Type

Shows whether the system is managed and at what service level.

Links in the navigation bar below Main Menu › Systems enable you to select and view predefined sets of your systems. All of the options described above can be applied within these pages.

7.2 Systems > Overview

The Main Menu › Systems › Overview page provides a summary of your systems, including their status, number of associated patches (errata) and packages, and their so-called system type. Clicking the name of a system takes you to its System Details page. For more information, see Section 7.3, “System Details”.

Clicking the View System Groups button at the top of the page takes you to a summary of your system groups. It identifies group status and displays the number of systems contained. Clicking the number of systems in a group takes you to the Main Menu › Systems › Systems Groups › Systems tab. Selecting a group name takes you to the Main Menu › Systems › System Groups › Group Details tab for that system group. For more information, see Section 7.4.3, “System Group Details”.

You can also click Use in SSM from the Systems › Overview › View System Groups page to go directly to the Systems › System Set Manager. For more information, see Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager”.

7.2.1 Systems > Systems

Pages with various lists of system groupings.

7.2.2 Systems > All

The Systems › Systems › All page contains the default set of your systems. It displays every system you have permission to manage. You have permission if you are the only user in your organization, if you are a SUSE Manager Administrator, or if the system belongs to a group for which you have admin rights.

systems all

7.2.3 Systems > Physical Systems

To reach this page, select Systems › Systems › Physical Systems from the left bar. This page lists each physical system of which SUSE Manager is aware.

systems physical systems

7.2.4 Systems > Virtual Systems

To reach this page, select Systems › Systems › Virtual Systems from the left bar. This page lists each virtual host of which SUSE Manager is aware and the guest systems on those hosts.

systems virtual systems
System

This column displays the name of each guest system.

Updates

This column shows whether there are patches (errata updates) available for the guest systems that have not yet been applied.

Status

This column indicates whether a guest is running, paused, or stopped.

Base Channel

This column displays the base channel to which the guest is currently subscribed.

Only guests registered with SUSE Manager are displayed with blue text. Clicking the host name of such a guest system displays its System Details page.

7.2.5 Systems > Unprovisioned Systems

Here, all unprovisioned (bare-metal) systems with hardware details are listed. For more information, see Section 17.4.6, “Manager Configuration › Bare-metal systems.

systems bare metal

7.2.6 Systems > Out of Date

The Systems › Systems › Out of Date page displays all systems where applicable patch alerts have not been applied.

systems outofdate

7.2.7 Systems > Requiring Reboot

The Systems › Systems › Requiring Reboot page displays all systems that need to be rebooted. Click a system name to go to the systems details page to schedule a reboot.

systems requiringreboot

7.2.8 Systems > Non-compliant Systems

Non-compliant systems have packages installed which are not available from SUSE Manager. The Packages column shows how many installed packages are not available in the channels assigned to the system. A non-compliant system cannot be reinstalled.

systems noncompliant

7.2.9 Systems > Without System Type

The Systems › Systems › Without System Type page displays systems without a System Type. System types are:

  • Salt

  • Management

  • Foreign Host

systems without system type

7.2.10 Systems > Ungrouped

The Systems › Systems › Ungrouped page displays systems that have not yet been assigned to a system group.

systems ungrouped

7.2.11 Systems > Inactive

The Systems › Systems › Inactive Systems page displays systems that have not checked in with SUSE Manager for 24 hours or more.

systems inactive

On traditional clients, checking in is performed periodically by client tools (specifically mgr_check) - client systems connect to SUSE Manager to see if there are any updates available or if any actions have been scheduled. For Salt systems, a Taskomatic job checks on the minions periodically by pinging them when otherwise inactive. If you see a message telling you that check-ins are not taking place, the system is not successfully connecting to SUSE Manager.

The reason may be one of the following:

  • The system is not entitled to any SUSE Manager service. System profiles that remain unentitled for 180 days (6 months) are removed.

  • The system is entitled, but the SUSE Manager daemon (rhnsd) has been disabled on the traditional client. Refer to Book “Best Practices”, Chapter 8 “Contact Methods”, Section 8.2 “Traditional Contact Method (rhnsd)” for instructions on restarting and troubleshooting.

  • The system is behind a firewall that does not allow connections over https (port 443).

  • The system is behind an HTTP proxy server that has not been properly configured.

  • The system is connected to a SUSE Manager Proxy Server or SUSE Manager that has not been properly configured.

  • The system itself has not been properly configured, perhaps pointing at the wrong SUSE Manager Server.

  • The system is not in the network.

  • Some other barrier exists between the system and the SUSE Manager Server.

  • For Salt minions, Taskomatic might not be operational.

7.2.12 Systems > Recently Registered

The Systems › Systems › Recently Registered page displays any systems that have been registered in a given period. Use the drop-down box to specify the period in days, weeks, 30- and 180-day increments, and years.

systems recently registered

7.2.13 Systems > Proxy

The Systems › Systems › Proxy page displays the SUSE Manager Proxy Server systems registered with your SUSE Manager server.

systems proxy

7.2.14 Systems > Duplicate Systems

The Systems › Systems › Duplicate Systems page lists current systems and any active and inactive entitlements associated with them.

systems duplicate systems

Active entitlements are in gray, while inactive entitlements are highlighted in yellow and their check boxes checked by default for you to delete them as needed by clicking the Delete Selected button. Entitlements are inactive if the system has not checked in with SUSE Manager in a time specified via the drop-down box A system profile is inactive if its system has not checked in for:.

You can filter duplicate entitlements by clicking the respective tab:

  • Duplicate Systems › IP Address

  • Duplicate Systems › IPv6 Address

  • Duplicate Systems › Hostname

  • Duplicate Systems › MAC address

You may filter further by inactive time or typing the system’s host name, IP address, IPv6 address, or MAC address in the corresponding Filter by text box.

To compare up to three duplicate entitlements at one time, click the Compare Systems link in the Last Checked In column. Inactive components of the systems are highlighted in yellow.

You can determine which systems are inactive or duplicate and delete them by clicking the Delete System Profile button.

Click the Confirm Deletion button to confirm your choice.

7.2.15 Systems > System Currency

The System Currency Report displays an overview of severity scores of patches relevant to the system. The weighting is defined any systems, System Details page. The default weight awards critical security patches with the heaviest weight and enhancements with the lowest. The report can be used to prioritize maintenance actions on the systems registered to SUSE Manager.

systems currency report

7.2.16 Systems > System Types

System Types define the set of functionalities available for each system in SUSE Manager such as the ability of installing software or creating guest virtual machines.

systems system types

A list of profiled systems follows, with their base and add-on system types shown in the appropriate columns. To change system types, select the systems you want to modify, and click either the Add System Type or Remove System Type button.

7.3 System Details

When systems are registered to SUSE Manager, they are displayed on the Main Menu › Systems › Overview page. Here and on any other page, clicking the name of a system takes you to the System Details page of the client, where various types of administrative tasks can be performed.

Note
Note

The Delete System link in the upper right of this screen refers to the system profile only. Deleting a host system profile will not destroy or remove the registration of guest systems. Deleting a guest system profile does not remove it from the list of guests for its host, nor does it stop or pause the guest. It does, however, remove your ability to manage it via SUSE Manager.

If you mistakenly deleted a system profile from SUSE Manager, you may re-register the system using the bootstrap script or rhnreg_ks manually.

The Details page has numerous subtabs that provide specific system information and other identifiers unique to the system. The following sections discuss these tabs and their subtabs in detail.

7.3.1 System Details › Details

This page is not accessible from the left bar. However, clicking the name of a system anywhere in the Web interface displays such a System Details page. By default, the Systems Details › Details › Overview subtab is displayed. Other tabs are available, depending on the system type and add-on system type.

For example, Traditional systems and Salt systems details display different tabs.

system details traditional overview
Figure 7.1: System Details (Traditional)
system details salt overview
Figure 7.2: System Details (Salt)

7.3.1.1 System Details › Details › Overview

This system summary page displays the system status message and the following key information about the system:

System Status

This message indicates the current state of your system in relation to SUSE Manager.

Note
Note

If updates are available for any entitled system, the message Software Updates Available appears, displaying the number of critical and non-critical updates and the sum of affected packages. To apply these updates, click System Details › Packages then select some or all packages to update, then click Upgrade Packages.

System Info
Hostname

The host name as defined by the client system. A machine can have one and only one hostname.

FQDN

The FQDN(Names) listed here represents the host.domain that the machine answers to. A machine can have any number of FQDNs. Keep in mind that FQDN is not equal to hostname.

IP Address

The IP address of the client.

IPv6 Address

The IPv6 address of the client.

Minion Id

On salt clients only, shows the minion identification value.

Virtualization

If the client is a virtual machine, the type of virtualization is listed.

UUID

Displays the universally unique identifier.

Kernel

The kernel installed and operating on the client system.

SUSE Manager System ID

A unique identifier generated each time a system registers with SUSE Manager.

Note
Note

The system ID can be used to eliminate duplicate profiles from SUSE Manager. Compare the system ID listed on this page with the information stored on the client system in the /etc/sysconfig/rhn/systemid file. In that file, the system’s current ID is listed under system_id. The value starts after the characters ID-. If the value stored in the file does not match the value listed in the profile, the profile is not the most recent one and may be removed.

Activation Key

Displays the activation key used to register the system.

Installed Products

Lists the products installed on the system.

Lock Status

Indicates whether a system has been locked.

Actions cannot be scheduled for locked systems on the Web interface until the lock is removed manually. This does not include preventing automated patch updates scheduled via the Web interface. To prevent the application of automated patch updates, deselect System Details › Properties › Auto Patch Update. For more information, refer to Section 7.3.1.2, “System Details › Details › Properties.

Locking a system can prevent you from accidentally changing a system. For example, the system may be a production system that should not receive updates or new packages until you decide to unlock it.

Important
Important

Locking a system in the Web interface will not prevent any actions that originate from the client system. For example, if a user logs in to the client directly and runs YaST Online Update (on SUSE Linux Enterprise) or pup (on RHEL), the update tool will install available patches even if the system is locked in the Web interface.

Locking a system does not restrict the number of users who can access the system via the Web interface. If you want to restrict access to the system, associate that system with a System Group and assign a System Group Administrator to it. Refer to Section 7.4, “Systems > System Groups” for more information about System Groups.

It is also possible to lock multiple systems via the System Set Manager. Refer to Section 7.5.10.4, “System Set Manager > Misc > Lock/Unlock” for instructions.

Subscribed Channels

List of subscribed channels. Clicking a channel name takes you to the Basic Channel Details page. To change subscriptions, click the Alter Channel Subscriptions link right beside the title to assign available base and child channels to this system. When finished making selections, click the Change Subscriptions button to change subscriptions and the base software channel. For more information, see Section 7.3.2.3, “System Details › Software › Software Channels.

Base Channel

The first line indicates the base channel to which this system is subscribed. The base channel should match the operating system of the client.

Child Channels

The subsequent lines of text, which depend on the base channel, list child channels. An example is the SUSE Manager Tools channel.

System Events
Checked In

The date and time at which the system last checked in with SUSE Manager.

Registered

The date and time at which the system registered with SUSE Manager and created this profile.

Last Booted

The date and time at which the system was last started or restarted.

Note
Note

Systems with Salt or Management system type can be rebooted from this screen.

  1. Select Schedule system reboot.

  2. Provide the earliest date and time at which the reboot may take place.

  3. Click the Schedule Reboot button in the lower right.

When the client checks in after the scheduled start time, SUSE Manager will instruct the system to restart itself.

System Properties
System Types

Lists system types and add-on types currently applied to the system.

Notifications

Indicates the notification options for this system. You can activate whether you want to receive e-mail notifying you of available updates for this system. In addition, you may activate to include systems in the daily summary e-mail.

Contact Method

Available methods: Default (Pull), Push via SSH, and Push via SSH tunnel.

The so-called OSA status is also displayed for client systems registered with SUSE Manager that have the OSA dispatcher (osad) configured.

Push enables SUSE Manager customers to immediately initiate tasks rather than wait for those systems to check in with SUSE Manager. Scheduling actions through push is identical to the process of scheduling any other action, except that the task can immediately be carried out instead of waiting the set interval for the system to check in.

In addition to the configuration of SUSE Manager, to receive pushed actions each client system must have the osad package installed and its service started.

Auto Patch Update

Indicates whether this system is configured to accept updates automatically.

System Name

By default, the host name of the client is displayed, but a different system name can be assigned.

Description

This information is automatically generated at registration. You can edit the description to include any information you want.

Location

This field displays the physical address of the system if specified.

Clicking the Edit These Properties link beside the System Properties title opens the System Details › Details › Properties subtab. From this page you can edit any text fields you choose, then click the Update Properties button to confirm.

7.3.1.2 System Details › Details › Properties

This subtab allows you to alter basic properties of the selected system.

system details traditional edit
System Details
System Name

By default, this is the host name of the system. You can however alter the profile name to anything that allows you to distinguish this system from others.

Base System Type

For information only.

Add-on System Types

Select one of the available system types such as Container Build Host.

Notifications

Select whether notifications about this system should be sent and whether to include this system in the daily summary. This setting keeps you aware of all advisories pertaining to the system. Anytime an update is released for the system, you receive an e-mail notification.

The daily summary reports system events that affect packages, such as scheduled patch updates, system reboots, or failures to check in. In addition to including the system here, you must activate to receive e-mail notification in Main Menu › Home › Overview › Your Preferences.

Contact Method

Select one of the following contact methods:

  • Pull (Default)

  • Push via SSH

  • Push via SSH tunnel

Auto Patch Update

If this box is checked, available patches are automatically applied to the system when it checks in (Pull) or immediately if you select either Push option. This action takes place without user intervention.

Note
Note: Conflicts With Third Party Packages

Enabling auto-update might lead to failures because of conflicts between system updates and third party packages. To avoid failures caused by those issues, it is better to leave this box unchecked.

Description

By default, this text box records the operating system, release, and architecture of the system when it first registers. Edit this information to include anything you like.

The remaining fields record the physical address at which the system is stored. To confirm any changes to these fields, click the Update Properties button.

Note
Note: Setting Properties for Multiple Systems

Many of these properties can be set for multiple systems in one go via the System Set Manager interface. For details, see Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager”.

7.3.1.3 System Details › Details › Remote Command

This subtab allows you to run remote commands on the selected system. Before doing so, you must first configure the system to accept such commands.

system details traditional edit
  1. On SUSE Linux Enterprise clients, subscribe the system to the SUSE Manager Tools child channel. Then use Zypper to install the rhncfg, rhncfg-client, and rhncfg-actions packages, if not already installed:

    zypper in rhncfg rhncfg-client rhncfg-actions

    On RHEL clients, subscribe the system to the Tools child channel. Then use up2date or yum to install the rhncfg, rhncfg-client, and rhncfg-actions packages, if not already installed:

    yum install rhncfg rhncfg-client rhncfg-actions
  2. Log in to the system as root and add the following file to the local SUSE Manager configuration directory: allowed-actions/scripts/run.

    • Create the necessary directory on the target system:

      mkdir -p /etc/sysconfig/rhn/allowed-actions/script
    • Create an empty run file in that directory to act as a flag to SUSE Manager, signaling permission to allow remote commands:

      touch /etc/sysconfig/rhn/allowed-actions/script/run

When the setup is complete, refresh the page to view the text boxes for remote commands. Identify a specific user, group, and timeout period, and the script to run. Select a date and time to execute the command, then click Schedule or add the remote command to an action chain. For further information on action chains, see Section 15.5, “Action Chains”.

7.3.1.4 System Details › Details › Reactivation [Management]

Reactivation keys include this system’s ID, history, groups, and channels. This key can then be used only once with the rhnreg_ks command line utility to re-register this system and regain all SUSE Manager settings. Unlike typical activation keys, which are not associated with a specific system ID, keys created here do not show up within the Main Menu › Systems › Activation Keys page.

system details reactivation

Reactivation keys can be combined with activation keys to aggregate the settings of multiple keys for a single system profile. For example:

rhnreg_ks --server=`server-url`\
  --activationkey=`reactivation-key`,`activationkey`--force
Warning
Warning

When autoinstalling a system with its existing SUSE Manager profile, the profile uses the system-specific activation key created here to re-register the system and return its other SUSE Manager settings. For this reason, you should not regenerate, delete, or use this key (with rhnreg_ks) while a profile-based autoinstallation is in progress. If you do, the autoinstallation will fail.

7.3.1.5 System Details › Details › Hardware

This subtab provides information about the system, such as networking, BIOS, memory, and other devices. This only works if you included the hardware profile during registration. If the hardware profile looks incomplete or outdated, click the Schedule Hardware Refresh button. The next time the system connects to SUSE Manager, it will update your system profile with the latest hardware information.

7.3.1.6 System Details › Details › Migrate

This subtab provides the option to migrate systems between organizations. Select an organization form the dropdown Migrate System Between Organizations and click Migrate System to initiate the migration.

system details traditional migrate
Note
Note

Defined system details such as channel assignments, system group membership, custom data value, configuration channels, reactivation keys, and snapshots will be dropped from the system configuration after the migration.

7.3.1.7 System Details › Details › Notes

This subtab provides a place to create notes about the system.

Create Note

To add a new note, click the Create Note link, type a subject and write your note, then click the Create button.

Modify Note

To modify a note, click its subject in the list of notes, make your changes, and click the Update button.

Remove Note

To remove a note, click its subject in the list of notes then click the Delete Note link.

system details traditional notes

7.3.1.8 System Details › Details › Custom Info

This subtab provides completely customizable information about the system. Unlike Notes, Custom Info is structured, formalized, and can be searched. Before adding custom information about a system, you must create Custom Information Keys by selecting the Custom System Information link. Then, on the Custom System Information page, select the Create Key link. Provide Key Label and Description and confirm with Create Key. For more information, see Section 7.11, “Systems > Custom System Info”.

system details traditional custom info

Once you have created one or more keys, you may assign values for this system by selecting the Create Value link. Click the name of the key in the resulting list and enter a value for it in the Value field, then click the Update Key button.

7.3.1.9 System Details › Details › Proxy [Proxy]

This tab is only available for SUSE Manager Proxy systems. The tab lists all clients registered with the selected SUSE Manager Proxy server.

7.3.2 System Details › Software

This tab and its subtabs allow you to manage the software on the system: patches (errata), packages and package profiles, software channel memberships, and migrations.

7.3.2.1 System Details › Software › Patches

This subtab contains a list of patch (errata) alerts applicable to the system. Refer to Section 6.2, “Patch Alert Icons” for meanings of the icons on this tab.

system details traditional software patches

To apply updates, select them and click the Apply Patches button. Double-check the updates to be applied on the confirmation page, then click the Confirm button.

The action is added to the Main Menu › Schedule › Pending Actions list. Patches that have been scheduled cannot be selected for update. Instead of a check box there is a clock icon. Click the clock to see the Action Details page.

The Status column in the System Details › Software › Patches table shows whether an update has been scheduled. Possible values are:

  • None

  • Pending

  • Picked Up

  • Completed

  • Failed

This column displays only the latest action related to a patch. For example, if an action fails and you reschedule it, this column shows the status of the patch as Pending with no mention of the previous failure. Clicking a status other than None takes you to the Action Details page.

7.3.2.2 System Details › Software › Packages

Manage the software packages on the system. Most of the following actions can also be performed via action chains. For further information on action chains, see Section 15.5, “Action Chains”.

system details traditional software packages
Warning
Warning

When new packages or updates are installed on the client via SUSE Manager, any licenses (EULAs) requiring agreement before installation are automatically accepted.

Packages

The default display of the Packages tab describes the options available and provides the means to update your package list. To update or complete a potentially outdated list, possibly because of the manual installation of packages, click the Update Package List button in the bottom right-hand corner of this page. The next time the system connects to SUSE Manager, it updates your system profile with the latest list of installed packages.

List / Remove

Lists installed packages and enables you to remove them. View and sort packages by name or the date they were installed on the system. Search for the desired packages by typing a name in the Filter by Package Name search field. You may also select the letter or number corresponding to the first character of the package name from the drop down selection menu. Click a package name to view its Package Details page. To delete packages from the system, select their check boxes and click the Remove Packages button on the bottom right-hand corner of the page. A confirmation page appears with the packages listed. Click the Confirm button to remove the packages.

Upgrade

Displays a list of packages with newer versions available in the subscribed channels. Click the latest package name to view its Package Details page. To upgrade packages immediately, select them and click the Upgrade Packages button. Any EULAs will be accepted automatically.

Install

Install new packages on the system from the available channels. Click the package name to view its Package Details page. To install packages, select them and click the Install Selected Packages button. EULAs are automatically accepted.

Verify

Validates the packages installed on the system against its RPM database. This is the equivalent of running rpm -V. The metadata of the system’s packages are compared with information from the database, such as file checksum, file size, permissions, owner, group and type. To verify a package or packages, select them, click the Verify Selected Packages button, and confirm. When the check is finished, select this action in the History subtab under Events to see the results.

Lock

Locking a package prevents modifications like removal or update of the package. Since locking and unlocking happens via scheduling requests, locking might take effect with some delay. If an update happens before then, the lock will have no effect. Select the packages you want to lock. If locking should happen later, select the date and time above the Request Lock button, then click it. A small lock icon marks locked packages. To unlock, select the package and click Request Unlock, optionally specifying the date and time for unlocking to take effect.

Note
Note

This feature only works if Zypper is used as the package manager. On the target machine the zypp-plugin-spacewalk package must be installed (version 0.9.x or higher).

Profiles

Compare installed packages with the package lists in stored profiles and other systems.

  • Select a stored profile from the drop-down box and click the Compare button. To compare with packages installed on a different system, select the system from the associated drop-down box and click the Compare button.

  • To create a stored profile based on the existing system, click the Create System Profile button, enter any additional information, and click the Create Profile button. These profiles are kept within the Main menu › Systems › Stored Profiles page.

    When installed packages have been compared with a profile, customers have the option to synchronize the selected system with the profile. All changes apply to the system not the profile. Packages might get deleted and additional packages installed on the system. To install only specific packages, click the respective check boxes in the profile. To remove specific packages installed on the system, select the check boxes of these packages showing a difference of This System Only.

    To completely synchronize the system’s packages with the compared profile, select the master check box at the top of the column. Then click the Sync Packages to button. On the confirmation screen, review the changes, select a time frame for the action, and click the Schedule Sync button.

    You can use a stored profile as a template for the files to be installed on an autoinstalled system.

Non Compliant

Lists packages that are installed on this system and are not present in any of its channels.

7.3.2.3 System Details › Software › Software Channels

Software channels provide a well-defined method to determine which packages should be available to a system for installation or upgrade based on its operating systems, installed packages, and functionality.

system details traditional software system channels

Click the chain icon right to a channel name to view its Channel Details page. To change the base software channel the system is subscribed to select a different base channel in the left selection box.

To modify the child channels associated with this system, in the right selection box use the check boxes left to the channel names. If you enable include recommended, recommended child channels are automatically selected for subscription. Starting with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, child channels can depend on other channels—they are required. In the channel subscription you can see the dependencies by hovering with a mouse on a child channel name. Selecting a channel that depends on another channel will select this channel, too. Unselecting a channel on which some other channels depend will also unselect those channels.

When done click Next to schedule the Software Channel Change action. Then click Confirm.

Note
Note: Changing the Channels Is Now an Action

Since the 3.1 maintenance update (2018) changing the channels is an action that can be scheduled like any other action. Earlier channel changes were applied immediately.

For more information about channel management, see Section 11.1, “Channels”.

7.3.2.4 System Details › Software › SP Migration

Service Pack Migration (SP Migration) allows you to upgrade a system from one service pack to another.

system details traditional software sp migration
Warning
Warning

During migration SUSE Manager automatically accepts any required licenses (EULAs) before installation.

Beginning with SLE 12 SUSE supports service pack skipping, it is now possible to migrate from for example, SLE 12 SP2 to SLE 12 SP4. Note that SLE 11 may only be migrated step by step and individual service packs should not be skipped. Supported migrations include any of the following:

  • SLE 11 > SLE 11 SP1 > SLE 11 SP2 > SLE 11 SP3 > SLE 11 SP4

  • SLE 12 > SLE 12 SP1 > SLE 12 SP2 > SLE 12 SP3 > SLE 12 SP4

  • SLE 12 SP2 > SLE 12 SP4 (skipping SLE 12 SP3)

Warning
Warning: Migrating from an Earlier Version of SLES

It is not possible to migrate, for example, from SLE 11 to SLE 12 using this tool. You must use AutoYaST to perform a migration on this level.

Warning
Warning: Rollback Not Possible

The migration feature does not cover any rollback functionality. When the migration procedure is started, rolling back is not possible. Therefore it is recommended to have a working system backup available for an emergency.

Procedure: Performing a Migration
  1. From the Main Menu › Systems › Overview page, select a client.

  2. Select the System Details › Software › SP Migration tabs.

  3. Select the target migration path and click Select Channels.

  4. From the System Details › Software › SP Migration › Service Pack Migration - Channels view select the correct base channel, including Mandatory Child Channels and any additional Optional Child Channels. Select Schedule Migration when your channels have been configured properly.

7.3.3 System Details › Configuration

This tab and its subtabs assist in managing the configuration files associated with the system. On Salt based systems, these configuration files are distributed via a Configuration Channel. On traditionally managed systems, these configuration files may be managed solely for the current system or distributed widely via a Configuration Channel. The following sections describe these and other available options on the System Details › Configuration subtabs.

Note
Note: Required Packages [Management]

To manage the configuration of a system, it must have the latest rhncfg* packages installed. Refer to for instructions on enabling and disabling scheduled actions for a system.

This section is available to normal users with access to systems that have configuration management enabled. Like software channels, configuration channels store files to be installed on systems. While software updates are provided by SCC, configuration files are managed solely by you. Also unlike with software packages, various versions of configuration files may prove useful to a system at any time. Only the latest version can be deployed.

7.3.3.1 System Details › Configuration › Overview

This subtab provides access to the configuration files of your system and to the most common tasks used to manage configuration files.

Configuration Overview

From the System Details › Configuration › Overview, click the Add links to add files, directories, or symbolic links. Here you also find shortcuts to perform any of the common configuration management tasks listed on the right of the screen by clicking one of the links under System Details › Configuration › Overview › Configuration Actions.

system details traditional configuration overview

7.3.3.2 System Details › Configuration › View/Modify Files

This subtab lists all configuration files currently associated with the system. These are sorted via subtabs in centrally and locally managed files and a local sandbox for files under development.

Using the appropriate buttons on a subtab, you can copy from one to the other subtabs.

Modify Files is not available on Salt based systems.

Centrally-Managed Files

Centrally-managed configuration files are provided by global configuration channels. Determine which channel provides which file by examining the Provided By column below. Some of these centrally-managed files may be overridden by locally-managed files. Check the Overridden By column to find out if any files are overridden, or click Override this file to provide such an overriding file.

system details traditional configuration view mod central paths
Locally-Managed Files [Management]

Locally-managed configuration files are useful for overriding centrally-managed configuration profiles that cause problems on particular systems. Also, locally-managed configuration files are a method by which system group administrators who do not have configuration administration privileges can manage configuration files on the machines they can manage.

system details traditional configuration view mod local paths
Local Sandbox [Management]

In the sandbox you can store configuration files under development. You can promote files from the sandbox to a centrally-managed configuration channel using Copy Latest to Central Channel. After files in this sandbox have been promoted to a centrally-managed configuration channel, you can deploy them to other systems.

Use Copy Latest to System Channel to install a configuration on the local system only. When done, the file will end up on the Locally-Managed Files subtab.

system details traditional configuration view mod sandbox paths

7.3.3.3 System Details › Configuration › Add Files [Management]

To upload, import, or create new configuration files, open the Add Files subtab.

Upload File

To upload a configuration file from your local machine, browse for the upload file, specify whether it is a text or binary file, enter Filename/Path and user and group ownership. Specific file permissions can be set. When done, click Upload Configuration File.

system details traditional configuration add files upload
Import Files

Via the Import Files tab, you can add files from the system you have selected before and add it to the sandbox of this system. Files will be imported the next time rhn_check runs on the system. To deploy these files or override configuration files in global channels, copy this file into your local override channel after the import has occurred.

In the text box under Import New Files enter the full path of any files you want import into SUSE Manager or select deployable configuration files from the Import Existing Files list. When done, click Import Configuration Files.

system details traditional configuration add files import
Create File

Under Create File, you can directly create the configuration file from scratch. Select the file type, specify the path and file name, where to store the file, plus the symbolic link target file name and path. Ownership and permissions and macro delimiters need to be set. For more information on using macros, see Section 14.5.2.1, “Including Macros in your Configuration Files”. In the File Contents text box, type the configuration file. Select the type of file you are creating from the drop-down box. Possible choices are Shell, Perl, Python, Ruby and XML. When done, click Create Configuration File.

system details traditional configuration add files create

7.3.3.4 System Details › Configuration › Deploy Files

Under Deploy Files you find all files that can be deployed on the selected system.

system details traditional configuration deploy file

Files from configuration channels with a higher priority take precedence over files from configuration channels with a lower priority.

7.3.3.5 System Details › Configuration › Compare Files

This subtab compares a configuration file stored on the SUSE Manager with the file stored on the client. It does not compare versions of the same file stored in different channels.

system details traditional configuration diff file

Select the files to be compared, click the Compare Files button, select a time to perform the diff, and click the Schedule Compare button to confirm.

To watch progress, see Section 7.3.10, “System Details › Events. After the diff has been performed, go to Recent Events in Section 7.3.3.1, “System Details › Configuration › Overview to see the results.

7.3.3.6 System Details › Configuration › Manage Configuration Channels

This subtab allows you to subscribe to and rank configuration channels associated with the system, lowest first.

system details traditional configuration config channel list

The List/Unsubscribe from Channels subtab contains a list of the system’s configuration channel subscriptions. Click the check box next to the Channel and click Unsubscribe to remove the subscription to the channel.

The Subscribe to Channels subtab lists all available configuration channels. To subscribe to a channel, select the check box next to it and click Continue. To subscribe to all configuration channels, click Select All and click Continue. The View/Modify Rankings page automatically loads.

The View/Modify Rankings subtab allows users to set the priority with which files from a particular configuration channel are ranked. The higher the channel is on the list, the more its files take precedence over files on lower-ranked channels. For example, the higher-ranked channel may have an httpd.conf file that will take precedence over the same file in a lower-ranked channel.

7.3.4 System Details › Provisioning [Management]

The Provisioning tab and its subtabs allow you to schedule and monitor AutoYaST or Kickstart installations and to restore a system to its previous state.

Note
Note: Available for Clients Using the Traditional Method

The note Provisioning tab will be available when adding a client using the traditional method (system type management). Using Salt the Provisioning tab will not be available (system type salt).

AutoYaST is a SUSE Linux Enterprise and Kickstart is a Red Hat utility-both allow you to automate the reinstallation of a system. Snapshot rollbacks provide the ability to revert certain changes on the system. You can roll back a set of RPM packages, but rolling back across multiple update levels is not supported. Both features are described in the sections that follow.

7.3.4.1 System Details › Provisioning › Autoinstallation

The Schedule subtab allows you to configure and schedule an autoinstallation for this system. For background information about autoinstallation, see Section 7.12, “Autoinstallation”.

system details traditional provisioning schedule wizard

In the Schedule subtab, schedule the selected system for autoinstallation. Choose from the list of available profiles.

Note
Note

You must first create a profile before it appears on this subtab. If you have not created any profiles, refer to Section 7.15.1, “Create a Kickstart Profile”. before scheduling an autoinstallation for a system.

To alter autoinstallation settings, click the Advanced Configuration button. Configure the network connection and post-installation networking information. You can aggregate multiple network interfaces into a single logical "bonded" interface. In Kernel Options specify kernel options to be used during autoinstallation. Post Kernel Options are used after the installation is complete and the system is booting for the first time. Configure package profile synchronization.

Select a time for the autoinstallation to begin and click Schedule Autoinstall and Finish for all changes to take effect and to schedule the autoinstallation.

Alternatively, click Create PXE Installation Configuration to create a Cobbler system record. The selected autoinstallation profile will be used to automatically install the configured distribution next time that particular system boots from PXE. In this case SUSE Manager and its network must be properly configured to allow boot using PXE.

Note
Note

Any settings changed on the Advanced Configuration page will be ignored when creating a PXE installation configuration for Cobbler.

The Variables subtab can be used to create Kickstart variables, which substitute values in Kickstart files. To define a variable, create a name-value pair (name/value) in the text box.

For example, to {kickstart} a system that joins the network of a specific organization (for example the Engineering department) you can create a profile variable to set the IP address and the gateway server address to a variable that any system using that profile will use. Add the following line to the Variables text box:

IPADDR=192.168.0.28
GATEWAY=192.168.0.1

To use the system variable, use the name of the variable in the profile instead of the value. For example, the network portion of a {kickstart} file could look like the following:

network --bootproto=static --device=eth0 --onboot=on --ip=$IPADDR \
  --gateway=$GATEWAY

The $IPADDR will be 192.168.0.28, and the $GATEWAY will be 192.168.0.1.

Note
Note

There is a hierarchy when creating and using variables in {kickstart} files. System {kickstart} variables take precedence over profile variables, which in turn take precedence over distribution variables. Understanding this hierarchy can alleviate confusion when using variables in {kickstart}.

Using variables are one part of the larger Cobbler infrastructure for creating templates that can be shared between multiple profiles and systems. For more information about Cobbler and {kickstart} templates, refer to Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 10 “Cobbler”.

7.3.4.2 System Details › Provisioning › Power Management

SUSE Manager allows you to power on, off, and reboot systems via the IPMI protocol if the systems are IPMI-enabled.

system details traditional provisioning power management

You need a fully patched SUSE Manager installation. To use any power management functionality, IPMI configuration details must be added to SUSE Manager. First select the target system on the systems list, then select Provisioning › Power Management. On the displayed configuration page, edit all required fields (marked with a red asterisk) and click Save only.

Systems can be powered on, off, or rebooted from the configuration page via corresponding buttons. Note that any configuration change is also saved in the process. The Get Status button can be used to query for the system’s power state. If configuration details are correct, a row is displayed with the current power status ("on" or "off"). If a power management operation succeeds on a system, it will also be noted in its System Details › Events › History subtab.

Power management functionalities can also be used from the system set manager to operate on multiple systems at the same time. Specifically, you can change power management configuration parameters or apply operations (power on, off, reboot) to multiple systems at once:

  1. Add the respective systems to the system set manager as described in Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager”.

  2. Select systems on the Main Menu › Systems › Overview, then Main Menu › System Set Manager › Provisioning › Power Management Configuration to change one or more configuration parameters for all systems in the set. Note that any field left blank will not alter the configuration parameter in selected systems.

  3. When all configuration parameters are set correctly, click Main Menu › Systems › System Set Manager › Provisioning › Power Management Operations to power on, off or reboot systems from the set.

To check that a power operation was executed correctly, click Main Menu › Systems › System Set Manager › Status, then click the proper line in the list. This will display a new list with systems to which the operation was applied. If errors prevent correct execution, a brief message with an explanation will be displayed in the Note column.

This feature uses Cobbler power management, thus a Cobbler system record is automatically created at first use if it does not exist already. In that case, the automatically created system record will not be bootable from the network and will reference a dummy image. This is needed because Cobbler does not currently support system records without profiles or images. The current implementation of Cobbler power management uses the fence-agent tools to support multiple protocols besides IPMI. Those are not supported by SUSE Manager but can be used by adding the fence agent names as a comma-separated list to the java.power_management.types configuration parameter.

7.3.4.3 System Details › Provisioning › Snapshots

Snapshots enable you to roll back the system’s package profile, configuration files, and SUSE Manager settings.

system details traditional provisioning snapshot index

Snapshots are always captured automatically after an action takes place. The Snapshots subtab lists all snapshots for the system, including the reason the snapshot was taken, the time it was taken, and the number of tags applied to each snapshot.

Note
Note: Technical Details
  • A snapshot is always taken after a successful operation and not before, as you might expect. One consequence of taking snapshots after the action is that, to undo action number X, then you must roll back to the snapshot number X-1.

  • It is possible to disable snapshotting globally (in rhn.conf set enable_snapshots = 0), but it is enabled by default. No further fine tuning is possible.

To revert to a previous configuration, click the Reason for the snapshot and review the potential changes on the provided subtabs, starting with Rollback.

Important
Important: Unsupported Rollback Scenarios

Snapshot roll backs support the ability to revert certain changes to the system, but not in every scenario. For example, you can roll back a set of RPM packages, but rolling back across multiple update levels is not supported.

Rolling back an SP migration is also not supported.

Each subtab provides the specific changes that will be made to the system during the rollback:

  • group memberships,

  • channel subscriptions,

  • installed packages,

  • configuration channel subscriptions,

  • configuration files,

  • snapshot tags.

When satisfied with the reversion, return to the Rollback subtab and click the Rollback to Snapshot button. To see the list again, click Return to snapshot list.

Note
Note: Background Information About Snapshots

There is no maximum number of snapshots that SUSE Manager will keep, thus related database tables will grow with system count, package count, channel count, and the number of configuration changes over time. Installations with more than a thousand systems should consider setting up a recurring cleanup script via the API or disabling this feature altogether.

There is currently no integrated support for rotated snapshots.

Snapshot rollback gets scheduled like any other action, this means the rollback usually does not happen immediately.

7.3.4.4 System Details › Provisioning › Snapshot Tags

Snapshot tags provide a means to add meaningful descriptions to your most recent system snapshot. This can be used to indicate milestones, such as a known working configuration or a successful upgrade.

To tag the most recent snapshot, click Create System Tag, enter a descriptive term in the Tag name, and click the Tag Current Snapshot button. You may then revert using this tag directly by clicking its name in the Snapshot Tags list. To delete tags, select their check boxes, click Remove Tags, and confirm the action.

7.3.5 System Details › Groups

The Groups tab and its subtabs allow you to manage the system’s group memberships.

7.3.5.1 System Details › Groups › List/Leave

This subtab lists groups to which the system belongs and enables you to cancel membership.

system details traditional list groups

Only System Group Administrators and SUSE Manager Administrators can remove systems from groups. Non-admins see a Review this system’s group membership page. To remove the system from one or more groups, select the respective check boxes of these groups and click the Leave Selected Groups button. To see the System Group Details page, click the group’s name. Refer to Section 7.4.3, “System Group Details” for more information.

7.3.5.2 System Details › Groups › Join

Lists groups that the system can be subscribed to.

system details traditional add group

Only System Group Administrators and SUSE Manager Administrators can add a system to groups. Non-admins see a Review this system’s group membership page. To add the system to groups, select the groups' check boxes and click the Join Selected Groups button.

7.3.6 System Details › Virtualization [Management]

This tab allows you to create new virtual guests, apply images on a traditionally managed host system, or change the status of virtual guests.

system details traditional virtualization details

The Virtualization tab has three subtabs, Details, Provisioning, and Deployment. These tabs appear the same for both virtual hosts and guests, but the functionality only makes sense for virtual hosts. It is not possible to create a guest system that runs on another guest system.

System Details > Virtualization> Details

Details is the default tab. For host systems, it presents a table of the host system’s virtual guests. For each guest system, the following information is provided:

Status

This field indicates whether the virtual system is running, paused, stopped, or has crashed.

Updates

This field indicates whether patches (errata) applicable to the guest have yet to be applied.

Base Software Channel

This field indicates the Base Channel to which the guest is subscribed.

Note
Note

If a guest system has not registered with SUSE Manager, this information appears as plain text in the table.

If you have System Group Administrator responsibilities assigned for your guest systems, a user might see the message You do not have permission to access this system in the table. This is because it is possible to assign virtual guests on a single host to multiple System Group Administrators. Only users that have System Group Administrator privileges on the host system may create new virtual guests.

7.3.6.1 System Details > Virtualization > Deployment

In the System Details › Virtualization tab of a traditionally registered bare-metal machine, there is a System Details › Virtualization › Deployment subtab. This form expects a URL to a qcow2 type of image and some other parameters allowing the user to schedule the deployment of that image.

system details traditional virtualization deployment

When the deploment scheduled it is listed as an action on the Main Menu › Schedule › Pending Actions.

7.3.7 System Details › Audit [Management]

Via the Audit tab, view OpenSCAP scan results or schedule scans. For more information on auditing and OpenSCAP, refer to Chapter 12, Audit.

system details traditional list audit
system details traditional schedule audit

7.3.8 System Details › States [Salt]

Overview of States subtabs.

Note
Note

The following subtabs are only available for Salt minions.

7.3.8.1 System Details › States › Packages

Search and install packages then assign them with a pre-defined state for a selected machine.

system details salt states packages

Here you can search for a specific package, for example vim. Then with the drop-down box activate Unmanaged, Installed, or Removed. Select Latest or Any from the drop-down box. Latest applies the latest package version available while Any applies the package version required to fulfil dependencies. Click the Save button to save changes to the database, then click Apply to apply the new package state.

7.3.8.2 System Details › States › Custom

States which have been created on the States Catalog page located under Main Menu › Salt may be assigned to a system on the Custom page.

system details salt states custom

Search for the custom state you want to apply to the system then select the Assign check box. Click Save to save the change to the database finally select Apply to apply the changes. States applied at the system level will only be applied to the selected system.

7.3.8.3 System Details › States › Highstate

From the Highstate page you can view and apply the highstate for a selected system.

Select the Test mode toggle to test the highstate before applying it.

Using Test mode
  1. Select the toggle Test mode.

  2. Select Apply Highstate.

  3. You will see the message:

    Applying the highstate has been scheduled.
  4. Select scheduled to see the results of the test.

system details salt states highstate

Select a date and time to apply the highstate. Then click Apply Highstate.

7.3.9 System Details › Formulas [Salt]

This is a feature preview. On the Formualas page you can select Salt formulas for this system. This allows you to automatically install and configure software.

Installed formulas are listed. Select from the listing by clicking the check box to the left. Then confirm with the Save button on the right. When done, additional subtabs appear where you can configure the formulas.

For usage information, see Book “Best Practices”, Chapter 4 “Salt Formulas and SUSE Manager”, Section 4.9 “Using Salt Formulas with SUSE Manager”.

7.3.10 System Details › Events

The Events page displays past, current, and scheduled actions on the system. You may cancel pending events here. The following sections describe the Events subtabs and the features they offer.

7.3.10.1 System Details › Events › Pending

Lists events that are scheduled but have not started.

system details traditional events pending

A prerequisite action must complete successfully before the given action is attempted. If an action has a prerequisite, no check box is available to cancel that action. Instead, a check box appears next to the prerequisite action; canceling the prerequisite action causes the action in question to fail.

Actions can be chained so that action 'a' requires action 'b' which requires action 'c'. Action 'c' is performed first and has a check box next to it until it is completed successfully. If any action in the chain fails, the remaining actions also fail. To unschedule a pending event, select the event and click the Cancel Selected Events button. The following icons indicate the type of events:

  • spacewalk icon packages — Package Event,

  • spacewalk icon patches — Patch Event,

  • fa cog — Preferences Event,

  • fa desktop — System Event.

7.3.10.2 System Details › Events › History

The default display of the Events tab lists the type and status of events that have failed, occurred or are occurring.

system details traditional events history

To view details of an event, click its summary in the System History list. To go back to the table again, click Return to history list at the bottom of the page.

7.4 Systems > System Groups

The System Groups page allows SUSE Manager users to view the System Groups list.

systems systemgroups

Only System Group Administrators and SUSE Manager Administrators may perform the following additional tasks:

  1. Create system groups. (Refer to Section 7.4.1, “Creating Groups”.)

  2. Add systems to system groups. (Refer to Section 7.4.2, “Adding and Removing Systems in Groups”.)

  3. Remove systems from system groups. (Refer to Section 7.3, “System Details”.)

  4. Assign system group permissions to users. (Refer to Chapter 16, Users.)

The System Groups list displays all system groups. The list contains several columns for each group:

  • Select — Via the check boxes add all systems in the selected groups to the System Set Manager by clicking the Update button. All systems in the selected groups are added to the System Set Manager . You can then use the System Set Manager to perform actions on them simultaneously. It is possible to select only those systems that are members of all of the selected groups, excluding those systems that belong only to one or some of the selected groups. To do so, select the relevant groups and click the Work with Intersection button. To add all systems of all selected groups, click the Work with Union button. Each system will show up once, regardless of the number of groups to which it belongs. Refer to Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager” for details.

  • Updates — Shows which type of patch alerts are applicable to the group or confirms that all systems are up-to-date. Clicking a group’s status icon takes you to the Patch tab of its System Group Details page. Refer to Section 7.4.3, “System Group Details” for more information.

    The status icons call for differing degrees of attention: Check Circle — All systems in the group are up-to-date. Exclamation Circle — Critical patches available, update strongly recommended. ** Warning — Updates available and recommended.

  • Health Status of the systems in the group, reported by probes.

  • Group Name — The name of the group as configured during its creation. The name should be explicit enough to distinguish from other groups. Clicking the name of a group takes you to the Details tab of its System Group Details page. Refer to Section 7.4.3, “System Group Details” for more information.

  • Systems — Total number of systems in the group. Clicking the number takes you to the Systems tab of the System Group Details page for the group. Refer to Section 7.4.3, “System Group Details” for more information.

  • Use in SSM — Clicking the Use in SSM link in this column loads all and only the systems in the selected group and launches the System Set Manager immediately. Refer to Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager” for more information.

7.4.1 Creating Groups

To add a new system group, click the Create Group link at the top-right corner of the page.

systems edit group

Type a name and description and click the Create Group button. Make sure you use a name that clearly sets this group apart from others. The new group will appear in the System Groups list.

7.4.2 Adding and Removing Systems in Groups

Systems can be added and removed from system groups. Clicking the group name takes you to the Details page. The Systems tab shows all systems in the group and allows you to select some or all systems for deletion. Click Remove Systems to remove the selected systems from the group. The Target Systems page shows you all systems that can be added to the group. Select the systems and click the Add Systems button.

7.4.3 System Group Details

At the top of each System Group Details page are two links: Delete Group and Work With Group. Clicking Delete Group deletes the System Group and should be used with caution. Clicking Work With Group loads the group’s systems and launches the System Set Manager immediately like the Use Group button from the System Groups list. Refer to Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager” for more information.

The System Group Details page is split into the following tabs:

7.4.3.1 System Group Details › Details

Provides the group name and group description. To change this information, click Edit These Properties, make your changes in the appropriate fields, and click the Update Group button.

7.4.3.2 System Group Details › Systems

Lists all members of the system group. Clicking links within the table takes you to corresponding tabs within the System Details page for the associated system. To remove systems from the group, select the appropriate check boxes and click the Remove Systems button on the bottom of the page. Clicking it does not delete systems from SUSE Manager entirely. This is done through the System Set Manager or System Details pages. Refer to Section 7.5, “Systems > System Set Manager” or Section 7.3, “System Details”, respectively.

7.4.3.3 System Group Details › Target Systems

Target Systems — Lists all systems in your organization. To add systems to the specified system group, click the check boxes to their left and click the Add Systems button on the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

7.4.3.4 System Group Details › Patches

List of relevant patches for systems in the system group. Clicking the advisory takes you to the Details tab of the Patch Details page. (Refer to Section 10.2.2, “Patch Details” for more information.) Clicking the Affected Systems number lists all of the systems affected by the patch. To apply the patch updates in this list, select the systems and click the Apply Patches button.

7.4.3.5 System Group Details › Admins

List of all organization users that have permission to manage the system group. SUSE Manager Administrators are clearly identified. System Group Administrators are marked with an asterisk ('*'). To change the system group’s users, select and deselect the appropriate check boxes and click the Update button.

7.4.3.6 System Group Details › States [Salt]

The States tab displays states which have been created and added using the Salt › ] › menu:State Catalog[. From this page you can select which states should be applied across a group of systems. A state applied from this page will be applied to all minions within a group.

Note
Note

States are applied according to the following order of hierarchy within SUSE Manager:

Organization > Group > Single System
Procedure: Applying States at the Group Level
  1. Create a state using the Salt › State Catalog or via the command line.

  2. Browse to Main Menu › Systems › System Groups. Select the group that a new state should be applied to. From a specific group page select the States tab.

  3. Use the search feature to located a state by name or click the Search button to list all available states.

  4. Select the check box for the state to be applied and click the Save button. The Save button will save the change to the database but will not apply the state.

  5. Apply the state by clicking the Apply button. The state will be scheduled and applied to any systems included within a group.

7.5 Systems > System Set Manager

The following actions executed on individual systems from the System Details page may be performed for multiple systems via the System Set Manager. The System Set Manager can be used to schedule actions on both Salt and Traditional systems. The following table provides information on what actions may be performed across both Salt and Traditional systems. These two methods have different actions which may be accessed with the System Set Manager:

System Set Manager: OverviewTraditional SSMSalt SSM

Systems: * List Systems

Supported * Supported

Supported * Supported

Install Patches: * Schedule Patch Updates

Supported * Supported

Supported * Supported

Install Packages: * Upgrade * Install * Remove * Verify

Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported

Limited * Supported * Supported * Supported * Not Available

Groups: * Create * Manage

Supported * Supported * Supported

Supported * Supported * Supported

Channels: * Channel Memberships * Channel Subscriptions * Deploy / Diff Channels

Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported

Limited * Supported * Not Available * Not Available

Provisioning: * Autoinstall Systems * Tag for Snapshot * Remote Commands * Power Management * Power Management Operations

Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported

Not Available

Misc: * Update System Preferences * Update Hardware Profiles * Update Package Profiles * Run Remote Commands * Set and Remove Custom Values for Selected Systems * Reboot Systems * Migrate Systems to another Organization * Delete Systems from SUSE Manager

Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported

Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported * Supported

Before performing actions on multiple systems, select the systems to work with. To select systems, click Main Menu › Systems › Systems › All and check the boxes to the left of the systems you want to work with.

Additionally, you can access the System Set Manager in three different ways:

  1. Click the Main Menu › System Set Manager.

  2. Click the Use in SSM link in the Main Menu › Systems › System Groups.

  3. Click the Work with Group link on the System Group Details page.

7.5.1 System Set Manager > Overview

This page contains links to most SSM option tabs with short explanations.

systems ssm overview

7.5.2 System Set Manager > Systems

List of selected systems.

systems ssm list systems

7.5.3 System Set Manager > Patches

List of patch updates applicable to the current system set.

systems ssm patches

Click the number in the Systems column to see to which systems in the System Set Manager a patch applies. To apply updates, select the patches and click the Apply Patches button.

7.5.4 System Set Manager > Packages

Click the number in the Systems column to see the systems in the System Set Manager to which a package applies. Modify packages on the system via the following subtabs.

systems ssm packages overview

7.5.4.1 System Set Manager > Packages > Install

This list includes all channels to which systems in the set are subscribed. A package is only installed on a system if the system is subscribed to the channel providing the package.

systems ssm install

Click the channel name and select the packages from the list. Then click the Install Packages button.

7.5.4.2 System Set Manager > Packages > Remove

A list of all the packages installed on the selected systems that might be removed.

systems ssm remove

Multiple versions appear if systems in the System Set Manager have more than one version installed. Select the packages to be deleted, then click the Remove Packages button.

7.5.4.3 System Set Manager > Packages > Upgrade

A list of all the packages installed on the selected systems that might be upgraded.

systems ssm upgrade

Systems must be subscribed to a channel providing the packages to be upgraded. If multiple versions of a package are available, note that your system will be upgraded to the latest version. Select the packages to be upgraded, then click the Upgrade Packages button.

7.5.4.4 System Set Manager > Packages > Verify

A list of all installed packages whose contents, file checksum, and other details may be verified.

systems ssm verify

At the next check in, the verify event issues the command rpm --verify for the specified package. If there are any discrepancies, they are displayed in the System Details page for each system.

Select the check box next to all packages to be verified, then click the Verify Packages button. On the next page, select a date and time for the verification, then click the Schedule Verifications button.

7.5.5 System Set Manager > Groups

Tools to create groups and manage system memberships.

systems ssm groups

These functions are limited to SUSE Manager Administrators and System Group Administrators. To add a new group, click Create Group on the top-right corner. In the next page, type the group name and description in the respective fields and click the Create Group button. To add or remove selected systems in any of the system groups, toggle the appropriate radio buttons and click the Alter Membership button.

7.5.6 System Set Manager > Channels

As a Channel Administrator, you may change the base channels your systems are subscribed to.

Note
Note: Changing the Channels Is Now an Action

Since the 3.1 maintenance update (2018) changing the channels is an action that can be scheduled like any other action. Earlier channel changes were applied immediately.

Manage channel associations through the following wizard procedure:

Base Channel Alteration (Page 1)

Valid channels are either channels created by your organization, or the vendor’s default base channel for your operating system version and processor type. Systems will be unsubscribed from all channels, and subscribed to their new base channels.

Warning
Warning: Changing Base Channel

This operation can have a dramatic effect on the packages and patches available to the systems. Use with caution.

systems ssm base channels

To change the base channel, select the new one from the Desired base Channel and confirm the action.

On the this wizard page you see the Current base Channel and how many Systems are subscribed to it. Click the number link in the Systems column to see which systems are actually selected.

To change the base channel subscription select the Desired base Channel from the selection box. Then click Next in the lower left corner.

Child Channels (Page 2)

The Child Channels page allows you to subscribe and unsubscribe individual child channels related to its parent or base channel. Systems must subscribe to a base channel before subscribing to a child channel. If you enable with recommended, recommended child channels are automatically selected for subscription. The handling of required channels is currently not implemented for system set manager.

systems ssm child subscriptions

Change the child channel subscription on this page. Then click Next in the lower left corner.

Channel Changes Overview (Page 3)

Schedule when the channel changes should take place the earliest. Then click Confirm in the lower left corner.

Channel Changes Actions (Page 4)

See the scheduled change actions.

7.5.7 System Set Manager > Configuration

Like in the System Details › Channels › Configuration tab, the subtabs here can be used to subscribe the selected systems to configuration channels and deploy and compare the configuration files on the systems. The channels are created in the Manage Config Channels interface within the Main Menu › Software category. Refer to Section 14.3, “Overview” for channel creation instructions.

To manage the configuration of a system, install the latest rhncfg* packages. Refer to Section 14.2, “Preparing Systems for Configuration Management [Management]” for instructions on enabling and disabling scheduled actions for a system.

7.5.7.1 System Set Manager > Configuration > Deploy Files

Use this subtab to distribute configuration files from your central repository on SUSE Manager to each of the selected systems.

systems ssm config deploy files

The table lists the configuration files associated with any of the selected systems. Clicking its system count displays the systems already subscribed to the file.

To subscribe the selected systems to the available configuration files, select the check box for each wanted file. When done, click Deploy Configuration and schedule the action. Note that the latest versions of the files, at the time of scheduling, are deployed. Newer versions created after scheduling are disregarded.

7.5.7.2 System Set Manager > Configuration > Compare Files

Use this subtab to validate configuration files on the selected systems against copies in your central repository on SUSE Manager.

systems ssm config compare files

The table lists the configuration files associated with any of the selected systems. Clicking a file’s system count displays the systems already subscribed to the file.

To compare the configuration files deployed on the systems with those in SUSE Manager, select the check box for each file to be validated. Then click Analyze Differences › Schedule File Comparison. The comparisons for each system will not complete until each system checks in to SUSE Manager. When each comparison is complete, any differences between the files will be accessible from each system’s events page.

Note that the latest versions of the files, at the time of scheduling, are compared. Newer versions created after scheduling are disregarded. Find the results in the main Main Menu › Schedule category or within the System Details › Events tab.

7.5.7.3 System Set Manager > Configuration > Subscribe to Channels

Subscribe systems to configuration channels, and in a second step rank these channels according to the order of preference. This tab is available only to SUSE Manager Administrators and Configuration Administrators.

systems ssm config subscribe to channels
  1. Select channels for subscription by activating the check box. When done, confirm with Continue.

  2. In the second step, rank the channels with the arrow-up or arrow-down symbols.

    Then decide how the channels are applied to the selected systems. The three buttons below the channels reflect your options. Clicking Subscribe with Highest Priority places all the ranked channels before any other channels to which the selected systems are currently subscribed. Clicking Subscribe With Lowest Priority places the ranked channels after those channels to which the selected systems are currently subscribed. Clicking Replace Existing Subscriptions removes any existing association and creates new ones with the ranked channels, leaving every system with the same configuration channels in the same order.

    Note
    Note: Confliction Ranks

    In the first two cases, if any of the newly ranked configuration channels are already in a system’s existing configuration channel list, the duplicate channel is removed and replaced according to the new rank, effectively reordering the system’s existing channels. When such conflicts exist, you are presented with a confirmation page to ensure the intended action is correct. When the change has taken place, a message appears at the top of the page indicating the update was successful.

    Then, click Apply Subscriptions.

Channels are accessed in the order of their rank. Your local configuration channel always overrides all other channels.

7.5.7.4 System Set Manager > Configuration > Unsubscribe from Channels

Administrators may unsubscribe systems from configuration channels by clicking the check box next to the channel name and clicking the Unsubscribe Systems button.

systems ssm config unsubscribe from channels

7.5.7.5 System Set Manager > Configuration > Enable Configuration

Registered systems without configuration management preparation will appear here in a list.

systems ssm config enable config

Administrators may enable configuration management by clicking the Enable SUSE Manager Configuration Management button. You can also schedule the action by adjusting the Schedule no sooner than date and time setting using the drop-down box, then clicking Enable SUSE Manager Configuration Management.

Then the systems will get subscribed to the required SUSE Manager tools channel and required rhncfg* packages will get installed.

7.5.8 System Set Manager > Provisioning

Set the options for provisioning systems via the following subtabs.

7.5.8.1 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Autoinstallation

Use this subtab to reinstall clients.

systems ssm autoinstallation

To schedule autoinstallations for these systems, select a distribution. The autoinstallation profile used for each system in the set is determined via the Autoinstallable Type radio buttons.

Choose Select autoinstallation profile to apply the same profile to all systems in the set. This is the default option. You will see a list of available profiles to select from when you click Continue.

Choose Autoinstall by IP Address to apply different autoinstallation profiles to different systems in the set, by IP address. To do so, at least two autoinstallation profiles must be configured with associated IP ranges.

If you use Autoinstall by IP Address, SUSE Manager will automatically pick a profile for each system so that the system’s IP address will be in one of the IP ranges specified in the profile itself. If such a profile cannot be found, SUSE Manager will look for an organization default profile and apply that instead. If no matching IP ranges nor organization default profiles can be found, no autoinstallation will be performed on the system. You will be notified on the next page if that happens.

To use Cobbler system records for autoinstallation, select Create PXE Installation Configuration. With PXE boot, you cannot only reinstall clients, but automatically install machines that do not have an operating system installed yet. SUSE Manager and its network must be properly configured to enable boot using PXE. For more information on Cobbler and {kickstart} templates, refer to Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 10 “Cobbler”.

Note
Note

If a system set contains bare-metal systems and installed clients, only features working for systems without an operating system installed will be available. Full features will be enabled again when all bare-metal systems are removed from the set.

If any of the systems connect to SUSE Manager via a proxy server, choose either the Preserve Existing Configuration radio button or the Use Proxy radio button. If you choose to autoinstall through a proxy server, select from the available proxies listed in the drop-down box beside the Use Proxy radio button. All of the selected systems will autoinstall via the selected proxy. Click the Schedule Autoinstall button to confirm your selections. When the autoinstallations for the selected systems are successfully scheduled, you will return to the System Set Manager page.

7.5.8.2 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Tag Systems

Use this subtab to add meaningful descriptions to the most recent snapshots of your selected systems.

systems ssm tag systems

To tag the most recent system snapshots, enter a descriptive term in the Tag name field and click the Tag Current Snapshots button.

7.5.8.3 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Rollback

Use this subtab to rollback selected systems to previous snapshots marked with a tag.

systems ssm rollback

Click the tag name, verify the systems to be reverted, and click the Rollback Systems button.

7.5.8.4 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Remote Command

Use this subtab to issue remote commands.

systems ssm remote command

First create a run file on the client systems to allow this function to operate. Refer to Section 7.3.1.3, “System Details › Details › Remote Command for instructions. Then identify a specific user, group, timeout period, and the script to run. Select a date and time to execute the command and click Schedule.

7.5.8.5 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Power Management Configuration

systems ssm power management config

7.5.8.6 System Set Manager > Provisioning > Power Management Operation

systems ssm power management operations

7.5.9 System Set Manager > Audit

System sets can be scheduled for XCCDF scans; XCCDF stands for The Extensible Configuration Checklist Description Format.

systems ssm audit

Enter the command and command line arguments, and the path to the XCCDF document. Then schedule the scan. All target systems are listed below with a flag whether they support OpenSCAP scans. For more details on OpenSCAP and audits, refer to Chapter 12, Audit.

7.5.10 System Set Manager > Misc

On the Misc page, you can modify Custom System Information. Click Set a custom value for selected systems, then the name of a key. Enter values for all selected systems, then click the Set Values button. To remove values for all selected systems, click Remove a custom value from selected systems, then the name of the key. Click the Remove Values button to delete.

Set System Preferences via the respective radio buttons.

7.5.10.1 System Set Manager > Misc > Hardware

Click the Hardware subtab to schedule a hardware profile refresh. Click Confirm Refresh.

systems ssm misc hardware refresh

7.5.10.2 System Set Manager > Misc > Software

Click the Software subtab, then the Confirm Refresh button to schedule a package profile update of the selected systems.

systems ssm misc software refresh

7.5.10.3 System Set Manager > Misc > Migrate

Click the Migrate subtab to move selected systems to a selected organization.

systems ssm misc migrate systems

7.5.10.4 System Set Manager > Misc > Lock/Unlock

Select the Lock/Unlock subtab to select systems to be excluded from package updates.

systems ssm misc lock unlock

Enter a Lock reason in the text box and click the Lock button. Already locked systems can be unlocked on this page. Select them and click Unlock.

7.5.10.5 System Set Manager > Misc > Delete

Click the Delete subtab, to remove systems by deleting their system profiles. Click the Confirm Deletion button to remove the selected profiles permanently.

systems ssm misc delete confirm

7.5.10.6 System Set Manager > Misc > Reboot

Select the appropriate systems, then click the Reboot Systems link to select these systems for reboot.

To cancel a reboot action, see Section 15.1, “Pending Actions”.

7.6 Bootstrapping (Salt)

The Bootstrapp Minions page allows you to bootstrap Salt minions from the Web UI.

bootstrapping
Figure 7.3: Bootstrapping
Bootstrapping Parameters
Host

Place the FQDN of the minion to be bootstrapped within this field.

SSH Port

Place the SSH port that will be used to connect and bootstrap a machine. The default is 22.

User

Input the minions user login. The default is root.

Password

Input the minions login password.

Activation Key

Select the activation key (associated with a software source channel) that the minion should use to bootstrap with.

Disable SSH Strict Key Host Checking

This check box is selected by default. This allows the script to auto-accept host keys without requiring a user to manually authenticate.

Manage System Completely via SSH (Will not Install an Agent)

If selected a system will automatically be configured to use SSH. No other connection method will be configured.

Once your minion’s connection details have been filled in click the Bootstrap button. When the minion has completed the bootstrap process, find your new minion listed on the Systems › Overview page.

7.7 Systems > Visualization

You can visualize your virtualized, proxy, and systems group topologies. Listed under Systems › Visualization you will find the Virtualization Hierarchy, Proxy Hierarchy, and Systems Grouping subpages. This features allows you to search, filter, and partition systems by name, base channel, check-in date, group, etc.

To visualize your systems select Main Menu › Systems › Visualization.

Click the Show Filters button in the upper right corner to open the filters panel. On the Filtering tab, systems are filterable by name, base channel, installed products, or with special properties such as security, bug fix, and product enhancement advisories, etc.

systems visualization filter example

On the Partitioning tab, systems may also be partitioned by check-in time. Select the check-in date and time and click the Apply button. The Clear button will revert current partition configuration.

systems visualization partition example

All elements of the network tree are selectable. Clicking any element in the tree opens a box containing information about the selected systems and will be displayed in the top-right of the visualization area.

systems visualization selections example

Systems shown in the visualization view may be added to System Set Manager (SSM) for futher management. This can be performed in two ways:

  • Select single systems and click the Add system to SSM button in the top-right detail box.

  • Add all visible child elements of any parent node in the view (visible means when filters have been applied) by clicking the Add Children to SSM button at the bottom of the selection details panel.

7.7.1 Virtualization Hierarchy

The following is an example graphical representation tree of the virtual network hierarchy of virtual systems registered with SUSE Manager.

systems visualization virtualization hierarchy

7.7.2 Proxy Hierarchy

The following is an example graphical representation tree of the proxy network hierarchy of proxy systems and their clients registered with SUSE Manager.

systems proxy heirarchy

7.7.3 Systems Grouping

The following is a graphical representation tree of the all systems registered with SUSE Manager.

visualization system grouping all

Systems are grouped according to preconfigured systems groups, and they may also be grouped into various group compositions by using the multi-select box.

visualization system grouping

7.8 Systems > Advanced Search

Carry out an Advanced Search on your systems according to the following criteria: network info, hardware devices, location, activity, packages, details, DMI info, and hardware.

systems advanced search

Refine searches using the Field to Search drop-down box, which is set to Name/Description by default.

The Activity selections (Days Since Last Check-in, for example) are useful in finding and removing outdated system profiles.

Type the keyword, select the criterion to search by, use the radio buttons to specify whether you want to query all systems or only those in the System Set Manager, and click the Search button. To list all systems that do not match the criteria, select the Invert Result check box.

The results appear at the bottom of the page. For details on how to use the resulting system list, refer to Chapter 7, Systems.

Note
Note

If you add a distribution, newly synchronize channels, or register a system with a SUSE Manager server, it may take several minutes for it to be indexed and appear in search results. To force the rebuild of the search index, enter rhn-search cleanindex on the command line and wait until the rebuild is finished.

7.9 Systems > Activation Keys

Users with the Activation Key Administrator role (including SUSE Manager Administrators) can generate activation keys in the SUSE Manager Web UI. With such an activation key, register a SUSE Linux Enterprise or Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, entitle the system to a SUSE Manager service level and subscribe the system to specific channels and system groups through the rhnreg_ks command line utility.

Note
Note

System-specific activation keys created through the Reactivation subtab of the System Details page are not part of this list because they are not reusable across systems.

For more information about Activation Keys, see Book “Best Practices”, Chapter 7 “Activation Key Management”.

7.9.1 Managing Activation Keys

From the Activation Key page organize activation keys for channel management.

systems activation keys

To create an activation key:

Procedure: Creating Activation Keys
  1. Select Main Menu › Systems › Activation Keys from the left bar.

  2. Click the Create Key link at the upper right corner.

  3. Description — Enter a Description to identify the generated activation key.

  4. Key — Either choose automatic generation by leaving this field blank or enter the key you want to generate in the Key field. This string of characters can then be used with rhnreg_ks to register client systems with SUSE Manager. Refer to Section 7.9.2, “Using Multiple Activation Keys at Once” for details.

    Warning
    Warning: Allowed Characters

    Do not insert commas or double quotes in the key. All other characters are allowed, but <> (){} (this includes the space) will get removed automatically. If the string is empty, a random one is generated.

    Commas are problematic because they are used as separator when two or more activation keys are used at once.

  5. Usage — The maximum number systems that can be registered with the activation key concurrently. Leave blank for unlimited use. Deleting a system profile reduces the usage count by one and registering a system profile with the key increases the usage count by one.

  6. Base Channels — The primary channel for the key. This can be either the SUSE Manager Default channel, a SUSE provided channel, or a custom base channel.

    Selecting SUSE Manager Default allows client systems to register with the SUSE-provided default channel that corresponds with their installed version of SUSE Linux Enterprise. You can also associate the key with a custom base channel. If a system using this key is not compatible with the selected channel, it will fall back to the SUSE Manager default channel.

  7. Child Channels — When the base channel is selected the list of available child channels will get fetched and display in real time below the base channel. Select the child channels you need (for example, the Tools child channel).

  8. Add-on System Types — The supplemental system types for the key, for example, Virtualization Host. All systems will receive these system types with the key.

  9. Contact Method - Select how clients communicate with SUSE Manager. Default (Pull) waits for the client to check in. With Push via SSH and Push via SSH tunnel the server contacts the client via SSH (with or without tunnel) and pushes updates and actions, etc.

    For more information about contact methods, see Book “Best Practices”, Chapter 8 “Contact Methods”.

  10. Universal Default — Select whether this key should be considered the primary activation key for your organization.

    Warning
    Warning: Changing the Default Activation Key

    Only one universal default activation key can be defined per organization. If a universal key already exists for this organization, you will unset the currently used universal key by activating the check box.

  11. Click Create Activation Key.

To create more activation keys, repeat the steps above.

After creating the unique key, it appears in the list of activation keys along with the number of times it has been used. Only Activation Key Administrators can see this list. At this point, you can configure the key further. For example, associate the key with packages (for example, the rhncfg-actions package) and groups. Systems registered with the key get automatically subscribed to them.

To change the settings of a key, click the key’s description in the list to display its Details page. Via additional tabs you can select packages, configuration channels, group membership, and view activated systems. Modify the appropriate tab then click the Update Activation Key button. To disassociate groups from a key, deselect them in the respective menus by Ctrl-clicking their highlighted names. To remove a key entirely, click the Delete Key link in the upper right corner of the Details page. In the upper right corner find also the Clone Key link.

systems activation key details

Any (client tools) package installation requires that the Client Tools channel is available and the Provisioning check box is selected. The Client Tools channel should be selected in the Child Channels listing below the selected base channel.

After creating the activation key, you can see in the Details tab a check box named Configuration File Deployment. If you select it, all needed packages are automatically added to the Packages list. In case of Salt clients the Configuration File Deployment option also ensures that highstate will get applied automatically. By default, the following packages are added: rhncfg, rhncfg-client, and rhncfg-actions.

If you select Virtualization Host you automatically get the following package: rhn-virtualization-host.

Adding the osad package makes sense to execute scheduled actions immediately after the schedule time. When the activation key is created, you can add packages with selecting the key (Main Menu › Systems › Activation Keys), then on the activation key details page, go for the Packages tab and add osad.

To disable system activations with a key, uncheck the corresponding box in the Enabled column in the key list. The key can be re-enabled by selecting the check box. Click the Update Activation Keys button on the bottom right-hand corner of the page to apply your changes.

7.9.2 Using Multiple Activation Keys at Once

Multiple activation keys can be specified at the command line or in a single autoinstallation profile. This allows you to aggregate the aspects of various keys without re-creating a specific key for every system that you want to register, simplifying the registration and autoinstallation processes while slowing the growth of your key list. Separate keys with a comma at the command line with rhnreg_ks or in a {kickstart} profile in the Activation Keys tab of the Autoinstallation Details page.

Registering with multiple activation keys requires some caution. Conflicts between some values cause registration to fail. Conflicts in the following values do not cause registration to fail, a combination of values is applied: software packages, software child channels, and configuration channels. Conflicts in the remaining properties are resolved in the following manner:

  • Base software channels: registration fails.

  • System types: registration fails.

  • Enable configuration flag: configuration management is set.

Do not use system-specific activation keys along with other activation keys; registration fails in this event.

You are now ready to use multiple activation keys at once.

7.10 Systems > Stored Profiles

SUSE Manager Provisioning customers can create package profiles via the System Details page.

systems stored profiles

Under System Details › Software › Packages › Profiles, click Create System Profile. Enter a Profile Name and Profile Description, then click Create Profile. These profiles are displayed on the Stored Profiles page (left navigation bar), where they can be edited or deleted.

To edit a profile, click its name in the list, alter its name or description, and click the Update button. To view software associated with the profile, click the Packages subtab. To remove the profile entirely, click Delete Profile at the upper-right corner of the page.

7.11 Systems > Custom System Info

SUSE Manager customers may include completely customizable information about their systems.

systems custom system info

Unlike with notes, the information here is more formal and can be searched. for example, you may decide to specify an asset tag for each system. To do so, select Custom System Info from the left navigation bar and create an asset key.

Click Create Key in the upper-right corner of the page. Enter a suitable label and description, such as Asset and Precise location of each system, then click Create Key. The key will show up in the custom info keys list.

When the key exists, you may assign a value to it through the Custom Info tab of the System Details page. Refer to Section 7.3.1.8, “System Details › Details › Custom Info for instructions.

7.12 Autoinstallation

Note
Note: Autoinstallation Types: AutoYaST and Kickstart

In the following section, AutoYaST and AutoYaST features apply for SUSE Linux Enterprise client systems only. For RHEL systems, use Kickstart and Kickstart features.

AutoYaST and Kickstart configuration files allow administrators to create an environment for automating otherwise time-consuming system installations, such as multiple servers or workstations. AutoYaST files have to be uploaded to be managed with SUSE Manager. Kickstart files can be created, modified, and managed within the SUSE Manager Web interface.

SUSE Manager also features the Cobbler installation server. For more information on Cobbler, see Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 10 “Cobbler”.

SUSE Manager provides an interface for developing Kickstart and AutoYaST profiles that can be used to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise on either new or already-registered systems automatically according to certain specifications.

systems kickstart overview
Figure 7.4: Autoinstallation Overview

This overview page displays the status of automated installations (Kickstart and AutoYaST) on your client systems: the types and number of profiles you have created and the progress of systems that are scheduled to be installed using Kickstart or AutoYaST. In the upper right area is the Autoinstallation Actions section, which contains a series of links to management actions for your Kickstart or AutoYaST profiles. Before explaining the various automated installation options on this page, the next two sections provide an introduction to AutoYaST (Section 7.13, “Introduction to AutoYaST”) and Kickstart (Section 7.14, “Introduction to Kickstart”).

7.13 Introduction to AutoYaST

Using AutoYaST, a system administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during a typical installation of a SUSE Linux Enterprise system.

AutoYaST files can be kept on a single server system and read by individual computers during the installation. This way the same AutoYaST file is used to install SUSE Linux Enterprise on multiple machines.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server AutoYaST Guide at (https://www.suse.com/documentation/sles-15/) will contain an in-depth discussion of Automated Installation using AutoYaST.

7.13.1 AutoYaST Explained

When a machine is to receive a network-based AutoYaST installation, the following events must occur in this order:

  1. After being connected to the network and turned on, the machine’s PXE logic broadcasts its MAC address and requests to be discovered.

  2. If no static IP address is used, the DHCP server recognizes the discovery request and offers network information needed for the new machine to boot. This includes an IP address, the default gateway to be used, the netmask of the network, the IP address of the TFTP or HTTP server holding the bootloader program, and the full path and file name to that program (relative to the server’s root).

  3. The machine applies the networking information and initiates a session with the server to request the bootloader program.

  4. The bootloader searches for its configuration file on the server from which it was loaded. This file dictates which Kernel and Kernel options, such as the initial RAM disk (initrd) image, should be executed on the booting machine. Assuming the bootloader program is SYSLINUX, this file is located in the pxelinux.cfg directory on the server and named the hexadecimal equivalent of the new machine’s IP address. For example, a bootloader configuration file for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server should contain:

    port 0
    prompt 0
    timeout 1
    default autoyast
    label autoyast
      kernel vmlinuz
      append autoyast=http://`my_susemanager_server`/`path`\
        install=http://`my_susemanager_server`/`repo_tree`
  5. The machine accepts and uncompresses the initrd and kernel, boots the kernel, fetches the instsys from the install server and initiates the AutoYaST installation with the options supplied in the bootloader configuration file, including the server containing the AutoYaST configuration file.

  6. The new machine is installed based on the parameters established within the AutoYaST configuration file.

7.13.2 AutoYaST Prerequisites

Some preparation is required for your infrastructure to handle AutoYaST installations. For instance, before creating AutoYaST profiles, you may consider:

  • A DHCP server is not required for AutoYaST, but it can make things easier. If you are using static IP addresses, you should select static IP while developing your AutoYaST profile.

  • Host the AutoYaST distribution trees via HTTP, properly provided by SUSE Manager.

  • If conducting a so-called bare-metal AutoYaST installation, provide the following settings:

    • Configure DHCP to assign the required networking parameters and the bootloader program location.

    • In the bootloader configuration file, specify the kernel and appropriate kernel options to be used.

7.13.3 Building Bootable AutoYaST ISOs

While you can schedule a registered system to be installed by AutoYaST with a new operating system and package profile, you can also automatically install a system that is not registered with SUSE Manager, or does not yet have an operating system installed. One common method of doing this is to create a bootable CD-ROM that is inserted into the target system. When the system is rebooted or switched on, it boots from the CD-ROM, loads the AutoYaST configuration from your SUSE Manager, and proceeds to install SUSE Linux Enterprise Server according to the AutoYaST profile you have created.

To use the CD-ROM, boot the system and type autoyast at the prompt (assuming you left the label for the AutoYaST boot as autoyast). When you press Enter, the AutoYaST installation begins.

For more information about image creation, refer to KIWI at http://doc.opensuse.org/projects/kiwi/doc/.

7.13.4 Integrating AutoYaST with PXE

In addition to CD-ROM-based installations, AutoYaST installation through a Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) is supported. This is less error-prone than CDs, enables AutoYaST installation from bare metal, and integrates with existing PXE/DHCP environments.

To use this method, make sure your systems have network interface cards (NIC) that support PXE, install and configure a PXE server, ensure DHCP is running, and place the installation repository on an HTTP server for deployment. Finally upload the AutoYaST profile via the Web interface to the SUSE Manager server. Once the AutoYaST profile has been created, use the URL from the Autoinstallation Overview page, as for CD-ROM-based installations.

To obtain specific instructions for conducting PXE AutoYaST installation, refer to the Using PXE Boot section of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Deployment Guide.

Starting with Section 7.15, “Autoinstallation > Profiles (Kickstart and AutoYaST)”, AutoYaST options available from Systems › Kickstart are described.

7.14 Introduction to Kickstart

Using Kickstart, a system administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during a typical installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Kickstart files can be kept on a single server and read by individual computers during the installation. This method allows you to use one Kickstart file to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on multiple machines.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide contains an in-depth description of Kickstart (https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en/red-hat-enterprise-linux/).

7.14.1 Kickstart Explained

When a machine is to receive a network-based {kickstart}, the following events must occur in this order:

  1. After being connected to the network and turned on, the machine’s PXE logic broadcasts its MAC address and requests to be discovered.

  2. If no static IP address is used, the DHCP server recognizes the discovery request and offers network information needed for the new machine to boot. This information includes an IP address, the default gateway to be used, the netmask of the network, the IP address of the TFTP or HTTP server holding the bootloader program, and the full path and file name of that program (relative to the server’s root).

  3. The machine applies the networking information and initiates a session with the server to request the bootloader program.

  4. The bootloader searches for its configuration file on the server from which it was loaded. This file dictates which kernel and kernel options, such as the initial RAM disk (initrd) image, should be executed on the booting machine. Assuming the bootloader program is SYSLINUX, this file is located in the pxelinux.cfg directory on the server and named the hexadecimal equivalent of the new machine’s IP address. For example, a bootloader configuration file for Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 2.1 should contain:

    port 0
    prompt 0
    timeout 1
    default My_Label
    label My_Label
          kernel vmlinuz
          append ks=http://`my_susemanager_server`/`path`\
              initrd=initrd.img network apic
  5. The machine accepts and uncompresses the init image and kernel, boots the kernel, and initiates a Kickstart installation with the options supplied in the bootloader configuration file, including the server containing the Kickstart configuration file.

  6. This {kickstart} configuration file in turn directs the machine to the location of the installation files.

  7. The new machine is built based on the parameters established within the Kickstart configuration file.

7.14.2 Kickstart Prerequisites

Some preparation is required for your infrastructure to handle {kickstart}s. For instance, before creating Kickstart profiles, you may consider:

  • A DHCP server is not required for kickstarting, but it can make things easier. If you are using static IP addresses, select static IP while developing your Kickstart profile.

  • An FTP server can be used instead of hosting the Kickstart distribution trees via HTTP.

  • If conducting a bare metal {kickstart}, you should configure DHCP to assign required networking parameters and the bootloader program location. Also, specify within the bootloader configuration file the kernel to be used and appropriate kernel options.

7.14.3 Building Bootable Kickstart ISOs

While you can schedule a registered system to be kickstarted to a new operating system and package profile, you can also {kickstart} a system that is not registered with SUSE Manager or does not yet have an operating system installed. One common method of doing this is to create a bootable CD-ROM that is inserted into the target system. When the system is rebooted, it boots from the CD-ROM, loads the {kickstart} configuration from your SUSE Manager, and proceeds to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux according to the Kickstart profile you have created.

To do this, copy the contents of /isolinux from the first CD-ROM of the target distribution. Then edit the isolinux.cfg file to default to 'ks'. Change the 'ks' section to the following template:

label ks
kernel vmlinuz
  append text ks=`url`initrd=initrd.img lang= devfs=nomount \
    ramdisk_size=16438`ksdevice`

IP address-based {kickstart} URLs will look like this:

http://`my.manager.server`/kickstart/ks/mode/ip_range

The {kickstart} distribution defined via the IP range should match the distribution from which you are building, or errors will occur. ksdevice is optional, but looks like:

ksdevice=eth0

It is possible to change the distribution for a Kickstart profile within a family, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 4 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 4, by specifying the new distribution label. Note that you cannot move between versions (4 to 5) or between updates (U1 to U2).

Next, customize isolinux.cfg further for your needs by adding multiple Kickstart options, different boot messages, shorter timeout periods, etc.

Next, create the ISO as described in the Making an Installation Boot CD-ROM section of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide. Alternatively, issue the command:

mkisofs -o file.iso -b isolinux.bin -c boot.cat -no-emul-boot \
  -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -R -J -v -T isolinux/

Note that isolinux/ is the relative path to the directory containing the modified isolinux files copied from the distribution CD, while file.iso is the output ISO file, which is placed into the current directory.

Burn the ISO to CD-ROM and insert the disc. Boot the system and type "ks" at the prompt (assuming you left the label for the Kickstart boot as 'ks'). When you press Enter, Kickstart starts running.

7.14.4 Integrating Kickstart with PXE

In addition to CD-ROM-based installs, Kickstart supports a Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). This is less error-prone than CDs, enables kickstarting from bare metal, and integrates with existing PXE/DHCP environments.

To use this method, make sure your systems have network interface cards (NIC) that support PXE. Install and configure a PXE server and ensure DHCP is running. Then place the appropriate files on an HTTP server for deployment. Once the {kickstart} profile has been created, use the URL from the Kickstart Details page, as for CD-ROM-based installs.

To obtain specific instructions for conducting PXE {kickstart}s, refer to the PXE Network Installations chapter of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 System Administration Guide.

Note
Note

Running the Network Booting Tool, as described in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: System Administration Guide, select "HTTP" as the protocol and include the domain name of the SUSE Manager in the Server field if you intend to use it to distribute the installation files.

The following sections describe the autoinstallation options available from the Systems › Autoinstallation page.

7.15 Autoinstallation > Profiles (Kickstart and AutoYaST)

This page lists all profiles for your organization, shows whether these profiles are active, and specifies the distribution tree with which each profile is associated.

systems kickstart overview

You can either create a Kickstart profile by clicking the Create Kickstart Profile link, upload or paste the contents of a new profile clicking the Upload Kickstart/Autoyast File, or edit an existing Kickstart profile by clicking the name of the profile. Note, you can only update AutoYaST profiles using the upload button. You can also view AutoYaST profiles in the edit box or change the virtualization type using the selection list.

7.15.1 Create a Kickstart Profile

Click on the Create Kickstart Profile link from the Main Menu › Systems › Autoinstallation page to start the wizard that populates the base values needed for a Kickstart profile.

create profile wizard
Procedure: Creating a Kickstart Profile
  1. On the first line, enter a Kickstart profile label. This label cannot contain spaces, so use dashes (-) or underscores (\_) as separators.

  2. Select a Base Channel for this profile, which consists of packages based on a specific architecture and Red Hat Enterprise Linux release.

    Note
    Note: Creating Base Channel

    Base channels are only available if a suitable distribution is created first. For creating distributions, see Section 7.18, “Autoinstallation > Distributions”.

  3. Select an Kickstartable Tree for this profile. The Kickstartable Tree drop-down menu is only populated if one or more distributions have been created for the selected base channel (see Section 7.18, “Autoinstallation > Distributions”).

  4. Instead of selecting a specific tree, you can also check the box Always use the newest Tree for this base channel. This setting lets SUSE Manager automatically pick the latest tree that is associated with the specified base channels. If you add new trees later, SUSE Manager will always keep the most recently created or modified.

  5. Select the Virtualization Type from the drop-down menu.

    Note
    Note

    If you do not intend to use the Kickstart profile to create virtual guest systems, you can leave the drop-down at the default None choice.

  6. On the second page, select (or enter) the location of the Kickstart tree.

  7. On the third page, select a root password for the system.

Depending on your base channel, your newly created Kickstart profile might be subscribed to a channel that is missing required packages. For {kickstart} to work properly, the following packages should be present in its base channel: pyOpenSSL, rhnlib, libxml2-python, and spacewalk-koan and associated packages.

To resolve this issue:

  • Make sure that the Tools software channel for the Kickstart profile’s base channel is available to your organization. If it is not, you must request entitlements for the Tools software channel from the SUSE Manager administrator.

  • Make sure that the Tools software channel for this Kickstart profile’s base channel is available to your SUSE Manager as a child channel.

  • Make sure that rhn-kickstart and associated packages corresponding to this {kickstart} are available in the Tools child channel.

The final stage of the wizard presents the Autoinstallation Details › Details tab. On this tab and the other subtabs, nearly every option for the new Kickstart profile can be customized.

Once created, you can access the Kickstart profile by downloading it from the Autoinstallation Details page by clicking the Autoinstallation File subtab and clicking the Download Autoinstallation File link.

If the Kickstart file is not managed by SUSE Manager, you can access it via the following URL:

http://`my.manager.server`/ks/dist/ks-rhel-`ARCH`-`VARIANT`-`VERSION`

In the above example, ARCH is the architecture of the Kickstart file, VARIANT is either client or server, and VERSION is the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux associated with the Kickstart file.

The following sections describe the options available on each subtab.

7.15.1.1 Autoinstallation Details > Details

details ks 3

On the Autoinstallation Details › Details page, you have the following options:

  • Change the profile Label.

  • Change the operating system by clicking (Change).

  • Change the Virtualization Type.

    Note
    Note

    Changing the Virtualization Type may require changes to the Kickstart profile bootloader and partition options, potentially overwriting user customizations. Consult the Partitioning tab to verify any new or changed settings.

  • Change the amount of Virtual Memory (in Megabytes of RAM) allocated to virtual guests autoinstalled with this profile.

  • Change the number of Virtual CPUs for each virtual guest.

  • Change the Virtual Storage Path from the default in /var/lib/xen/ .

  • Change the amount of Virtual Disk Space (in GB) allotted to each virtual guest.

  • Change the Virtual Bridge for networking of the virtual guest.

  • Deactivate the profile so that it cannot be used to schedule a {kickstart} by removing the Active check mark.

  • Check whether to enable logging for custom %post scripts to the /root/ks-post.log file.

  • Decide whether to enable logging for custom %pre scripts to the /root/ks-pre.log file.

  • Choose whether to preserve the ks.cfg file and all %include fragments to the /root/ directory of all systems autoinstalled with this profile.

  • Select whether this profile is the default for all of your organization’s {kickstart}s by checking or unchecking the box.

  • Add any Kernel Options in the corresponding text box.

  • Add any Post Kernel Options in the corresponding text box.

  • Enter comments that are useful to you in distinguishing this profile from others.

7.15.1.2 Autoinstallation Details > Operating System

On this page, you can make the following changes to the operating system that the Kickstart profile installs:

Change the base channel

Select from the available base channels. SUSE Manager administrators see a list of all base channels that are currently synced to the SUSE Manager.

Child Channels

Subscribe to available child channels of the base channel, such as the Tools channel.

Available Trees

Use the drop-down menu to choose from available trees associated with the base channel.

Always use the newest Tree for this base channel.

Instead of selecting a specific tree, you can also check the box Always use the newest Tree for this base channel. This setting lets SUSE Manager automatically pick the latest tree that is associated with the specified base channels. If you add new trees later, SUSE Manager will always keep the most recently created or modified.

Software URL (File Location)

The exact location from which the Kickstart tree is mounted. This value is determined when the profile is created. You can view it on this page but you cannot change it.

7.15.1.3 Autoinstallation Details > Variables

Autoinstallation variables can substitute values in Kickstart and AutoYaST profiles. To define a variable, create a name-value pair (name/value) in the text box.

For example, if you want to autoinstall a system that joins the network of a specified organization (for example the Engineering department), you can create a profile variable to set the IP address and the gateway server address to a variable that any system using that profile will use. Add the following line to the Variables text box.

IPADDR=192.168.0.28
GATEWAY=192.168.0.1

Now you can use the name of the variable in the profile instead of a specific value. For example, the network part of a Kickstart file looks like the following:

network --bootproto=static --device=eth0 --onboot=on --ip=$IPADDR \
  --gateway=$GATEWAY

The $IPADDR will be resolved to 192.168.0.28, and the $GATEWAY to 192.168.0.1

Note
Note

There is a hierarchy when creating and using variables in Kickstart files. System Kickstart variables take precedence over Profile variables, which in turn take precedence over Distribution variables. Understanding this hierarchy can alleviate confusion when using variables in {kickstart}s.

Using variables are just one part of the larger Cobbler infrastructure for creating templates that can be shared between multiple profiles and systems. For more information about Cobbler and templates, refer to Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 10 “Cobbler”.

7.15.1.4 Autoinstallation Details > Advanced Options

From this page, you can toggle several installation options on and off by checking and unchecking the boxes to the left of the option. For most installations, the default options are correct. Refer to Red Hat Enterprise Linux documentation for details.

7.15.1.5 Assigning Default Profiles to an Organization

You can specify an Organization Default Profile by clicking Autoinstallation › Profiles › profile name › Details, then checking the Organization Default Profile box and finally clicking Update.

7.15.1.6 Assigning IP Ranges to Profiles

You can associate an IP range to an autoinstallation profile by clicking on Autoinstallation › Profiles › profile name › Bare Metal Autoinstallation, adding an IPv4 range and finally clicking Add IP Range.

7.15.1.7 Autoinstallation Details > Bare Metal Autoinstallation

This subtab provides the information necessary to Kickstart systems that are not currently registered with SUSE Manager. Using the on-screen instructions, you may either autoinstall systems using boot media (CD-ROM) or by IP address.

7.15.1.8 System Details › Details

Displays subtabs that are available from the System Details tab.

On the System Details › Details page, you have the following options:

  • Select between DHCP and static IP, depending on your network.

  • Choose the level of SELinux that is configured on kickstarted systems.

  • Enable configuration management or remote command execution on kickstarted systems.

  • Change the root password associated with this profile.

details ks 4

7.15.1.9 System Details > Locale

Change the timezone for kickstarted systems.

7.15.1.10 System Details > Partitioning

From this subtab, indicate the partitions that you wish to create during installation. For example:

partition /boot --fstype=ext3 --size=200
partition swap --size=2000
partition pv.01 --size=1000 --grow
volgroup myvg pv.01 logvol / --vgname=myvg --name=rootvol --size=1000 --grow

7.15.1.11 System Details > File Preservation

If you have previously created a file preservation list, include this list as part of the {kickstart}. This will protect the listed files from being over-written during the installation process. Refer to Section 7.19, “Autoinstallation > File Preservation” for information on how to create a file preservation list.

7.15.1.12 System Details > GPG & SSL

From this subtab, select the GPG keys and/or SSL certificates to be exported to the kickstarted system during the %post section of the {kickstart}. For SUSE Manager customers, this list includes the SSL Certificate used during the installation of SUSE Manager.

Note
Note

Any GPG key you wish to export to the kickstarted system must be in ASCII rather than binary format.

7.15.1.13 System Details > Troubleshooting

From this subtab, change information that may help with troubleshooting hardware problems:

Bootloader

For some headless systems, it is better to select the non-graphic LILO bootloader.

Kernel Parameters

Enter kernel parameters here that may help to narrow down the source of hardware issues.

7.15.1.14 Software > Package Groups

details ks 5

The image above shows subtabs that are available from the Software tab.

Enter the package groups, such as @office or @admin-tools you would like to install on the kickstarted system in the large text box. If you would like to know what package groups are available, and what packages they contain, refer to the RedHat/base/ file of your Kickstart tree.

7.15.1.15 Software > Package Profiles

If you have previously created a Package Profile from one of your registered systems, you can use that profile as a template for the files to be installed on a kickstarted system. Refer to Section 7.3.2.2, “System Details › Software › Packages for more information about package profiles.

7.15.1.16 Activation Keys

details ks 6
Figure 7.5: Activation Keys

The Activation Keys tab allows you to select Activation Keys to include as part of the Kickstart profile. These keys, which must be created before the Kickstart profile, will be used when re-registering kickstarted systems.

7.15.1.17 Scripts

details ks 7
Figure 7.6: Scripts

The Scripts tab is where %pre and %post scripts are created. This page lists any scripts that have already been created for this Kickstart profile. To create a Kickstart script, perform the following procedure:

  1. Click the add new kickstart script link in the upper right corner.

  2. Enter the path to the scripting language used to create the script, such as /usr/bin/perl.

  3. Enter the full script in the large text box.

  4. Indicate whether this script is to be executed in the %pre or %post section of the Kickstart process.

  5. Indicate whether this script is to run outside of the chroot environment. Refer to the Post-installation Script section of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide for further explanation of the nochroot option.

Note
Note

SUSE Manager supports the inclusion of separate files within the Partition Details section of the Kickstart profile. For instance, you may dynamically generate a partition file based on the machine type and number of disks at {kickstart} time. This file can be created via %pre script and placed on the system, such as /tmp/part-include. Then you can call for that file by entering the following line in the Partition Details field of the System Details › Partitioning tab:

%include /tmp/part-include

7.15.1.18 Autoinstallation File

details ks 8
Figure 7.7: Autoinstallation File

The Autoinstallation File tab allows you to view or download the profile that has been generated from the options chosen in the previous tabs.

7.15.2 Upload Kickstart/AutoYaST File

Click the Upload Kickstart/Autoyast File link from the Systems › Autoinstallation page to upload an externally prepared AutoYaST or Kickstart profile.

  1. In the first line, enter a profile Label for the automated installation. This label[] drop-down menu is only populated if one or more distributions have been created for the selected base channel (see Section 7.18, “Autoinstallation > Distributions”).

  2. Instead of selecting a specific tree, you can also check the box Always use the newest Tree for this base channel. This setting lets SUSE Manager automatically pick the latest tree that is associated with the specified base channels. If you add new trees later, SUSE Manager will always keep the most recently created or modified.

  3. Select the Virtualization Type from the drop-down menu. For more information about virtualization, refer to Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 11 “Virtualization”.

    Note
    Note

    If you do not intend to use the autoinstall profile to create virtual guest systems, you can leave the drop-down set to the default choice KVM Virtualized Guest.

  4. Finally, either provide the file contents with cut-and-paste or update the file from the local storage medium:

    • Paste it into the File Contents box and click Create, or

    • enter the file name in the File to Upload field and click Upload File.

Once done, four subtabs are available:

  • Details

  • Bare Metal

  • Variables

  • Autoinstallable File

7.16 Autoinstallation > Bare Metal

Lists the IP addresses that have been associated with the profiles created by your organization. Click either the range or the profile name to access different tabs of the Autoinstallation Details page.

7.17 Autoinstallation > GPG and SSL Keys

Lists keys and certificates available for inclusion in {kickstart} profiles and provides a means to create new ones. This is especially important for customers of SUSE Manager or the Proxy Server because systems kickstarted by them must have the server key imported into SUSE Manager and associated with the relevant {kickstart} profiles. Import it by creating a new key here and then make the profile association in the GPG and SSL keys subtab of the Autoinstallation Details page.

To create a key or certificate, click the Create Stored Key/Cert link in the upper-right corner of the page. Enter a description, select the type, upload the file, and click the Update Key button. A unique description is required.

Important
Important

The GPG key you upload to SUSE Manager must be in ASCII format. Using a GPG key in binary format causes anaconda, and therefore the {kickstart} process, to fail.

7.18 Autoinstallation > Distributions

The Distributions page enables you to find and create custom installation trees that may be used for automated installations.

Note
Note

The Distributions page does not display distributions already provided. They can be found within the Distribution drop-down menu of the Autoinstallation Details page.

Before creating a distribution, you must make an installation data available, as described in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Deployment Guide (https://www.suse.com/documentation/sles-12/singlehtml/book_sle_deployment/book_sle_deployment.html) or, respectively, the Kickstart Installations chapter of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide. This tree must be located in a local directory on the SUSE Manager server.

Procedure: Creating a Distribution for Autoinstallation
  1. To create a distribution, on the Autoinstallable Distributions page click Create Distribution in the upper right corner.

  2. On the Create Autoinstallable Distribution page, provide the following data:

    • Enter a label (without spaces) in the Distribution Label field, such as my-orgs-sles-12-sp2 or my-orgs-rhel-as-7.

    • In the Tree Path field, paste the path to the base of the installation tree.

    • Select the matching distribution from the Base Channel and Installer Generation drop-down menus, such as SUSE Linux for SUSE Linux Enterprise, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 client systems.

  3. When finished, click the Create Autoinstallable Distribution button.

7.18.1 Autoinstallation > Distributions > Variables

Autoinstallation variables can be used to substitute values into Kickstart and AutoYaST profiles. To define a variable, create a name-value pair (name/value) in the text box.

For example, if you want to autoinstall a system that joins the network of a specified organization (for example the Engineering department) you can create a profile variable to set the IP address and the gateway server address to a variable that any system using that profile will use. Add the following line to the Variables text box.

IPADDR=192.168.0.28
GATEWAY=192.168.0.1

To use the distribution variable, use the name of the variable in the profile to substitute the value. For example, the network part of a {kickstart} file looks like the following:

network --bootproto=static --device=eth0 --onboot=on --ip=$IPADDR \
  --gateway=$GATEWAY

The $IPADDR will be resolved to 192.168.0.28, and the $GATEWAY to 192.168.0.1.

Note
Note

There is a hierarchy when creating and using variables in Kickstart files. System Kickstart variables take precedence over Profile variables, which in turn take precedence over Distribution variables. Understanding this hierarchy can alleviate confusion when using variables in {kickstart}s.

In AutoYaST profiles you can use such variables as well.

Using variables are just one part of the larger Cobbler infrastructure for creating templates that can be shared between multiple profiles and systems. For more information about Cobbler and templates, refer to Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 10 “Cobbler”.

7.19 Autoinstallation > File Preservation

Collects lists of files to be protected and re-deployed on systems during {kickstart}. For instance, if you have many custom configuration files located on a system to be kickstarted, enter them here as a list and associate that list with the Kickstart profile to be used.

To use this feature, click the Create File Preservation List link at the top. Enter a suitable label and all files and directories to be preserved. Enter absolute paths to all files and directories. Then click Create List.

Important
Important

Although file preservation is useful, it does have limitations. Each list is limited to a total size of 1 MB. Special devices like /dev/hda1 and /dev/sda1 are not supported. Only file and directory names may be entered. No regular expression wildcards can be used.

When finished, you may include the file preservation list in the Kickstart profile to be used on systems containing those files. Refer to Section 7.15.1, “Create a Kickstart Profile” for precise steps.

7.20 Autoinstallation > Autoinstallation Snippets

Use snippets to store common blocks of code that can be shared across multiple Kickstart or AutoYaST profiles in SUSE Manager.

7.20.1 Autoinstallation > Autoinstallation Snippets > Default Snippets

Default snippets coming with SUSE Manager are not editable. You can use a snippet, if you add the Snippet Macro statement such as $SNIPPET('spacewalk/sles_register_script') to your autoinstallation profile. This is an AutoYaST profile example:

<init-scripts config:type="list">
  $SNIPPET('spacewalk/sles_register_script')
</init-scripts>

When you create a snippet with the Create Snippet link, all profiles including that snippet will be updated accordingly.

7.20.2 Autoinstallation > Autoinstallation Snippets > Custom Snippets

This is the tab with custom snippets. Click a name of a snippet to view, edit, or delete it.

7.20.3 Autoinstallation > Autoinstallation Snippets > All Snippets

q The All Snippets tab lists default and custom snippets together.

7.21 Systems > Virtual Host Managers

Third party hypervisors and hypervisor managers such as VMWare vCenter are called Virtual Host Managers (VHM) within SUSE Manager. These managers can manage one or multiple virtual hosts, which in turn may contain virtual guests. SUSE Manager ships with a tool called virtual-host-gatherer that can connect to VHMs using their API, and request information about virtual hosts. This tool is automatically invoked via Taskomatic nightly, therefore you need to configure your VHMs via XMLRPC APIs. virtual-host-gatherer maintains the concept of optional modules, where each module enables a specific Virtual Host Manager.

Proceed to Systems › Virtual Host Managers page in the Web UI to begin working with a Virtual Host Manager. In the upper right click Create and select either VMware-based or File-based.

7.21.1 VMware-Based

After selecting Create › VMware-based enter the location of your VMware-based virtual host. Enter a Label, Hostname, Port, Username and Password. Finally click the Add Virtual Host Manager button. For detailed information on working with a VMware-based Virtual Host Manager, see Book “Advanced Topics”, Chapter 12 “Inventorying vCenter/vSphere ESXi Hosts with SUSE Manager”.

systems virtual host managers vmware

7.21.2 File-Based

In a VMWare environment where direct connection to the SUSE Manager Server is not possible, a JSON file can be exported from the ESXi or vSphere host and later imported into SUSE Manager via this option.

After selecting Create › File-Based enter a label and URL leading to the location of this file.

systems virtual host managers file
Note
Note: VMWare vCenter Installations without Direct Access

The file-based is not meant to be used with manually crafted files. It only meant to be used with the output of virtual-host-gatherer against some other module. File-based is suitable for VMWare vCenter installations for which no direct API access is possible from the SUSE Manager Server.

The solution is to run virtual-host-gatherer from somewhere else in the network and save the produced JSON data for further processing.

The following JSON data is an example of the exported information in the file:

{
    "examplevhost": {
        "10.11.12.13": {
            "cpuArch": "x86_64",
            "cpuDescription": "AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 4386",
            "cpuMhz": 3092.212727,
            "cpuVendor": "amd",
            "hostIdentifier": "'vim.HostSystem:host-182'",
            "name": "11.11.12.13",
            "os": "VMware ESXi",
            "osVersion": "5.5.0",
            "ramMb": 65512,
            "totalCpuCores": 16,
            "totalCpuSockets": 2,
            "totalCpuThreads": 16,
            "type": "vmware",
            "vms": {
                "vCenter": "564d6d90-459c-2256-8f39-3cb2bd24b7b0"
            }
        },
        "10.11.12.14": {
            "cpuArch": "x86_64",
            "cpuDescription": "AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 4386",
            "cpuMhz": 3092.212639,
            "cpuVendor": "amd",
            "hostIdentifier": "'vim.HostSystem:host-183'",
            "name": "10.11.12.14",
            "os": "VMware ESXi",
            "osVersion": "5.5.0",
            "ramMb": 65512,
            "totalCpuCores": 16,
            "totalCpuSockets": 2,
            "totalCpuThreads": 16,
            "type": "vmware",
            "vms": {
                "49737e0a-c9e6-4ceb-aef8-6a9452f67cb5": "4230c60f-3f98-2a65-f7c3-600b26b79c22",
                "5a2e4e63-a957-426b-bfa8-4169302e4fdb": "42307b15-1618-0595-01f2-427ffcddd88e",
                "NSX-gateway": "4230d43e-aafe-38ba-5a9e-3cb67c03a16a",
                "NSX-l3gateway": "4230b00f-0b21-0e9d-dfde-6c7b06909d5f",
                "NSX-service": "4230e924-b714-198b-348b-25de01482fd9"
            }
        }
    }
}

For more information, see the man page on your SUSE Manager server for virtual-host-gatherer:

{prompt.user}man virtual-host-gatherer

The README file coming with the package provides background information about the type of a hypervisor, etc.:

/usr/share/doc/packages/virtual-host-gatherer/README.md

7.21.3 Configuring Virtual Host Managers via XMLRPC API

The following APIs allow you to get a list of available virtual-host-manager modules and the parameters they require:

  • virtualhostmanager.listAvailableVirtualHostGathererModules(session)
  • virtualhostmanager.getModuleParameters(session, moduleName)

The following APIs allow you to create and delete VHMs. The module parameter map must match the map returned by virtualhostmanager.getModuleParameters to work correctly:

  • virtualhostmanager.create(session, label, moduleName, parameters)
  • virtualhostmanager.delete(session, label)

The following APIs return information about configured VHMs:

  • virtualhostmanager.listVirtualHostManagers(session)
  • virtualhostmanager.getDetail(session, label)
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