Registering Red Hat Enterprise Linux Clients with CDN

If you are running Red Hat Enterprise Linux clients directly, rather than using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Expanded Support, you need to use Red Hat sources to retrieve and update packages. This section contains information about using the Red Hat content delivery network (CDN) to register traditional and Salt clients running Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating systems.

For information about using Red Hat update infrastructure (RHUI) instead, see client-configuration:clients-rh-rhui.adoc.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux clients are based on Red Hat and are unrelated to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Expanded Support, RES, Red Hat, or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. You are responsible for arranging access to Red Hat base media repositories and RHEL installation media, as well as connecting SUSE Manager Server to the Red Hat content delivery network. You must obtain support from Red Hat for all your RHEL systems. If you do not do this, you might be violating your terms with Red Hat.

Traditional clients are available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 only. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 clients are supported as Salt clients.

Import Entitlements and Certificates

Red Hat clients require a Red Hat certificate authority (CA) and entitlement certificate, and an entitlement key.

Entitlement certificates are embedded with expiration dates, which match the length of the support subscription. To avoid disruption, you need to repeat this process at the end of every support subscription period.

Red Hat supply a subscription manager tool to manage subscription assignments. It runs locally to track installed products and subscriptions. Clients must be registered with the subscription manager to obtain certificates.

Red Hat clients use a URL to replicate repositories. The URL changes depending on where the Red Hat client is registered.

Red Hat clients can be registered in three different ways:

  • Red Hat content delivery network (CDN) at redhat.com

  • Red Hat Satellite Server

  • Red Hat update infrastructure (RHUI) in the cloud

This guide covers clients registered to Red Hat CDN. You must have at least one system registered to the CDN, with an authorized subscription for repository content.

For information about using Red Hat update infrastructure (RHUI) instead, see client-configuration:clients-rh-rhui.adoc.

Satellite certificates for client systems require a Satellite server and subscription. Clients using Satellite certificates are not supported with SUSE Manager Server.

Entitlement certificates are embedded with expiration dates, which match the length of the support subscription. To avoid disruption, you need to repeat this process at the end of every support subscription period.

Red Hat supplies the subscription-manager tool to manage subscription assignments. It runs locally on the client system to track installed products and subscriptions. Register to redhat.com with subscription-manager, then follow this procedure to obtain certificates.

Procedure: Registering Clients to Subscription Manager
  1. On the client system, at the command prompt, register with the subscription manager tool:

    subscription-manager register

    Enter your Red Hat Portal username and password when prompted.

  2. Copy your entitlement certificate and key from the client system, to a location that the SUSE Manager Server can access:

    cp /etc/pki/entitlement/ /<example>/entitlement/

    Your entitlement certificate and key both have a file extension of .pem. The key also has key in the filename.

  3. Copy the Red Hat CA Certificate file from the client system, to the same web location as the entitlement certificate and key:

    cp /etc/rhsm/ca/redhat-uep.pem /example/entitlement

To manage repositories on your Red Hat client, you need to import the CA and entitlement certificates to the SUSE Manager Server. This requires that you perform the import procedure three times, to create three entries: one each for the entitlement certificate, the entitlement key, and the Red Hat certificate.

Procedure: Importing Certificates to the Server
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  GPG and SSL Keys.

  2. Click Create Stored Key/Cert and set these parameters for the entitlement certificate:

    • In the Description field, type Entitlement-Cert-date.

    • In the Type field, select SSL.

    • In the Select file to upload field, browse to the location where you saved the entitlement certificate, and select the .pem certificate file.

  3. Click Create Key.

  4. Click Create Stored Key/Cert and set these parameters for the entitlement key:

    • In the Description field, type Entitlement-key-date.

    • In the Type field, select SSL.

    • In the Select file to upload field, browse to the location where you saved the entitlement key, and select the .pem key file.

  5. Click Create Key.

  6. Click Create Stored Key/Cert and set these parameters for the Red Hat certificate:

    • In the Description field, type redhat-uep.

    • In the Type field, select SSL.

    • In the Select file to upload field, browse to the location where you saved the Red Hat certificate, and select the certificate file.

  7. Click Create Key.

Prepare Custom Repositories and Channels

To mirror the software from the Red Hat CDN, you need to create custom channels and repositories in SUSE Manager that are linked to the CDN by a URL. You must have entitlements to these products in your Red Hat Portal for this to work correctly. You can use the subscription manager tool to get the URLs of the repositories you want to mirror:

subscription-manager repos

You can use these repository URLs to create custom repositories. This allows you to mirror only the content you need to manage your clients.

You can only create custom versions of Red Hat repositories if you have the correct entitlements in your Red Hat Portal.

The details you need for this procedure are:

Table 1. Red Hat Custom Repository Settings
Option Setting

Repository URL

The content URL provided by Red Hat CDN

Has Signed Metadata?

Uncheck all Red Hat Enterprise repositories

SSL CA Certificate

redhat-uep

SSL Client Certificate

Entitlement-Cert-date

SSL Client Key

Entitlement-Key-date

Procedure: Creating Custom Repositories
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Software  Manage  Repositories.

  2. Click Create Repository and set the appropriate parameters for the main repository.

  3. Click Create Repository.

  4. Repeat for all repositories you need to create.

The channels you need for this procedure are:

Table 2. Red Hat Custom Channels
OS Version Base Product Base Channel

Red Hat 6

RHEL6-Pool for x86_64

rhel6-pool-x86_64

Red Hat 7

RHEL7-Pool for x86_64

rhel7-pool-x86_64

Red Hat 8

RHEL8-Pool for x86_64

rhel8-pool-x86_64

Procedure: Creating Custom Channels
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Software  Manage  Channels.

  2. Click Create Channel and set the appropriate parameters for the channels.

  3. In the Parent Channel field, select the appropriate base channel.

  4. Click Create Channel.

  5. Repeat for all channels you need to create. There should be one custom channel for each custom repository.

You can check that you have created all the appropriate channels and repositories, by navigating to Software  Channel List  All.

For Red Hat 8 clients, add both the Base and AppStream channels. You require packages from both channels. If you do not add both channels, you cannot create the bootstrap repository, due to missing packages.

When you have created all the channels, you can associate them with the repositories you created:

Procedure: Associating Channels with Repositories
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Software  Manage  Channels, and click the channel to associate.

  2. Navigate to the Repositories tab, and check the repository to associate with this channel.

  3. Click Update Repositories to associate the channel and the repository.

  4. Repeat for all channels and repositories you need to associate.

  5. OPTIONAL: Navigate to the Sync tab to set a recurring schedule for synchronization of this repository.

  6. Click Sync Now to begin synchronization immediately.

Add Software Channels

Before you register Red Hat clients to your SUSE Manager Server, check that you have the Red Hat product enabled, and the required channels are fully synchronized.

Your SUSE Manager subscription entitles you to the tools channels for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Expanded Support (also known as Red Hat Expanded Support or RES). You must use the client tools channel to create the bootstrap repository. This procedure applies to both Salt and traditional clients.

The products you need for this procedure are:

Table 3. Red Hat Products - WebUI
OS Version Product Name

Red Hat 6

RHEL6 Base x86_64

Red Hat 7

RHEL7 Base x86_64

Red Hat 8

RHEL or SLES ES or CentOS 8 Base

Procedure: Adding Software Channels
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Admin  Setup Wizard  Products.

  2. Locate the appropriate products for your client operating system and architecture using the search bar, and check the appropriate product. This automatically checks all required channels. Click the arrow to see the complete list of related products, and ensure that any extra products you require are checked.

  3. Click Add Products and wait until the products have finished synchronizing.

The AppStream repository provides modular packages. This results in the SUSE Manager Web UI showing incorrect package information. You cannot perform package operations such as installing or upgrading directly from modular repositories using the Web UI or API.

You can use the AppStream filter with content lifecycle management (CLM) to transform modular repositories into regular repositories. Alternatively, you can use Salt states to manage modular packages on Salt clients, or use the dnf command on the client. For more information about CLM, see administration:content-lifecycle.adoc.

Check Synchronization Status

Procedure: Checking Synchronization Progress
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Admin  Setup Wizard and select the Products tab. This dialog displays a completion bar for each product when they are being synchronized.

  2. Alternatively, you can navigate to Software  Manage  Channels, then click the channel associated to the repository. Navigate to the Repositories tab, then click Sync and check Sync Status.

Procedure: Checking Synchronization Progress from the Command Prompt
  1. At the command prompt on the SUSE Manager Server, as root, use the tail command to check the synchronization log file:

    tail -f /var/log/rhn/reposync/<channel-label>.log
  2. Each child channel generates its own log during the synchronization progress. You need to check all the base and child channel log files to be sure that the synchronization is complete.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux channels can be very large. Synchronization can sometimes take several hours.

Procedure: OPTIONAL: Creating a Salt State to Deploy Configuration Files
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Configuration  Channels.

  2. Click Create State Channel.

    • In the Name field, type subscription-manager: disable yum plugins.

    • In the Label field, type subscription-manager-disable-yum-plugins.

    • In the Description field, type subscription-manager: disable yum plugins.

    • In the SLS Contents field, leave it empty.

  3. Click Create Config Channel

  4. Click Create Configuration File

    • In the Filename/Path field type /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/subscription-manager.conf.

    • In the File Contents field type:

[main]
enabled=0
  1. Click Create Configuration File

  2. Take note of the value of the field Salt Filesystem Path`.

  3. Click on the name of the Configuration Channel.

  4. Click on View/Edit 'init.sls' File

    • In the File Contents field, type:

configure_subscription-manager-disable-yum-plugins:
  cmd.run:
    - name: subscription-manager config --rhsm.auto_enable_yum_plugins=0
    - watch:
      - file: /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/subscription-manager.conf
  file.managed:
    - name: /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/subscription-manager.conf
    - source: salt:///etc/yum/pluginconf.d/subscription-manager.conf
  1. Click Update Configuration File.

The Creating a Salt State to Deploy Configuration Files procedure is optional.

Procedure: Creating a System Group for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Clients
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems  System Groups.

  2. Click Create Group.

    • In the Name field, type rhel-systems.

    • In the Description field, type All RHEL systems.

  3. Click Create Group.

  4. Click States tab.

  5. Click Configuration Channels tab.

  6. Type subscription-manager: disable yum plugins at the search box.

  7. Click Search to see the state.

  8. Click the checkbox for the state at the Assign column.

  9. Click Save changes.

  10. Click Confirm.

If you already have RHEL systems added to SUSE Manager, assign them to the new system group, and then apply the highstate.

Procedure: Adding the System Group to Activation Keys

You need to modify the activation keys you used for RHEL systems to include the system group created above.

  1. On the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems  Activation Keys.

  2. For each the Activation Keys you used for RHEL systems, click on it and:

  3. Navigate to the Groups tab, and the Join subtab.

  4. Check Select rhel-systems.

  5. Click Join Selected Groups.

Register Clients

To register your Red Hat clients, you need a bootstrap repository. By default, bootstrap repositories are automatically created, and regenerated daily for all synchronized products. You can manually create the bootstrap repository from the command prompt, using this command:

mgr-create-bootstrap-repo --with-custom-channels

For more information on registering your clients, see client-configuration:registration-overview.adoc.

To register and use Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 clients, you need to configure the SUSE Manager Server to support older types of SSL encryption. For more information about how to resolve this error, see Registering Older Clients at client-configuration:tshoot-clients.adoc.