Registering Debian Clients

This section contains information about registering Salt clients running Debian operating systems.

SUSE does not provide support for Debian operating systems. SUSE Manager allows you to manage Debian clients, but support is not provided. Using SUSE Manager to manage Debian clients is experimental. These instructions have been tested on Debian 10 and Debian 11. Do not rely on Debian clients in a production environment.

Debian is supported for Salt clients only. Traditional clients are not supported.

Bootstrapping can be used with Debian clients for performing initial state runs, and for profile updates.

1. Prepare to Register

  • Ensure DNS is correctly configured and provides an entry for the client. Alternatively, you can configure the /etc/hosts files on both the SUSE Manager Server and the client with the appropriate entries.

  • The client must have the date and time synchronized with the SUSE Manager Server before registration.

2. Add Software Channels

Before you can register Debian clients to your SUSE Manager Server, you need to add the required software channels, and synchronize them.

The products you need for this procedure are:

Table 1. Debian Products - WebUI
OS Version Product Name

Debian 10

Debian 10

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 will automatically check all mandatory channels. Also all recommended channels are checked as long as the include recommended toggle is turned on. 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.

Alternatively, you can add channels at the command prompt. The channels you need for this procedure are:

Table 2. Debian Channels - CLI
OS Version Product Name

Debian 10


Procedure: Adding Software Channels at the Command Prompt
  1. At the command prompt on the SUSE Manager Server, as root, use the mgr-sync command to add the appropriate channels:

    mgr-sync add channel <channel_label_1>
    mgr-sync add channel <channel_label_2>
    mgr-sync add channel <channel_label_n>
  2. Synchronization starts automatically. If you want to synchronize the channels manually, use:

    mgr-sync sync --with-children <channel_name>
  3. Ensure the synchronization is complete before continuing.

3. Check Synchronization Status

Procedure: Checking Synchronization Progress from the Web UI
  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.

Debian channels can be very large. Synchronization can sometimes take several hours.

When synchronizing third-party Debian repositories, you will need to import the appropriate GPG key on the server. If the GPG key is missing, synchronization will fail.

For Debian repositories, only the metadata is signed. Therefore importing a GPG key for the software channel is not needed. Packages will not be re-signed by Uyuni.

To see which GPG keys are already imported to SUSE Manager Server, run the following command:

sudo gpg --homedir /var/lib/spacewalk/gpgdir --list-keys

To import a new GPG key, use the --import parameter:

sudo gpg --homedir /var/lib/spacewalk/gpgdir --import <filename>.gpg

4. Root Access

The root user on Debian is disabled by default for SSH access.

To be able to onboard using a regular user, you need to edit the sudoers file.

Procedure: Granting Root User Access
  1. On the client, edit the sudoers file:

    sudo visudo

    Grant sudo access to the user by adding this line at the end of the sudoers file. Replace <user> with the name of the user that is bootstrapping the client in the Web UI:

    <user>  ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/python, /usr/bin/python2, /usr/bin/python3, /var/tmp/venv-salt-minion/bin/python

This procedure grants root access without requiring a password, which is required for registering the client. When the client is successfully installed it runs with root privileges, so the access is no longer required. We recommend that you remove the line from the sudoers file after the client has been successfully installed.

5. Register Clients

To register your Debian clients, you need a bootstrap repository. By default, bootstrap repositories are regenerated daily. You can manually create the bootstrap repository from the command prompt, using this command:


For Debian 10, select debian10-amd64-uyuni when prompted.

For more information on registering your clients, see Client Registration Overview.