Satellite (software)

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In computing, Red Hat Satellite, an open-source systems-management application, allows system administrators to deploy, manage and monitor Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris hosts. One can think of Satellite as a local version of Red Hat Network.

An organisation's Satellite server registers with Red Hat Network and downloads relevant software into Satellite's software channels. The organisation's hosts then register against the local Satellite server, instead of directly against Red Hat Network.

This allows the organisation to control which versions of software it makes available for its hosts, as well as making additional software within the local network.

Recent[when?] versions of Red Hat Satellite emphasise virtualization and add features, particularly XML-RPC API features for deploying and managing virtual hosts.


Satellite offers numerous methods for deploying hosts, including simple kickstart, bare metal install and re-imaging. Current versions of Satellite support kickstart using Cobbler as an underlying framework. PXE Boot, and Koan are methods that can be used to implement bare metal installs and re-imaging of hosts.


Satellite assists in remotely managing hosts in several areas: software, operational management, and configuration. The 3 main mechanisms for managing hosts are:

  • Software Channels
  • Configuration Channels
  • Activation Keys
  • Remote Command Execution.


Satellite can provide monitoring of software and systems via probes. These probes periodically explore the target host and send alerts if the probes do not get the correct replies, or if the replies fall outside of some specified range.

Relationship to Spacewalk[edit]

Satellite is a supported version of Spacewalk. As such it only supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris. Red Hat has released an open source version of Satellite called Spacewalk. Features that are contributed to Spacewalk may be incorporated into Satellite though this is not always the case or guaranteed.

Spacewalk supports the management of CentOS servers but not the management of RHEL servers.


Spacewalk and Red Hat Satellite are in long term support mode for Red Hat, as they were originally designed to duplicate the RHN experience that customer saw in 2001 on Red Hat website to be internally deployed into a company's intranet. Therefore the design was web-centric before system management tools such as Chef, Puppet, cfengine or other third party stacks like OpenStack. So Red Hat has focused most of its main efforts on new projects such as Fedora's Katello[1] and Foreman to replace the functionality of Spacewalk in future versions of Red Hat Satellite.[2][3]


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