Red Hat Network

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Red Hat Network (abbreviated to RHN) is a family of systems-management services operated by Red Hat. RHN makes updates, patches, and bug fixes of packages included within Red Hat Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux available to subscribers. Other available features include the deployment of custom content to, and the provisioning, configuration, reporting, monitoring of client systems.

Users of these operating systems can then invoke the up2date or yum program to download and install updates from RHN. The updates portion of RHN is akin to other types of automatic system maintenance tools such as Microsoft Update for Microsoft Windows operating systems. The system requires a subscription to allow access to updates.

On June 18, 2008 Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst announced plans for the RHN Satellite software to be open-sourced following the Fedora/RHEL model.[1] Subsequently, project Spacewalk was launched.


In the basic subscription model the information about a managed host is stored on Red Hat's servers, and updates get downloaded directly from those servers as well. For an organization that manages multiple machines this is inefficient bandwidth-wise. Red Hat offers a proxy server (Red Hat Network Proxy) that once installed at a site allows machines to securely download updates locally. Advanced lifecycle management; provisioning features, like bare metal PXE boot provisioning; and monitoring features (e.g. centralized CPU and disk usage) cannot be done over the Internet to the hosted RHN servers. These features require a RHN Satellite Server running locally. As of December 2009 the RHN Proxy Server costs $2,500 annually, and the RHN Satellite Server costs $13,500 annually, which includes the license for the embedded Oracle Database.[2][3][4]


Date Version Description
late 2000 Red Hat Network is born as hosted service.
late 2001 RHN Proxy Server has been created.
January 2002 significant price reduction of RHN.[5]
February 2002 RHN Satellite server created as standalone version of RHN.
October 2002 Red Hat purchased Sunnyvale company and integrate its NOCpulse Command Center systems management software into RHN[6]
2004 RHN 3.2 released introducing provisioning, Bootstrap Script, Refined Channel Cloning
Spring 2004 RHN 3.3 released
July 20, 2004 RHN 3.4 released
December 15, 2004 RHN 3.6 released introducing Monitoring as technology preview, supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3 as base operating system, rhn boostrap utility and push technology (using jabber protocol)
March 22, 2005 RHN 3.7 released
August 31, 2005 RHN 4.0 released
February 2, 2007 RHN Satellite 4.2 released[7] supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 clients
June 26, 2007 RHN Satellite 5.0 released[8] introducing virtualization management support.
April 7, 2008 RHN Satellite 5.1 released Multi-Org feature, Apache 2.0 support, exporter tool, PPC Provisioning Capabilities, 64 bit Platform Support, S390 Platform Support, S390X Platform Support.[9]
June 18, 2008 RHN Satellite (and Proxy) is open source'd. Project Spacewalk is born.
November 5, 2008 RHN Satellite 5.2 released[10] Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is now supported as a base operating system, introducing Oracle 10g support.[11]
September 2, 2009 RHN Satellite 5.3 released introducing significant upgrade of Multiple Organizations feature, automated system installation via the cobbler, Inter-Satellite Sync, supporting installation as VMWare guest, command line installation of RHN Proxy, SELinux support.[12]
October 27, 2010 RHN Satellite 5.4 released supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 clients, introducing spacewalk-repo-sync, Duplicate Profile feature, Support for Oracle 11g, package installation date, symbolic links in configuration management and SELinux support for configuration management.[13]
June 16, 2011 RHN Satellite 5.4.1 released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is now supported as a base operating system. Internationalized domain names support added.[14]
September 21, 2012 RHN Satellite 5.5 released IPv6 Enablement, OpenSCAP Support, Clone-By-Date Capability, Provisioning Bonded Network Interfaces
October 1, 2013 RHN Satellite 5.6 released Enhanced subscription and system reporting, Client system service analysis, Inter-Satellite Sync (ISS) content management and trust refinement, Red Hat Satellite server hot-backups, Automated provisioning in PXE-less environments, Red Hat Satellite server scalability, Choice of external, DBA-managed database


  1. ^ Red Hat Network to be open-sourced, Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service, 06.18.08. Retrieved from on June 20, 2008
  2. ^ "Network Satellite FAQs". Red Hat. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  3. ^ Gilbertson, Scott (2005-08-10). "What is Red Hat Network?". Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  4. ^ "Enterprise Linux management | Compare architectures". Red Hat. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  5. ^ "Red Hat Network for the Masses". Slashdot. 2002-01-27. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  6. ^ Rooney, Paula (2002-10-15). "Red Hat Confirms Acquisition Of NOCpulse". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  7. ^ "Red Hat Network Satellite 4.2.0 Notice". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  8. ^ "RHN Satellite and Proxy Server Life Cycle - Red Hat Customer Portal". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  9. ^ "Announcing Red Hat Network Satellite 5.1.0". 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  10. ^ "[rhn-satellite-users] RHN Satellite 5.2 Now Generally Available". 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  11. ^ "Chapter 1. Major Features - Red Hat Customer Portal". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  12. ^ "Chapter 1. Major Features - Red Hat Customer Portal". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  13. ^ "Chapter 1. Major Features - Red Hat Customer Portal". Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  14. ^ "Release Notes - Red Hat Customer Portal". Retrieved 2012-10-13.

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