Satellite (software)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Red Hat
Initial release2002; 22 years ago (2002)[1]
Stable release
6.13 / May 3, 2023; 12 months ago (2023-05-03)
Operating systemLinux

In computing, Red Hat Satellite[2] is a systems-management product by the company Red Hat which allows system administrators to deploy and manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) hosts.

A Satellite server registers with Red Hat Subscription Management, mirrors all relevant software like security errata and bug fixes, and provides this together with locally added software and configuration to the attached servers.

The managed hosts register against the local Satellite server and access the provided resources like software packages, patches, configuration, etc. while they also provide information about the current health state of the server to the Satellite[3]

As of March 2017:

  • The latest version is Red Hat Satellite 6,[4] based on Foreman. This article focuses on Red Hat Satellite 6
  • The previous version was Red Hat Satellite 5. Based on Spacewalk, it is still in widespread use despite being in the sunset of its lifecycle


Red Hat Satellite Server[edit]

The Red Hat Satellite Server enables planning and management of the content life cycle and the configuration of Capsule Servers and hosts through GUI, CLI (Hammer), or API (RESTful API).

Capsule Servers[edit]

Capsule Servers mirror content from the Satellite Server to establish content sources in different geographical locations, they are analogous to the Red Hat Satellite 5 Proxy Server.

Managed Client Systems[edit]

As well as Supported Managed Hosts Red Hat Satellite 6 also has some deployment and management capability on certain other hosts though Red Hat Support for these will be limited.[6][7]

Connection to Red Hat Customer Portal and External Content Sources[edit]

Satellite generally operates in "connected" mode, registering directly with the RHN and downloading 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.

For secure deployments, Satellite can operate in a "Disconnected" mode, where updates are downloaded directly from Red Hat via an Internet connected machine and then uploaded into Satellite or a local offline RHN proxy.

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

Red Hat Satellite 6 components[edit]

Component[8][9] Details
The Foreman Provision and Life Cycle Management of physical and virtual systems
Katello Foreman Plug-in for Subscription and Repository Management
Candlepin Service in Katello to handle subscription management
Pulp Service in Katello to handle repository and content management
Hammer CLI tool providing command line and shell equivalents of most WEB UI functions
REST API RESTful API service for System Administrators and Developers to write custom scripts and third party interface applications
Apache Tomcat Embedded Tomcat server for Web UI and API service connections
Puppet A Puppet Master server installed as part of a Red Hat Satellite 6 Master Server or Capsule server
Hiera[10] A Key-Value database that is part of Puppet and helps keep site specific data out of manifests

Major modules[11][edit]


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[clarification needed] main mechanisms for managing hosts are:

  • Software Channel
  • Configuration Channels
  • Activation Keys


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.

History and Lifecycle[edit]

A primary purpose of earlier versions of Satellite was to allow organizations to utilize the benefits of Red Hat Network (RHN) without having to provide public Internet access to their servers or other client systems.[12] Later version of the tool have developed increased functionality.

Release date End of Full Support[13] Last minor Notes
Old version, no longer maintained: 3 31 August 2005 Initial Red Hat Satellite released.
Old version, no longer maintained: 4 31 August 2005 Red Hat Satellite 4 released.
Old version, no longer maintained: 5 26 June 2007 Red Hat Satellite 5 released. Later donated as open source project upstream for Red Hat Satellite 5.[14]
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.6 31 January 2019
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.7 31 January 2019
Old version, no longer maintained: 5.8 20 June 2017 31 May 2020 Last release based on Spacewalk.
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.0 10 September 2014 21 February 2018 6.0.8 Technological base changed towards a combination of the Open Source projects Foreman (Web-Gui, Deployment), Foreman-Katello plugin (Content & Software Management), Puppet (Configuration Management) and others. Spacewalk is no longer upstream for Satellite.
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.1 12 August 2015 30 October 2018 6.1.12
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.2 25 July 2016 31 May 2019 6.2.16
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.3[15] 21 February 2018 31 October 2019 6.3.5 This release allows integration with Ansible Tower.
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.4[16] 16 October 2018 30 April 2020 6.4.4 This release has built in Ansible Core, later Puppet 5.
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.5[17] 14 May 2019 Oct 2020 6.5.3
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.6 22 October 2019 14 May 2021 6.6.3
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.7[18] 15 April 2020 Oct 2021 6.7.5 With the introduction of Azure provisioning support, you can create a compute resource for Azure and provision new hosts on Azure from the Satellite web UI, API, or Hammer CLI.
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.8 27 October 2020 Jun 2022 6.8.6
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.9[19] 21 April 2021 Oct 2022 6.9.10
Old version, no longer maintained: 6.10[20] 16 November 2021 31 May 2023
Older version, yet still maintained: 6.11[21] 5 July 2022 Jan 2024 Originally planned as version 7 due to removing Puppet. Rebranded to 6.11 after deciding to make Puppet integration optional and disabled by default based on community feedback.
Older version, yet still maintained: 6.12[22] 16 November 2022 May 2024 Removes installation support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
Current stable version: 6.13 [23] 3 May 2023 Nov 2024
Old version
Older version, still maintained
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release

Future of Red Hat Satellite 6[edit]

The Lifecycle of Red Hat Satellite 6 is recorded at the Red Hat Satellite and Proxy Server Life Cycle which is updated as required, with future events on a bona fide basis.[24] When viewed in August 2019, Red Hat didn't indicate any date for end of support.

Red Hat Satellite 5[edit]

For Red Hat Satellite version 5 the Satellite Application was implemented by a toolset named Project Spacewalk.

Red Hat announced in June 2008 Project Spacewalk was to be made open source under the GPLv2 License[14]

Satellite 5.3 was the first version to be based on upstream Spacewalk code.[25]

In the Spacewalk FAQ[26] issued in 2015 after the release of Red Hat Satellite 6:

  • Red Hat formally released Spacewalk as open source(GPLv2) in June 2008.
  • Red Hat would continue to sponsor and support Spacewalk as the upstream Red Hat Satellite 5. however that participation is anticipated to diminish as Red Hat Satellite 5 enters the final phases of its lifecycle. Spacewalk is not and can never be upstream for Red Hat Satellite 6 released in September 2014.[27][28] due to it being a ground up rebuild with a different toolset.

Future of Red Hat Satellite 5[edit]

The Lifecycle of Red Hat Satellite 5 is recorded at the Red Hat Satellite and Proxy Server Life Cycle which is updated as required, with future events on a bona fide basis.[24] When viewed in March 2017 Red Hat indicated:

  • Red Hat Satellite 5 is in the final Production 3 phase.
  • The current releases, 5.6 and 5.7, would remain supported through January 2019.
  • A further minor release 5.8 will be the only release supported in a supplementary Extended Life Phase from February 2019 through to EOL in May 2020.

As of April 2017 Satellite minor release 5.8 is in available in beta.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Red Hat Satellite 6 roadmap and demonstration". Red Hat Summit. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  2. ^ "Introducing Red Hat Satellite 6 - Datasheet" (PDF). Red Hat. 2014. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  3. ^ Kalidindi, Srinivas R. (2007). "3.2.1". Linux Operating System Configuration Management Framework: A Scalable and Efficient Approach Using Open Source Utilities (MSC.). Ohio University. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  4. ^ "Red Hat Satellite 6 comes with improved server and cloud management". znet. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  5. ^ "Architecture Guide Introduction to Red Hat Satellite 6". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  6. ^ "Satellite 6 Support for non-Red Hat distributions". Red Hat. 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  7. ^ "How does Red Hat support scripting frameworks?". Red Hat. 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  8. ^ "architecture-guide Components". Red Hat. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  9. ^ "architecture-guide Components usage". Red Hat. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  10. ^ "Hiera 3.2". Puppet. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  11. ^ Loschwitz, Martin; Feilner, Markus; Casad, Joe (1 February 2015). "Exploring Red Hat Satellite Server 6" (171). Linux Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "Red Hat Network Satellite 5.0 Installation Guide - RHN Satellite Server". 2008. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  13. ^ Red Hat Satellite Product Life Cycle
  14. ^ a b "Project Spacewalk Announcement". Red Hat. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  15. ^ "Satellite 6.3 is now available". 21 Feb 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Red Hat Satellite 6.4 is now generally available". 16 Oct 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Red Hat Satellite 6.5 is now available". 14 May 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.7". 15 April 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.9". 21 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.10". 16 November 2021. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.11". 5 July 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  22. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.12". 16 November 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  23. ^ "Now available: Red Hat Satellite 6.13". 3 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  24. ^ a b "Red Hat Satellite and Proxy Server Life Cycle". Red Hat. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  25. ^ "Red Hat stretches Linux system management tentacle". The Register. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  26. ^ "(Spacewalk) Frequently Asked Questions". Red hat. 2015. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  27. ^ "Satellite version 6 with Puppet, git, Foreman, Katello, Pulp and Candlepin included - questions on using Puppet". 9 July 2014.
  28. ^ "Spacewalk: Free & Open Source Linux Systems Management". Retrieved 2012-10-14.
  29. ^ "Red Hat Satellite 5.8 Beta Program". Red Hat. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

External links[edit]