Chapter 5. Using RHN Bootstrap

Red Hat Network provides a tool that automates much of the manual reconfiguration described in previous chapters: RHN Bootstrap. This tool plays an integral role in the RHN Satellite Server Installation Program, enabling generation of the bootstrap script during installation.

RHN Proxy Server customers and customers with updated Satellite settings require a bootstrap tool that can be used independently. RHN Bootstrap, invoked with the command /usr/bin/rhn-bootstrap, serves that purpose and comes installed by default on both RHN Satellite Server and RHN Proxy Server.

If used correctly, the script this tool generates can be run from any client system to conduct the following tasks:

Customers should note, however, the inherent risks of using a script to conduct configuration. Security tools such as SSL certificates are installed by the script itself; therefore they do not yet exist on the systems and cannot be used to process transactions. This allows for the possibility of someone impersonating the Satellite and transmitting bad data. This is mitigated by the fact that virtually all Satellites and client systems operate behind customer firewalls and are restricted from outside traffic. Registration is conducted via SSL and is therefore protected.

The bootstrap script is automatically placed in the /var/www/html/pub/bootstrap/ directory of the RHN Server. From there it can be downloaded and run on all client systems. Note that some preparation and post-generation editing is required, as identified in the following sections. Refer to Section 5.4 RHN Bootstrap Options for the tool's complete list of options. Finally, refer to the Appendix A Sample Bootstrap Script for an example script.

5.1. Preparation

Since RHN Bootstrap (rhn-bootstrap) depends on other components of the Red Hat Network infrastructure to properly configure client systems, those components must be prepared before script generation. The following list identifies suggested initial measures: