Chapter 8. UNIX Support Guide

8.1. Introduction

This chapter documents the installation procedure for, and identifies differences in, Red Hat Network functionality when used to manage UNIX-based client systems. RHN offers UNIX support to help customers migrate from UNIX to Linux. Because of the limited scope of this task, the features offered for UNIX client management are not as comprehensive as those available for managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems.

Subsequent sections specify supported UNIX variants, RHN features supported by the UNIX management system, the prerequisites for managing a UNIX system with RHN, as well as the installation procedure for UNIX clients.

8.1.1. Supported UNIX Variants

The following UNIX variants, versions, and architectures are supported by Red Hat Network:

  • Solaris 8, 9, 10 (sparc)

  • Solaris 9, 10 (x86)

8.1.2. Prerequisites

These items are needed to obtain UNIX support:

  • RHN Satellite Server 4.1.0 or later

  • A Satellite certificate with Management entitlements

  • Management entitlements for each UNIX client

  • RHN packages for UNIX including python, pyOpenSSL, and the Red Hat Network Client packages.

  • Sunfreeware packages that provide supporting libraries. Some of these packages are available via the RHN Satellite Server. Refer to Section 8.3.1 Download and Install Additional Packages for the complete list.

8.1.3. Included Features

The following features are included in the UNIX support service level as they exist within RHN:

  • The Red Hat Network Service Daemon (rhnsd), which triggers rhn_check according to a configurable interval

  • The Red Hat Network Configuration Client (rhncfg-client), which executes all configuration actions scheduled from the Satellite

  • The Red Hat Network Configuration Manager (rhncfg-manager), which allows command line administration of RHN configuration channels

  • The rhn_check program, which checks in with the Satellite and performs any actions scheduled from the server

  • All Management-level functionality, such as system grouping, package profile comparison, and use of the System Set Manager to administer multiple systems at once

  • A Provisioning feature called Remote Command that enables users to schedule root-level commands on any managed client through the Satellite's website, if the client allows this action

8.1.4. Differences in Functionality

The following RHN features work differently in a UNIX environment:

  • The Red Hat Update Agent for UNIX offers a much smaller set of options than its Linux counterpart and relies upon the operating system's native toolset for package installation, rather than rpm - Refer to Section Updating From the Command Line for the precise list of options.

  • The RHN Push application has been similarly modified to upload native UNIX file types, including packages, patches, and patch clusters.

    Since Solaris package, patch and patch cluster files are different from RPM files, the channel upload mechanism is somewhat different.There are two applications in the rhnpush package for Solaris:

    • The first, solaris2mpm, is an RHN utility that create an MPM file for each Solaris package or patch. The neutral format of th MPM file allows the Satellite to understand and manage the uploaded files.

    • The second, rhnpush, has been extended so that it can handle MOM as well as RPM files. Otherwise, it operates identically to the Linux version of rhnpush.

  • The Channels tab of the RHN website has been augmented to accommodate the storage and installation of native UNIX file types.

8.1.5. Excluded Features

The following RHN features are not available with the UNIX support system:

  • All Provisioning-level functionality, such as kickstarting and package rollback, with the exception of configuration file management

  • All Errata-related options, since the concept of Errata Updates is not understood in UNIX

  • Source files for packages

In addition, answer files are not yet supported. Support for such files is planned for a future release.