Update management with Katello 3.5


I am evaluating foreman/katello (16.1/3.5) as replacement for our spacewalk server to do content and configuration management to ~300 servers. I have played with a test installation and two test hosts for a couple of days. I am stumped right now with some of the basic things which were quite easy witih spacewalk. It’s all CentOS servers and some additional repos so errata doesn’t really play any roles.

With spacewalk I have a “Out-Of-Date” page which shows only hosts with updates available. I can select them all into the System Set and then initiate an update from there. In that process I can review and select the packages I want to update, shows me an overview of which packages get installed on which hosts and then I can schedule the updates.

  1. How do I see a list of hosts which have available updates? The Host - Content Hosts page shows me all hosts and there are a lot of filters but I haven’t found anything which would allow me to filter only for hosts with installable updates. I don’t see anything on the Dashboard either.

  2. How do I see which packages are installable on a larger number of hosts? I can see the packages for each individual host by clicking on the number on the Content Host page but that’s not feasible for a large number of hosts.

  3. How to I update many packages on many hosts? As a simple start, I tried to select all hosts on Content Hosts and chose the “Manage Packages” action. From there I can “blindly” update every installable update, but there is no list where I could choose which packages. I could enter the package name if I knew which package needs updating.

  4. I also made various tests with content views and the concept seems interesting. However, I don’t see anything which would guide me to which content views (potentially) need to be republished because new packages have been synced from the remote repositories. Without erratas I don’t even seem to get any notification of new updates. If I know that there are some new updates in a repository/product I then have to remember exactly which content views uses those products and republish them. If there are composite views on top of that I have to republish those as well after that. I hope I am missing something here because this way it doesn’t really make any sense to me if I basically need to know exactly when updates are available and how they have to get published through the views to get them to the content hosts.

You can use “errata_status” as a filter in the content hosts page

If I’m understanding these questions, there isn’t this kind of functionality in the UI at the moment, though you may be able to rig something up with the hammer cli tool.

I’m also not sure I understand this question completely. Do you mean a “yum update” on a machine? There is the “update all” button for the content host and you may be able to cycle through them with hammer running update all on each host.

I would suggest utilizing sync plans for the repositories and automatically promoting your content views based on your lifecycle needs.

There is a guide here that is more satellite-specific, but most of it is applicable to katello, it may answer some of your questions

Also feel free to file any RFEs or bugs here http://projects.theforeman.org/projects/katello/issues/new

Thanks for your answers.

The problem with CentOS and most of our other repositories is that they don’t provide errata, thus there are only package updates but nothing else.

Too bad.

O.K. Well, as we are using spacewalk at the moment I don’t think I could everyone on board to do some of the basic updates only with manual scripting.

O.K. That would be interesting. But how do I automatically promote my content views? That is something I was looking for but haven’t found in the GUI.

O.K. Thanks.

This would be through hammer with a cron job or similar. For composite content views there is a new “auto publish” feature (I’m not sure which version it landed in) which you can check when creating the content view. This will automatically republish the composite content view that the content view.

Hope this helps, some active users may be able to better answer your questions on how to handle different workflows.