What is foreman?

I’m new to this. I’ve been reading the manual and becoming
more confused. I need some stuff cleared up that isn’t covered
in the manual – I think the manual presumes I know more of the
terminology than I do.

What I was looking for was a better way to keep my CentOS machines
updated. I kickstart already, but I wanted to arrange it so
that my machines could point to my kickstart server to do “yum update”.
Didn’t want to burn up the bandwidth, and my speed to the internet is
100Mb/s max (IIRC) whereas I have 10Gbit interfaces between my main
machines. I wound up looking at satellite, which I never got going. And now
satellite is being replaced by Foreman (true?). I think I got
the wrong idea about what foreman is/does.

I take it that foreman does not replace my kickstart server.

I might make my own (limited) mirror, but I was hoping for something
that would keep track of my customizations at least a little.
I’m starting to think that foreman is mostly about tracking
such changes.

Consider a new machine. I take it that foreman somehow makes
changes to my dhcpd.conf and dns and tftp (and maybe my .cfg
file?) such that I would no longer do those in separate steps
on my kickstart server, I’d set those things up in Foreman
and, for example, I’d only enter my desired IP address one time
and the changes would appear consistently in all the config files
and the systemctl restart cmds would be done for me. True?

For one thing, I don’t see a way to tell foreman which machine
is doing my tftp.
Foreman-installer (reading the man page, have not tried this)
has ways (if the man page means what i think) to tell foreman
what your dns server is, and what your dhcp server is, but i
don’t see how it knows what my tftp server is.

I have my dns chroot’ed. So I guess it would still find it?
I guess it would somehow know how to find the config files…?
(This question makes sense iff it’s going to update my files.)

foreman-installer (per man page) can list scenarios. But
(1) I don’t know what those are,
(2) when I list the scenarios it tells me that I only have
one installed.
(3) can I repeat the installer, installing more scenarios? Do I need to
clean out the one I have?
Scenarios sound like I should care about them. Am I wrong?

Or am I missing the point about foreman entirely?


Hello and welcome :slight_smile:

This doc is still a bit WIP for Foreman, but we’re trying to get better with the docs. This is a high level doc. Note that it talks about Katello too, which you might not use:


Yes and no. If you use our installer, and this is the only supported way, it will deploy TFTP, DHCP, DNS and other services depending on your input. All-in-one box or you can choose to deploy remote “smart proxies” with selected services at will.

Now, if you want to integrate with existing infrastructure (ISC DHCP, BIND, TFTP, MS, Infoblox) we have plugins but most of this is undocumented. You can for example have Foreman updating a remote TFTP or DHCP server (via nsupdate or a plugin). But it will probably be quite a challenge to set things up.

okay, that does help me. i have decided that what i should do first is set
up my own local mirror to collect the OS and updates and use that. i’ve
started on that. i have instructions which i haven’t worked through yet.
your answer solidifies my decision to just use a local mirror. thanks to
all who replied. (in particular i’m the kind of guy who wants to test
drive things. i’d like to leave my production servers alone and try
foreman on a testbed. having competing dhcp servers would be a chore for
me. i expect i could do it but limitations on my test enviro make it


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Foreman is a good subject to test drives, even after production I suggest to run your own “test” instance to test things and upgrades.