In an effort to help streamline system updates for our Novell SUSE based systems in the lab, we installed and configured Novell SUSE’s Subscription Management Tool (SMT) on one of our lab systems. The system we chose happens to be our PXE server as well. SMT is included with any SLES subscription. It acts as a proxy system with repository and registration targets.

Per Novell’s SMT website:
“The downloadable Subscription Management Tool is integrated with Novell Customer Center and provides a repository and registration target that is synchronized with it. This is very helpful in tracking entitlements in large deployments. The Subscription Management Tool maintains all the capabilities of Novell Customer Center, while allowing a more secure centralized deployment. It is included with every SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription and is therefore fully supported.”

And later on that same page:
In a nutshell, the Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise provides you with:
  • Assurance of firewall and regulatory compliance
  • Reduced bandwidth usage during software updates
  • Full support under active subscription from Novell
  • Maintenance of existing customer interface with Novell Customer Center
  • Accurate server entitlement tracking and effective measurement of subscription usage
  • Automated process to easily tally entitlement totals (no more spreadsheets!)
  • Simple installation process that automatically synchronizes server entitlement with Novell Customer Center

Assumptions


  • You are entitled to patches and updates have a valid support contract with Novell.
  • You have logged into Novell’s customer center and obtained user credentials ( name & password -- go to “My Products” “Mirror Credentials”)
  • You’ll need to know the email address associated with your profile/login.

Overview


There's 4 main steps to setting up a SMT server in your enivornment:
1. Download and install product
2. Register your SMT server with Novell and pick the applicable repositories
3. Setup Mirror
4. Register clients (targets for updates) to your SMT server.

Installation & Configuration

1. Download and install product


You'll need to download the iso for the Subscription Management Tool from Novell.com:
(If the link doesn't work, go to download.novell.com and keyword search by subscription management tool)

smt2

For our SLES 11 system, we chose the SMT 11 tool: SLE-11-SMT-GM-Demia1.iso
Save it to a folder you can find it later. (/exports/SLE-11-SMT-GM-Demia1.iso)


To install SMT, first open "yast2" and choose "Addon Products".

Click "Add", then select "Local ISO image"

Pick the ISO you downloaded ( /exports/SLE-11-SMT-GM-Demia1.iso)

SMT1

Accept license agreement and Click "Next".

Select "Subscription Management Tool" on the bottom left, click "Accept"

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Packages that resolve dependencies wil automatically be selected as well. Click "Continue"

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This should complete the installation and open the SMT Configuration - Step 1/2

2. Register your SMT server with Novell and pick the applicable repositories.

Enter in your user credentials (from assumption section.)



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Wizard Step 2 – enter db password for SMT user, click "Next" then enter an email address for update reports (default is weekly):

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Enter a database root password and click "OK". (This will be a new password as mysql has no password set for admin user as a default.)

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The next screen will be the Novell Customer Center Configuration. Leave “Configure Now” selected and click next

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It will attempt to contact server, and hopefully you see:

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If not, check “details” and make sure network, user, password, and associated email address are correct. Click OK.

3. Setup Mirror


From YAST2, select “SMT Server Management”

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I filtered by SLES 11, and selected the appropriate platform repositories I wanted to mirror:

smt11

Click OK (and ignore Mirror Now – for now; we'll run it at the command line after we remove SRC mirroring.)

We didn’t want to use our own storage to mirror SRC files, so we changed the following to the /etc/smt.conf file:
MirrorSRC = false

Then we sync’d our server with the Novell SUSE mirror in the background & using ‘screen’ and ran "smt-mirror" from the command line.

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4. Register clients (targets for updates) to your SMT server.

Before switching over to your clients, verify the SSL module is enabled in apache (not on by default.) Yast2/HTTP Server/server modules/toggle status of ssl:



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The SMT installation creates a script file to automate the registration between SMT and Client. You can either open a browser or run wget from a command line to the following address:
hostname/repo/tools/clientSetup4SMT.sh

We used wget:

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Then execute the script and point it back to your SMT server:
sh clientSetup4SMT.sh – host 10.10.20.90

type "y" and enter to accept certificate

type "y" and enter to start the registration now

Once complete run:
Yast2 inst_suse_register

You can verify successful registration by checking ‘software repositories’ under yast2. You should see applicable ones for your HW platform. The client is now ready to take advantage of the update packages. You could run “zipper update” at the command line to update everything or use yast2/software management to update the packages individually.