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I have inherited a system admin role of a small cluster of redhat machines - most running rhel5 and one machine running rhel6. My sys admin skills are at the moment poor but I would like to improve things.

Looking at the CLASSIC SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT System List page (https://rhn.redhat.com/rhn/systems/SystemList.do) for our cluster I am met by the following mess

Updates Errata  Packages    System  Base Channel    Entitlement
         319     205     blue1   Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         127     105     bobcat  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         30      12      cheetah Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         38      19      cougar  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         137     113     forth   Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         75      44      fox     Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         311     203     jaguar  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         314     237     leopard Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         25      4       lion    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         318     200     lynx    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         312     203     ocelot  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         65      87      panther Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation (v. 6 for x86_64)  Management
         25      4       puma    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         320     194     red1    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         30      12      serval  Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   Management
         57      32      tiger   Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 for 64-bit x86_64)   

Basically I have a red warning system on each machine with different numbers of errata and packages missing. What is the best way to normalise subsriptions and packages installed on each system to stop such divergences in the future?

Any links on how to properly manage subscriptions / system administrate. I'm in at the deep end at the moment. Best way to learn I guess

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You can run up2date --configure from a Gnome or KDE desktop (X-Windows) display, and will open a GUI. From there, configure all of your desktops/workstations/servers to auto-update. At the moment, it appears it is not set to auto update, which is why you get a list of what would happen if you updated, but nothing is actually updating.

Alternately, you can run up2date -f to force the update to occur on command-line. Command line updates do not requires X-Windows so can be run from any terminal window (e.g. Putty) and also has the advantage of letting you see output as the update is occurring.

  • With RHEL5 and RHEL6 systems, you really should be using yum instead of up2date. – jsbillings Aug 11 '14 at 14:09
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As you are using RHEL5/6 and subscribed to RHN [Red hat Network] you can run "yum update all" in all the machines. Please test run this in a non production environment. Also would advised, if server is production, letz say u have a FTP server and it's update package is vsfptd, plan for a downtime and upgrade it in a planned manner. keep backup of config files and old rpm packages so that if after package upgrade, it fails u can fall back to the old package.

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