NOTE:  This service will no longer be available after July 14, 2021.  Please make plans to retire your RHEL systems or move to a different service and licensing model.


ITS manages the UI Red Hat Satellite (RHS) service and covers the annual license costs for campus through July 14, 2021 for Red Hat.  After July 14, 2021 ITS will no longer support nor centrally fund this software.  CentOS is a free alternative that can be used in place of Red Hat when commercial vendor support is not a requirement.  Any University department managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) client or server systems may request licenses and RHS access for software updates.  Spacewalk is the alternative to Satellite in managing CentOS systems. 

The UI RHS service is scoped to systems on the University campus. Systems such as laptops must be on the University network to receive updates.

For more information, contact the ITS Red Hat Satellite support group at

Red Hat repositories (repos) within the active lifecycle are available, e.g., Red Hat Enterprise Linux (workstation and server). Selected third-parties repositories are also available, e.g., Puppet, EPEL.

Repositories for beta versions of Red Hat software are not included in the Red Hat Satellite service due to their short life span. Beta software may be downloaded using departmental accounts that are also used to access the Red Hat knowledge base.

If you have questions or require software not listed, contact

Software content on RHS is organized into products and repositories (repos). A product is a collection of related repos for the same software, e.g, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Repositories contain software packages (RPMs) specific to Red Hat versions and hardware architecture.

When a system is first registered to RHS, it has access to the appropriate base Red Hat software. Additional products and repos may be added using the subscription-manager command while running with root user permissions.


To view the products to which your system is subscribed, type:

  subscription-manager list --consumed

To view other products to which your system may subscribe, type:

  subscription-manager list --available

To enable (consume) an available product on your system, type:

  subscription-manager attach --pool=<Pool ID>

To disable a product your system is using (consuming), type:

  subscription-manager remove --serial=<Serial>

Repositories (repos)

Once your system has a product enabled (consumed), you may view and enable repos within that product.

To view the repos available to your system, type:

  subscription-manager repos --list

To enable a repo for your system, locate the appropriate "Repo ID" from the above list, making sure the repo matches your OS version and architecture, and type:

  subscription-manager repos --enable=<RepoID>

To disable a repo, type:

  subscription-manager repos --disable=<RepoID>

If you have questions or require software not listed, contact

To use RHS), you need a departmental activation key. A departmental activation key provides access to the appropriate Red Hat software and places your system into your departmental host collection. Customers should check with their departmental IT support to determine if an activation key has already been issued. If not, the department IT may request one by contacting

To register your system to the base Red Hat software using your departmental activation key, type:

  subscription-manager register --org="The_University_of_Iowa" --activationkey="<DeptActivationKey>"

Using Product Activation Keys

When registering your system, your departmental activation key may be optionally combined with product activation keys to enable products and repos for your system. The available product activation keys are:

Product Activation Table
Key Name Key Description Red Hat Version Architecture
puppetpc1-rhel7 Puppet Collection 1 (puppet 4) RHEL7 64-bit
puppetpc1-rhel6_64 Puppet Collection 1 (puppet 4) RHEL6 64-bit
puppetpc1-rhel6_32 Puppet Collection 1 (puppet 4) RHEL6 32-bit
EPEL7 Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux RHEL7 64-bit
EPEL6_64 Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux RHEL6 64-bit
EPEL6_32 Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux RHEL6 32-bit


To register your system to the base Red Hat software and the EPEL7 (for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7), type:

  subscription-manager register --org="The_University_of_Iowa" --activationkey="<DeptActivationKey>","EPEL7"

To register your system to the base Red Hat software, EPEL6 (64-bit), and Puppet PC1 (64-bit), type:

  subscription-manager register --org="The_University_of_Iowa" --activationkey="<DeptActivationKey>","EPEL6_64","puppetpc1-rhel6_64"

Note: It is important to use the product activation keys that match your system OS version and architecture.

To properly communicate with RHS, the rhsmcertd and goferd daemons should be running on client systems. The rhsmcertd daemon validates subscriptions and checks in periodically. The goferd daemon (part of katello-agent) is responsible for reporting package and errata information.

To verify on RHEL6,

  chkconfig --list rhsmcertd
  service rhsmcertd status

  chkconfig --list goferd
  service goferd status

To verify on RHEL7,

  systemctl list-units rhsmcertd.service
  systemctl list-units goferd.service

ISO images for the latest version of RHEL are available through July 14, 2021 via the ITS Software Download site:

If the software or hardware distribution you require isn't listed, open a support request with the ITS Help Desk. Please include complete software and hardware version information (e.g., Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server version 6 for 32-bit x86 hardware or RHEL Server version 6 for 64-bit AMD hardware).

The UI RHS service does not support source RPM download, however source RPMs are available from Red Hat at:

The UIOWA-LINUX-ANNOUNCE mailing list is used to provide notices concerning Linux services managed by ITS. When new RHEL license information is provided to a department, contact email addresses for that department will be added. Any University person managing RHEL systems with RHS may contact to be added to the mailing list.

The UI Red Hat Satellite is considered an 6am-6pm/M-F service. In the event of a catastrophic failure, recover time may be hours or days, depending on the problem.

Problems may be reported to or

RHS has a standing weekly downtime window of 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Monday afternoon. ITS may or may not use this window to perform maintenance. ITS makes a best effort to notify customers (via the UIOWA-LINUX-ANNOUNCE@LIST.UIOWA.EDU mailing list) of planned work during this maintenance window; however, we advise customers to plan their own Red Hat maintenance outside of this window.

To receive email notifications of Red Hat errata, subscribe to the RHSA-announce mailing list at

Errata may be filtered and viewed at

On a client system, the yum list-sec command provides information on outstanding errata.

To view all errata for a host collection log into the RHS web site and select Hosts > Host Collections > HostCollectionName > Collection Actions > Errata Installation

Details on a particular errata may be found on Red Hat's web site. For example, to see details about RHSA-2018:0101, visit

To view some Red Hat knowledge base (KB) articles a login is required. ITS provides general login accounts on a per University department basis. These accounts allow logging in to view the full text of KB articles. To request a login, contact

When a client system stops checking into RHS, it becomes inactive after a few days. This may happen when a system is decommissioned, rebuilt, or moved off campus temporarily. Any client system that is inactive for more than six months is removed from RHS.

If you wish to have a client system removed sooner, contact

Prior to decommission, Red Hat systems should be unregistered from RHS with,

  subscription-manager unregister

If you wish to remove a decommissioned system that wasn't unregistered, contact for assistance.

Red Hat client systems subscribed to the UI Red Hat Satellite (RHS) service check in periodically to determine pushed updates, subscriptions changes, etc. If you wish to force the check-in to happen sooner, run these commands as root on the client system:


  service rhsmcertd stop
  rhsmcertd -n
  service rhsmcertd restart


  systemctl stop rhsmcertd
  rhsmcertd -n
  systemctl restart rhsmcertd

University customers managing Red Hat systems are automatically provisioned login accounts on RHS when access is first requested. If administrators change or need to be added, send a request to with the appropriate Hawk IDs and departmental activation key names.

To log in, visit and provide your Hawk ID and password. (Authentication is via the IOWA AD domain only.)

Article number: 
Last updated: 
August 7, 2020