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Old 12-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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Patching in offline systems


I'm trying to work on a solution to an issue we've come across with some RHEL 5.5 servers we have which are part of a network which is disconnected from the internet (i.e it's not routable, and never can be)

Before I start i've seen a few other people post questions like this where people have assumed that they are just trying to get away without paying for the subscripton / support fee - that is not the case, and as per the above description the situation is that these systems are not and can never be connected to the internet.

The issue i'm having is in trying to work out how we can get these boxes to recieve patches - clearly RH have a very good system for patching these boxes *if* you're connected but if you are not things seem tricky.

I'll be raising the same question with RH support but really I wanted to try and get some hands on information from people who actually work with RHEL.

I've looked into using a satellite server, however at nearly 8k for a single license this is looking unlikely as in total we'd end up needing about 4 licenses - I don't think this is on the cards.

What I need is a simple method of being able to download the various patches we need to a DVD / USB HDD which I can then transfer across to the offline network so the servers can update themselves.

Is there anyone else who has any experience doing this?

We also use CentOS servers and I'm aware that this is much easier as essentially you can just do an rsync of the repo to a USB disc, but with RHEL this doesn't seem possible?

Any help / advice appreicated


Old 12-29-2011, 12:30 PM   #2
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The best method possible really depends on how you are setup. If you contact red hat they are just going to try and sell you satellite.

--What we do for our offline environment is we have created a mirror using reposync. It comes in yum-utils package.

Do you have at least one computer connected to rhn outside of disconnected computers?

In a sense you'll want to create an online repository/mirror to clone into offline environment. This is really easy if you are using vm, which is what we use.

So first -- Install yum-utils package

Next -- Setup a directory to download files

Then -- Download packages using reposync

For example we use command: (grabs all packages availble through rhn)

reposync -l -p /var/my/ftp/repo/path
NOTE: It takes a while for all of the packages to download.

Then either take img here OR create repository first then take img

Do you know how to create repository?
Old 12-29-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Excellent - this sounds really good!!

I can get a VM setup which can have access to the RHN, that shouldn't be a problem at all.

I'm not aware of how you create a repo - if you can point me in the right direction that would be great.

I'm going to setup my two vm's to give this a practice now!

Once i've created the cache on the outside one how do I think get the inside one to use this?

As you say support's answer is looking like Satelite, but i'm still persuing that option.

Just goes to show that paid support isn't everything! (I already knew this)

Thanks again

Old 01-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2011
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ok - to create repo I recommend setting up vsftp -- actually here is a really great guide for doing entire setup
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