N.0 Applying Red Hat Updates to RHEL Server Devices by Using SLES Expanded Support

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with expanded support provides access to the latest patches and bug fixes for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server. It is applicable to users who want to migrate from RHEL Servers to SLES. In order to ease the transition, Novell provides support and maintenance updates to these customers for the duration of their transition period. The RHEL Server updates are maintained in RES catalogs at the Novell Update repository. The updates are distributed as part of SLES expanded support and are applicable for updating RHEL Server devices. If you are interested in evaluating SLES with expanded support for RHEL Servers, you need to obtain an activation code via your Novell Control Center account in order to access or mirror the RHEL patches from Novell Update (NU) repositories. For more information, see SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Expanded Support.

ZENworks Linux Management allows you to mirror the RES catalog updates for the supported RHEL Server into a single update/monolithic bundle, which can be applied to update the RHEL managed devices. Applying the RES update bundle does not need to change the Service Pack level of the current RHEL devices, because the update might not contain all the packages to upgrade the distribution versions. To upgrade the RHEL device distribution, you need to use zlmmirror to apply the Red Hat update bundle created by using the RHN Subscription.

The RHEL updates are made available through an update channel called RES at the Novell Customer Center, for updating the supported RHEL Server devices. You must have valid Novell Customer Center credentials to use zlmmirror by accessing or downloading updates from various update channels by using zlmmirror. A unique RES update catalog is available at the Novell Update server (nu.novell.com) containing the maintenance updates for the corresponding RHEL versions 3.x, 4.x, 5.x and 6.x for the x86 and x86_64 platforms.

The available RES updates are applicable to the following service packs of RHEL versions, which are also supported by ZENworks Linux Management. However, applying these updates on the existing RHEL managed devices might not update its service pack level.

The RES Catalogs can be accessed on the Novell Update server (NU) by using valid Novell Customer Center credentials:

The expanded support provides an incrementally maintained mainstream channel for the subscribers to receive critical impact security fixes and select urgent priority defect fixes that are available and qualified for each service packs release of RHEL. However, you need not update the service pack level of the current RHEL devices for applying these updates by using ZENworks Linux Management. The RES updates become available at the Novell Customer Center channel, typically in one or two days after Redhat releases it with errata.

To update the RHEL devices by using the RES updates bundle mirrored from the Novell Update server (nu.novell.com):

  1. Perform replication by using zlmmirror to download the required RES updates catalog, such as RES5 for RHEL5 Server, from the NU repository. The catalog creates the monolithic update bundle for each RHEL distribution, such as rhel-5-i386 for 32-bit platform and rhel-5-x86_64 for 64-bit platform.

    For more information on how to mirror the RES updates bundle for the specific RHEL version and target supported, see Mirroring Red Hat Updates from the NU Repository by Using a YUM Subscription.

  2. If the mirrored bundle is specific to 64bit device, then use the zlman bap command to convert the targets of all the 32-bit architecture packages in the bundle from 32-bit to the corresponding 64-bit target.

    For example, to convert all the 32-bit architecture packages from rhel-5-i386 to the corresponding rhel-5-x86_64 target, you must run the following zlman bap command:

    zlman bap --freshen=true <bundle_name> rhel-5-x86_64 /var/opt/novell/zenworks/pkg-repo/bundles/first_two_letters_of_the_bundle_GUID/bundle_GUID/bundle_version/rhel-5-i386/*.rpm

  3. Use the zlman bundle related commands to create a distro bundle, then import all of the RHEL operating system installation media packages.

    If RHEL 5.6 Server is the latest available distribution, then the distro bundle created should contain the RHEL 5.6 Server platform packages. You can use external tool called zlmload to import media packages into the ZENworks Linux Management bundle.

  4. Assign the catalog that contains the RHEL distro bundle to the managed devices.

    This catalog allows you to install any additional package dependencies while installing updates from the RES updates bundle.

  5. Either directly assign the RES updates bundle from the ZENworks Linux Management Server to perform the mandatory update or assign the new catalog containing this RES update bundle to perform a manual update from the managed devices.

  6. Unmount any existing NFS mounts on the RHEL5.x managed devices that are being updated. This impacts the update of the file system package from the bundle because of the Red Hat issue.

  7. If the device to be updated is RHEL 5.3 Server x86_64 only, remove the fipscheck 32-bit package (1.0.3-1.nv5.3.i386 ) from the mirrored bundle, such as rhel-5-bundle.

  8. For RHEL 5 Server with update 3 or older version, you need to remove rhnsd package from the mirrored update bundle before deploying, because its post-uninstall scriptlet fails during the update.

    For more information, see the Red Hat Knowledgebase.

  9. Deploy and install the mirrored RES update bundle, such as the rhel-5-bundle, on the supported RHEL device.