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Spacewalk – Redhat Open Source project

By Dale Reagan | January 31, 2009

I posted previously about the Open Source projects Cobbler (provisioning) and Zenoss (monitoring.)  Spacewalk is a Redhat solution that provides:

  1. Inventory your systems (hardware and software information)
  2. Install and update software on your systems
  3. Collect and distribute your custom software packages into manageable groups
  4. Provision (kickstart) your systems
  5. Manage and deploy configuration files to your systems
  6. Monitor your systems
  7. Provision virtual guests
  8. Start/stop/configure virtual guests
  9. Distribute content across multiple geographical sites in an efficient manner

Sounds great, right?   Spacewalk is an off-shoot from Redhat’s commercial offering (RHN Satellite.)  At this time is appears to use quite a mix of tools with a trend towards Java (migrating from Perl) – I’m not a Java fan but I’ll take a look anyway… 🙂

I decide to use ‘git’ to fetch this solution:

git clone git://
Initialized empty Git repository in /usr/src/spacewalk/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 76523, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (22466/22466), done.
remote: Total 76523 (delta 50008), reused 75663 (delta 49457)
Receiving objects: 100% (76523/76523), 312.37 MiB | 452 KiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (50008/50008), done.
Checking out files: 100% (18077/18077), done.

From the Spacewalk FAQ the solution uses:

Whoops! Oracle… Hmm.  Elsewhere on the Wiki this was explained – the product was started back in 2001 and, at the time, Oracle was the only solution that made sense. There is a “free”, limited use version of Oracle and instructions for fetching and installing it are found on the Spacewalk Wiki.  Note that: “You will need an Oracle OTN account to download the RPMs and you will need to accept the license agreements. Download “Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Universal)”, i.e. Multi-byte Unicode/UTF-8 database not “Western European” Single-byte LATIN1 database.”

Hmm, ok, I’ll give it a whirl.  I surf to the Oracle link, review the license agreement (see snippets below) and start the download while I create the Oracle OTN account…  Some license agreement items:

Any use of the Oracle Database Express Edition is subject to the following limitations;
1. Express Edition is limited to a single instance on any server;
2. Express Edition may be installed on a multiple CPU server, but may only be executed on one processor in any server;
3. Express Edition may only be used to support up to 4GB of user data (not including Express Edition system data);
4. Express Edition may use up to 1 GB RAM of available memory.

and (this should work under a VirtualBox VM – we’ll see..)

You may not:
– disclose results of any program benchmark tests without our prior consent.

and (that’s interesting and so is this:)

Upon 45 days written notice Oracle may audit the use of the program. You agree to cooperate with Oracle’s audit and provide reasonable assistance and access to information. You agree that Oracle shall not be responsible for any of your costs incurred in cooperating with the audit.

Ok – of course there are other items in the license including export restrictions, reverse engineering, etc.   The page also includes (hopefully) useful links for installing and using 10G EE.  For my testing I have no problems with the conditions, but, I would (most likely) NOT use the Spacewalk solution until it supports an Open Source DB…  Of course, it could be that this all works so well that this would be a non-issue – we’ll see.

Space Required for the Spacewalk solution:   ~300MB plus ~260MB for Oracle 10g EE (just to download this solution.)

So, the plan is:

  1. build a Linux VM (Fedora 9, 15GB VDI, 1GB RAM)
  2. install Oragle 10g EE
  3. install Spacewalk
  4. test, test, test

Setup/Install Time required:

At this point I will publish this post and I will update as I progress through the process.  My guess is that if you are already running Oracle on Linux then the Oracle steps will not present any significant problems for you.  In this case, since I want to test using a Virtual Machine I may have networking issues with the install since I don’t typically allow outside network access for test VMs – which usually means placing all required components under a local resouce (i.e. include kickstart from Cobbler, place in local repository for Yum or simply fetch from a local web server.)

Topics: Computer Technology, Problem Solving, Unix-Linux-Os, Web Problem Solving | Comments Off on Spacewalk – Redhat Open Source project

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