Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: Maintaining Your System - dummies

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: Maintaining Your System

By Terry Collings

The Red Hat Network is a program that is installed by default when you install Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The Red Hat Network software is used to register a profile with Red Hat that contains information about your system hardware and the software packages installed on your system. Whenever a package update is available, for whatever reason, you can receive an e-mail notification from Red Hat as well as a visual notification of the update right on your desktop.

This might not sound like much at first, but think about the many steps involved in keeping your system up-to-date with the latest versions of the hundreds of packages that are installed on your system. The Red Hat Network practically eliminates the need for you to search for these packages because you can receive this information by e-mail. As a registered Red Hat Network user, you can also search for updates by using the up2date agent. With the Red Hat Network, you can now easily keep your system running reliably and securely. A few steps are involved in setting up the Red Hat Network, but they are well worth the effort.

Registering Your System

Before you can begin using the Red Hat Network, you must first register your system with Red Hat by using the Red Hat Network registration client.

You can also register for the Red Hat Network at the Red Hat Web site by using your Web browser to go to Red Hat Network, creating a login, and filling in the online registration form.

You must be logged in as root to perform the registration, and you must also have a connection to the Internet to be able to log on to the Red Hat Web site. If you aren’t connected to the Internet, you receive an error message, and the program closes when you click OK.

Start the registration client by following these steps:

1. From the GNOME desktop, choose Applications –> System Tools –> Red Hat Network.

You see the Red Hat Network welcome screen that provides a description and lists the benefits of the Red Hat Network. If you choose not to use the Red Hat Network, you can click Cancel to end the process.

2. Click Forward to continue to the Red Hat Privacy Statement screens, and then click Forward to go to the Up2date Login Page dialog box.

You use this dialog box to create a new account or use an existing one if you’ve already created an account.

3. Fill in the username and password that you want to use to access the Red Hat Network.

The username must be at least four characters and cannot contain any spaces, tabs, line feeds, or reserved characters such as ‘, &, +, or %. You also enter your e-mail address here.

4. After you enter the appropriate information, click Forward to continue to the Up2date Product Information Page dialog box, where you can enter additional information about yourself.

On this page, you can indicate that you want to receive e-mail notification of updates by selecting the appropriate check box.

All information on this page is optional, so you can fill in the information if you choose.

5. Whether you enter additional information on this page or not, click Forward to continue.

The Up2date Hardware Profile page opens.

6. Register a system profile for the hardware in your system. You do this by giving your system a profile name and, optionally, a computer serial or ID number.

You can get the serial or ID number from your PC.

The default profile name is the hostname of the computer, but you can change this to whatever name you like. The check box for including information about your hardware and network is marked by default. Information about your computer’s architecture and Red Hat software version number are automatically filled in by the registration client, which probes your system. If you don’t want this information in your system profile, clear the check box to disable this feature.

7. When you finish, click Forward to continue.

The registration client probes your system to determine which packages are installed on your system. When the probing is finished, a list appears that shows all the packages on your system; by default, they are selected to be included with your system profile.

8. If you don’t want a package included, clear the check box next to the package name to remove it from the list. After making your selections, click Forward to continue.

Your system profile is sent to the Red Hat Network. After the registration process is finished, you receive a confirmation message stating that you have successfully registered your system profile on the Red Hat Network. Now you are ready to configure the up2date agent.