Proxy Quick Start

SUSE Manager Proxy 2.1

Publication Date 05 Jan 2015


1. Conceptual Overview
2. System Requirements
3. Installation and Setup
4. Migrating SUSE Manager Proxy 1.7 to SUSE Manager Proxy 2.1
5. Registering Clients via SUSE Manager Proxy
6. Documentation Updates
7. Legal Notice
8. GNU Free Documentation License


SUSE® Manager Proxy is a SUSE Manager add-on and caches software packages on an internal, central server. The proxy caches patch updates from SUSE or custom RPMs generated by third-party organizations. A proxy allows to use bandwidth more effectively because client systems connect to the proxy for updates, and the SUSE Manager server is no longer required to handle all client requests. The proxy also supports transparent custom package deployment.

This Quick Start explains how to install and set up SUSE Manager Proxy and how to get started with the most important tasks.

1. Conceptual Overview

SUSE Manager Proxy is an open source (GPLv2) solution that provides the following features:

  • Cache software packages in a Squid proxy.

  • Client systems see the SUSE Manager Proxy as a SUSE Manager server instance.

  • The SUSE Manager Proxy is registered as a client system with the SUSE Manager server.

SUSE Manager Proxy's main purpose is to improve the overall SUSE Manager performance by reducing bandwidth requirements and accelerating response time.

2. System Requirements

The following section informs you about the system requirements. For supported clients and their requirements, see Section “Supported Client Systems” (Chapter 3, Requirements, ↑Installation & Troubleshooting Guide).

2.1. Hardware Requirements

Hardware requirements highly depend on your usage scenario. When planning proxy environments, consider the amount of data you wamt to cache on your proxy. If the proxy should be a 1:1 mirror of your SUSE Manager, the same amount of disk space is needed.


Required: a multi-core 64bit CPU (x86_64).


Required: 4 GB when only managing a few client systems.

Recommended for production use: 16 GB.

Free Disk Space

Required: 20 GB for base installation.

Additionally at least 25 GB for caching per distribution or channel; resizable partition strongly recommended.


We strongly recommend to use disk space monitoring probes to avoid file system and database corruption due to a lack of disk space. Set a lower threshold than you would use for a regular system so as to notify the admin in advance of upcoming low disk space conditions. For more information on monitoring see Chapter 12, Monitoring — [Mon] (↑User Guide) and Appendix B, Probes (↑Reference Guide).

2.2. Other Requirements

[Important]Network Setup

For correct installation and setup of SUSE Manager Proxy, make sure the following requirements are fulfilled:

Hostname and IP Address

To guarantee that SUSE Manager Proxy's domain name can be resolved by its clients, the proxy and the client machines must be connected to a working Domain Name Server (DNS) server in the network.

The hostname of the SUSE Manager Proxy server must not contain uppercase letters as this might cause the jabberd messaging daemon to fail.

Novell Customer Center

For using SUSE Manager Proxy, you need an account at the Novell Customer Center (NCC) where your purchased products and product subscriptions are registered. Make sure you have the following subscriptions:

  • One or more subscriptions for SUSE Manager Proxy.

  • One or more subscriptions for SUSE Manager.

  • Subscriptions for the products on the client systems you want to register with SUSE Manager via SUSE Manager Proxy.

  • Subscriptions to client entitlements for the client system you want to register with SUSE Manager via SUSE Manager Proxy.

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

The connection to the Web server via Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) requires correct time settings on the server, proxy and clients. For this reason, all systems must use NTP.

Virtual Environments

For running SUSE Manager Proxy in virtual environments, use the following settings for the virtual machine (VM):

  • At least 1 GB of RAM

  • Bridged network

The following virtual environments are supported:

  • KVM

  • VMware

  • Hyper-V

For running SUSE Manager Proxy in KVM, VMware, or Hyper-V, use the SUSE Manager Proxy ISO image.

3. Installation and Setup

SUSE Manager Proxy is an application combined with an operating system (appliance). It can be deployed on industry hardware or in a virtual environment.

If SUSE Manager Proxy is registered with a SUSE Manager instance, it will receive updates directly from the configured SUSE Manager channel.

The YaST graphical user interface will guide you through the installation and the setup process. It is started in text mode. Use the →| key to navigate among individual elements. To select a value from a list, use the and arrow keys and press Enter. To activate an option, press the Space key.

3.1. Installation

The following procedure describes the installation on a physical machine. Make sure the machine you intend to use fulfills the “Hardware Requirements”. If you want to install the appliance in a virtual machine, additionally check the settings listed in Virtual Environments (↑Installation & Troubleshooting Guide).

Procedure 1. Installing the Appliance

[Warning]Loss of Data

Installing SUSE Manager Proxy on a physical machine will completely erase any data on the hard disk used for installation. Before you start the installation process, create a backup of your hard disks.

  1. Boot your future SUSE Manager Proxy server from the installation medium. Select Install/Restore SUSE Manager Proxy.

  2. If your machine contains more than one hard disk, you are asked which one to use for the installation of SUSE Manager Proxy. Navigate with the arrow keys, and use the space key to mark the desired hard disk. You are asked if you want to continue and you are warned that the installation will destroy all data on the disk.

  3. To proceed, answer with Yes. The deployment process takes over. This step may take some time as large amounts of data need to be unpacked and verified. After the verification, YaST firstboot is started.

  4. In the first screen, set the system Language and Keyboard Layout for your future SUSE Manager Proxy. Proceed with Next.

  5. In the next screen, set the root password for your SUSE Manager Proxy server and confirm it.

    Figure 1. YaST Firstboot—Password for the System Administrator

    YaST Firstboot—Password for the System Administrator

    Proceed with Next.

  6. In the following screen, read the licenses and agree to them. Proceed with Next. The installation routine checks some basic system requirements and depending on the results, lets you decide whether to proceed with the installation or cancel.

  7. In the next screen, configure the network settings. Note the network requirements listed in Section 2.2, “Other Requirements”. Either choose Use Following Configuration or Change to modify the network setup according to your wishes.

    Figure 2. YaST Firstboot— Network Configuration

    YaST Firstboot— Network Configuration

    Proceed with Next.

  8. Configure the Clock and Time Zone to use for your SUSE Manager server. Proceed with Next.

  9. Configure the NTP settings according to your wishes. For more information about the options, refer to Help. Note the NTP requirements listed in Section 2.2, “Other Requirements”. Proceed with Next.

  10. On the Installation Completed screen, select Finish to close YaST firstboot. The boot process continues.

  11. Wait for the boot process to finish.

3.2. Setup

After running YaST firstboot, log in as root, register SUSE Manager Proxy with SUSE Manager, then run the setup script from the command-line. See the following sections for the details of this process:

3.2.1. Registering with SUSE Manager

Registering SUSE Manager Proxy with SUSE Manager is done with a bootstrap script that deploys all necessary information to the proxy. The bootstrap script refers some parameters like activation keys or GNU Privacy Guard (GPG ) keys that depend on your particular setup.

Procedure 2. Creating Activation Keys

Activation keys define entitlements and which channels and groups the client system is allowed to subscribe to. This information is passed on to all systems registered with a key. Each activation key is bound to the organization for which it has been created.

[Note]Activation Keys for New Organizations

If you need to create activation keys for a new organization, assign system entitlements first. For details, refer to Procedure “Assigning Entitlements to an Organization” (↑Reference Guide) and Section “Organization Management” (Chapter 4, Installation, ↑Installation & Troubleshooting Guide). The default organization has all necessary prerequisites by default.

  1. Log in to the SUSE Manager Web interface as administrator.

  2. Switch to the Systems tab and select Activation Keys.

  3. Click the Create New Key link at the upper right corner.

  4. Enter a Description to identify the generated activation key.

  5. If you want the key to be generated automatically, leave the Key input field empty. If you want to use a certain string for the key, define the desired string in the Key input field.

    [Warning]Allowed Characters

    Do not use commas within the key string. All other characters are allowed. Commas are used as separators when registering client systems with multiple activation keys with rhnreg_ks.

  6. To restrict the number of client systems that can be registered with the activation key, set a Usage Limit by entering a maximum number of systems.

    For unlimited use, leave this field empty.

  7. With Base Channels, set the primary channel for the key. This can be either the SUSE Manager Default channel or a custom base channel. Additionally, add the Proxy channel to the list.

    Choosing SUSE Manager Default allows proxy systems to register with the default SUSE-provided channel that corresponds to their installed version of SUSE Linux Enterprise.

  8. Activate the Add-On Entitlements you want to grant to the proxy systems registered with that key. Activate at least Provisioning, which is a requirement for the proxy systems.

  9. If any newly registered proxy systems of your organization should inherit the properties of this key, activate the Universal Default checkbox. Only one universal default activation key can be defined per organization.

    [Warning]Changing the Default Activation Key

    Only one universal default activation key can be defined per organization. If some other key is already the default activation key for your organization, this check box will automatically unset the check box for that other key.

  10. Generate the key by clicking Create Activation Key. The prefix of the activation key indicates which organization (by ID number) owns the activation.

Figure 3. Example Activation Key

Example Activation Key

[Note]Activation Key Update

After modifying or adding any components that are bound to an existing activation key (for example adding channels), make sure to update the key under Systems+Activation Keys+KEY_TO_MODIFY+Update Activation Key.

The next steps are to generate the script on the SUSE Manager server, then edit a copy of the script and run the modified script on each proxy machine that you want to register with SUSE Manager.

Procedure 3. Generating the Bootstrap Script

Several options in the bootstrap script can be set via the SUSE Manager Web interface, for example, if remote command execution or remote configuration of proxy systems should be allowed.

  1. On the SUSE Manager Web interface, switch to the Admin tab and select SUSE Manager Configuration+Bootstrap Script.

  2. Check the options listed on the page and activate or deactivate them according to your needs.

    [Note]Remote Command Execution and Configuration

    If you choose to Enable Remote Configuration or Enable Remote Commands, make sure that the rhncfg-actions package is installed on the proxy systems:

    1. Switch to the Systems tab and select Activation Keys.

    2. From the list of activation keys, click the one you want to modify.

    3. Click the Packages subtab, enter rhncfg-actions into the input field and click Update Key.

    The required package for remote command execution and configuration will automatically be installed on all systems registered with the respective activation key.

  3. Click the Update button. The necessary bootstrap script is generated and stored on the server's file system in the /srv/www/htdocs/pub/bootstrap directory. It is also available from

  4. Proceed with the following procedure, Procedure 4, “Editing the Bootstrap Script and Registering Proxy Systems”.

Procedure 4. Editing the Bootstrap Script and Registering Proxy Systems

Adjust the generated bootstrap script according to your needs. The minimal requirement is to include the activation key. We strongly recommend to also include one or more GPG keys (for example, your organization key, and package signing keys). Then execute the resulting script on each proxy system that you want to register with SUSE Manager (either centrally from the SUSE Manager server or decentralized on each system.)

  1. Log in as root to the SUSE Manager server.

  2. Create a copy of the automatically generated script:

    cd /srv/www/htdocs/pub/bootstrap
  3. Edit the copy as follows:

    1. Search for the ACTIVATION_KEYS entry and enter the activation key from Procedure 2, “Creating Activation Keys”. Make sure to also include the organization prefix in the key, for example:

    2. Search for the ORG_GPG_KEY entry and enter one or more GPG keys. Multiple keys must be entered as a comma-separated list.

    3. Adjust further parameters, if needed. For details, refer to the comments in

    4. To enable the script for execution, remove the exit 1 entry from the message block. The last lines of the message block should now read:

      echo "the exit below)"
  4. Save the edited version of the script.

  5. Use one of the following possibilities to execute the edited script on all proxy machines that you want to register with SUSE Manager:

    • Log in as root on the SUSE Manager server and execute the following commands:

      cd /srv/www/htdocs/pub/bootstrap/
      cat | ssh \
      root@client_hostname /bin/bash
    • Log in to each proxy client system and execute the following command (all on one line):

      curl -Sks https://server_hostname/pub
      /bootstrap/ | /bin/bash

    The proxy clients are registered with the SUSE Manager server as specified in the bootstrap script. The SUSE Manager Web interface shows the registered proxies as client systems on the Systems tab.

[Note]Missing repodata/repomd.xml

If the bootstrap script warns about missing repodata/repomd.xml, channel synchronizing is still running. Registration will succeed nevertheless, and thus package or patch updates will happen later as configured.

To be on the save side, check on the Web interface when Repo Cache Status is Completed: Click Channels, then the Channel Name to see the Details page. Here you can check basic details, manager accounts, available patches and packages, as well as subscribed systems.

3.2.2. Running

On the proxy, log in as root and execute the interactive script; answer questions about SUSE Manager Parent, CA Chain, Proxy version, Trace back email, Use SSL, HTTP Proxy, and provide input for an SSL certificate. A SUSE Manager Parent can be either another proxy server or a SUSE Manager server. Configuration input for monitoring follows. Next steps are CA password, whether to create and populate the configuration channel, and the credentials of the SUSE Manager server (user name and password).

If parts are missing, such as CA key and public certificate, the script prints commands that you must execute to integrate the needed files. When the mandatory files are copied, re-run

In the end, activates services required by SUSE Manager Proxy, such as squid, apache2, and jabberd.

To check the status of the proxy system and its clients, click the proxy system's details page on the Web interface (Systems+Proxy, then the system name). Connection and Proxy subtabs display the respective status information.

4. Migrating SUSE Manager Proxy 1.7 to SUSE Manager Proxy 2.1

Registered SUSE Manager Proxy servers can be migrated as any other registered SUSE Manager client system as described in Chapter 6, Service Pack Migration (↑Client Configuration Guide).

[Note]Removing Package ext4dev-kmp-default

If the package ext4dev-kmp-default is installed on your proxy system, it has to be removed before the migration is triggered to successfully migrate a SUSE Manager Proxy from 1.2 to 1.7. Otherwise the migration will fail because there is no update candidate for this package available in SP2. To remove the package using SUSE Manager, proceed as follows:

  • Select the proxy system and then click Software+Packages+List/Remove.

  • Find ext4dev-kmp-default in the list of removable packages.

  • Mark the check box, click Remove Packages and confirm the package removal.

Figure 4. SUSE Manager Proxy Migration

SUSE Manager Proxy Migration

[Warning]jabberd Not Running

After migrating a SUSE Manager Proxy jabberd might not be running and jabberd/sm[2490]: db: couldn't open storage db: Invalid argument will be logged in /var/log/messages.

To fix this issue, run:

rcjabberd stop
rm -f /var/lib/jabberd/db/*
rcjabberd start

5. Registering Clients via SUSE Manager Proxy

Registering clients via SUSE Manager Proxy is done almost the same way as registering clients directly with the SUSE Manager server. The difference is that you create a bootstrap script on the SUSE Manager Proxy with a command-line tool. The bootstrap script then deploys all necessary information to the clients. The bootstrap script refers some parameters (such as activation keys or GPG keys) that depend on your specific setup. For background information, see the Client Configuration Guide.

  1. Create the client activation key on the SUSE Manager server using the Web interface as explained in Section “Client Setup” (Chapter 4, Installation, ↑Installation & Troubleshooting Guide).

  2. On the proxy, execute the mgr-bootstrap command-line tool as root. If needed, either edit the resulting bootstrap script or use additional command-line switches such as --activation-keys:

    mgr-bootstrap \
  3. Execute the bootstrap script on the clients as described in Procedure “Editing the Bootstrap Script and Registering Clients” (↑Installation & Troubleshooting Guide) or above for the proxy systems in Procedure 4, “Editing the Bootstrap Script and Registering Proxy Systems”.

The clients are registered with the SUSE Manager Proxy specified in the bootstrap script. To check the status of the proxy connected client system, click the client system's details page on the SUSE Manager Web interface (Systems, then select the system name). The Connection subtab displays the connection path to the client.

For more information about bootstrapping, refer to Chapter 5, Using Bootstrap (↑Client Configuration Guide).

6. Documentation Updates

This section contains information about documentation content changes made to the Proxy Quick Start.

This document was updated on the following dates:

6.1. April 21, 2014

Updates were made to the following sections. The changes are explained below.

6.2. January 25, 2013

Updates were made to the following sections. The changes are explained below.

Section 2.2, “Other Requirements”

Xen no longer is a supported virtual environment.

6.3. November 28, 2012

Updates were made to the following sections. The changes are explained below.

7. Legal Notice

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Alternatively this document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license ("CC-BY-SA"). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version. Novell, as the licensor of this document, waives the right to enforce, and agrees not to assert, Section 4d of CC-BY-SA to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

For Novell trademarks, see the Novell Trademark and Service Mark list Linux* is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. A trademark symbol (®, ™ etc.) denotes a Novell trademark; an asterisk (*) denotes a third party trademark.

All information found in this book has been compiled with utmost attention to detail. However, this does not guarantee complete accuracy. Neither Novell, Inc., SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, the authors, nor the translators shall be held liable for possible errors or the consequences thereof.

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You may extract a single document from such a collection, and distribute it individually under this License, provided you insert a copy of this License into the extracted document, and follow this License in all other respects regarding verbatim copying of that document.


A compilation of the Document or its derivatives with other separate and independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, is called an "aggregate" if the copyright resulting from the compilation is not used to limit the legal rights of the compilation's users beyond what the individual works permit. When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document.

If the Cover Text requirement of section 3 is applicable to these copies of the Document, then if the Document is less than one half of the entire aggregate, the Document's Cover Texts may be placed on covers that bracket the Document within the aggregate, or the electronic equivalent of covers if the Document is in electronic form. Otherwise they must appear on printed covers that bracket the whole aggregate.


Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may distribute translations of the Document under the terms of section 4. Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special permission from their copyright holders, but you may include translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a translation of this License, and all the license notices in the Document, and any Warranty Disclaimers, provided that you also include the original English version of this License and the original versions of those notices and disclaimers. In case of a disagreement between the translation and the original version of this License or a notice or disclaimer, the original version will prevail.

If a section in the Document is Entitled "Acknowledgements", "Dedications", or "History", the requirement (section 4) to Preserve its Title (section 1) will typically require changing the actual title.


You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Document except as expressly provided for under this License. Any other attempt to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Document is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.


The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns. See

Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation.

ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents

   Copyright (c) YEAR YOUR NAME.
   Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
   under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
   or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
   with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
   A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU
   Free Documentation License”.

If you have Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts and Back-Cover Texts, replace the “with...Texts.” line with this:

   with the Invariant Sections being LIST THEIR TITLES, with the
   Front-Cover Texts being LIST, and with the Back-Cover Texts being LIST.

If you have Invariant Sections without Cover Texts, or some other combination of the three, merge those two alternatives to suit the situation.

If your document contains nontrivial examples of program code, we recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of free software license, such as the GNU General Public License, to permit their use in free software.

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