Registering Debian Clients

This section contains information about registering Salt clients running Debian operating systems.

Debian is supported for Salt clients only. Traditional clients are not supported.

Bootstrapping can be used with Debian clients for performing initial state runs, and for profile updates.

SUSE does not provide support for Debian operating systems. Uyuni allows you to manage Debian clients, but support is not provided. Using Uyuni to manage Debian clients is experimental. These instructions have been tested on Debian 10 and Debian 11. Do not rely on Debian clients in a production environment.

1. Prepare to Register

Some preparation is required before you can register Debian clients to the Uyuni Server:

  • Ensure DNS is correctly configured and provides an entry for the client. Alternatively, you can configure the /etc/hosts files on both the Uyuni Server and the client with the appropriate entries.

  • The client must have the date and time synchronized with the Uyuni Server before registration.

2. Add Software Channels

Before you can register Debian clients to your Uyuni Server, you need to add the required software channels, and synchronize them.

In the following section, descriptions often default to the x86_64 architecture. Replace it with other architectures if appropriate.

The channels you need for this procedure are:

Table 1. Debian Channels - CLI
OS Version Base Channel Client Channel Updates Channel Security Channel

Debian 10

debian-10-pool-amd64-uyuni

debian-10-amd64-uyuni-client

debian-10-amd64-main-updates-uyuni

debian-10-amd64-main-security-uyuni

Debian 11

debian-11-pool-amd64-uyuni

debian-11-amd64-uyuni-client

debian-11-amd64-main-updates-uyuni

debian-11-amd64-main-security-uyuni

Procedure: Adding Software Channels at the Command Prompt
  1. At the command prompt on the Uyuni Server, as root, use the spacewalk-common-channels command to add the appropriate channels:

    spacewalk-common-channels \
    <base_channel_label>
    <child_channel_label_1> \
    <child_channel_label_2> \
    ... <child_channel_label_n>
  2. If automatic synchronization is turned off, synchronize the channels:

    spacewalk-repo-sync -p <base_channel_label>
  3. Ensure the synchronization is complete before continuing.

3. Check Synchronization Status

Procedure: Checking Synchronization Progress from the Web UI
  1. In the Uyuni Web UI, navigate to Software  Manage  Channels, then click the channel associated to the repository.

  2. Navigate to the Repositories tab, then click Sync and check Sync Status.

Procedure: Checking Synchronization Progress from the Command Prompt
  1. At the command prompt on the Uyuni Server, as root, use the tail command to check the synchronization log file:

    tail -f /var/log/rhn/reposync/<channel-label>.log
  2. Each child channel generates its own log during the synchronization progress. You need to check all the base and child channel log files to be sure that the synchronization is complete.

Debian channels can be very large. Synchronization can sometimes take several hours.

4. Manage GPG Keys

Clients use GPG keys to check the authenticity of software packages before they are installed. Only trusted software can be installed on clients.

Trusting a GPG key is important for security on clients. It is the task of the administrator to decide which keys are needed and can be trusted. Because a software channel cannot be used when the GPG key is not trusted, the decision of assigning a channel to a client depends on the decision of trusting the key.

For more information about GPG keys, see client-configuration:gpg-keys.adoc.

Debian clients can require multiple GPG keys to be installed.

When synchronizing third-party Debian repositories, you will need to import the appropriate GPG key on the server. If the GPG key is missing, synchronization will fail.

For Debian repositories, only the metadata is signed. Therefore importing a GPG key for the software channel is not needed. Packages will not be re-signed by Uyuni.

To see which GPG keys are already imported to Uyuni Server, run the following command:

sudo gpg --homedir /var/lib/spacewalk/gpgdir --list-keys

To import a new GPG key, use the --import parameter:

sudo gpg --homedir /var/lib/spacewalk/gpgdir --import <filename>.gpg

5. Root Access

The root user on Debian is disabled by default for SSH access.

To be able to onboard using a regular user, you need to edit the sudoers file.

Procedure: Granting Root User Access
  1. On the client, edit the sudoers file:

    sudo visudo

    Grant sudo access to the user by adding this line at the end of the sudoers file. Replace <user> with the name of the user that is bootstrapping the client in the Web UI:

    <user>  ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/python, /usr/bin/python2, /usr/bin/python3, /var/tmp/venv-salt-minion/bin/python

This procedure grants root access without requiring a password, which is required for registering the client. When the client is successfully installed it runs with root privileges, so the access is no longer required. We recommend that you remove the line from the sudoers file after the client has been successfully installed.

6. Register Clients

To register your Debian clients, you need a bootstrap repository. By default, bootstrap repositories are regenerated daily. You can manually create the bootstrap repository from the command prompt, using this command:

mgr-create-bootstrap-repo

For Debian 10, select debian10-amd64-uyuni when prompted.

For more information on registering your clients, see client-configuration:registration-overview.adoc.