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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is Spacewalk?

Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project for Red Hat Satellite 5. Its capabilities include:

  • Inventory your systems (hardware and software information)
  • Install and update software on your systems
  • Collect and distribute your custom software packages into manageable groups
  • Provision (kickstart) your systems
  • Manage and deploy configuration files to your systems
  • Provision virtual guests
  • Start/stop/configure virtual guests
  • Distribute content across multiple geographical sites in an efficient manner
 How long has Spacewalk been around?

Red Hat Network (RHN Classic) first started in 2001 as a hosted service. RHN later spawned a stand-alone product called Red Hat Satellite. Spacewalk as a project officially became an open source, community driven project in June 2008, and it is the upstream for the Red Hat Satellite 5 & Satellite Proxy products.

 Why Spacewalk?

Red Hat's continued commitment to open source technology and the open source development model drove the release of Spacewalk in 2008. By releasing the Satellite code base, Red Hat enhanced its ability to incorporate new open source management projects into the future roadmap for its products and solutions.

The Spacewalk project and the Red Hat Satellite product fully support and believe that community participation is a critical success factor for any open source initiative.

 What's the difference between Satellite and Spacewalk?

Spacewalk is a project where you can make use of the latest free & open source management technologies. Changes will occur frequently in the Spacewalk project to fulfill this mission. However, if your needs require a level of stability and support, you may decide that a Red Hat Satellite subscription is right for you. Please refer to the table below for some direct comparisons:

Satellite Spacewalk
Primary Benefits Stable and supported. The latest technology released early and often.
Feature selection and Integration Red Hat Red Hat and developer community
Development Model Open source Open source
Architectures x86_64 & s390x x86_64
Managed Systems Red Hat Enterprise Linux Fedora, CentOS, SLE and Debian
Red Hat Support Options Many, including 24x7 premium with unlimited incidents None (community supported)
Content Stream Direct via Red Hat Customer Portal Manual Import
Testers Red Hat Community
Maintenance and updates Available via Red Hat Customer Portal Community-driven
Where to Buy Contact Red Hat Sales, and partners Free download
Price Annual subscription, multiple offerings Free download

The true value of a Red Hat Satellite 5 subscription is similar to the value of any Red Hat subscription, including:

  • Worldwide 24/7 technical support under guaranteed Service Level Agreements.
  • Advocacy for your needs and requirements in the open source community.
  • Access to a certified stream of Red Hat software content, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases and updates directly to the center of your Linux software distribution process - your Satellite server.
  • A very strong bugfix service level agreement (SLA), with an excellent track record of timely support.
  • Enablement for new hardware through minor releases, developed through engineering partnerships with hardware vendors.
  • High quality implementations of software features based on customer requirements.
  • The promise to work such features in the upstream communities on their behalf. This insures that the customer gains the full benefit of the Open Source model and is not locked into features and fixes that can only be supported by one vendor.
  • Engineering that insures rock solid stability with every major and minor release, backwards compatibility with previous releases and the ability to back port features to earlier releases if needed.
  • Constant contribution to the Open Source innovation and development of future technologies.
 Is Spacewalk supported?

Spacewalk is supported within an open community via IRC, mailing lists and bug reports, similar to the Fedora community. There is no pay-for support for Spacewalk, nor is it supported by the Red Hat Global Support Services.

 Can I use Spacewalk to sync my entitlements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other Red Hat software products?

No, Spacewalk no longer has an entitlement model. In order to be able to synchronize Red Hat software content directly from, you need the Red Hat Satellite 5 product with an active Satellite certificate.

 How long will it take for a Spacewalk feature to become a part of the Satellite product?

The Red Hat Satellite 5 product is in maintenance mode, and is no longer accepting new features. Only security and stability fixes will be applied from Spacewalk to Satellite 5. Fixes are prioritized and released to Satellite 5 as asynchronous errata, on as as-needed basis.

 What does the Spacewalk release consist of?

The Red Hat Satellite server, including the web interface and back-end, as well as Red Hat Satellite Proxy Server and all clients that connect to Satellite are now open source. Satellite can now run on its embedded PostgreSQL (default) database, or optionally with an external Oracle or Postgresql database. Spacewalk can also run on Oracle or PostgreSQL. Both Satellite and Spacewalk are completely open source.

 What is Satellite 6?

Red Hat Satellite 6 is a re-engineering of the Red Hat Satellite product. Spacewalk (and its downstream product, Red Hat Satellite 5) is a systems-management tool, and Satellite 6 is designed to accomplish the same set of goals. However, Satellite 6 has been built from the ground-up on different and more modern technologies. Spacewalk is not the upstream for Satellite 6, and never will be.Instead Satellite 6 is a federation of several upstream open source projects, including Katello, Foreman, Pulp, and Candlepin.

 What does this mean for Spacewalk?

The Red Hat Satellite and Proxy Server Lifecycle shows that Satellite 5 will continue to be supported by Red Hat until May 31, 2020. Spacewalk remains the upstream for Satellite 5, and Red Hat will continue its "upstream first" philosophy on updates for the benefit of the Spacewalk community. Red Hat will continue to manage and maintain the Spacewalk project, infrastructure, and builders. Releases will be created as deemed appropriate. However, Red Hat's code contributions will decrease over time, as the focus shifts to maintenance and stabilization of the current set of features.