Python toolkit for automating system maintenance and generating CSV/PDF patch reports along with Spacewalk, Red Hat Satellite 5.x or SUSE Manager
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satprep is a Python toolkit for automating system maintenance and generating CSV/PDF patch reports for systems managed with Spacewalk, Red Hat Satellite 5.x or SUSE Manager.

This can be very useful if you need to document software changes due to IT certifications like ISO/IEC 27001:2005 or many other.

After doing maintenance tasks this toolkit can create detailed change reports per host. Before starting maintenance you can also automate scheduling downtime for your systems and creating VM snapshots.

I'm currently re-developing this toolkit for Foreman/Katello and Red Hat Satellite 6.x - the project is called katprep. So, I'm afraid I won't spent too much time on this toolkit, anymore..

Supported software

The following monitoring suites are supported:

As this toolkit uses the Python bindings of libvirt a wide range of Hypervisors can be used - including:

  • KVM/Qemu
  • Xen
  • VMware vSphere ESXi
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • ...and many more

What does a report look like?

A maintenance report looks like this: Example satprep maintenance report

How does it work?

The toolkit consists of four scripts:

  1. - installs necessary custom information (see above) for your hosts managed with Spacewalk, Red Hat Satellite or SUSE Manager. You will need to execute this script once to make sure that all information can be assigned
  2. - creates an inventory of the current available patches and errata to your system landscape. It gathers the following information:
  • system hostname and IP
  • system virtualization guest status
  • system owner / cluster member / monitoring / backup / anti-virus status (optional)
  • errata information including name, date, description, advisory type (security/bugfix/enhancement update) and even whether a reboot is required
  • also regular patch information (optional)
  1. - schedules monitoring downtimes and creates VM snapshots, also makes sure that all required preparations are done before you begin with your work
  2. - creates the delta, required to create the maintenance reports

Make sure to follow this procedure to document your maintenance tasks:

  1. do a complete patch/errata inventory of your landscape: ./
  2. notice that a CSV report was created: errata-snapshot-report-$RHNhostname-YYYYMMDD-HHMM.csv
  3. prepare maintenance; automatically create VMware snapshots and monitoring downtimes and verify them: ./ snapshot.csv (optional)
  4. complete your system maintenance tasks (patch and reboot systems, etc.)
  5. do another complete patch/errata inventory: ./
  6. create a difference report and host reports: ./ *.csv

Afterwards the reports are stored in /tmp.

For gathering optional semantic information (e.g. backup and monitoring) the script makes usage of the custom system information feature of Spacewalk, Red Hat Satellite or SUSE Manager. After installing the custom keys using the utility you can assign the following information per host (only a selection):

  • SYSTEM_OWNER - server responsible in your team
  • SYSTEM_MONITORING - monitoring state (0 or empty = disabled, 1 = enabled)
  • SYSTEM_BACKUP - defines whether the host is protected using backups (0 or empty = no, 1 = yes)
  • SYSTEM_ANTIVIR - defines whether the host is protected against viruses (0 or empty = no, 1 = yes)

See the wiki for more details about the particular scripts.


satprep needs Python 2.6 or newer - it runs on EL5/6 machines without adding additional software repositories. The following additional Python modules are used:

  • libvirt
  • xmlrpclic (shipped with rhnlib)
  • requests
  • unidecode

The toolkit needs the pdflatex binary which is usually part of the LaTeX or TeX Live software set provided by your distributor.

Check out the wiki for more detail information.

Installation and usage

See the wiki for more details about the particular scripts.

Example workflow

Create an inventory for all managed hosts, including errata and regular patch information:

$ ./ -p

Prepare maintenance for affected hosts (optional):

$ ./ errata-snapshot*.csv
$ ./ -V errata-snapshot*.csv

Patch your systems, reboot them, verify functionality, etc.:

Create another snapshot afterwards:

$ ./ -p

Create maintenance reports with the information from two snapshot reports:

$ ./ -x errata-diff-report*.csv

Or create the same reports with different page orientation, an custom logo (e.g. company logo) and a custom footer:

$ ./ -x errata-diff-report* -p potrait -i /opt/tools/myCompany.jpg -f "myCompany maintenance report"