The new RHN Satellite 5.2 is the first update based on feedback from Satellite's Project Spacewalk community, which was formed this past June after Red Hat open-sourced Satellite's code. Spacewalk will function as the community idea-generation body and testing ground for future Satellite upgrades, just as the Fedora community has for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
According to Chris Wells, RHN Satellite's senior product marketing manager, RHN Satellite 5.2 now runs on the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL 5, as well as continuing to run on RHEL 4. The RHEL 5 option will also apply to the RHN proxy server that caches updates locally for other servers following the initial download.
For most customers, this change is not a big issue, but it will enable RHEL 5 customers to run Satellite on the same OS version as their servers, enabling them to standardize on RHEL 5, Wells said.
Satellite 5.2 has also upgraded its configuration database engine from Oracle 9i to Oracle 10g. Oracle 10g is Oracle's most popular database and has better performance than the previous iteration, he said.
In addition to the standard graphical user interface, Satellite 5.2 also offers an optional command line installer for users who wish to script installations and customize them for their own environments, Wells said. The command line installer, for which Red Hat received many requests, is offered as a technology preview for customer feedback but is not a supported feature.< p>
In the long term, however, the most significant change in Satellite 5.2 is the engagement of the open source community in the development process, which ultimately should result in speedier production of better software, Wells said.