Chapter 3 Creating Activation Keys


If you use spacewalk-common-channels to set up Oracle Linux software channels and repositories, this command also creates an activation key and associates this key with the software channels.

An activation key allows a client system to register with Spacewalk without needing to provide a user name and password. After you have configured and synchronized a base software channel and any child channels, create an activation key so that client systems can register with Spacewalk.

If required, you can also use an activation key to define the default parent and child software channel subscriptions and any configuration channels. Spacewalk subscribes a client to these channels during registration. However, you can change the channels at any later time without changing the activation key.


Take care not to oversubscribe client systems to channels. Oracle recommends that you configure activation keys to subscribe a client to a minimal number of channels.

If required, you can create an activation key for each combination of base channel, system architecture, and server type. For example, you could create separate activation keys for web, mail, or application servers running on Oracle Linux 6 (i386), Oracle Linux 6 (x86_64), and Oracle Linux 7 (x86_64). Alternatively, you could create a single, default activation key without any channel assignments and use it for all server types.

Oracle recommends that you enter a meaningful label for the activation key in the Key field and that you do not use automatic key generation.

Create a key with a label that is easy to understand, for example based on the version number and architecture (oraclelinux6-x86_64), or based on the server type (webserver or appserver).

Spacewalk automatically adds a prefix to the activation key label. For example, if you select oraclelinux-x86_64 as the label, the key that is actually created might be called 1-oraclelinux-x86_64. This enables you to create multiple activation keys for the same base channel, each with different configuration options. The name that you use is presented during Spacewalk client registration. Creating your own key labels helps you to select the correct key.