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Free enterprise systems management tool Uyuni releases stable version

Navigate the SALT-y seas of systems-wrangling with the FOSS basis of SUSE Manager

The Uyuni project has released a new stable version of its eponymous free enterprise systems-management tool that supports SUSE distros as well as Red Hat (and its many relatives), Ubuntu, and Debian.

Named after the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the world's biggest salt flat, Uyuni is the open-source muscle behind SUSE's commercial enterprise fleet-management tool, SUSE Manager, and you can have a look at its latest emission, 2022.3, here.

Uyuni is a SUSE-backed fork of Spacewalk, which used to be the basis of Red Hat's enterprise-management tool, Satellite, up to version 5.

Big Purple (Red Hat + IBM) open-sourced Spacewalk in 2008. We say "used to be" because the Spacewalk project was discontinued in 2020 and is officially dead now.

The history gets quite complicated, so bear with us.

Possibly relevant is that in 2015, Red Hat acquired Ansible. Ansible is an agentless, Python-based tool for provisioning, configuring, and deploying machines, including standalone boxes.

Even before it bought Ansible, Red Hat was already using a different open-source project to manage OpenStack deployments, called Foreman.

This has since grown into a more general tool for server management, and can manage a wide range of server OSes, including the RHEL/CentOS/Fedora family and its relatives, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE and SLES, CoreOS, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Juniper's JunOS.

Foreman is also the core of Red Hat's commercial Satellite fleet-management tool from version 6 onwards.

Announced in 2011, SUSE Manager was also based on Spacewalk. SUSE's then-owners Novell added support for SUSE's distros and their packaging tools Zypper and AutoYaST to Spacewalk, and submitted the changes upstream. At the time, The Reg described what the new product did in detail.

When Red Hat discontinued Spacewalk and switched to Foreman instead, SUSE forked the Spacewalk project to create Uyuni.

Free version of a paid product

SUSE favors the Salt stack of deployment and management tools, and so Uyuni focuses on using Salt – thus the salt-themed nomenclature.

SUSE can't buy Salt, though, because VMware already did.

Uyuni 2022.03 supports SLES 12 and 15, openSUSE Leap, RHEL/CentOS/Oracle Linux 7 and 8, Alma and Rocky Linux 8, Amazon Linux 2, Alibaba Linux 2, Debian 9, 10 and 11 and Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04.

Both Uyuni and Foreman are free versions of paid, commercial products. Over in the Ubuntu world, Canonical's equivalent is its Landscape management and monitoring tool, which also has a self-hosted local version. ®

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