OES11 Novell Customer Center (NCC) registration and repository problems

  • 7009973
  • 10-Jan-2012
  • 21-May-2012

Environment

Novell Open Enterprise Server 11 (OES 11) Linux

Situation

With the release of Novell Open Enterprise Server 11, customers that tried to register OES11 ran into a number of problems :

  • YaST configuration does not provide a field to enter the OES registration code.
  • Manual product registration using the 'suse_register' command line (cli) appears to fail.
  • OES11 Update repositories appear to be missing.
  • SMT servers not displaying  the 'OES11-Updates' and 'OES11-Pool' catalogs.

These problems on the OES11 activation/registration are, for the most part, not a problem with the customer's registration codes, and are entirely a problem on the Novell registration server back-end.

Resolution

To have access to patches the server must be registered with the Novell Customer Center. The prerequisites and process are detailed in Section 7.0 of the "OES 11: Installation Guide" on the Novell documentation website.

YaST configuration does not provide for a field to enter the OES registration code.

There are number  ways to setup and register a server with the Novell Customer Center.
For example :
  • Using YaST during the installation process.
  • Using the Novell Customer Center Registration module in YaST Control Center
  • Using the 'suse_register' command line.
Since OES11 is installed as 'Add-On' product to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and requires an OES registration code, for it to receive updates the expected behavior would be to see a registration field  in the process where the OES11 activation code would need to be provided for the registration with the Novell Customer Center to successfully finish, along with the SLES 11 registration code field.

This field is existing when installing OES2 servers, but this field is missing when installing OES11 servers.
This problem will be resolved in a future update.

Manual product registration using the 'suse_register' command line appears to fail.

OES11 Update repositories appear to be missing.

When registering the system using the suse_register command line (suse_register -a email=<email_address> -a regcode-sles=<xxxxxx> -a regcode-oes=<xxxxxx>) this appeared to successfully finish, but after registration the system was not subscribed to any OES11 catalogs.

The output for 'zypper lr'  or  'zypper ca' only lists the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server catalogs

Depending on exactly when a customer tried to register an OES11 server, this problematic behavior could show as either not having access to the  'OES11-Updates' and 'OES11-Pool' catalog at all, or the 'OES11-Updates' and 'OES11-Pool' catalog were existing but had an (Abort//Retry/Ignore) error when being accessed.


In both cases the OES11 registration has actually worked properly, but due to a problem at the Novell registration servers the OES11 catalogs were initially not presented to registered servers. This would explain the missing catalogs. The (Abort/Retry/Ignore) errors that were observed are from the period Novell was actively working on resolving these same problems.

The solution to both these problems to date is to issue a 'zypper ref' on the server, after which the 'OES11-Updates' and 'OES11-Pool' catalog will be present and functional. It may also be required to manually confirm both certificate questions, after which the catalogs will be fully functional. This functionality can than be verified by issuing a  'zypper lr'  or  'zypper ca' command.

When the 'zypper ref' is no solution to these problems, it is advised to follow the steps outlined in TID 3303599 Titled "Resetting your ZEN Updater and Novell Customer Center key registration".



SMT servers not displaying  the 'OES11-Updates' and 'OES11-Pool' catalogs

Customers using SMT servers to mirror Novell update repositories should have access to the same catalogs as listed.
There may be a few customers that run into a problem where, based on there entitlement, they are allowed to access the OES11 catalogs but trying to mirror them does not happen automatically.

While Novell is working hard to resolve these issues, we advise these customers to open a Service Request with Novell Technical Support, and provide the details on the used mirroring credentials. Until Novell has identified the root cause for the problem that causes the automated process to fail, we can manually re-generate the credentials to resolve these problems.

Additional Information

If SLE or OES product activation with the Novell Customer Center completely fails for unknown reasons, the advice is to run the suse_register command line registration in debug mode, and capture the output that action produces into a file.

E.g.:
suse_register -d 3 -a email=<email_address> -a regcode-sles=<sles_regcode> -a regcode-oes=<oes_regcode> > <filename>.txt

In this case Novell Technical Support would need to analyze filename.txt to determine why the registration process would fail for either product.


For SLE 10 activation issue's, where the registration returns a curl error, please see the following KB 7010008:
"Attempts to activate an SLE 10 SPx system (Server or Desktop) returns a curl error 60"

Feedback service temporarily unavailable. For content questions or problems, please contact Support.