Manage machines with Landscape

Seeing if your machines need updating at a glance is good. But then being able to manage them with one click, that's what we're going to do today.

Now that we have Landscape and our machines are registered, we are getting alerts for updates. It is therefore time to use Landscape to manage our servers remotely without having to log into SSH on the servers with each new update available.

In order to request a system update, just click on Request upgrade in the packages tab. This then asks the system to update (even if no such alert has been raised).

If the update requires a restart of the system, Landscape will notify you of an alert to this effect and you can, still from Landscape, restart the machine.

To avoid delays and manual steps, Landscape can be configured to schedule automatic updates. And for that, you have to create an update profile and apply it to the group of machines concerned.

As we do not want to activate the automatic update on all the servers, we will start by creating a group of machines for which the configuration will be effective.

Create a group of machines

To create a machine group, go to the Access groups tab. This page lists the existing groups (basic global access containing all the machines) and allows you to create new ones.

In order to create a new group, all you have to do is fill in the following fields and press Save:

• Title : group title. We have put Services.
• Parent : parent group. We have put global access.

When we press Save, we are directly redirected to the management page of the services group. It is also possible to find it from the main page, Access groups tab, then by clicking on the service link.

To add or remove machines in this group, all you have to do is click on the link on the right selecting computers.

We then arrive on a page listing all the machines in the parent group, and allow you to check the ones we want in our sub-group.

This is not enough. There is no button to say "OK, these are the ones I want" ... You still have to click on the Info tab. This redirects us to a page summarizing the common information of the selected machines. To finish adding them to the group, go to the bottom of this page, in the Access group section, use the drop-down list to choose Services and click on Update access group.

Create an update profile

To do this, we go to the tab in the Profile tab. This includes three types of profiles:

1. Package Profiles : which allows you to add a list of packages on which the computers in a group are dependent.
1. Removal Profiles : which allows automatic deletion of unresponsive machines.
2. Upgrade Profiles : which manages the updating of computers, stack what we need.

By clicking on the Upgrade profiles link, you come to a page where you can list the different profiles already created, and add a new one.

You can then create a new profile by clicking on the Add upgrade profile link (any of the two) and fill in the following fields:

• Title : the title of the profile, to find it easily. We have put Services.
• Only security upgrade : if checked, only do security updates. We did not check it.
• Autoremove package : if checked, removes packages which were installed for dependency purposes, but which are no longer in use. We ticked it off.
• Access group : allows you to choose the group of machines concerned by this profile. We have chosen our services group.
• Schedule : to manage when the update will take place (this will configure the cron):
• On these day : allows you to choose one or more days of the week on which the updates will be applied. We have selected every day of the week.
• At this time :if you want to choose the moment (and in this case, you can configure the timeout via Expire after ). We did not choose this method.
• At Every hours : if we want an hourly update, then we give the minute at which the update will be triggered. We chose every hour.
• Randomise delivery : to stagger the updates over a period (in minutes). We left unchecked.

Once the profile has been saved with the Save button, we are redirected to the profile page. We are warned that no computer is currently associated with this profile. You must also click on the All computers box in the Association section and click on Change in order to associate all the computers of the services group with this profile.

And after ?

Landscape is a handy tool, but it's easy to get lost in the menus. It is indeed possible to achieve the same thing from several places ...