The Red Hat Support Tool utility redhat-support-tool provides a text-console interface to the subscription-based Red Hat Access services. Internet access is required to reach the Red Hat Customer Portal. The redhat-support-tool is text-based for use from any terminal or SSH connection; no graphical interface is provided.
The redhat-support-tool command may be used as an interactive shell or invoked as individually executed commands with options and arguments. The tool’s available syntax is identical for both methods. By default, the program launches in shell mode. Use the provided
help subcommand to see all available commands. Shell mode supports tab completion and the ability to call programs in the parent shell.
$ redhat-support-tool Welcome to the Red Hat Support Tool. Command (? for help):
When first invoked, redhat-support-tool prompts for required Red Hat Access subscriber login information. To avoid repetitively supplying this information, the tool asks to store account information in the user’s home directory (~/.redhat-support-tool/redhat-supporttool.conf). If a Red Hat Access account is shared by many users, the –global option can save account information to /etc/redhat-support-tool.conf, along with other systemwide configuration. The tool’s config command modifies tool configuration settings.
The redhat-support-tool allows subscribers to search and display the same Knowledgebase content seen when on the Red Hat Customer Portal. Knowledgebase permits keyword searches, similar to the man command. Users can enter error codes, syntax from log files, or any mix of keywords to produce a list of relevant solution documents.
The following is an initial configuration and basic search demonstration:
$ redhat-support-tool Welcome to the Red Hat Support Tool. Command (? for help): search "How to manage system entitlements with subscription-manager" Please enter your RHN user ID: subscriber Save the user ID in /home/student/.redhat-support-tool/redhat-support-tool.conf (y/n): y Please enter the password for subscriber: password Save the password for subscriber in /home/student/.redhat-support-tool/redhat-supporttool.conf (y/n): y
After prompting the user for the required user configuration, the tool continues with the original search request:
Type the number of the solution to view or 'e' to return to the previous menu. 1 [ 253273:VER] How to register and subscribe a system to Red Hat Network (RHN) using Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM)? 2 [ 17397:VER] What are Flex Guest Entitlements in Red Hat Network? 3 [ 232863:VER] How to register machines and manage subscriptions using Red Hat Subscription Manager through an invisible HTTP proxy / Firewall? 3 of 43 solutions displayed. Type 'm' to see more, 'r' to start from the beginning again, or '?' for help with the codes displayed in the above output. Select a Solution:
Specific sections of solution documents may be selected for viewing.
Select a Solution: 1 Type the number of the section to view or 'e' to return to the previous menu. 1 Title 2 Issue 3 Environment 4 Resolution 5 Display all sections End of options. Section: 1 Title =============================================================================== How to register and subscribe a system to Red Hat Network (RHN) using Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM)? URL: https://access.redhat.com/site/solutions/253273 (END) q
Directly access Knowledgebase articles by document ID
Locate online articles directly using the tool’s kb command with the Knowledgebase document ID. Returned documents scroll on the screen without pagination, allowing a user to redirect the output using other local commands. This example views the document with the less command:
$ redhat-support-tool kb 253273 | less Title: How to register and subscribe a system to Red Hat Network (RHN) using Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM)? ID: 253273 State: Verified: This solution has been verified to work by Red Hat Customers and Support Engineers for the specified product version(s). URL: https://access.redhat.com/site/solutions/253273 : q
Documents retrieved in the unpaginated format are easy to send to a printer, convert to PDF or other document formats, or to redirect to a data entry program for an incident tracking or change management system, using other utilities installed and available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Using redhat-support-tool to manage support cases
One benefit of a product subscription is access to technical support through Red Hat Customer Portal. Depending on the system’s subscription support level, Red Hat may be contacted through online tools or by phone. See https://access.redhat.com/site/support/policy/support_process for links to detailed information about the support process.
Preparing a bug report
Before contacting Red Hat Support, gather relevant information for a bug report.
Define the problem. Be able to clearly state the problem and its symptoms. Be as specific as possible. Detail the steps that will reproduce the problem.
Gather background information. Which product and version is affected? Be ready to provide relevant diagnostic information. This can include an output of sosreport, discussed earlier in this section. For kernel problems, this could include the system’s kdump crash dump or a digital photo of the kernel backtrace displayed on the monitor of a crashed system.
Determine the severity level. Red Hat uses four severity levels to classify issues. Urgent and High severity problem reports should be followed by a phone call to the relevant local support center (see https://access.redhat.com/site/support/contact/technicalSupport).
Managing a bug report with redhat-support-tool
Subscribers may create, view, modify and close Red Hat Support cases using redhatsupport-tool. When support cases are opened or maintained, users may include files or documentation, such as diagnostic reports (sosreport). The tool uploads and attaches files to online cases. Case details including product, version, summary, description, severity, and case group may be assigned with command options or letting the tool prompt for required information. In the following example, the –product and –version options are specified, but redhat-support-tool would provide a list of choices for those options if the opencase command did not specify them.
$ redhat-support-tool Welcome to the Red Hat Support Tool. Command (? for help): opencase --product="Red Hat Enterprise Linux" --version="7.0" Please enter a summary (or 'q' to exit): System fails to run without power Please enter a description (Ctrl-D on an empty line when complete): When the server is unplugged, the operating system fails to continue. 1 Low 2 Normal 3 High 4 Urgent Please select a severity (or 'q' to exit): 4 Would you like to assign a case group to this case (y/N)? N Would see if there is a solution to this problem before opening a support case? (y/N) N Support case 01034421 has successfully been opened.
Including diagnostic information by attaching a SoS report archive
Including diagnostic information when a support case is first created contributes to quicker problem resolution. The sosreport command generates a compressed tar archive of diagnostic information gathered from the running system. The redhat-support-tool prompts to include one if an archive has been created previously:
Please attach a SoS report to support case 01034421. Create a SoS report as the root user and execute the following command to attach the SoS report directly to the case: redhat-support-tool addattachment -c 01034421 path to sosreport Would you like to attach a file to 01034421 at this time? (y/N) N Command (? for help):
If a current SoS report is not already prepared, an administrator can generate and attach one later, using the tool’s addattachment command as advised previously.
Support cases can also be viewed, modified, and closed by you as the subscriber:
Command (? for help): listcases Type the number of the case to view or 'e' to return to the previous menu. 1 [Waiting on Red Hat] System fails to run without power No more cases to display Select a Case: 1 Type the number of the section to view or 'e' to return to the previous menu. 1 Case Details 2 Modify Case 3 Description 4 Recommendations 5 Get Attachment 6 Add Attachment 7 Add Comment End of options. Option: q Select a Case: q Command (? for help):q
$ redhat-support-tool modifycase --status=Closed 01034421 Successfully updated case 01034421
The Red Hat Support Tool has advanced application diagnostic and analytic capabilities. Using kernel crash dump core files, redhat-support-tool can create and extract a backtrace, a report of the active stack frames at the point of a crash dump, to provide onsite diagnostics and open a support case.
The tool also provides a log file analysis. Using the tool’s analyze command, log files of many types, including operating system, JBoss, Python, Tomcat, oVirt, and others, can be parsed to recognize problem symptoms, which can then be viewed and diagnosed individually. Providing preprocessed analysis, as opposed to raw data such as crash dump or log files, allows support cases to be opened and made available to engineers more quickly.