Activation Keys

The activation keys page can be accessed via the content menu:

Content > Activation Keys

The activation keys page forms a part of orcharhino’s content management.

Activation keys are used by the subscription_manager to register hosts with orcharhino’s content management. The subscription_manager is the client side software used to register a host. When you register a host using a particular activation key, it receives a list of repositories associated with the selected activation key. This can be used to install new software, update packages, or apply errata.

Activation keys are the element of orcharhino’s content management that draws together content views, lifecycle environments, and subscriptions (which are in turn closely associated with products).

Each activation key is associated with exactly one content view and exactly one lifecycle environment. In addition, activation keys are associated with any number of subscriptions. A given key grants access to the set theoretic intersection, of the repository set present in the key’s content view/lifecycle environment combination, and the repository set present in the key’s subscriptions. See the following image for a visual representation:

The relationship between repositories

When you add a host to a host group, it automatically uses any activation keys associated with that host group to register with orcharhino’s content management. You can register existing but unregistered hosts using an activation key. You can register existing and registered hosts using a different activation key. In such cases, it is necessary to refresh the subscription-manager on the host being registered for changes to take effect:

# subscription-manager refresh

Do not delete activation keys unless you are sure they are not in use by any host groups, host collections, or individual hosts. orcharhino may not give a warning when keys are still in use. Deleting a key that is still in use prevents the host from rebuilding successfully.


The activation keys page includes a Create Activation Key button and shows a list of activation keys.

List of available activation keys
  • The Create Activation Key button (1) will take you to the create activation key page.

  • The list of activation keys (2) displays the configured activation keys.

  • Clicking on the name of an activation key in the Name column (3) will take you to the activation key overview page.

Creating an Activation Key

The create activation key page can be accessed via the content menu:

Content > Activation Keys >> Create Activation Key

Ensure you already have configured lifecycle environments and content views to create an activation key, since they need to be set for each activation key.

The create activation key page includes several input fields and drop down menus:

Creating a new activation key
  • The Name (1) is the only required field. Choose a unique and unused activation key name.

  • Limit the amount of hosts for which this activation key can be used (2).

  • Provide a meaningful Description (3).

  • Select the lifecycle environment to use (4). Hosts using this activation key are assigned to this lifecycle environment.

  • The list of content views (5) is generated depending on the selected lifecycle environment. Select the content view to use.

  • Click the Save button (6) to save your changes to orcharhino.

Viewing an Activation Key

The activation key overview page can be accessed via the list of activation keys:

Content > Activation Keys >> list of activation keys > Name column > name of an activation key

The activation key overview page displays details of an activation key. An activation key can be edited and subscriptions or repository sets can be assigned.

Details of an activation key
  • Use the subscription-manager command shown (1) to register a host on orcharhino using this activation key and organization.

  • View and change the name, description, host limit, and service level (2). Service levels are only available for Red Hat hosts in case a Red Hat manifest is used. They allow you to specify the service level of this host, e.g. standard or premium.

  • View and change the release version, the lifecycle environments, and the content views of the activation key (3). Release version is only available for Red Hat hosts in case a Red Hat manifest is used. You can tie a host to use a specific version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


There are two possible actions on the activation key overview page:

Actions on activation keys
  • Selecting Copy Activation Key copies an activation key and stores it as a new key. All settings of the activation key are reused. Type in a new and unique name of the copied activation key.

  • Selecting Remove deletes the existing activation key.

    orcharhino may not give a warning when keys are still in use. Deleting a key that is still in use prevents the host from rebuilding successfully.


The subscriptions tab is used to associate subscriptions to the selected activation key.

Managing subscriptions of an activation key
  • The List/Remove tab (1) displays selected subscriptions of an activation key. It provides a button (4) to remove the selected subscriptions (5) from the activation key.

  • The Add tab (2) displays all available subscriptions of this orcharhino and provides a button to add the selected subscriptions to the activation key.

  • The Auto-Attach option (3) affects only Red Hat subscriptions and doesn’t influence custom products (like SUSE, CentOS, Debian, customer-related products, etc.).

    In case of enabled Auto-Attach and using a Red Hat operating system, only the subscriptions necessary to run the product are selected automatically while registering. Additionally, all custom subscriptions (i.e. non Red Hat subscriptions) selected below are used.

    If Auto-Attach option is disabled, all selected subscriptions are activated on the host.


The repository sets tab allows you to enable and disable repositories. This view displays all available repositories which would be available for the host when using this activation key.

New repositories added to a product subsequently are enabled by default.

Managing repository sets

Select the repositories (2) you want to change by the selected action (1):

  • Override to Enabled: Force the repository to be activated.

  • Override to Disabled: Force the repository to be deactivated.

  • Reset to Default: Reset the default state.

Disabled repository sets can be manually enabled on subscribed clients. Do not use repository sets to limit access in the sense of permissions.


The host collections tab allows you to associate an activation key with a host collection.

Associating an activation key to host collections
  • The List/Remove tab (1) displays host collections which are using the given activation key. Through the Remove Selected button the association can be deleted.

  • The Add tab (2) allows you to assign a specific activation key to host collections. Select the host collection (4) and click the Add Selected button (3) afterwards.


The associations/content hosts tab displays content hosts which are using the activation key.

Activation key usage

Registering a Host

Run the following command to register an existing host with orcharhino:

subscription-manager register --org="Example" --activationkey="your-activation-key"

This examples uses Example as organization.