Patchman is a Django-based patch status monitoring tool for linux systems.
Patchman provides a web interface for monitoring the package updates available
for linux hosts.
## How does it work?
Patchman clients send a list of installed packages and enabled repositories to
the Patchman server. The Patchman server updates its package list for each
repository and determines which hosts require updates, and whether those updates
are normal or security updates. The web interface also gives information on
potential issues, such as installed packages that are not from any repository.
Hosts, packages, repositories and operating systems can all be filtered. For
example, it is possible to find out which hosts have a certain version of a
package installed, and which repository it comes from.
Patchman does not install update packages on hosts, it determines and displays
what updates are available for each host.
`yum`, `apt` and `zypper` plugins can send reports to the Patchman server every
time packages are installed or removed on a host.
The current source code is available on github:
### Server-side dependencies
The server can optionally make use of celery to asynchronously process the
reports sent by hosts.
### Client-side dependencies
The client-side dependencies are kept to a minimum. `rpm` and `dpkg` are
required to report packages, `yum`, `zypper` and `apt` are required to report
repositories. These packages are normally installed by default on most systems.
`dnf` is not yet supported.
rpm-based OS's can tell if a reboot is required to install a new kernel by
looking at `uname -r` and comparing it to the highest installed kernel version.
deb-based OS's do not always change the kernel version when a kernel update is
installed, so the `update-notifier-common` package needs to be installed to
enable this functionality.
The web interface contains a dashboard with items that need attention, and
various pages to manipulate hosts, repositories, packages, operating systems and
To populate the database, simply run the client on some hosts:
$ patchman-client -s http://patchman.example.org
This should provide some initial data to work with.
On the server, the `patchman` command line utility can be used to run certain
maintenance tasks, e.g. processing the reports sent from hosts, downloading
repository update information from the web. Run `patchman -h` for a rundown of
$ sbin/patchman -h
usage: patchman [-h] [-f] [-q] [-r] [-R REPO] [-lr] [-lh] [-u] [-A] [-H HOST]
[-p] [-c] [-d] [-n] [-a] [-D hostA hostB]
Patchman CLI tool
-h, --help show this help message and exit
-f, --force Ignore stored checksums and force-refresh all mirrors
-q, --quiet Quiet mode (e.g. for cronjobs)
-r, --refresh-repos Refresh repositories
-R REPO, --repo REPO Only perform action on a specific repository (repo_id)
-lr, --list-repos List all repositories
-lh, --list-hosts List all hosts
-u, --host-updates Find host updates
Find host updates (alternative algorithm that may be
faster when there are many homogeneous hosts)
-H HOST, --host HOST Only perform action on a specific host (fqdn)
Process pending reports
-c, --clean-reports Remove all but the last three reports
-d, --dbcheck Perform some sanity checks and clean unused db entries
-n, --dns-checks Perform reverse DNS checks if enabled for that host
-a, --all Convenience flag for -r -A -p -c -d -n
-D hostA hostB, --diff hostA hostB
Show differences between two hosts in diff-like output
-e, --errata Download CentOS errata from https://cefs.steve-
The default settings will be fine for most people but depending on your setup,
there may be some initial work required to logically organise the data sent in
the host reports. The following explanations may help in this case.
There are a number of basic objects - Hosts, Repositories, Packages, Operating
Systems and Reports. There are also Operating System Groups (which are optional)
A Host is a single host, e.g. test01.example.org.
### Operating System
A Host runs an Operating System, e.g. CentOS 7.1, Debian 8.4, Ubuntu 16.04
A Package is a package that is either installed on a Host, or is available to
download from a Repository mirror, e.g. `strace-4.8-11.el7.x86_64`,
A Mirror is a collection of Packages available on the web, e.g. a `yum`, `yast`
or `apt` repo.
A Repository is a collection of Mirrors. Typically all the Mirrors will contain
the same Packages. For Red Hat-based Hosts, Repositories automatically link
their Mirrors together. For Debian-based hosts, you may need to link all
Mirrors that form a Repository using the web interface. This may reduce the
time required to find updates. Repositories can be marked as being security or
non-security. This makes most sense with Debian and Ubuntu repositories where
security updates are delivered via security repositories. For CentOS security
updates, see the Erratum section below.
A Host creates a Report using `patchman-client`. This Report is sent to the
Patchman server. The Report contains the Host's Operating System, and lists
of the installed Packages and enabled Repositories on a Host. The Patchman
server processes and records the list of Packages and Repositories contained in
### Operating System Group (optional)
An OSGroup is a collection of OS's. For example, an OSGroup named "Debian 8"
would be comprised of the following OS's:
Likewise, an OSGroup named "CentOS 7" would be made up of the following OS's:
Repositories can be associated with an OSGroup, or with the Host itself. If the
`use_host_repos variable` is set to True for a Host, then updates are found by
looking only at the Repositories that belong to that Host. This is the default
behaviour and does not require OSGroups to be configured.
If `use_host_repos` is set to False, the update-finding process looks at the
OSGroup that the Host's Operating System is in, and uses the OSGroup's
Repositories to determine the applicable updates. This is useful in environments
where many hosts are homogeneous (e.g. cloud/cluster environments).
Errata for CentOS can be downloaded from https://cefs.steve-meier.de/ .
These errata are parsed and stored in the database. If a PackageUpdate
contains a package that is a security update in the errata, then that update is
marked as being a security update.
Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.