Linux developer Red Hat yesterday said it will open the source code of its Network Satellite Server, which powers the Red Hat Network system management platform. Dubbed Project Spacewalk, the software will be licensed under the GPL 2.

Spacewalk performs system inventory, software installations and updates, can manage and deploy configuration files and can kickstart systems. The software also can monitor systems, manage virtual guests and distribute custom packages by managed group. Spacewalk works with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris as well as Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux and other Red Hat off-shoots. Spacewalk is the upstream project for the source of the Red Hat Network Satellite.

Spacewalk’s graphical interface starts out by presenting an overview of network-attached devices, which by default include the most out-of-date systems, monitored systems with the most critical status, recently registered systems and those displaying errata. This at-a-glance view is customizable. Systems can be grouped together so that actions may be performed on all systems at once. Systems may belong to more than one group, and be recipients of some actions and not others. For example, you might have a group of “marketing systems,” some of which also below to the group “Web servers.” The latest marketing application might be deployed to all marketing systems, but only the Web servers would receive the latest patch for Apache.

Spacewalk includes extensive developer documentation, including its architecture and how to build and use the system, and user documentation, for more detailed usage info. Spacewalk is available now for download.