Neither the web UI nor the python API provide any way to change the default (initial) setting for (a) automatic application of errata for new systems, or (b) email notification preference for new users. (a) is always off by default, and (b) is always on by default. However, it is technically possible to alter both by trivially changing the database schema such that rhnserver.auto_update=Y and rhnuser.email_notify=0 are the default values.
Context: we would prefer that all newly registered systems auto-apply errata (i.e. patch themselves) by default, and we would prefer that newly registered users by default *not* be notified via email of unapplied errata applicable to their systems, due to the unmanageable email "storm" that occurs when errata are imported in bulk(as ours is an offline system, periodic updates are infrequent and large).
Recommendation: Provide some way, preferably in the web UI, of permanently changing these default settings. Although we can do this via direct database edit, the changes are lost when schema updates are applied (via spacewalk-schema-upgrade, or by upgrading the Satellite product to a new minor release).