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Sometimes no network is available for installing a system. This can be for security reasons, testing equipment, or simply due to absence of any network. To accommodate such setups SUSE provides a full off-line installation with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

 

In this blog I will discuss the SUSE capabilities of a full off-line installation, to allow installation in secure and total separated environments.

SUSE offers the best installation experience with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 using the Unified Installer together with the SUSE Customer Center for a network based installation. We also offer excellent tools to run such on scale with the Repository-Mirroring-Tool (RMT), which is free part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Manager.

The easy way: on-line

Leveraging the network makes the installation smooth, straight forward, and automagically installs the latest updates.

To do so just download the unified installer for your architecture – it is the same for all SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 products. In the installation process you are asked for the product to be installed and the registration code. After a few configuration steps the system will be installed and ready to use.

This is the easiest way to get a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server up and running.

The secure way: air-gap

Some of our customers request a higher isolation of their installation. Most often this is for security reasons, such as government, finance, or security relevant environments.

Of course, we do offer air-gap solutions based on RMT and SUSE Manager. For this you need two instances of RMT respective SUSE Manager running. One is connected to the internet, the other one to the internal network. The first one then downloads packages and later updates. To make them available to the internal one, the data has to be copied using a media. There is no network connection between the two systems – all is handled via an air-gap.

The isolated way: off-line

While all above already answers the needs of many of our customers, there are still some customers asking for a complete off-line installation. These customers see a benefit of non-changeable media or might have no network at the install site or even at the target computer at all.

SUSE answers this need with SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 by offering a Package Media to complete the Unified Installer.

The Package Media contains all packages needed to install all SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 products. This media can be accessed during the installation when skipping the registration (keep in mind the registration do need network access to be possible). Just access the package media and select the modules needed to install the selected product.

This process is for those who can’t access a network based installation. It needs manual interaction like selecting the appropriate modules for a product.

The Unified Installer then will use the packages from the Packages Media to complete the installation.

As the setup is without network, no update sources are configured or used, nor registration in SUSE Customer Center (SCC) can be done. However, if needed later a manual registration at the SCC is possible. This will transform an off-line system into an on-line system, same as if network based installed.

Let’s close the loop, this is what I call the submarine approach:
Sitting at the target system with nothing more than you have loaded into the submarine before starting the mission. You need to get a full load ahead to accomplish your mission of installing a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. SUSE is proud to make this available to you with the SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Unified Installer and the Packages media.

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