Keep it … stable, secure and supportable … Maintenance!


By: mge1512

February 11, 2011 3:55 pm





Do you ever wonder what all this “maintenance” is about?

Why is maintenance such a big deal?

Why do we care about it? Why is it important?

Do you ever wonder how we plan for and manage maintenance?

Looking at how we maintain the Linux Kernel is a great example that shows how we constantly improve our SUSE® Linux Enterprise distribution without breaking certifications and compatibility.

Our Support, Kernel, Security, Maintenance and QA teams work closely together to deliver to you the best Operating System kernel on a regular basis.

We continuously collect kernel bugfixes, security fixes and enhancements from a variety of sources – QA, customers, technology partners and other outside contacts.

We do not release a kernel update each time we have a fix, but schedule regular kernel updates:

  • For SUSE® Linux Enterprise 11 products (e.g. SLES
    11 SP1, SLED 11 SP1) we plan for monthly updates currently.
  • As the number of incoming patches decreases over a product’s
    lifecycle, regular kernel updates are scheduled less frequently:
    for example, we’re current following a two month schedule for
    SUSE® Linux Enterprise 10.

We follow a “conservative” approach, where bugfixes are the standard, while features and new functionality are the exception.

The extended team rates patches according to:

  • customers’ needs
  • product strategy
  • quality standards

If there are no urgent improvements required, the team has the freedom to skip one scheduled update (and save the administrators some work). If we deem an improvement urgent to be delivered to all customers, our team can also push out an off-schedule delivery via Novell Customer Center.

Tip: subscribe to the patch notifications and stay up-to-date with our maintenance and security information at:

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Disclaimer: As with everything else in the SUSE Blog, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.