SUSE Linux Enterprise 15

How to Create a Custom Installation Medium for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15

This document provides guidance on how to create one single custom installation media for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

Author: Jiri Srain, Project Manager Engineering, SUSE
Publication Date: January 14, 2019

1 Introduction

The release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 is a modern, modular operating system and the next major release since SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 in 2014. It helps simplify multimedia's IT, makes traditional IT infrastructure more efficient and provides an engaging platform for developers. a result, customers can easily deploy and transition business-critical workloads across on-premise and public cloud environments.

With a focus on the developer community, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 also accelerates the enterprise transition from free developer subscription or community Linux (openSUSE Leap) setups to production deployments of fully supported enterprise Linux. Existing customers can use this release as an opportunity to baseline their systems to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 from older releases, so they are well positioned for many years to come.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 platform uses a common code base. This means that all SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 products share the same code base across all architectures. Packages are built using the same source code to ensure consistency and improve application portability across a multi-modal IT to ensure application mobility across multimodal IT environments. With the Modular+ architecture, everything is a module. Delivery of new features is easy, and you can get product updates and patches more frequently.

2 Preparing the Installation

SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 products are distributed via two different kinds of media:

  1. The installer media

  2. The Packages media which contains the (optional) modules

The installer media (SLE-15-Installer-DVD-<architecture>-GM-DVD1.iso) contain only a minimal set of packages to ensure you have available a minimal, command line based system for installing, updating and registering SUSE Linux Enterprise products. All other packages must be installed either from online repositories like the SUSE Customer Center (SCC), the Subscription Management Tool (SMT) or the Repository Mirroring Tool (RMT), or from the Packages media (SLE-15-Packages-DVD-<architecture>-GM-DVD1.iso). Using RMT for mirroring the repositories will save bandwidth though.

For a regular offline installation without Internet access, the following downloads are required in advance for each architecture you want to install on:

  1. DVD1 of the installer medium

  2. DVD1 of the packages medium

Download the ISO images from to a workstation or to a network drive. Burn a DVD from the ISO image (AMD64, Intel 64, and AArch64 only).

Important: Use Content of ISO Images

Create the DVDs using the content of the ISO images. Do not create the DVDs by burning the .iso files themselves, for example as a single track to the DVD. Instead always choose burn image, burn ISO, write premastered image or similar. For example, if you are using GNOME, right-click the ISO image and select Open with CD/DVD Creator, then click Write.

After that, prepare booting into the installation system.

In some cases, it can be useful to create one single custom medium containing the installer and a specific set of modules. For exammple, this can be the case if you want to prepare for an unattended autoinstallation with AutoYaST.

3 Creating One Single Installation Medium for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15

You can easily create a combined installation medium by following the steps described below.

  1. Download the installer medium and create a directory for each module on it.

    The initial structure of your custom installation medium looks like the following example:

    - media.1
    - repodata
    - noarch
    - x86_64
    - [...]
    - SLE-Module-Basesystem
    - SLE-Module-XXX
  2. Copy the repository from the module to the respective directory for all modules. You can copy it either from the modules DVD or from the repository mirror on your local SMT or RMT server. Type the following command:

    cp -a /srv/www/htdocs/repo/SUSE/Products/SLE-Module-<name>/15/<arch>/product/* SLE-Module-<name>

    Alternatively, you can create your own repository with the command createrepo or import the repository from any other source as long as the repository uses the rpm-md format of metadata.

    Important: SUSE Tags

    Do not use repositories with the SUSE Tags metadata format.

  3. Append new lines to the end of the file /media.1/products on the medium. For each of the modules, add one line in the following format:

    <Path on media> <Name of the module>

    The module name can consist of any text, which will later be presented by the installer. For example, it can be as follows:

    /SLE-Module-Basesystem SLE-15-Module Basesystem

  4. (Optional) Automate the selection of modules.

    To automatically preselect the modules, create an add_on_products.xml file in the root of the media and specify all modules which should be pre-selected by the installer. Find an example for such a file below:

    <add_on_products xmlns=""
     <product_items config:type="list">
       <install_products config:type="list">

    Repeat the product_item element for every module you want to pre-select. The <product> entry must match the identifier of the product to ensure the correct release package gets installed.

  5. Create a bootable DVD with the following command:

    mksusecd --create My-SLE-15-Installer-DVD.iso <path>
  6. Boot the DVD.

  7. In the add-on step, select the additional modules you want to install.

    Important: Modules Selection

    In the list of modules to select, the installer will also offer the product which comes from the root of media (corresponding to the already existing line in the media.1/products file). Do not select this one. Also, do not remove this entry from media.1/products, as it is necessary for bootstratpping the installation.

At this point, having followed the steps as described above, your custom installation medium for SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 containing the installer plus the modules you have chosen to install is ready to use.

Find an example structure of the final custom installation medium below:

 - media.1
 - repodata
 - noarch
 - x86_64
 - [...]
 - SLE-Module-Basesystem
   - repodata
   - noarch
   - x86_64
   - [...]
 - SLE-Module-XXX
   - repodata
   - noarch
   - x86_64
   - [...]

4 Legal Notice

Copyright ©2006–2018 SUSE LLC and contributors. All rights reserved.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or (at your option) version 1.3; with the Invariant Section being this copyright notice and license. A copy of the license version 1.2 is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

SUSE, the SUSE logo and YaST are registered trademarks of SUSE LLC in the United States and other countries. For SUSE trademarks, see Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other names or trademarks mentioned in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

This article is part of a series of documents called "SUSE Best Practices". The individual documents in the series were contributed voluntarily by SUSE's employees and by third parties.

All information found in this document has been compiled with utmost attention to detail. However, this does not guarantee complete accuracy.

Therefore, we need to specifically state that neither SUSE LLC, its affiliates, the authors, nor the translators may be held liable for possible errors or the consequences thereof. Below we draw your attention to the license under which the articles are published.

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