Technical Information

System Requirements

  • Minimum Linux server system requirements for installation
    • IBM POWER8 processor-based server
    • Local Installation: 512 MB RAM
    • Secure Shell (SSH)-based network install, graphical: 512 MB RAM
    • Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-based network install using File Transfer Protocol (FTP): 512 MB RAM
  • Minimum Linux server system requirements for operation
    • IBM POWER8 processor-based server
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 750 MB hard disk space for software
    • 750 MB hard disk space for user data
  • Recommendations for specific uses
    • 512 MB to 4 GB RAM, at least 256 MB per CPU
    • 4 GB hard-disk space
    • Network interface (Ethernet, wireless or modem)
    • For PowerKVM virtual host server—the limits are equal to those of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • For PowerKVM virtual machines—at least an additional 256 MB RAM for each virtual machine
    • For print servers—a relatively faster processor or additional processors to improve server-based printing
    • For web servers—additional RAM to improve caching, and additional processors to improve web application performance
    • For database servers—additional RAM to improve caching, and using multiple disks for parallel I/O
    • For file servers—additional memory and disks, or a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) system to improve I/O throughput

Kernel Limits

The following table summarizes the kernel limits associated with SUSE Linux Enterprise 12. These limits are applicable to all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop products based on version 12.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Kernel (3.12) Limits

SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 (3.12) x86_64 s390x ppc64le
CPU Bits 64 64 64
Max. Number of Logical CPUs 8192 256 2048
Max. RAM
(Theoretical / Certified)
1 PiB/64 TiB 4 TiB/256 GiB 1 PiB/64 TiB
Max. User space / Kernel Space 128 TiB/128 TiB φ/φ 2 TiB/2 EiB
Max. Swap Space up to 29 x 64 GiB (x86_64) or 30 x 64 GiB (other architectures)
Max. Number of Processes 1048576
Max. Number of Threads per Process
per process
Maximum limit depends on memory and other parameters (Tested with more than 120,000)
Max. Size
per Block Device
Up to 8 EiB on all 64-bit architectures


  • φ = insufficient data
  • Theoretical limits are those which are theoretically possible, based on their design. Certified limits are those which have been tested by SUSE and its partners, and certified to work in real life scenarios.
  • 1024 Bytes = 1 KiB; 1024 KiB = 1 MiB; 1024 MiB = 1 GiB; 1024 GiB = 1 TiB; 1024 TiB = 1 PiB; 1024 PiB = 1 EiB (see also
  • Logical CPUs refer to CPUs that are identified and seen by the Linux kernel. This can be different from the number of physical CPU sockets, which are physical entities typically mounted to a motherboard, or cores, which are also physical entities but usually not visible components of multi-core systems, or virtual CPUs, which are logical CPUs seen within a virtual machine.

File System Support

SUSE Linux Enterprise was the first enterprise Linux distribution to support journaling filesystems and logical volume managers back in 2000. Today, we support Ext3, ReiserFS, XFS, OCFS2 and Btrfs. The current default file system for new SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 installations is ext3. OCFS2 is a cluster-aware file system, and is included with our High Availability extension.

We suggest using XFS for large-scale filesystems, on systems with heavy load and multiple parallel read and write operations (e.g. for databases and file serving with Samba, NFS, etc.). XFS has been specifically developed for use under those conditions, while typical desktop applications (single write or read) will not necessarily benefit from its capabilities.

File System Support and Sizes

  Ext3 ReiserFS 3.6 XFS Btrfs OCFS2
Data Journaling Yes No No N/A No
Metadata Journaling Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Journal Internal Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes
Journal External Yes Yes Yes N/A No
Copy on Write N/A N/A N/A Yes N/A
Offline Extend Yes Yes No No Yes
Offline Shrink Yes Yes No No No
Online Extend Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Shrink No No No Yes No
Sparse Files Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tail Packing No Yes No Yes No
Defrag No No Yes Yes No
Extended Attributes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Access Control Lists Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Quotas Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dump and Restore Yes No Yes No No
Default Blocksize 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB
Maximum File System Size 16 TiB 16 TiB 8 EiB 16 EiB 16 TiB
Maximum File Size 2 TiB 1 EiB 8 EiB 16 EiB 1 EiB


  • The maximum file sizes above can be larger than the filesystem's actual size when using sparse blocks. Unless a filesystem comes with large file support, the maximum file size on a 32-bit system will be 2 GiB. Currently all of our standard filesystems (including ext3 and ReiserFS) have large file support, which offers a theoretical maximum file size of 8 EiB. The numbers in the above table assume filesystems are using 4 KiB block sizes, which is a common standard. When using different block sizes, the results will be different.
  • 1024 Bytes = 1 KiB; 1024 KiB = 1 MiB; 1024 MiB = 1 GiB; 1024 GiB = 1 TiB; 1024 TiB = 1 PiB; 1024 PiB = 1 EiB (see also

Package Descriptions


Included with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a comprehensive set of documentation to help you quickly and easily install, configure and manage your Linux servers.

Standards Compliance

Carrier Grade Linux Registration

SUSE supports the Linux Foundation's Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) specification. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 meets the latest CGL 4.0 standard, and is CGL registered.

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