Technical Information

System Requirements

Minimum Linux server system requirements for installation

  • Local Installation: 512 MiB RAM, 512 MiB Swap recommended
  • 2 GiB available disk space (more recommended, 8.5 GiB for all patterns)
  • 16 GiB for snapshot/rollback of the OS

Recommendations for specific uses

  • 512 MiB to 4 GiB RAM, at least 256 MiB per CPU
  • 4 GiB hard-disk space, 16 GiB for snapshot/rollback of the OS
  • Network interface (Ethernet, wireless or modem)
  • For Xen virtual host server—at least 512 MiB RAM for each virtual host server
  • For KVM virtual host server—KVM’s limits are equal to those of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  • For Xen or KVM virtual machines—at least an additional 256 MiB 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 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

Package Descriptions

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for AMD64 & Intel 64

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for IBM POWER

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for IBM zSeries

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 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; 024 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 file systems and logical volume managers back in 2000. Later we introduced xfs to Linux, which today is seen as the primary workhorse for large-scale file systems, systems with heavy load and multiple parallel read- and write-operations.

With SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 we are taking the next step in innovation and are using the copy-on-write file system btrfs as the default for the operating system, to support system snapshots and rollback.

File System Support and Sizes

Feature Btrfs XFS Ext4 ReiserFS** OCFS 2 **
Data Journaling N/A No No No No
Metadata Journaling N/A Yes No Yes Yes
Journal Internal N/A Yes Yes No No
Journal External N/A Yes No No No
Copy on Write Yes N/A N/A N/A N/A
Offline Extend Yes No Yes Yes No
Offline Shrink Yes No Yes No No
Online Extend Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Shrink Yes No No No No
Sparse Files Yes No No No No
Tail Packing Yes No Yes No No
Defrag Yes No No No No
Extended Attributes Yes No No No No
Access Control Lists Yes No No No No
Quotas Yes No No No No
Dump and Restore No No No No No
Default Blocksize 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB 4 KiB HA
Blocksize Default 4KiB
Max. File System Size [1] 16 EiB 8 EiB 1 EiB 16 TiB 4 PiB
Max. File Size [1] 16 EiB 8 EiB 1 EiB 1 EiB 4 PiB
  * Btrfs is copy-on-write file system. Rather than journaling changes before writing them in-place, it writes them to a new location, then links it in. Until the last write, the new changes are not "committed." Due to the nature of the file system, quotas are implemented based on subvolumes ("qgroups"). The block size default varies with different host architectures. 64 KiB is used on ppc64le, 4 KiB on most other systems. The actual size used can be checked with the command "getconf PAGE_SIZE".
  ** ReiserFS is supported for existing file systems, but the creation of new ReiserFS file systems is discouraged.
  *** OCFS2 is fully supported as part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension.


  • The maximum file sizes above can be larger than the file system's actual size when using sparse blocks. Unless a file system comes with large file support, the maximum file size on a 32-bit system will be 2 GiB. Currently all of our standard file systems (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 file systems 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


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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