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Product Features

New in Service Pack 3 (SP3)

  • Optimize workloads on z Systems with full support for SUSE KVM on z. Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is an innovative full virtualization solution for Linux. It consists of a loadable kernel module that provides the core virtualization infrastructure and a processor specific module. Using KVM, you can run multiple virtual machines running unmodified operating system images. Each virtual machine has private virtualized hardware: a network card, disk, graphics adapter, etc. SUSE KVM is included in the base and is now fully supported.
  • Increase data security for z Systems with enhanced cryptographic support for the latest Public Key Cryptography Standards and Crypto hardware acceleration.

New in Service Pack 2 (SP2)

  • Boost performance and throughput with support for the latest technology advances in SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) and SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading) across the full range of IBM LinuxONE and z Systems
  • Accelerate innovation with complete support for the newest virtualization capabilities of IBM KVM and z/VM, and the latest advances in container management with container engine from open source Docker project on z
  • Improve operational efficiency by taking advantage of the networking and communications improvements such as OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution, shared memory communications, and enhanced HiperSockets support
  • Heighten security and data protection, now certified for FIPS 140-2 and supports the latest cryptographic acceleration for secure-key operations and new hardware assists for fast data encryption
  • Invigorate cloud and DevOps on the mainframe by transforming the mainframe operating environment into an agile and trusted cloud infrastructure
  • Expand accessibility to open source packages for z Systems users through Package Hub which includes validated open source software for IBM LinuxONE and IBM z Systems

New in Service Pack 1 (SP1)

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE 12 SP1 lets organizations take advantage of the latest technical advances in the best-engineered, most-interoperable Linux platform for IBM z Systems. Enhancements include improved virtualization support and management technologies, new hardware support, and new features in networking, storage and security technologies.

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Architecture Level Set

Provides state-of-the-art z Systems processor hardware exploitation for IBM z196, z114, zBC12, zEC12, z13, LinuxOne Rockhopper, and LinuxOne Emperor. This means a much faster Linux system with enhanced compiler and toolchain to help boost your application performance.


  • Wicked

Wicked makes it easy to manage ever-more-complicated network configurations such as VLAN, virtualization, bridging, bonding, and IPv6. Wicked allows you to import existing configuration files from older Linux operating system versions.

  • GRUB2

New boot loader that offers advantages such as the use of modules which you can load separately per your requirements. GRUB2 also recognizes many more file systems.

  • Systemd

A new system and service manager designed for Linux automatically handles dependencies to make the boot process much simpler. Systemd can manage the entire boot process, and allows starting services in parallel. This results in much faster system boot times.

  • Integrated facility for Linux (IFL)

Allows you to buy a single software license and share it across many Linux virtual machines, which reduces IBM software charges for traditional z Systems operating systems and middleware. Best of all, IFLs let you avoid buying additional, more expensive central processors for z Systems.

Integrated Facility for Linux

An IFL is a specialized processor from IBM that handles multiple Linux workloads. If you use an IFL, you can buy a single software license and share it across many Linux virtual machines. Because you are charged for only one processor license, running Linux workloads on an IFL doesn't result in increased IBM software charges for traditional z Systems operating systems and middleware. Best of all, IFLs let you avoid buying additional, more expensive central processors for z Systems.


  • IBM z/VM

Create several virtual machines that run on a single processor and handle multiple workloads. This lets you reduce or eliminate the need to buy more hardware and lets you consolidate physical systems to shrink your data center footprint and simplify maintenance for your IT staff. More ›

  • Support for KVM for IBM z Systems

Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) is a Linux kernel infrastructure virtualization solution for x86 hardware, and for the IBM POWER and IBM z Systems architectures. KVM for IBM z Systems provides open source virtualization for the IBM mainframe. Using the combination of KVM virtualization and IBM z Systems, you have the performance and flexibility to address the requirements of multiple, differing Linux workloads. To make sure our mutual customers get the best integrated Linux-based virtualization solution for IBM z Systems, SUSE is closely collaborating with IBM on its KVM for IBM z Systems technology. More ›

  • Support for container engine from open source Docker project

Containers are a virtual environment within the Linux OS instance. Containers have similar resource isolation and allocation benefits as virtual machines but a different architectural approach allows them to be very portable and flexible. Docker is a specific implementation of a container solution. It is a powerful tool to build, modify, deploy, run, and manage containers. It comes with an extreme focus on efficiency and fast response times. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE 12 SP1, we ship the foundation for the support of container engine from open source Docker project on IBM z Systems.


  • Common code base

The versions (and source code) of all core packages of the SUSE Linux Enterprise product family are the same, from the desktop to the mainframe. The common code base guarantees the product is consistent for the highest code quality, better supportability, and preemptive code maintenance.

  • Superior package management with ZYpp

ZYpp is the fastest update stack available on any enterprise distribution. SUSE has optimized ZYpp for performance and accuracy. It's more feature-rich than tools such as Yum and Smart.

  • New YaST

YaST offers a user-friendly environment to install, configure, and manage each aspect of your systems, both at install time and post-installation. YaST is now written in Ruby, so you can more easily customize it.

  • Starter System

The prebuilt installation server makes deploying a pilot system easy by eliminating the need for a separate system to host the installation files. Additionally, this tool ensures you won't need network connectivity outside the mainframe to install your Linux servers. More ›


  • AppArmor

Protect your Linux OS and applications from external and internal threats and zero-day attacks. AppArmor comes with default policies for quick deployment so you can secure mission-critical applications quickly.

  • Integration with other security products

SUSE offers integration with standard mainframe security through the Identity Manager Integration Module for Mainframes, which connects to RACF, ACF2 and Top Secret.

  • Cryptography

PKCS #11 is part of the Public-Key Cryptography Standards, and is widely used for access smart cards and in hardware security models. You can easily set-up this crypto hardware stack on z Systems using a new install pattern in YaST.


  • SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE is the only operating system for mainframes that includes advanced high availability Linux services with every subscription—all for free. The SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension offers you a clustered file system for Linux on z Systems, and delivers all the essential monitoring, messaging and cluster resource management features in an integrated suite of open source technologies. More ›

  • Extensions for clustering

Increase business availability with SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension. Further enhance your business continuity by connecting data centers across unlimited distances with Geo Clustering. More ›


  • PCHID mapping

PCHID mapping helps you determine the physical channel-ID (PCHID) associated with a channel path identifier (CHPID). The ability to map CHPID to PCHID values results in advanced error determination and faster problem resolution.

  • Concurrent Flash MCL updates

Kernel support for concurrent Flash MCL (microcode level) updates to Flash storage media during operation are included. You can apply these upgrades without impacting I/O operations to the flash storage media.

  • Disk mirroring

Disk mirroring with real-time enhancement for z Systems improves storage operation by enabling uninterrupted operation even in case of a temporary DS8000/ESS failure or timeout, resulting in better service availability.

  • Dump to zfcp/SCSI Partition

With the function Dump to zfcp/SCSI Partition, the SCSI dump tool writes dumps directly to a SCSI partition, without using a file system. The option zipl -d is used for both DASD and SCSI stand-alone dumps.


  • Improve performance of dasdfmt

Improves the speed of DASD formatting processes, even if they run in parallel. In addition, you can specify the number of cylinders to be formatted in one step. This lowers administration time and effort, and supports growth with larger future DASDs.

  • Query OSA Address Table

Query OSA Address Table allows for ongoing refinement based on customer feedback for better network and adapter management, and provides a kernel and s390-tools infrastructure to gather and display OSA and TCP/IP configuration information via the "OSA Query Address Table" hardware function.

  • Support for transparent large pages

Provides performance improvements for applications that access large amounts of anonymous memory, such as heap space for Java programs or caching areas for databases.

  • Multiple netiucv paths

Lets you establish multiple netiucv connections between the same two z/VM guests by using IUCV user data (in addition to the VM user ID) to identify a network interface. This results in better scalability for z/VM Linux data exchange and improved performance.

  • QSAM Access Method for Data sharing with z/OS

Enhances the functionality of the s390-tools to allow a Linux system to directly access z/OS legacy data on DASD storage devices. Stage one consists of non-concurrent access, that is, Linux access to z/OS data occurs regardless of z/OS processing. By avoiding FTP or NFS transfer of data from z/OS, this feature significantly reduces the turnaround time for batch processing.

  • Optimized Compression Library zlib

Compression requires significant processor resources. Using an optimized version of zlib significantly improves performance and lowers processor resource consumption for applications using the respective library.

  • Support for zPXE Boot

Gives you a parameter-driven executable, a retrieving installation source, and instance-specific parameters. This means the system can automatically download the respective kernel, initrd and parameter files for that instance and start an installation.

See how SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE compares ›


SUSE has almost 25 years of support experience, and our support centers cover every region of the world. With regard to z Systems, our more than 15 years of technology expertise and our close collaboration with IBM give you the assurance that we have your back—anytime!

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