Technical Information

System Requirements

  • Minimum Linux server system requirements for installation
    • 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
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 750 MB hard disk space for software
    • 750 MB hard disk space for user data

Kernel Limits

The following table summarizes the kernel limits associated with SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 2. These limits are applicable to all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop products based on version 11 SP2.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Kernel (3.0.10) Limits

SLE 11 SP2 (3.0.10) x86 x86_64 ia64 s390x ppc64
CPU bits 32 64 64 64 64
max. # logical CPUs 32 4096 4096 64 1024
max. RAM(theoretical / certified) 64 GiB/ 16 GiB 64 TiB/ 16 TiB 1 PiB/8+ TiB 4 TiB/256 GiB 1 PiB/512 GiB
max. userspace / kernelspace 3 GiB/1 GiB 128 TiB/128 TiB 2 EiB /φ φ/φ 2 TiB/2 EiB
max. swap space up to 29 * 64 GiB up to 30 * 64 GiB
max. #processes 1,048,576
max. #threads per process tested with more than 120,000; maximum limit depends on memory and other parameters
max. size per block device up to 16 TiB up to 8 EiB


  • 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.

  • Supported processor platforms
    • x86
    • x86_64 (AMD64 and Intel EM64T)
    • IA64 (Itanium 2)
    • IBM System z (64-bit)

Support for the btrfs File System

Btrfs is a copy-on-write (CoW) general purpose file system. Based on the CoW functionality, btrfs provides snapshotting. Beyond that, data and metadata checksums improve the reliability of the file system. Btrfs is highly scalable, but also supports online shrinking to adapt to real-life environments. On appropriate storage devices, btrfs also supports the TRIM command.


With SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2, the btrfs file system is supported as the root file system, i.e. the file system for the operating system, across all architectures of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2.

Customers are advised to use the YaST partitioner (or AutoYaST) to build their systems. YaST will prepare the btrfs file system for use with subvolumes and snapshots. Snapshots will be automatically enabled for the root file system using SUSE's snapper infrastructure.

For more information about snapper, its integration into ZYpp and YaST, and the YaST snapper module, see the SUSE Linux Enterprise documentation.

Offline migration from existing "ext" file systems (ext2, ext3, ext4) is supported.


Btrfs is supported on top of MD (multiple devices) and DM (device mapper) configurations. Please use the YaST partitioner to achieve a proper setup.

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
Offline Extend Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Offline Shrink Yes Yes No Yes 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 N/A 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 164 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
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z

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