Release Notes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1



These release notes are generic for all SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1 based products. Some parts may not apply to a particular architecture/product. Where this is not obvious, the respective architectures are listed explicitly. The instructions for installing can be found in the README file on CD.

Manuals are in the docu directory on the media. Any documentation (if installed) can be found below /usr/share/doc/ in the installed system.

This Novell product includes materials licensed to Novell under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL requires that Novell make available certain source code that corresponds to those GPL-licensed materials. The source code is available for download at Also, for up to three years from Novell's distribution of the Novell product, upon request Novell will mail a copy of the source code. Requests should be sent by e-mail to or as otherwise instructed at Novell may charge a fee to recover its reasonable costs of distribution.

1. General Information
2. Installation Procedure
3. Creating Images with YaST Image Creator and KIWI
5. Building Special Images

Chapter 1. General Information

New Feature in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1:

  • Delta Image creating, managing and distribution

    Network bandwidth can be an issue for many customers. To solve that problem we included into SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1 the ability to use image deltas instead of full images once a base image has been transferred towards the client side (the shop).

    Our solution includes the creation of an image delta, the transport and the full image regeneration on the client. The old image stays intact so in case of problems you could do a roll back to the old application.

    The delta can be generated with new command registerImages on Admin Server. This command can be also used for copying images to the slepos directory and adding them to LDAP, see SLEPOS Guide.

  • Role Based Image handling

    It is possible to define several possible configurations and switch between them from the terminal itself manually or from an application via the newly implemented API. For details see chapter "Using Terminals with Roles" in SLEPOS Guide.

  • Terminals now support rollback. It is possible to temporarily go back to the last working configuration instead of the one from current LDAP. The rollback menu is available after pressing C during terminal boot.

  • Branch Server LDAP supports disconnected mode - when the connection to Admin Server is down, all LDAP modification performed on Branch Server are stored locally and then synchronized with Admin Server when the connection is restored.

  • can be now used also from Branch Server, large changes in LDAP structure are however not supported. Alternatively, there is a new high-level tool named, which provides functionality for monitoring workstations and Role related configuration.

  • All commands and tools have unified verbosity and syslog options. In case of posAdmin this means that by default it is less verbose than before. The verbosity can be specified with --verbose=level or -v level for console and --syslog=level for syslog. Level can be one of emerg, alert, crit, err, warn, notice, info, debug.

  • New supplementary packages:

    • input-utils

    • kiwi-desc-oemboot

    • kiwi-desc-usbboot

    • sblim-cmpi-smbios

  • Building client images based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11

    To build images against SLES-11-GM, it is necessary to edit the SLES11 section in /usr/share/SLEPOS/poscdtool.conf and change line 'commonname :SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1:' to 'commonname :SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11:': and line 'majorversion 11.1' to 'majorversion 11'. You can also simply aplly following patch:

    --- /usr/share/SLEPOS/poscdtool.conf.orig 2010-05-11 20:49:38.000000000 +0200
    +++ /usr/share/SLEPOS/poscdtool.conf	  2010-05-11 20:50:19.000000000 +0200
    @@ -36,9 +36,9 @@
     dist SLES-11
    -commonname :SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1:
    +commonname :SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11:
     product SUSE_SLES
    -majorversion 11.1
    +majorversion 11
     arch i586
     basedir SLES-11-SP1-DVD-i586
     revision GM

New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 GA:

  • KIWI & YaST Image Creator (the GUI front-end to KIWI for image building) are updated and enhanced. All types of media handled by YaST-Software Repositories are now supported for Image building.

  • Admin Server ACL :

    • when adding scLocation object the '--userPassword' option is now required by where Branch Server`s (represented by scLocation object) is specified

    • manages acls when adding or removing scLocation (for checking acls, cn=config database may be listed ( 'ldapsearch -x -h <hostname> -D cn=admin,cn=config -w <password> -b cn=config')

  • Admin Server Offline installation :

    • The Offline installation file (OIF) is generated by the ' --generate' command. The only mandatory parameter (excluding default mandatory parameters) is '--base' specifying the 'scLocation' of the Branch Server. The OIF is gzipped tar consisting of Branch Server ldap subtree export, global ldab subtree export, certificates, preset settings for easy branch installation.

  • Branch Server Offline installation: '' is completely redesigned and now supports two installation modes.

    • Online installation: '' now additionally creates a local ldap Branch Server which is initialized using ldap syncrepl protocol. This is necessary for the upcoming offline Branch Server funcionality.

    • Offline installation: takes the OIF file generated on the Admin Server and configures the Branch Server including the creation of a local ldap Branch Server. Also supports non interactive batch initialization.

  • New options in '' :

    • -f OIFfile - specifies the OIF, the script will then automatically assume offline installation mode

    • -n --noninteractive - switch to non interactive batch installation. Only available with -f specified.

    • --reconfigure - when the Branch Server is already initialized the script will refuse to run unless this option is specified.

Chapter 2. Installation Procedure

The SLES 11 SP1 DVD and the SLEPOS 11 SP1 Add-On CD are needed for the installation and set up of the solution. SLEPOS 11 SP1 supports both x86 (i586) and x86_64 on the servers. Customers can build both x86 (i586) and x86_64 images. Only the x86 (i586) images will be officially supported.

  1. Start installing SLES 11 SP1 the usual way, until in the Installation Mode YaST asks you whether you want to install add-on products. Check Include Add-On Products from Separate Media and click Next.

  2. On page Add-On Product Installation, click Add. Choose CD and click Next. Insert SLEPOS 11 SP1 media into the optical drive as requested and then click Continue to confirm.

  3. The add-on media is now added. Click Next to proceed with the installation as usual, until you reach the Server Pattern Selection (YaST Package Manager).

  4. In the Server Pattern Selection window you have a simplified Pattern Selection menu (Admin, Branch or Image Server) with a Detailed Selection option. (In Detailed Selection you can combine different patterns or you can select single packages in the traditional YaST Package Manager mode).

  5. In the Server Pattern Selection window, several main patterns are provided that allow you to install the components of the SLEPOS system. Select the patterns according to the roles of the computer that you are installing:

    • SLEPOS Admin Server: installs a SLEPOS Administration Server.

    • SLEPOS Branch Server: installs a SLEPOS Branch Server.

    • SLEPOS Image Server: installs a SLEPOS Image Server.

    • SLEPOS Image Descriptions: a dependency for the SLEPOS Image Server (installed automatically).

  6. Proceed with the installation as usual (note the Branch Server installation changes which follow).

Branch Server installation changes

When no options are set the script asks for installation mode (Online/default or Offline).

  • Online installation mode: When started the script asks if it should initialize a local ldap Branch Server. If 'NO' is selected the script assumes there is an already running branch ldap and asks for its address. If 'YES' is chosen the script will initialize a local ldap server.

  • Offline installation mode: If '-f' parameter is not specified the script asks for the path to the OIF file. If '-n' (or '--noninteractive') is not specified the script asks for the required ldap settings (some defaults are predefined). After that the script asks whether to use a local branch ldap server or a remote one. When '-n' is specified the script asks for nothing and automatically initializes a local Branch Server.

Chapter 3. Creating Images with YaST Image Creator and KIWI

SLEPOS uses KIWI as the main tool for creating Point of Service system images. You can find the KIWI documentation in the kiwi package as a PDF file: /usr/share/doc/packages/kiwi/kiwi.pdf. To simplify creating and managing image configurations and building images, YaST Image Creator has been developed. SLEPOS delivers several ready image configuration templates. All of them have default sets of package sources (rpm repositories). You need to create those sources first using poscopytool application. However you can override this settings when you create your own images and define your own set of repositories. Be sure that you always provide SLES 11 SP1 and SLEPOS 11 SP1 sources! (see poscopytool)

  • YaST Image Creator

    To build an image with YaST Image Creator, perform the following steps:

    1. In the YaST Control Center, click Miscellaneous -> YaST Image Creator. The YaST Image Creator window appears.

    2. Click Add to start creating an image configuration.

    3. Enter a name for the image configuration in the Kiwi Configuration.

    4. Select Base on Template and in the list box, select the image template that you want to use.

    5. Select the image type you want to create using the Image Type list box. The image type selected determines the type of booting and the files that KIWI will create.

    6. You can leave the Output Directory setting as it is, as a reasonable default directory is already selected.

    7. If necessary, modify the list of package repositories that will be used for creating the image. (see poscopytool)

    8. Click Next to proceed with creating the image configuration. YaST Image Creator now downloads the repository metadata. This action may take some time.

    9. After the Image Configuration window appears, click Finish to proceed with creating the image, using the default settings.

    10. Click Yes to save the image configuration and start building the image. (If you click No, only the image configuration is saved and no image is built.)

    11. KIWI now starts building the image.

  • KIWI

    If the KIWI run within YaST Image Creator fails or you need special fine tuning you can try building the image from the command line. YaST Image Creator just creates a configuration for KIWI, and this configuration is stored as a directory path with the following form: '/var/lib/SLEPOS/system/<kiwi_configuration_name>'.

    'kiwi_configuration_name' is the name you entered in the Kiwi Configuration field in YaST Image Creator.

    To build a previously created image perform the following steps:

    1. Enter the following command:

                     kiwi -p /var/lib/SLEPOS/system/image-name

      This command creates the directory structure for the system inside the image, and in one of the last lines of its output, it informs you about the location of the log file (in the form of '/tmp/kiwi.random_identifier'). The other important information is the path to the directory structure that has been just built. Look for a line starting with Initializing image system on: and copy this path into the command at step 3.

    2. Create a directory for the resulting image and associated files. A good option is to store the resulting files into the same directory that YaST Image Creator would use:

    3. You can now build the image into this directory using the prepared directory structure with the following command:

                     kiwi -c kiwi-prepared_directory_structure -d directory_from_step_2

      Again, if KIWI fails, it reports where an error log is available. Please attach this log to the bug report. Also keep the following in mind:

      • YaST and YaST Image Creator must not be running when building images with KIWI, otherwise KIWI will fail. If KIWI seems to be stuck, try to open the screen log file using tail -f or tail -F. Look for the screen log file name in the line starting with Set root log:.

      • If you cannot build the image configured with YaST Image Creator even from the command line, copy the original template as it is from /usr/share/kiwi/image/SLEPOS) into another directory (/var/lib/SLEPOS/system/another_directory). This should always work. If not, please file a bug report.

Chapter 4. is an application for copying SLES 11 SP1 and SLEPOS 11 SP1 media to the Image Server. The application is located in /usr/sbin/. Please use --help for quick information or use documentation for detailed help.

To copy the CD/DVD do the following steps:

  1. Insert the SLES 11 DVD media into the drive

  2. run command --source /media

  3. press enter and follow the instructions on the screen, wait until the CD/DVD is copied and insert the next

  4. At the end you should have SLES and SLEPOS copied.

    Note for experienced users: you do not need to insert the real DVD/CD, you can just mount them using the following command:

                   mount -o loop /path/to/file.iso /media/dvd

Chapter 5. Building Special Images

  1. USB key-stick

    The usb key stick contains boot loader, kernel, initrd and system image. It does not write to the physical disk.

    • Step by step creation in YaST Image Creator:

      • Select minimal/desktop/graphical template and select usb boot type

      • Name the image 'test-usb' for example

      • Build the image

      • After a successful build open a terminal and type:

      • #> cd /var/lib/SLEPOS/system/images/test-usb

      • #> ls

    • The result should be something like this:


      These files are initrd, kternel and system images.

    • Put an usb stick into an usb slot and type:

      • #> kiwi --bootstick initrd-usbboot-SLEPOS11.i686-3.0.9.gz --bootstick-system test-usb.i686-1.0.0

      • and wait till kiwi returns something like:

        	   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : Creating boot USB stick from: ../initrd-usbboot-SLEPOS11.i686-3.0.9.gz...
                   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : Setting up splash screen...............done
                   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : Creating initial boot structure........done
                   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : Importing grub stages for stick boot...done
                   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : Found following removable USB devices:
                   Nov-13 16:02 <1> : ---> 78a2c3121194b3 at /dev/sdb

        KIWI now wants for you to type the mount point of your stick.

      • To find the mount-point type the following (in case you have more than one sticks/disks you will also see them listed here) :

      • #> /dev/sdb

      • Submit the mount point of your usb-stick to KIWI and wait while it writes to it (please make sure your usb-stick is big enough and note that all the data from the stick will be erased!!!). Now you are ready to boot your usb-stick.

  2. Bootable CD with Live System

    The result of this procedure is an ISO with bootable system. No data will be written to hard disks of the terminals. The whole system image is on the CD.

    • YaST Image Creator:

      • Select minimal/desktop/graphical system image and select "Live system" as boot type.

      • Use test-iso as name for the image.

      • Build.

      • After a successful build you will see a pop-up window with the path to the created ISO, for example test-iso.i686-1.0.0.iso. Burn the ISO file using any CD burning application.

  3. CD Boot with network system.

    The result of this procedure is an ISO with a bootable system. The second part will be downloaded from the network over TFTP protocol. Use this image if the computer cannot boot over PXE/DHCP (broken network card).

    • YaST Image Creator:

    • Select minimal/desktop/graphical and select pxe boot type.

    • Use test-pxe as name for the image.

    • After a successful build open a terminal and type:

    • #> cd /var/lib/SLEPOS/system/image/test-pxe

    • #> ls

    • You should see something like this:

    • Now you need to build the CD using the following kiwi command:

      	       kiwi --installcd initrd-netboot-SLEPOS11.i686-3.0.10.gz
    • You will get an ISO image.

      • Burn this ISO to CD and boot up the system.

      • The terminal will boot up and try to obtain tftp server name (from dhcp lease).

      • When successful it will continue with the standard netboot procedure

        • upload hw info

        • register config.MAC

        • download system image

        • deploy system image


Thanks for using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in your business.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 Team.