Release Notes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2



These release notes are generic for all SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 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 SUSE product includes materials licensed to SUSE under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL requires that SUSE 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 SUSE's distribution of the SUSE product, upon request SUSE will mail a copy of the source code. Requests should be sent by e-mail to or as otherwise instructed at SUSE may charge a fee to recover its reasonable costs of distribution.

1. General Information
1.1. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 Feature Pack 2
1.2. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 Feature Pack 1
1.3. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2
1.4. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1
1.5. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 GA
2. Installation Procedure
3. Creating Images with YaST Image Creator and KIWI
4. Setting up SMT repositories
4.1. SMT on local machine (default)
4.2. SMT on a remote machine
4.3. Using SLES and SLEPOS media directly to create a SMT repository
5. Building Special Images

Chapter 1. General Information

1.1. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 Feature Pack 2

Feature Pack 2 (FP2) is a sequential update on top of Service Pack 2 . Its contents are delivered to the customer through the regular maintenance channel and thus will be transparent to the regular customer.

  • FP2 delivers a couple of interesting bug and convenience fixes as well as an enhanced documentation. Most of its changes are internally and not visible to the customer but by further improved stability.

  • The posAdmin XML interface is now hardened and thus no longer considered to be experimental. For the future we consider the XML based setup as the recommended method for bringing up the system. Also the posAdminGUI did see some convenience changes to foster this statement.

  • FP2 brings a couple of smaller and bigger documentation enhancements which makes it worth to revisit your most used part of the documentation.

  • A new chapter has been added to the documentation to help with migration of a productive environment from older versions to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2.

1.2. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 Feature Pack 1

Generally Feature Pack 1 (FP1) adds support for wireless operation out-of-the-box and thus enables to do an efficient HW rollout to branches in such environments.

  • Nevertheless please note that the support is not switched on by default.

  • Creation of a service partition on the terminal that will serve administration purposes of SLEPOS. This partition can be used e.g. to

    • store the encrypted image before the installation

    • download the new image in the background

    • local boot for the wireless terminals

    Please note that service partitions cannot be encrypted.

  • Enabled local netboot from a service partition

  • Provide support for the transport of compressed images via multicast TFTP. In stock SLEPOS 11 SP2 either usage of compressed images OR multicast transport has been possible.

  • KIWI has the ability to create OEM images for use of IHVs to do preloads. This KIWI features has been extended for use in a SLEPOS environment.

    The resulting images can be used for booting from USB stick or it can be preloaded on the HDD.

  • Enabled terminals with more than network interface.

    While still only one NIC can be in production use at a time it is now easier to switch the usage from one network interface to another eg. switching from wireless to a regular cable based NIC and vice versa. Also KIWI got a robust detection of the active network interface during boot and does no longer rely on the primarily selected NIC for e.g. dhcp.

  • Introduced new config.MAC options POS_KERNEL, POS_INITRD, POS_KERNEL_PARAMS

1.3. New Features in SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2

  • The SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 solution does now include the SMT product which comes without additional charge. For details see chapter “Setting up SMT repositories” below.

    This adresses the needs of staying up-to-date with available bug and security fixes and protecting the production environment from potential failures or attacs.

  • Extended rollback functionality

    Rollback does now also keep all related configuration files, custom pxe configurations and similar associated files. In SP1 only the config.MAC configuration has been preserved.

  • Set hostname of a terminal at register time (first boot)

    This functionality is provided to give customers a way to set the hostname in a way that is similar to what he might be used to from former IBM IRES V2 Role based configuration.

  • RAID-1 support with SLEPOS PXE images

    While Admin and Branch server inherit the full RAID functionalities from the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server product this is not true for the image based terminals. Starting with this service pack it is now possible to create images that do two-disk mirroring on a terminal in a transparent way.

  • Support for fully encrypted disks on terminals

    Both data and root partitions are now encryptable. The whole configuration takes place at image creation time. All passwords are generated on the admin or branch server. The current implementation does the the password transport via network from the branch server to the terminal. Other methods hereof may follow in future versions. Thus all passwords for the terminal are stored on the corresponding branch server. Current safety level is intended to protect against theft of/unauthorized access to the client.

  • Provide image template for complete branch server based on central configuration in LDAP

    Branch server images can now be built using Image Creator or KIWI. The process is the same as for terminal images.

    In SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP1 the way to set up a branch server in a SLEPOS environment is to install SLES+SLEPOS and to do a manual configuration for every branch server. This can sum up to a bigger number of days to set up this part of a customer installation. With this feature we utilize the imaging infrastructure on the admin server together with the information stored in the central LDAP data base there to create a ready-to-go image for each shop/ branch server.

    In the future this will be promoted to be the preferred way of setting up the branch server to fully replace it later.

  • Update of KIWI to version 4.8x aligned with all other SP2 based products.

    KIWI gets updated to the latest version. Besides many, many fixes this gives the customer a better integration into the whole SUSE Linux Enterprise product family.

    There is medium risk of incompatibility with older KIWI configuration files. In result the configuration file changes and has to be adopted to the slightly new format where neccesary.

Other Features in Service Pack 2:

  • Added the SLEPOS XML suite to export of the LDAP data base to xml to allow visualising, validity and consistency checking.

  • Automatic network configuration for Branch Servers

  • Move slepos services configuration from remaining conf files to LDAP

  • Upload log file from the terminal to the branch server for debugging purposes

  • Boot system images with kexec

  • Support /dev/disk/by-path notation with image building

  • Introduced LDAP validation and checking

  • Added a new Posadmin GUI. For details see chapter “Simple Administration GUI” in the SLEPOS Guide.

  • Support a standalone Image Server in registerImages

  • Ability to easily configure different language supported prior to image creation

  • Ability to create custom SLEPOS image with IBM Javapos rpm packages using KIWI

  • Added kiwiservertype=ftp functionality on SLEPOS 11

1.4. New Features 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 SP2 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:

    - kiwi-desc-oemboot
    - kiwi-desc-usbboot
  • 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 SP2:
    +commonname :SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11:
     product SUSE_SLES
    -majorversion 11.2
    +majorversion 11
     arch i586
     basedir SLES-11-SP1-DVD-i586
     revision GM

1.5. 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 SP2 DVD and the SLEPOS 11 SP2 Add-On CD are needed for the installation and set up of the solution. SLEPOS 11 SP2 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 SP2 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 SP2 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).

We do not recommend to update an existing installation. Instead we recommend the migration steps as described in the SLEPOS documentation.

While the update of the software packages should not make problems there are a couple of configuration changes that do need special manual attention after package update:

  • KIWI version has been updated from 3.74 to 4.85. While there is an automatic conversion of image descriptions in place we recommend to double check esp. for complex setups.

  • LDAP data structures have been extended from SP1 to SP2 so that all configuration is now saved in the LDAP data base in one place.

  • SMT has become a mandatory part of the installation of an Image Server.

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 as described in chapter “Setting up SMT repositories”. 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 SP2 and SLEPOS 11 SP2 sources!

  • 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 chapter “Setting up SMT repositories”)

    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. Setting up SMT repositories

Starting with SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 the default package repository for image building is provided by a SUSE SMT server. You will find SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 already preconfigured for an SMT server that runs on the same machine as the SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service 11 SP2 image server. Once the connection to the SUSE package and update server has been set up, the image building will work out of the box.

As SMT is meant as a full replacement for poscdtool/poscopytool those tools have been removed from the product and all documentation around those are therefore considered to be obsolete from now on.

For details on installation and configuration for the SUSE SMT product you can also check:



Besides the default of installing the SMT server on the same machine as Image Server, the user has the option to run the SMT server on separate machine

In this case the preconfigured local paths to the image repositories should be changed to the URLs that a referring to the SMT server.

For example


should be changed to$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Updates/sle-11-i586

In both cases, the SMT should be installed according to the documentation and the following channels configured:

  • SLES

  • SLES-Updates


  • SLEPOS-Updates

This is the full list of repos required for building a SP2 image:


4.1. SMT on local machine (default)

Image configurations in SP2 are prepared for locally installed SMT, which use the following repos, in rpm-md format:


The image repository configuration can be changed as required. The typical examples follow.

4.2. SMT on a remote machine

The repository path must be changed to an URL pointing to the SMT machine. The repository type remains unchanged, i.e. "rpm-md".$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Pool/sle-11-i586$RCE/SLES11-SP2-Core/sle-11-i586$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Updates/sle-11-i586$RCE/SLES11-SP2-Updates/sle-11-i586$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Pool/sle-11-i586$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Updates/sle-11-i586

4.3. Using SLES and SLEPOS media directly to create a SMT repository

It is possible to use the SLES and SLEPOS media directly to create a SMT repository. The medias can be mounted to a directory or copied. In the following example we suppose that

  • the SLES media has been copied to /var/lib/SLEPOS/dist/SLES-11-SP2-DVD-i586-DVD1

  • and the SLEPOS media to /var/lib/SLEPOS/dist/SLE-11-SP2-POS-i586-x86_64-DVD1.

To configure the image repositories for image building, you will need to modify the appropriate config.xml template for your image.

The image templates can be found in:


Look for the following lines in the config.xml file

        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Pool/sle-11-i586"/>
        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP2-Core/sle-11-i586"/>
        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Updates/sle-11-i586"/>
        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP2-Updates/sle-11-i586"/>
        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Pool/sle-11-i586"/>
        <repository type="rpm-md">
                <source path="/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Updates/sle-11-i586"/>

Replace all instances of repository type "rpm-md" to "yast2"

Replace the following lines (for SLES):

/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Pool/sle-11-i586 and

/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP2-Core/sle-11-i586 and

/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLES11-SP1-Updates/sle-11-i586 and




Replace the following 2 lines (for SLEPOS):

/srv/www/htdocs/repo/$RCE/SLE11-POS-SP2-Pool/sle-11-i586 and




Finally save the file and open Image Creator. You should be able to see the repositories that you have added.

It is however strongly recommended to add updates repository too, using SMT repository as described above, or by creating a plain dir repo manually (for details see kiwi documentation).

Note: The repository configuration can be changed also in Yast2 Image Creator, in this case is the repository type detected automatically.

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 SP2 Team.