SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5

Release Notes

This document provides guidance and an overview to high-level general features and updates for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5. Besides architecture or product-specific information, it also describes the capabilities and limitations of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5.

This product will be released in December 2019. The latest version of these release notes is always available at https://www.suse.com/releasenotes (https://www.suse.com/releasenotes). Drafts of the general documentation can be found at https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop (https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop).

Publication Date: 2019-08-16, Version: 12.5.20190816

1 About the Release Notes

These Release Notes are identical across all architectures, and the most recent version is always available online at https://www.suse.com/releasenotes (https://www.suse.com/releasenotes).

Entries can be listed twice, if they are important and belong to more than one section.

Release notes usually only list changes that happened between two subsequent releases. Certain important entries from the release notes documents of previous product versions are repeated. To make these entries easier to identify, they contain a note to that effect.

However, repeated entries are provided as a courtesy only. Therefore, if you are skipping one or more service packs, check the release notes of the skipped service packs as well. If you are only reading the release notes of the current release, you could miss important changes.

2 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 is a highly reliable, scalable, and secure server operating system, built to power mission-critical workloads in both physical and virtual environments. It is an affordable, interoperable, and manageable open source foundation. With it, enterprises can cost-effectively deliver core business services, enable secure networks, and simplify the management of their heterogeneous IT infrastructure, maximizing efficiency and value.

The only enterprise Linux recommended by Microsoft and SAP, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is optimized to deliver high-performance mission-critical services, as well as edge of network, and web infrastructure workloads.

2.1 Interoperability and Hardware Support

Designed for interoperability, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server integrates into classical Unix and Windows environments, supports open standard interfaces for systems management, and has been certified for IPv6 compatibility.

This modular, general purpose operating system runs on four processor architectures and is available with optional extensions that provide advanced capabilities for tasks such as real time computing and high availability clustering.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is optimized to run as a high performing guest on leading hypervisors and supports an unlimited number of virtual machines per physical system with a single subscription. This makes it the perfect guest operating system for virtual computing.

2.2 What Is New?

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 introduces many innovative changes compared to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11. Here are some of the highlights:

2.3 Important Sections of This Document

If you are upgrading from a previous SUSE Linux Enterprise Server release, you should review at least the following sections:

2.4 Security, Standards, and Certification

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 has been submitted to the certification bodies for:

For more information about certification, see https://www.suse.com/security/certificates.html (https://www.suse.com/security/certificates.html).

2.5 Documentation and Other Information

2.5.1 Available on the Product Media

  • Read the READMEs on the media.

  • Get the detailed change log information about a particular package from the RPM (where FILENAME.rpm is the name of the RPM):

    rpm --changelog -qp FILENAME.rpm
  • Check the ChangeLog file in the top level of the media for a chronological log of all changes made to the updated packages.

  • Find more information in the docu directory of the media of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5. This directory includes PDF versions of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 Installation Quick Start Guide and Deployment Guides. Documentation (if installed) is available below the /usr/share/doc/ directory of an installed system.

2.5.2 Externally Provided Documentation

2.6 Support and Life Cycle

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is backed by award-winning support from SUSE, an established technology leader with a proven history of delivering enterprise-quality support services.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 has a 13-year life cycle, with 10 years of General Support and 3 years of Extended Support. The current version (SP5) will be fully maintained and supported until 6 months after the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP6.

If you need additional time to design, validate and test your upgrade plans, Long Term Service Pack Support can extend the support duration. You can buy an additional 12 to 36 months in twelve month increments, providing a total of 3 to 5 years of support on any given service pack.

For more information, check our Support Policy page https://www.suse.com/support/policy.html (https://www.suse.com/support/policy.html) or the Long Term Service Pack Support Page https://www.suse.com/support/programs/long-term-service-pack-support.html (https://www.suse.com/support/programs/long-term-service-pack-support.html).

2.7 Support Statement for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

To receive support, you need an appropriate subscription with SUSE. For more information, see https://www.suse.com/support/programs/subscriptions/?id=SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server (https://www.suse.com/support/programs/subscriptions/?id=SUSE_Linux_Enterprise_Server).

The following definitions apply:

L1

Problem determination, which means technical support designed to provide compatibility information, usage support, ongoing maintenance, information gathering and basic troubleshooting using available documentation.

L2

Problem isolation, which means technical support designed to analyze data, reproduce customer problems, isolate problem area and provide aresolution for problems not resolved by Level 1 or prepare for Level 3.

L3

Problem resolution, which means technical support designed to resolve problems by engaging engineering to resolve product defects which have been identified by Level 2 Support.

For contracted customers and partners, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is delivered with L3 support for all packages, except for the following:

SUSE will only support the usage of original packages. That is, packages that are unchanged and not recompiled.

2.7.1 General Support

To learn about supported features and limitations, refer to the following sections in this document:

2.7.2 Software Requiring Specific Contracts

2.8 Technology Previews

Technology previews are packages, stacks, or features delivered by SUSE which are not supported. They may be functionally incomplete, unstable or in other ways not suitable for production use. They are included for your convenience and give you a chance to test new technologies within an enterprise environment.

Whether a technology preview becomes a fully supported technology later depends on customer and market feedback. Technology previews can be dropped at any time and SUSE does not commit to providing a supported version of such technologies in the future.

Give your SUSE representative feedback about technology previews, including your experience and use case.

2.8.1 Technology Previews for All Architectures

2.8.2 Technology Previews for AArch64 (ARMv8)

2.8.3 Technology Previews for AMD64/Intel 64 64-Bit (x86_64)

2.8.4 Technology Previews for IBM Z (s390x)

2.8.5 Technology Previews for POWER (ppc64le)

3 Modules, Extensions, and Related Products

This section comprises information about modules and extensions for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5. Modules and extensions add parts or functionality to the system.

3.1 Available Modules

Modules are fully supported parts of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with a different life cycle and update timeline. They are a set of packages, have a clearly defined scope and are delivered via an online channel only. Release notes for modules are contained in this document.

The following modules are available for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP5:

NameContentLife Cycle

Advanced Systems Management Module

CFEngine, Puppet, Salt and the Machinery tool

Frequent releases

Containers Module

Docker, tools, prepackaged images

Frequent releases

HPC Module

Tools and libraries related to High Performance Computing (HPC)

Frequent releases

Legacy Module1

ksh

No updates, supported through March 2022

Public Cloud Modul

Public cloud initialization code and tools

Frequent releases

Toolchain Module

GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)

Yearly delivery

Web and Scripting Module

PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails

3 years, ~18 months overlap

1 Module is not available for the AArch64 architecture.

For more information about the life cycle of packages contained in modules, see https://scc.suse.com/docs/lifecycle/sle/12/modules (https://scc.suse.com/docs/lifecycle/sle/12/modules).

3.2 Available Extensions

Extensions add extra functionality to the system and require their own registration key, usually at additional cost. Extensions are delivered via an online channel or physical media. In many cases, extensions have their own release notes documents that are available from https://www.suse.com/releasenotes (https://www.suse.com/releasenotes).

The following extensions are available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5:

Additionally, there are the following extension which are not covered by SUSE support agreements, available at no additional cost and without an extra registration key:

4 Installation and Upgrade

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can be deployed in several ways:

  • Physical machine

  • Virtual host

  • Virtual machine

  • System containers

  • Application containers

4.1 Installation

This section includes information related to the initial installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5.

Important
Important: Installation Documentation

The following release notes contain additional notes regarding the installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. However, they do not document the installation procedure itself.

For installation documentation, see the Deployment Guide at https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop/SLES-deployment/html/ (https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop/SLES-deployment/html/) (draft version).

4.2 Upgrade-Related Notes

This section includes upgrade-related information for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5.

Important
Important: Upgrade Documentation

The following release notes contain additional notes regarding the upgrade of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. However, they do not document the upgrade procedure itself.

For upgrade documentation, see https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop/book_sle_deployment/data/cha_update_sle.html (https://susedoc.github.io/doc-sle/develop/book_sle_deployment/data/cha_update_sle.html) (draft version).

4.3 For More Information

For more information, see Section 5, “General Features & Fixes” and the sections relating to your respective hardware architecture.

5 General Features & Fixes

Information in this section applies to all architectures supported by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5.

5.1 Authentication

5.2 Base System

5.3 Containers

5.4 Databases

5.5 Development

5.5.1 Supported Java Versions

The following table lists Java implementations available in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5:

Name (Package Name)VersionPart of SUSE Linux Enterprise ServerSupport

OpenJDK (java-1_8_0-openjdk)

1.8.0

SLES

SUSE, L3

OpenJDK (java-1_8_0-openjdk)

1.7.0

SLES

SUSE, L3

IBM Java (java-1_8_0-ibm)

1.8.0

SLES

External only

IBM Java (java-1_7_0-ibm)

1.7.0

SLES

External only

IBM Java (java-1_6_0-ibm)

1.6.0

Legacy Module

External only

5.6 Desktop

5.7 File Systems

5.7.1 Comparison of Supported File Systems

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 work horse for large-scale file systems, systems with heavy load and multiple parallel reading and writing operations. With SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, we went the next step of innovation and started using the copy-on-write file system Btrfs as the default for the operating system, to support system snapshots and rollback.

y supported

n unsupported

FeatureBtrfsXFSExt4OCFS 21ReiserFS2

Supported in product

SLE

SLE

SLE

SLE HA

SLE

Data/metadata journaling

N/A3

n / y

y / y

n / y

n / y

Journal internal/external

N/A3

y / y

y / y

y / n

y / y

Journal checksumming

N/A3

y

y

y

n

Subvolumes

y

n

n

n

n

Offline extend/shrink

y / y

n / n

y / y

y / n4

y / n

Inode allocation map

B-tree

B+-tree

Table

B-tree

u. B*-tree

Sparse files

y

y

y

y

y

Tail packing

n

n

n

n

y

Small files stored inline

y (in metadata)

n

y (in inode)

y (in inode)

y (in metadata)

Defragmentation

y

y

y

n

n

Extended file attributes/ACLs

y / y

y / y

y / y

y / y

y / y

User/group quotas

n / n

y / y

y / y

y / y

y / y

Project quotas

n

y

y

n

n

Subvolume quotas

y

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Data dump/restore

n

y

n

n

n

Block size defaul

4 KiB5

Maximum file system size

16 EiB

8 EiB

1 EiB

4 PiB

16 TiB

Maximum file size

16 EiB

8 EiB

1 EiB

4 PiB

1 EiB

1 OCFS 2 is fully supported as part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension.

2 ReiserFS is supported for existing file systems. The creation of new ReiserFS file systems is discouraged.

3 Btrfs is a copy-on-write file system. Instead of journaling changes before writing them in-place, it writes them to a new location and then links the new location in. Until the last write, the changes are not "committed". Because of the nature of the file system, quotas are implemented based on subvolumes (qgroups).

4 To extend an OCFS 2 file system, the cluster must be online but the file system itself must be unmounted.

5 The block size default varies with different host architectures. 64 KiB is used on POWER, 4 KiB on other systems. The actual size used can be checked with the command getconf PAGE_SIZE.

Additional Notes

Maximum file size above can be larger than the file system’s actual size because of the use of sparse blocks. All standard file systems on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server have LFS, which gives a maximum file size of 263 bytes in theory.

The numbers in the table above assume that the file systems are using a 4 KiB block size which is the most common standard. When using different block sizes, the results are different.

In this document:

  • 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 http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html (http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html).

Some file system features are available in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 but are not supported by SUSE. By default, the file system drivers in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 will refuse mounting file systems that use unsupported features (in particular, in read-write mode). To enable unsupported features, set the module parameter allow_unsupported=1 in /etc/modprobe.d or write the value 1 to /sys/module/MODULE_NAME/parameters/allow_unsupported. However, note that setting this option will render your kernel and thus your system unsupported.

5.7.2 Supported Btrfs Features

The following table lists supported and unsupported Btrfs features across multiple SLES versions.

y supported

n unsupported

FeatureSLES 11 SP4SLES 12 SP3SLES 12 SP4SLES 12 SP5SLES 15 GASLES 15 SP1

Copy on Write

y

y

y

 

y

y

Free Space Tree (Free Space Cache v2)

n

n

n

 

n

y

Snapshots/Subvolumes

y

y

y

 

y

y

Swap Files

n

n

n

 

n

y

Metadata Integrity

y

y

y

 

y

y

Data Integrity

y

y

y

 

y

y

Online Metadata Scrubbing

y

y

y

 

y

y

Automatic Defragmentation

n

n

n

 

n

n

Manual Defragmentation

y

y

y

 

y

y

In-band Deduplication

n

n

n

 

n

n

Out-of-band Deduplication

y

y

y

 

y

y

Quota Groups

y

y

y

 

y

y

Metadata Duplication

y

y

y

 

y

y

Changing Metadata UUID

n

n

n

 

n

y

Multiple Devices

n

y

y

 

y

y

RAID 0

n

y

y

 

y

y

RAID 1

n

y

y

 

y

y

RAID 5

n

n

n

 

n

n

RAID 6

n

n

n

 

n

n

RAID 10

n

y

y

 

y

y

Hot Add/Remove

n

y

y

 

y

y

Device Replace

n

n

n

 

n

n

Seeding Devices

n

n

n

 

n

n

Compression

n

y

y

 

y

y

Big Metadata Blocks

n

y

y

 

y

y

Skinny Metadata

n

y

y

 

y

y

Send Without File Data

n

y

y

 

y

y

Send/Receive

n

y

y

 

y

y

Inode Cache

n

n

n

 

n

n

Fallocate with Hole Punch

n

y

y

 

y

y

5.8 Hardware

5.9 Kernel

5.9.1 Kernel Limits

This table summarizes the various limits which exist in our recent kernels and utilities (if related) for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5.

SLES 12 SP5 (Linux 4.12)AMD64/Intel 64 (x86_64)IBM Z (s390x)POWER (ppc64le)ARMv8 (AArch64)

CPU bits

64

64

64

64

Maximum number of logical CPUs

8192

256

2048

480

Maximum amount of RAM (theoretical/certified)

> 1 PiB/64 TiB

10 TiB/256 GiB

1 PiB/64 TiB

256 TiB/n.a.

Maximum amount of user space/kernel space

128 TiB/128 TiB

n.a.

512 TiB1/2 EiB

256 TiB/256 TiB

Maximum amount of swap space

Up to 29 * 64 GB

Up to 30 * 64 GB

Maximum number of processes

1048576

Maximum number of threads per process

Upper limit depends on memory and other parameters (tested with more than 120,000)2.

Maximum size per block device

Up to 8 EiB on all 64-bit architectures

FD_SETSIZE

1024

1 By default, the user space memory limit on the POWER architecture is 128 TiB. However, you can explicitly request mmaps up to 512 TiB.

2 The total number of all processes and all threads on a system may not be higher than the "maximum number of processes".

5.10 Networking

5.10.1 Samba

The version of Samba shipped with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 delivers integration with Windows Active Directory domains. In addition, we provide the clustered version of Samba as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension 12 SP5.

5.10.2 NFSv4

NFSv4 with IPv6 is only supported for the client side. An NFSv4 server with IPv6 is not supported.

5.11 Performance Related Information

5.12 Security

5.13 Storage

5.14 Systems Management

5.14.1 Snapper’s Space-Aware Snapshot Cleanup Has Been Improved

Previously, the space-aware cleanup of snapshots integrated in Snapper only looked at the disk space used by all snapshots. In certain cases, this narrow focus meant that the file system ran out of space anyway.

Starting with SLE 12 SP5, the space-aware cleanup of Snapper additionally looks at the free space of the file system and keeps the file system at least 20 % free.

5.15 Virtualization

For more information about acronyms used below, see the virtualization documentation provided at https://www.suse.com/documentation/sles-15 (https://www.suse.com/documentation/sles-15).

5.15.1 KVM

5.15.1.1 KVM Limits
Maximum VMs per HostUnlimited (total number of virtual CPUs in all guests being no greater than 8 times the number of CPU cores in the host).

Maximum Virtual CPUs per VM

288

Maximum Memory per VM

4 TiB

Virtual Host Server (VHS) limits are identical to those of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

5.15.2 XEN

5.15.2.1 Xen Limits

Since SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2, we removed the 32-bit hypervisor as a virtualization host. 32-bit virtual guests are not affected and are fully supported with the provided 64-bit hypervisor.

FeatureLimit

Maximum Physical CPUs per Host

1024

Maximum Physical Memory per Host

16 TiB

Maximum Virtual CPUs per Host

Unlimited (total number of virtual CPUs in all guests being no greater than 8 times the number of CPU cores in the host).

Maximum Physical Memory for Dom0

500 GiB

Maximum Virtual CPUs per VM1

FV: 128, PV: 512

Maximum Memory per VM

16 GiB x86_32, 2 TiB x86_64

Maximum number of block devices

12,000 SCSI logical units

1 PV: Paravirtualization, FV: Full virtualization

5.15.3 Containers

5.15.4 libvirt

5.15.5 Others

5.16 Miscellaneous

6 AMD64/Intel 64-Specific Features & Fixes (x86_64)

Information in this section applies to the version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 for the AMD64/Intel 64 architectures.

7 POWER-Specific Features & Fixes (ppc64le)

Information in this section applies to the version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 for the POWER architecture.

8 IBM Z-Specific Features & Fixes (s390x)

Information in this section pertains to the version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 for the IBM Z architecture. For more information, see https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/linux390/documentation_novell_suse.html (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/linux390/documentation_novell_suse.html).

IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) and IBM zEnterprise 114 (z114) are subsequently called z196 and z114.

8.1 Hardware

8.2 Network

8.3 Performance

8.4 Security

8.5 Storage

8.6 Virtualization

The following new features are supported in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 under KVM:

8.7 Miscellaneous

9 ARM 64-Bit-Specific Features & Fixes (AArch64)

Information in this section applies to the version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 for the AArch64 architecture.

10 Known Issues & Workarounds

This is a list of known issues for this release.

11 Removed and Depreacted Features and Packages

This section lists features and packages that got removed from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or will be removed in upcoming versions.

11.1 Removed Features and Packages

The following features and packages have been removed in this release.

11.2 Deprecated Features and Packages

The following features and packages are deprecated and will be removed with a future service pack of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

12 Obtaining Source Code

This SUSE product includes materials licensed to SUSE under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL requires SUSE to provide the source code that corresponds to the GPL-licensed material. The source code is available for download at http://www.suse.com/download-linux/source-code.html (http://www.suse.com/download-linux/source-code.html). Also, for up to three years after distribution of the SUSE product, upon request, SUSE will mail a copy of the source code. Requests should be sent by e-mail to sle_source_request@suse.com (mailto:sle_source_request@suse.com) or as otherwise instructed at http://www.suse.com/download-linux/source-code.html (http://www.suse.com/download-linux/source-code.html). SUSE may charge a reasonable fee to recover distribution costs.

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