Release Notes for SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9

Version 9.4, 14. November 2007


These release notes are generic for all SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 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 this Service Pack can be found in the README file on CD1. There are also translations of this file.

An 800+ page manual, numerous HOWTOs, and special hints for certain hardware are found under the docu directory on the media. Any documentation (if installed) can be found below /usr/share/doc/ in the installed system.

Table of Contents

1. Purpose
2. Feature Updates
3. Driver Updates
3.1. Network Drivers
3.2. Storage Drivers
3.3. Other Drivers
4. Other Updates
5. Installation-Related Notes
6. Update-Related Notes
7. Technology Previews
8. Resolved Issues
9. Known Issues
10. More Information and Feedback

Chapter 1. Purpose

This SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 Service Pack 4 serves several purposes:

  • Provide enhancements to the SLES 9 code base (see Chapter 2, Feature Updates).

  • Provide all maintenance fixes (see Chapter 3, Driver Updates) released since GA of SLES 9.

  • Provide an easy update (see README) of your system or individual packages to the latest Service Pack level. This is especially useful if you cannot use online update mechanisms.

  • Provide an easy fresh install (see README) using the latest kernel, drivers, and installer updates.

  • Include PTFs (special fixes for customers) which were folded back into the SLES 9 common code base making them part of the maintained code base.

  • Provide useful additional information and documentation (see Chapter 5, Installation-Related Notes).>

Through joint testing and maximum care, we try hard not to break any ISV certification with a Service Pack, but we recommend checking with your ISV about your application's certification status.

Chapter 2. Feature Updates

  • IBMJava5 was added in version 1.5.0 SR5 to all architectures except Itanium.

  • A runtime environment for C++ applications compiled with gcc 4.1 on SLES 9 was added. For this the libstdc++-41 and libgcc-41 packages needs to be installed.

  • suseRegister was added to manually register a SLES 9 with the Novell Control Center (NCC).

  • Paravirtual drivers (xen-kmp) for fully virtualized SLES 9 SP4 were added.

  • Support for configuration of Intel i945G chipsets (3D) was added to YaST/sax2.

  • Support for paravirtualized SLES 9 SP4 guests on top of SLES 10 SP1 host systems

  • Add mechanism to set network interface speed, etc. at boot time with ethtool

Chapter 3. Driver Updates

3.1. Network Drivers

  • Added qla3xxx driver in version 2.03.00-k4

  • Updated bnx2 driver to version 1.6.3c

  • Updated tg3 to version 3.79b to support Broadcom 5714s chipsets and other

  • Updated Intel e1000 driver to version 7.6.5-NAPI - The behavior of this driver under load has changed, if you run into performance issues, please look at the "Known Issues" section.

  • Added NetXen driver in version 3.4.2

  • Added Intel igb driver in version 1.0.1

  • Updated Neterion s2io driver to version

  • Updated Myricom myri10ge to version 1.3.1

3.2. Storage Drivers

  • Updated aic79xx to version 1.3.11-suse01

  • Updated aic7xxx to version 6.3.11

  • Update 3w-9xxx to version

  • Updated qla2xxx to version

  • Updated qla4xxx to version 5.00.07

  • Added support for Intel ICH8/ICH9 SATA

  • Added ATAPI support to the libata module

  • Added SATA cdrom support

  • Added mptsas driver in version

  • Updated mptfusion driver to version

  • Updated aacraid driver to version

  • Updated adp94xx driver to version 1.0.8-11

  • Updated cciss driver to version 2.6.18sp4

  • Updated IBM ServeRAID ips driver to version 7.12.05

  • Updated Emules lpfc driver to version

3.3. Other Drivers

  • Updated CIFS to version 1.50a

  • Updated OCFS2 to version 1.2.5-6

  • Updated dell_rbu driver to version 3.4.2

  • Updated Dell Systems Management Base Driver dcdbas driver to version 5.6.0-3.2

  • Added support for Intel 7221 to XFree86

  • XFS: support growfs with amounts greater than 2TB

Chapter 4. Other Updates

  • Updated heartbeat to version 1.2.5

  • Updated OCFS2 module from Oracle to version 1.2.5

  • Updated OCFS2 tools to version 1.2.1

  • Updated multipath-tools to 0.4.7 to fix several bugs and improve support for SUN CSM200, CCISS, HP HSV200, HP HSV110

  • Updated cpio to version 2.6 (including large file support)

  • Updated gdb to version 6.6

  • Updated IBMJava2 to version 1.4.2 SR9

  • Updated ipmitool to version 1.8.9

  • Updated iprutils to version 2.2.6

  • Updated microcode_ctl to version 1.17

  • Updated mpt-status to version 1.2.0 - now with 64bit support

  • Updated openhpi to version 2.6.3

  • Updated OpenIPMI to version 1.4.28

  • Updated samba to version 3.0.26a - more detailed information on changes/fixes comes with the samba-doc package in /usr/share/doc/packages/samba/WHATSNEW.txt

  • Updated smartmontools to version 5.37

  • Updated spamassassin to version 3.1.9

  • Updated SUN Java to version 1.4.2_15

Chapter 5. Installation-Related Notes

This section includes installation-related information for this Service Pack.

  • On S/390, zSeries an x86-64 more than 256 MB are needed for installation and update.

  • Some systems might not install with the default settings

    Try the "Installation - ACPI Disabled" option, and if that does not work, choose the "Installation - Safe Settings" option.

    Please report any of these failed instalaltions via

  • Booting from SLES 9 Service Pack 4 CD 1 on IBM iSeries systems

    To boot from SLES 9 Service Pack 4 CD 1 on IBM iSeries systems, set the "IPL stream file" parameter in the Network Server Description to:


    The SU90SP4.P01 part of the path is the disk label of CD 1.

  • Adding storage drivers after initial installation needs manual intervention

    During installation, all block-device drivers for storage controllers are added to an "initial ramdisk". This makes sure that attached storage can be accessed at all times.

    Adding such a controller (with attached storage) at a later point in time will initially work as expected (as a side-effect of the new hot/coldplug capabilities), but later (e.g. after creating a LV on those disks) it may not work.

    To ensure system integrity at all times, we recommend to follow YaST standards and add the appropriate module to INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel, and then run /sbin/mkinitrd again.

  • Wireless LAN cards

    Some wireless LAN cards (PrismGT, Centrino, Atmel, ACX100) need firmware to operate. Due to licensing issues we cannot ship these firmware binaries. Read /usr/share/doc/packages/wireless-tools/README.firmware for information on how to obtain and install the firmware.

  • Problems with "xhost +" to display remote X sessions on your local screen

    This is only relevant if you control an installation over a network and want to display a remote X or YaST session on a local display. On some Linux/Unix-Systems it is no longer sufficient to enter the command "xhost +" to grant access to the local X server. For security reasons the X-Server no longer listens on port 6000. To verify whether the X server still listens on port 6000, enter the command:

    netstat -an | grep 6000

    If the line

    tcp    0      0*   LISTEN

    does not show up, the server is not listening. In this case, either enable port 6000 or use the command

    ssh -X "Address of the system be installed"

    which will always work.

  • DASD load order in SLES9 (S/390, zSeries)

    When specifying DASDs in the DASD configuration menu which are not in a numerically ascending order (e.g. dasda = 0.0.1090, dasdb = 0.0.0150), the system reloads the driver and the DASDs are now in numerically ascending order. Proceed as follows to avoid this behaviour:

    Before you hit the "Next" button in the DASD configuration screen, open an ssh session to the system you install and issue the following command:

    echo "exit 0" > /sbin/dasd_reload

    Now the DASDs will stay in the sequence specified.


    If the sequence of DASDs is not a continuous one (e.g. the first DASD is dasdb and dasda does not exist at all) the installation/update will fail.

  • Using unformatted DASD for installation (S/390, zSeries)

    During the initial installation workflow, you are be guided to a panel where the DASD are set online/offline. If unformatted DASD are used during installation, they should be formated at this point in time.

  • Emulex Controller

    Use the following minimum firmware revisions on Emulex hardware:

    LP10000, LP10000DC, LP10000ExDC                 1.90a4 
    LP1050, LP1050DC, LP1050Ex                      1.80a1 
    LP982, LP9802                                   1.81x1 
    LP9000, LP9002C, LP9002DC, LP9002L, LP9402DC    3.90a7 (3.92a2 for LP9002) 
    LP8000, LP8000DC, LP850                         3.90a7 (Dragonfly >= 2.00),
        3.30a7 (Dragonfly < 2.00) 
    LP952L                                          3.92a2 
    LP101                                           1.90a4 
    LP1005DC-CM2                                    1.90a5

    To update the firmware of your Emulex hardware, install the Emulex Applications kit from

    Either use the lputil (text menu) or HBanywhere (gui) tools. Also check the OEM page for information about your specific OEM adapter under

  • Setting up an installation server for network installations

    If you have installed an instance of SLES9, use the YaST installation server module to create a network install source. It can be found under Misc - Installation Server in the YaST control center.


    The SLES9 GA version of the YaST installation server module cannot integrate iso images of a SLES9 Service Pack iso. This bug has been fixed in SLES9 SP1. Upgrade the server to the version from SP1 or newer.

    Every new service pack CD provides an updated rescue system on CD1/boot/rescue. To use this new rescue system on a YaST-generated installation source, remove the 'boot' symlink in the top level directory:

    rm boot 
    mkdir boot 
    cp SUSE-SLES-Version-9/CD1/boot/root ./boot/root 
    cp SUSE-SLES-9-Service-Pack-Version-4/boot/rescue ./boot/rescue

    To manually set up an installation server for installations via NFS/FTP/HTTP, copy the CDs into a special directory structure.

    Go to a directory of your choice and execute the following commands:

    mkdir -p installroot/sles9/CD1 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD1 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/core9/CD1 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD2 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/core9/CD2 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD3 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/core9/CD3 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD4 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/core9/CD4 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD5 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/core9/CD5 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 CD6 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/sp4/CD1 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 SP4 CD1 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/sp4/CD2 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 SP4 CD2 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/sp4/CD3 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 SP4 CD3 into this directory 
    mkdir -p installroot/sp4/CD4 
    # now copy the contents of SLES 9 SP4 CD4 into this directory 
    cd installroot 
    mkdir boot
    ln -s ../sles9/CD1/boot/root boot/root 
    ln -s ../sp4/CD1/boot/rescue boot/rescue 
    ln -s sp4/CD1/driverupdate driverupdate 
    ln -s sp4/CD1/linux linux 
    ln -s sles9/CD1/content content 
    ln -s sles9/CD1/control.xml control.xml 
    ln -s sles9/CD1/media.1 media.1 
    mkdir yast 
    echo "/sp4/CD1" > yast/instorder 
    echo "/sles9/CD1" >> yast/instorder
    echo "/core9/CD1" >> yast/instorder 
    echo "/sp4/CD1 /sp4/CD1" > yast/order 
    echo "/sles9/CD1 /sles9/CD1" >> yast/order 
    echo "/core9/CD1 /core9/CD1" >> yast/order

    When asked for the installation directory, just specify 'installroot'.

    If you use a SAMBA Server as an installation server, simply use the commands mentioned above to create the appropriate structure. Use the instorder and order files from dosutils/install and replace the UserAccount, PASSword and IP-Number variables with the respective values. The following shares need to be exported:

    installroot (the directory installroot) 
    sles9-CD1   (the directory installroot/sles9/CD1) 
    core9-CD1   (the directory installroot/core9/CD1)
    core9-CD2   (the directory installroot/core9/CD2) 
    core9-CD3   (the directory installroot/core9/CD3) 
    core9-CD4   (the directory installroot/core9/CD4) 
    core9-CD5   (the directory installroot/core9/CD5)
    sp4-CD1     (the directory installroot/sp4/CD1) 
    sp4-CD2     (the directory installroot/sp4/CD2) 
    sp4-CD3     (the directory installroot/sp4/CD3)
    sp4-CD4     (the directory installroot/sp4/CD4)
  • Bind nameserver update to 9.3.x

    The nameserver bind on SP2 does not support hostnames with an underscore ('_') character by default now. You can switch to the old behaviour with the "check-names" option.

Chapter 6. Update-Related Notes

This section includes update-related information for this Service Pack.

  • SPident reports an old Service Pack level

    SPident is a tool to identify the Service Pack level of the current installation. It may report that the system has not reached the level of this Service Pack. This happens, when optional updates that are not automatically installed by YOU are not manually selected during update. If you use or need any packages which have optional updates, select these in order to reach the current Service Pack level.

  • On S/390, zSeries, and x86-64 more than 256 MB are required for installation and update.

  • The same CD is requested twice

    Depending on the selection you made, some CDs may have to be inserted twice during the installation process. This is a known issue, but it cannot always be avoided due to dependencies. As a workaround, install via network or hard disk instead of installing from the CDs.

  • Unsupported kernel modules are no longer loaded

    Each kernel module carries a 'supported' flag. If this flag is not set, loading this module will taint your kernel. Tainted kernels are not supported. To avoid tainting the kernel, unsupported modules will no longer be loaded automatically via udev/hotplug since SLES 9 SP4.

    This behavior is controlled by the LOAD_UNSUPPORTED_MODULES_AUTOMATICALLY variable in /etc/sysconfig/hardware/config. If necessary, switch the value back to yes.

  • During an update there may be some conflicts requiring manual intervention. Known issues are:

    • horde requires either apache2-mod_php4 or apache-mod_php4

      In this case, either uninstall horde (if you do not need it), or select the mod_php4 package belonging to the Apache version you want to use.

    • dprobes conflicts with oprofile (over libbfd)

      In this case, choose to uninstall the dprobes package. dprobes is not provided with SLES 9.

  • For Intel x86 and x86-64 CPUs

    Prior to SP2, the microcode update init script was disabled by default; normally the script should be enabled to allow for fixes to be applied to the microcode of Intel x86 and x86-64 CPUs.

    The default has been changed with SP2 already, so updating of the microcode will be enabled on new installations. However, on old installations where SP2, SP3 or SP4 is applied as an update, the script will not be enabled if it had been disabled before. We recommend to enable it by issuing the command "insserv microcode" on the command line of a root shell or by enabling it in the YaST runlevel editor.

  • Files on file systems created by SLES 8 and older distributions (when not set otherwise) use non-UTF-8 encoding. If file names contain non-ASCII characters, they will be garbled on SLES 9 and later versions. One fix is to use the convmv script which changes the file encoding to UTF-8.

  • SGI Altix and Silicon Graphics Prism systems

    SGI recommends PROM 4.30 or subsequent versions for all SGI Altix and Silicon Graphics Prism systems running SLES9 SP2 or later. The updated PROM contains key bug fixes, along with support for new kernel features, such as memory error recovery. The latest PROM firmware can be obtained from SGI Supportfolio(TM):

    Caveat: PROM 4.30 and subsequent versions are not compatible with SLES9 SP1 or earlier kernels. If you want to switch between SLES9 SP1 and SLES9 SP2 kernels, DO NOT upgrade the PROM on your system.

  • Fdisk and Intel(R) Itanium(R) Systems

    fdisk was removed with SLES 9 SP2 for Intel(R) Itanium(R) Processor Family because of its potential to cause data loss in some situations. Please use the parted tool for disk partitioning. Note that the parted tool now has a command mkpartsect that allows the creation of partitions by specifing exact sector numbers.

Chapter 7. Technology Previews

Technology Preview features are not supported or only supported limitedly. These features are mainly included for customer convenience and may not be funtionally complete, instable or in other ways not suitable for production use.

  • Included support for Oracle Cluster Filesystem 2 (ocfs2) for limited use cases

    At the time of creation of these Release Notes, OCFS2 support is tied to the following conditions:

    • You are usingx86, AMD64 & Intel EM64T, Itanium, IBM POWER hardware platform.

    • You have a valid support agreement with Novell and Oracle.

    • You use as a home for Oracle RAC (${ORACLE_HOME}, no general purpose use).

    Support conditions may be extended over time. Contact your Novell sales or support representative about the current status.

  • Common Internet File System (CIFS)

    The Common Internet File System (CIFS) which is shipped together with the kernel is currently not supported. The current implementation is not stable enough to work in a production environment.

  • NSS Kernel Modules

    Although the NSS kernel modules are included in SLES 9, they are not usable without OES, because NSS is a unique file system that is tightly integrated with identity management. The root user is the only local user who can see NSS volumes on a Linux server. NSS needs Linux User Management (LUM) and Novell eDirectory to establish non-root connections to the volume. It is OES that provides LUM, eDirectory, NCP Server, and volume and user space management tools that make NSS volumes usable on an OES Linux server.

Chapter 8. Resolved Issues

  • Bugfixes

    This Service Pack contains all the latest bugfixes for each package released via the maintenance Web since the GA version.

  • Security Fixes

    This Service Pack contains all the latest security fixes for each package released via the maintenance Web since the GA version.

  • Program Temporary Fixes

    This Service Pack contains all the PTFs (Program Temporary Fix) for each package released via the maintenance Web since the GA version which were suitable for integration into the maintained common codebase.

Chapter 9. Known Issues

  • Performance issues with e1000 network driver

    With SLES 9 SP4 the Automatic Interrupt Moderation (AIM) feature was added to the driver. For some benchmarks and normal server activity this works very well, for other benchmarks the performance will drop. If you run into an issue, use InterruptThrottleRate=8000 as an option.

  • IDE/SATA driver collision

    SLES 9 SP4 has ide drivers (driver/ide/*) built into the kernel while libata drivers (drivers/ata/*) are built as modules. This means that IDE drivers always have higher priority than libata drivers - if a controller can be driven by both an IDE and a libata driver, the IDE one will always be selected.

    If there's a specific IDE driver for a controller, everything is okay whether there's a libata one or not. When there isn't a specific IDE driver, the generic IDE driver is used. It can only use PIO transfers which is slow and consumes a lot of CPU cycles.

    To maintain backward compatibility with previous releases, the IDE generic driver needs to be given higher priority than all libata drivers; otherwise, upgrading to SP4 can change device naming, so this can't be worked around automatically by the kernel. If a user wants to use libata driver instead of ide generic, generic IDE driver should be disabled with "ide_disable_generic" kernel parameter. This will allow the libata driver to attach to the controller.

  • For x260 with Radeon RV100 QY

    Sometimes the power management does not enable the video output again. Disable the framebuffer or DPMS with xset -dpms.

  • For x86 and x86-64 with PDC20621

    The Promise SX4 controller was supported by the sata_promise driver in SLES 9 SP2. In later versions, this support was moved to the sata_sx4 driver. If sata_promise was being used in an initrd to support this card, it needs to be changed to sata_sx4. Replace "sata_promise" with "sata_sx4" from INITRD_MODULES in /etc/sysconfig/kernel and run mkinitrd.

  • Some disk drives need boot option to prevent hangups

    Some hard drives do not support barrier mode correctly and cause the system to hang in some situations, for example during mounting and formatting. In these cases, boot the system with the barrier=off boot option.

  • YaST expert partitioner and wrong /boot proposal (POWER)

    On IBM POWER systems, the YaST expert partitioner suggests creating a partition for /boot. This partition is not needed on POWER systems and should not be created, because it may confuse the boot loader installation process and can result in an unbootable system.

    Instead, a primary partition of type PReP boot (type 0x41) without a mount point and a recommended size of 17MB must be present. YaST creates such a partition by default. The boot loader installation process (the lilo script for POWER architectures) takes care of reducing the size and changing the type of this partition to meet the boot loader requirements according to the type of POWER system on which the installation is run.

  • Recognizing new virtual DASD devices (NWSSTG) from Linux running in an LPAR(POWER)

    On IBM POWER systems, new virtual DASD devices (NWSSTG) need user intervention to be recognized by Linux running in an LPAR. After creating and varying on a new NWSD and NWSSTG on the OS/400 side, the following command will make the device visible in Linux (this applies only to iSeries i5 Systems):

        echo "scsi add-single-device x 0 y 0" > /proc/scsi/scsi


    • x = host device or adapter (the number from "scsi#" from the output of cat /proc/scsi/scsi)

    • 0 = bus

    • y = target (SCSI target ID)

    • 0 = lun

  • JS20 and Qlogic JS20 Fibre Channel card

    Support for two port Qlogic JS20 Fibre Channel Expansion Card (Part Number 73P6112) only includes boot support to storage on the first port. If you try to install your boot loader to storage on the second port, you will receive an error message like this at the end of the installation:

        Error occurred while installing yaboot. running on chrp boot target is
        /dev/sda ERROR: returned error 1 while analyzing path
        /dev/sda1 ERROR: Internal problem: Could not determine open firmware path
        to '/dev/sda1'

    As a workaround, select a boot partition on another disk.

  • Layer 2 support for OSA (S/390, zSeries)

    Actually the Layer 2 support in YaST is not completely implemented. A system can not be installed with an OSA adaptor in layer2 mode. And you can't change from Layer 3 to Layer 2 via YaST.

    If you need Layer 2 support, you have to change this manually in two config files. In /etc/sysconfig/hardware/hwcfg-qeth-bus-ccw-<busid> set QETH_LAYER2_SUPPORT=1 and in /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-qeth-bus-ccw-<busid> set LLADDR='02:63:15:04:76:00'.

    If you want to switch back to Layer 3 support, you have to set in /etc/sysconfig/hardware/hwcfg-qeth-bus-ccw-<busid>: QETH_LAYER2_SUPPORT=0 and in /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-qeth-bus-ccw-<busid>: LLADDR=''.

  • Unconfiguring a VLAN device (S/390, zSeries)

    If a VLAN device should be unconfigured, it is important to remove the VLAN-device correct. Use the following command sequence to correctly unconfigure a VLAN device.

    Add a network device

    echo 0.0.f300,0.0.f301,0.0.f302 > /sys/bus/ccwgroup/drivers/qeth/group
    echo 1 > /sys/bus/ccwgroup/drivers/qeth/0.0.f300/layer2
    echo 1 > /sys/bus/ccwgroup/drivers/qeth/0.0.f300/online

    Configure a network device

    ifconfig eth1 hw ether 00:02:55:09:30:26
    ifconfig eth1 netmask broadcast up

    Add a VLAN device over an existing device

    vconfig add eth1 35

    Configure a VLAN device

    ifconfig eth1.35 netmask broadcast up

    Shut down the VLAN device

    ifconfig eth1.35 down

    Unconfigure the VLAN device

    vconfig rem eth1.35

    Shut down the network device

        ifconfig eth1 down

    Remove the network device

    echo 0 > /sys/bus/ccwgroup/drivers/qeth/0.0.f300/online
    echo 1 > /sys/bus/ccwgroup/drivers/qeth/0.0.f300/ungroup
  • Rescue system and systems with many devices

    The rescue system contains device nodes for a limited number of devices. If your system has more devices, use the udevstart on the command line. This creates the missing device nodes in /dev for all devices that are listed under /sys.

Chapter 10. More Information and Feedback

  • Read the READMEs on the CDs.

  • Get the detailed changelog information about a particular package from the RPM:

    rpm --changelog -qp <FILENAME>.rpm

    <FILENAME>. is the name of the RPM.

  • Check the ChangeLog file in the top level of CD1 for a chronological log of all changes made to the updated packages.

  • Find more information in the docu directory of CD1 of the original SLES 9 GA (!) CDs. This directory includes PDF versions of the SLES 9 installation and administration manuals, which explain many other sophisticated methods to install and use SLES 9, for example using AutoYaST or VNC.

  • Check to learn how to set up and use multipathing.

  • Visit for the latest Linux product news from SUSE/Novell and for additional information on the source code of SUSE LINUX Enterprise products.