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How to Enable FIPS on SLES

This document (7023789) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)


Need to setup / enable FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) on SLES.


Before beginning, check to see if FIPS is already enabled.

       Run: sysctl -a | grep fips


       susesystem:/home/user # sysctl -a | grep fips	
       crypto.fips_enabled = 0

crypto.fips_enabled = 0 shows that fips is not running. If crypto.fips_enabled = 1, then fips is running.


Note that it may be wise to make a backup of this system. If this fails, the system will not boot. If you are in this state, you will need to edit the grub line and remove fips=1 and boot.


1. Install the FIPS pattern.:

       Run: zypper in -t pattern fips

2. Edit /etc/default/grub and add fips=1 to end of line.

If this system has a separate boot partition, it is REQUIRED to add boot=/dev/sda1 (use the correct path to your boot partition) or fips will fail and the system may not boot.

In the following example, there is not a separate boot partition:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="resume=/dev/vda1 splash=silent quiet showopts resume=/dev/vda1 splash=silent quiet showopts fips=1"

3. Recreate the grub.cfg file:
       Run: grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

4. Recreate the initrd:

       Run: mkinitrd

5. Reboot the system.


6. After the system is booted, verify if FIPS is enabled:

        Run: sysctl -a | grep fips


	susesystem:/home/user # sysctl -a | grep fips
	crypto.fips_enabled = 1


FIPS may be required for specific applications.

Additional Information


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7023789
  • Creation Date: 21-Mar-2019
  • Modified Date:29-Jun-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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