Software Channels

Channels are a method of grouping software packages. In SUSE Manager, channels are divided into base channels and child channels. Organizing channels in this way ensures that only compatible packages are installed on each system.

A base channel consists of packages built for a specific operating system type, version, and architecture. For example, all of the packages in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for the x86_64 architecture make up a base channel. The list of packages in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 for the s390x architecture make up a different base channel. A system must be subscribed to only one base channel, which is assigned automatically during registration based on the SUSE Linux Enterprise release and system architecture. For paid channels provided by a vendor, you must have an associated subscription.

A child channel is associated with a specific base channel and provides only packages that are compatible with that base channel. A system can be subscribed to multiple child channels of its base channel. When a system has been assigned to a base channel, it is only possible for that system to install the related child channels. For example, if a system has been assigned to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 x86_64 base channel, they will only be able to install or update packages compatible with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 x86_64.

In the SUSE Manager Web UI you can browse your available channels by navigating to Software  Channel List  All. You can modify or create new channels by navigating to Software  Manage  Channels.

Custom Channels

If you require packages that are not provided by the standard SUSE Manager base channels, you can create custom channels. SUSE Manager Administrators and Channel Administrators have channel management authority, which gives them the ability to create and manage their own custom channels.

For more on creating custom channels, see administration:custom-channels.adoc.