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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro Documentation / Upgrade Guide / Life cycle and support
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1

2 Life cycle and support

This chapter provides background information on terminology, SUSE product life cycles and Service Pack releases, and recommended upgrade policies.

2.1 Terminology

This section uses several terms. To understand the information, read the definitions below:


Backporting is the act of adapting specific changes from a newer version of software and applying it to an older version. The most commonly used case is fixing security holes in older software components. Usually it is also part of a maintenance model to supply enhancements or (less commonly) new features.

Delta RPM

A delta RPM consists only of the binary diff between two defined versions of a package, and therefore has the smallest download size. Before being installed, the full RPM package is rebuilt on the local machine.


A metaphor of how software is developed in the open source world (compare it with upstream). The term downstream refers to people or organizations like SUSE who integrate the source code from upstream with other software to build a distribution which is then used by end users. Thus, the software flows downstream from its developers via the integrators to the end users.


Updating to a newer release by using the transactional-update command line tool. It updates all packages of the installed system to the latest state.


A package is a compressed file in rpm format that contains all files for a particular program, including optional components like configuration, examples, and documentation.


A patch consists of one or more packages and may be applied by means of delta RPMs. It may also introduce dependencies to packages that are not installed yet.


A metaphor of how software is developed in the open source world (compare it with downstream). The term upstream refers to the original project, author or maintainer of a software that is distributed as source code. Feedback, patches, feature enhancements, or other improvements flow from end users or contributors to upstream developers. They decide if the request will be integrated or rejected.

If the project members decide to integrate the request, it will show up in newer versions of the software. An accepted request will benefit all parties involved.

If a request is not accepted, it may be for different reasons. Either it is in a state that is not compliant with the project's guidelines, it is invalid, it is already integrated, or it is not in the interest or road map of the project. An unaccepted request makes it harder for upstream developers as they need to synchronize their patches with the upstream code. This practice is generally avoided, but sometimes it is still needed.


Installation of a newer minor version of a package, which usually contains security or bug fixes.


Installation of a newer major version of a package or distribution, which brings new features.

2.2 Product life cycle

SUSE has the following product life cycle:

  • SLE Micro is released twice a year.

  • SLE Micro comes with 4 years of general support, except for the 5.0 version that comes with one year general support.

The general support includes the following features:

  • Technical Services

  • Access to patches, fixes, documentation and the SUSE Knowledge base

  • Support for existing stacks and workloads

  • Support for new deployments

  • Enhancement requests

  • Hardware enablement and optimization

  • Driver updates via SUSE SolidDriver Program

  • Backport of fixes from recent minor versions

  • Security updates

  • Defect resolution

Refer to https://www.suse.com/lifecycle for more information about life cycles, release frequency, and the overlay support period.

2.3 Registering and deregistering machines with SUSEConnect

On registration, the system receives repositories from the SUSE Customer Center (see https://scc.suse.com/) or a local registration proxy like SMT. The repository names map to specific URIs in the customer center. To list all available repositories on your system, use zypper as follows:

# zypper repos -u

This gives you a list of all available repositories on your system. Each repository is listed by its alias, name and whether it is enabled and will be refreshed. The option -u gives you also the URI from where it originated.

To register your machine, run the transactional-update as follows:

# transactional-update register -r REGCODE

To deregister your machine, you can use the transactional-update as follows:

# transactional-update register -d

To check your locally installed products and their status, use the following command:

# SUSEConnect -s

2.4 Identifying the SLE Micro version

If you need to identify the version of an SLE Micro installation, check the content of the file /etc/os-release.

A machine readable XML output is available with zypper:

# zypper --no-remote --no-refresh --xmlout --non-interactive products -i
<?xml version='1.0'?>
<product name="SUSE-MicroOS" version="5.0" release="1" epoch="0" arch="x86_64" vendor="SUSE" summary="SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.0" repo="@System" productline="SUSE-MicroOS" registerrelease="" shortname="SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro" flavor="" isbase="true" installed="true"><endoflife time_t="0" text="0"/><registerflavor/><description>SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.0</description></product>