Jump to contentJump to page navigation: previous page [access key p]/next page [access key n]
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5

19 Life Cycle and Support Edit source

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

19.1 Terminology Edit source

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

Backporting

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.

Downstream

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.

Extensions, Add-On Products

Extensions and third party add-on products provide additional functionality of product value to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. They are provided by SUSE and by SUSE partners, and they are registered and installed on top of the base product SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

LTSS

LTSS is the abbreviation for Long Term Service Pack Support, which is available as an extension for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Major Release, General Availability (GA) Version

The major release of SUSE Linux Enterprise (or any software product) is a new version which brings new features and tools, decommissions previously deprecated components and comes with backward-incompatible changes. Major releases for example are SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 or 12.

Migration

Updating to a Service Pack (SP) by using the online update tools or an installation medium to install the respective patches. It updates all packages of the installed system to the latest state.

Migration Targets

Set of compatible products to which a system can be migrated, containing the version of the products/extensions and the URL of the repository. Migration targets can change over time and depend on installed extensions. Multiple migration targets can be selected, for example SLE 12 SP2 and SES2 or SLE 12 SP2 and SES3.

Modules

Modules are fully supported parts of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with a different life cycle. They have a clearly defined scope and are delivered via online channel only. Registering at the SUSE Customer Center, SMT (Subscription Management Tool), or SUSE Manager is a prerequisite for being able to subscribe to these channels.

Package

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.

Patch

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.

Service Packs (SP)

Combines several patches into a form that is easy to install or deploy. Service packs are numbered and usually contain security fixes, updates, upgrades, or enhancements of programs.

Upstream

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 roadmap 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.

Update

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

Upgrade

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

19.2 Product Life Cycle Edit source

SUSE has the following life cycle for products:

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has a 13-year life cycle: 10 years of general support and 3 years of extended support.

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop has a 10-year life cycle: 7 years of general support and 3 years of extended support.

  • Major releases are made every 4 years. Service packs are made every 12-14 months.

SUSE supports previous service packs for 6 months after the release of the new service pack. Figure 19.1, “Major Releases and Service Packs” depicts some mentioned aspects.

Major Releases and Service Packs
Figure 19.1: Major Releases and Service Packs

If you need additional time to design, validate and test your upgrade plans, Long Term Service Pack Support can extend the support you get by an additional 12 to 36 months in 12-month increments, giving you a total of between 2 and 5 years of support on any service pack (see Figure 19.2, “Long Term Service Pack Support”).

Long Term Service Pack Support
Figure 19.2: Long Term Service Pack Support

For more information refer to https://www.suse.com/products/long-term-service-pack-support/.

For the life cycles of all products refer to https://www.suse.com/lifecycle/.

19.3 Module Life Cycles Edit source

With SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, SUSE introduces modular packaging. The modules are distinct sets of packages grouped into their own maintenance channel and updated independently of service pack life cycles. This allows you to get timely and easy access to the latest technology in areas where innovation is occurring at a rapid pace. For information about the life cycles of modules refer to https://scc.suse.com/docs/lifecycle/sle/12/modules.

19.4 Generating Periodic Life Cycle Report Edit source

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can regularly check for changes in the support status of all installed products and send the report via e-mail in case of changes. To generate the report, install the zypper-lifecycle-plugin with zypper in zypper-lifecycle-plugin.

Enable the report generation on your system with systemctl:

root # systemctl enable lifecycle-report

The recipient and subject of the report e-mail, as well as the report generation period can be configured in the file /etc/sysconfig/lifecycle-report with any text editor. The settings MAIL_TO and MAIL_SUBJ define the mail recipient and subject, while DAYS sets the interval at which the report is generated.

The report displays changes in the support status after the change occurred and not in advance. If the change occurs right after the generation of the last report, it can take up to 14 days until you are notified of the change. Take this into account when setting the DAYS option. Change the following configuration entries to fit your requirements:

MAIL_TO='root@localhost'
MAIL_SUBJ='Lifecycle report'
DAYS=14

The latest report is available in the file /var/lib/lifecycle/report. The file contains two sections. The first section informs about the end of support for used products. The second section lists packages with their support end dates and update availability.

19.5 Support Levels Edit source

The range for extended support levels starts from year 10 and ends in year 13. These contain continued L3 engineering level diagnosis and reactive critical bug fixes. With these support levels, you will receive updates for trivially exploitable root exploits in the kernel and other root exploits directly executable without user interaction. Furthermore, they support existing workloads, software stacks, and hardware with limited package exclusion list. Find an overview in Table 19.1, “Security Updates and Bug Fixes”.

Table 19.1: Security Updates and Bug Fixes
 

General Support for Most Recent Service Pack (SP)

General Support for Previous SP, with LTSS

Extended Support with LTSS

Feature

Year 1-5

Year 6-7

Year 8-10

Year 4-10

Year 10-13

Technical Services

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Access to Patches and Fixes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Access to Documentation and Knowledge Base

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Support for Existing Stacks and Workloads

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Support for New Deployments

Yes

Yes

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

No

Enhancement Requests

Yes

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

No

No

Hardware Enablement and Optimization

Yes

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

No

No

Driver updates via SUSE SolidDriver Program (formerly PLDP)

Yes

Yes

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

No

Backport of Fixes from Recent SP

Yes

Yes

Limited (Based on partner and customer requests)

N/A

N/A

Critical Security Updates

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Defect Resolution

Yes

Yes

Limited (Severity Level 1 and 2 defects only)

Limited (Severity Level 1 and 2 defects only)

Limited (Severity Level 1 and 2 defects only)

19.6 Repository Model Edit source

The repository layout corresponds to the product life cycles. The following sections contain a list of all relevant repositories.

Description of Required Repositories
Updates

Maintenance updates to packages in the corresponding Core or Pool repository.

Pool

Containing all binary RPMs from the installation media, plus pattern information and support status metadata.

Description of Optional Repositories
Debuginfo-Pool, Debuginfo-Updates

These repositories contain static content. Of these two, only the Debuginfo-Updates repository receives updates. Enable these repositories if you need to install libraries with debug information in case of an issue.

Note
Note: Origin of Packages for SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 and Later

With the update to SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 there are only two repositories available: SLES12-GA-Pool and SLES12-GA-Updates. Any previous repositories from SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 are not visible anymore.

19.6.1 Required Repositories for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Edit source

SLES 12
SLES12-GA-Pool
SLES12-GA-Updates
SLES 12 SP1
SLES12-SP1-Pool
SLES12-SP1-Updates
SLES 12 SP2
SLES12-SP2-Pool
SLES12-SP2-Updates
SLES 12 SP3
SLES12-SP3-Pool
SLES12-SP3-Updates
SLES 12 SP4
SLES12-SP4-Pool
SLES12-SP4-Updates
SLES 12 SP5
SLES12-SP5-Pool
SLES12-SP5-Updates

19.6.2 Optional Repositories for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Edit source

SLES 12
SLES12-GA-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-GA-Debuginfo-Updates
SLES 12 SP1
SLES12-SP1-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-SP1-Debuginfo-Updates
SLES 12 SP2
SLES12-SP2-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-SP2-Debuginfo-Updates
SLES 12 SP3
SLES12-SP3-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-SP3-Debuginfo-Updates
SLES 12 SP4
SLES12-SP4-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-SP4-Debuginfo-Updates
SLES 12 SP5
SLES12-SP5-Debuginfo-Core
SLES12-SP5-Debuginfo-Updates

19.6.3 Module-Specific Repositories for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Edit source

The following listing contains only the core repositories for each module, but not Debuginfo or Source repositories.

Modules Available for SLES 12 GA/SP1/SP2/SP3/SP4/SP5
  • Advanced Systems Management Module: CFEngine, Puppet and the Machinery tool

    SLE-Module-Adv-Systems-Management12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Adv-Systems-Management12-Updates
  • Certification Module: FIPS 140-2 certification-specific packages (not available on AArch64 and POWER)

    SLE-Module-Certifications12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Certifications12-Updates
  • Containers Module: Docker Open Source Engine, tools, prepackaged images

    SLE-Module-Containers12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Containers12-Updates
  • Legacy Module: Sendmail, old IMAP stack, old Java, … (not available on AArch64)

    SLE-Module-Legacy12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Legacy12-Updates
  • Public Cloud Module: public cloud initialization code and tools

    SLE-Module-Public-Cloud12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Public-Cloud12-Updates
  • Toolchain Module: GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)

    SLE-Module-Toolchain12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Toolchain12-Updates
  • Web and Scripting Module: PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails

    SLE-Module-Web-Scripting12-Pool
    SLE-Module-Web-Scripting12-Updates
Modules Available for SLES 12 SP2/SP3/SP4/SP5
  • HPC Module: tools and libraries related to High Performance Computing

    SLE-Module-HPC12-Pool
    SLE-Module-HPC12-Updates

19.6.4 Required Repositories for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Edit source

SLED 12
SLED12-GA-Pool
SLED12-GA-Updates
SLED 12 SP1
SLED12-SP1-Pool
SLED12-SP1-Updates
SLED 12 SP2
SLED12-SP2-Pool
SLED12-SP2-Updates
SLED 12 SP3
SLED12-SP3-Pool
SLED12-SP3-Updates
SLED 12 SP4
SLED12-SP4-Pool
SLED12-SP4-Updates
SLED 12 SP5
SLED12-SP5-Pool
SLED12-SP5-Updates

19.6.5 Optional Repositories for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Edit source

SLED 12
SLED12-GA-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-GA-Debuginfo-Updates
SLED 12 SP1
SLED12-SP1-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-SP1-Debuginfo-Updates
SLED 12 SP2
SLED12-SP2-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-SP2-Debuginfo-Updates
SLED 12 SP3
SLED12-SP3-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-SP3-Debuginfo-Updates
SLED 12 SP4
SLED12-SP4-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-SP4-Debuginfo-Updates
SLED 12 SP5
SLED12-SP5-Debuginfo-Core
SLED12-SP5-Debuginfo-Updates

19.6.6 Register and Deregister Repositories with SUSEConnect Edit source

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:

root # 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 SUSEConnect, for example:

root # SUSEConnect -r REGCODE

If you want to deregister your machine, from SP1 and above you can use SUSEConnect too:

root # SUSEConnect --de-register

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

root # SUSEConnect -s
Print this page