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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Container Guide / Compatibility and support conditions
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4

15 Compatibility and support conditions

15.1 Support information

The term "support" refers to two distinct concepts: a) technical enablement of a feature or combination of, for example, host and container, and b) enterprise support as delivered by SUSE to SUSE customers. Enterprise support requires a subscription for SUSE products according to https://www.suse.com/products/terms_and_conditions.pdf. Technical enablement is described below.

15.1.1 Support for SLES hosts

Consult the following support and compatibility matrix to make sure that the desired host system and container combination is compatible and supported.

The following third-party container host platforms are supported.

Image

In most scenarios, all SLE containers are expected to be interoperable if the application or its dependencies do not interact directly with kernel version-specific data structures (ioctl, /proc, /sys, routing, iptables, nftables, eBPF, etc.) or modules (KVM, OVS, SystemTap, etc.). Support for ioctl and access to /proc is limited to the most common scenarios needed by unprivileged users.

15.1.2 Support for non-SLES hosts

While SUSE-based containers are fully supported, issues in the host environment must be handled by the host environment vendor. SUSE supports components that are part of the SUSE base containers. Packages from SUSE repositories are also supported. Additional components and applications in the containers are not covered by SUSE support. A SUSE Linux Enterprise subscription is required for building derived containers.

Containers based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 (all service packs) are supported according to their official lifecycles and the following table.

Image

15.2 Support plans

There are three guiding principles of SUSE container support.

  1. The container image lifecycle follows the lifecycle of the related products.

    For example, SLES 15 SP4 container images follow the SLES 15 SP4 lifecycle.

  2. Container release status also matches the status of the related product.

    For example, if SLES 15 SP4 is in Alpha, Beta, RC, or GA stage, the related containers have the same release status.

  3. Containers are built using the packages from the related products.

    For example, SLES 15 SP4 container images are built using the same packages as the main SLES 15 SP4 release.

For further information, refer to the Product Support Lifecycle page and the documentation available for specific container images on SUSE Registry.

Container images can have different support status, and they can have limited support. Refer to the appropriate SUSE Registry page for the further information about a specific container image.

15.3 Supported containers on SUSE host environments

The following support options (tiers) apply to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server containers on SUSE host environments.

15.3.1 Tier one

Containers delivered by SUSE

Containers delivered by SUSE are fully supported. This applies to both the container and host environment as well as all products under support. This includes both general support and Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS).

15.3.2 Tier two

Containers delivered by partners with an agreement ensuring a joint engineering collaboration

This tier targets important Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). Partner containers with a joint engineering collaboration agreement are fully supported. This applies to both the container and host environment as well as all products under support (both general, as well as LTSS) covered by the agreement. Products not covered by the agreement fall under Tier Three.

15.3.3 Tier three

All other third-party containers

The SUSE container host environment is fully supported. However the container vendor is responsible for handling issues related to third-party containers they maintain.

15.4 Supported container host environments

The support options (tiers) covered below apply to the following container options:

15.4.1 Tier one

SUSE products

This tier applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Both the containers and host environments delivered by SUSE are fully supported as well as all products under support. This includes both general support and LTSS.

15.4.2 Tier two

Third-party vendors with an agreement ensuring a joint engineering collaboration

Partner containers and host environments with a joint engineering collaboration agreement are fully supported. This applies to both the container and host environment as well as all products under support (both general and LTSS) covered by the agreement.

15.4.3 Tier three

Selected third-party vendors with no agreement

This tier targets environments delivered by selected third-party vendors. While SUSE-based containers are fully supported, issues in the host environment must be handled by the host environment vendor. SUSE supports components that come from the SUSE base containers. Packages from SUSE repositories are also supported. Additional components and applications in the containers are not covered by SUSE support. No subscription is required for building derived containers based on the content of the SLE Base Container Images or the SLE Base Container Image Repository. To build containers that include packages from the full SUSE Linux Enterprise universe, you need a subscription that grants you access to the repositories containing these packages.

15.4.4 Tier four

Any other container host environment

Any container host environment not mentioned in the support tiers above has limited support. Details can be discussed with the SUSE Support Team, who might triage the issue and recommend alternative solutions. In any other case, issues in the host environment must be handled by the host environment vendor.

15.5 Technology previews

Container images labeled as Tech Preview are provided by SUSE to give you an opportunity to test new technologies within your environment and share your feedback. If you test a technology preview, contact your SUSE representative to share your experiences and use cases. Your input is helpful for future development.

Technology previews come with the following limitations:

  • Technology previews can be functionally incomplete, unstable, and not suitable for production use.

  • Technology previews are not supported.

  • Technology previews can be available only for specific hardware architectures.

  • Specifics and functionality of technology previews are subject to change. As a result, upgrading to subsequent releases of a technology preview may not be possible and may require a fresh installation.

  • Technology previews can be canceled at any time. For example, if SUSE discovers that a preview does not meet the customer or market needs, or it does not comply with enterprise standards. SUSE does not commit to providing a supported version of such technologies in the future.

Container images are labeled as Tech Preview and are marked as such at registry.suse.com. Additionally, container images that are technology previews include the com.suse.supportlevel="techpreview" label in the container image metadata. You can check whether the metadata includes the label using the docker inspect command, or an appropriate command in other container runtimes.