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documentation.suse.com / SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation / Administration Guide / Services / SLP
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP5

41 SLP

Configuring a network client requires detailed knowledge about services provided over the network (such as printing or LDAP, for example). To make it easier to configure such services on a network client, the service location protocol (SLP) was developed. SLP makes the availability and configuration data of selected services known to all clients in the local network. Applications that support SLP can use this information to be configured automatically.

SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server supports installation using installation sources provided with SLP and contains many system services with integrated support for SLP. You can use SLP to provide networked clients with central functions, such as an installation server, file server, or print server on your system. Services that offer SLP support include cupsd, login, ntp, openldap2-client, postfix, rpasswd, rsyncd, saned, sshd (via fish), vnc, and ypserv.

All packages necessary to use SLP services on a network client are installed by default. However, if you want to provide services via SLP, check that the openslp-server package is installed.

41.1 The SLP front-end slptool

slptool is a command line tool to query and register SLP services. The query functions are useful for diagnostic purposes. The most important slptool subcommands are listed below. slptool --help lists all available options and functions.


List all service types available on the network.

> slptool findsrvtypes

List all servers providing SERVICE_TYPE

> slptool findsrvs service:ntp

List attributes for SERVICE_TYPE on HOST

> slptool findattrs service:ntp://ntp.example.com

Registers SERVICE_TYPE on HOST with an optional list of attributes

slptool register service:ntp://ntp.example.com:57810 \
deregister SERVICE_TYPE//host

Deregisters SERVICE_TYPE on HOST

slptool deregister service:ntp://ntp.example.com

For more information run slptool --help.

41.2 Providing services via SLP

To provide SLP services, the SLP daemon (slpd) must be running. Like most system services in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, slpd is controlled by a separate start script. After the installation, the daemon is inactive by default. To activate it for the current session, run sudo systemctl start slpd. If slpd should be activated on system start-up, run sudo systemctl enable slpd.

Many applications in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server have integrated SLP support via the libslp library. If a service has not been compiled with SLP support, use one of the following methods to make it available via SLP:

Static registration with /etc/slp.reg.d

Create a separate registration file for each new service. The following example registers a scanner service:

## Register a saned service on this system
## en means english language
## 65535 disables the timeout, so the service registration does
## not need refreshes
description=SANE scanner daemon

The most important line in this file is the service URL, which begins with service:. This contains the service type (scanner.sane) and the address under which the service is available on the server. $HOSTNAME is automatically replaced with the full host name. The name of the TCP port on which the relevant service can be found follows, separated by a colon. Then enter the language in which the service should appear and the duration of registration in seconds. These should be separated from the service URL by commas. Set the value for the duration of registration between 0 and 65535. 0 prevents registration. 65535 removes all restrictions.

The registration file also contains the two variables watch-port-tcp and description. watch-port-tcp links the SLP service announcement to whether the relevant service is active by having slpd check the status of the service. The second variable contains a more precise description of the service that is displayed in suitable browsers.

Tip: YaST and SLP

Some services brokered by YaST, such as an installation server or YOU server, perform this registration automatically when you activate SLP in the module dialogs. YaST then creates registration files for these services.

Static registration with /etc/slp.reg

The only difference between this method and the procedure with /etc/slp.reg.d is that all services are grouped within a central file.

Dynamic registration with slptool

If a service needs to be registered dynamically without the need of configuration files, use the slptool command line utility. The same utility can also be used to deregister an existing service offering without restarting slpd. See Section 41.1, “The SLP front-end slptool for details.

41.2.1 Setting up an SLP installation server

Announcing the installation data via SLP within your network makes the network installation much easier, since the installation data such as IP address of the server or the path to the installation media are automatically required via SLP query. Refer to Chapter 16, Setting up a network installation source for instructions.

41.3 More information

RFC 2608, 2609, 2610

RFC 2608 generally deals with the definition of SLP. RFC 2609 deals with the syntax of the service URLs used in greater detail and RFC 2610 deals with DHCP via SLP.


The home page of the OpenSLP project.


This directory contains the documentation for SLP coming with the openslp-server package, including a README.SUSE containing the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server details, the RFCs, and two introductory HTML documents. Programmers who want to use the SLP functions find more information in the Programmers Guide that is included in the openslp-devel package that is provided with the SUSE Software Development Kit.