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SLES Service Packs


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)

Recommended Links zypper

What's New in SLES 11 SP2

What's new SLES 11 SP3
SLES life cycle Suse supportconfig SLES Package Management Baseliners Simple Unix Backup Tools Applying Patches to SLES
Hard Drive Partitioning Linux Swap filesystem Swap file /etc/fstab/ Kernel module configuration - openSUSE modprobe FATAL could not load modules.dep


Installation Checklist

Unix cpio

Sysadmin Horror Stories




Road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is fully applicable to the idea of Suse service packs. They make patching SLES server unnecessary complex: periodically you need to upgrade to a new service pack using special procedure. Without it you eventually lose access to patches.

The best way to install service packs is using installation DVD (which has an upgrade option). Attempts to do it from Novel website using regular patch mechanism are more risky.  Not recommended for production servers ;-). 

Expect troubles and prepare backup and baseline before upgrading to the next service pack

Upgrade to the next service pack was always and still it a problematic procedure, that requires sysadmin attention and downtime. Expect troubles in any case and reserve enough downtime. Creating  supportconfig tar file before and after patching as well as creating private cpio or tar backup for /boot and /etc before patching is a must.  Never try to save time on backup before patching.

Testing in the lab is a necessary preliminary step for production servers. It might not reveals all the problems that you might encounter on a production server but it tremendously helps. Some patches interfere with existing applications. Some contain blunders (in one case patch overwrote /boot partition and created /boot directory on a critical production server).  Do not dive blindly. General quality of patches from Suse is good, but if you are unlucky you can be really unlucky. See also modprobe FATAL could not load modules.dep

Reliability of service packs in major SLES versions

Not all service packs are created equal. Some of them are so brittle and poorly debugged that it make a lot of sense to skip them and wait for the next. Here I am taking about such service packs as SLES 11 SP2. It make a lot odf sense go to SP3 from SP1 without installing this service pack. You will avoid a lot of troubles and unpleasant surprises. See also SLES life cycle



Update to SLES 11 SP3 from installation disk or ISO

Get the ISO image from and boot server  from it

After installation disk boots:

Procedure of upgrading from SLES 11 SP2 to SLES 11 SP3 without using DVD

The procedure is described in Support How to upgrade to SLES-SLED 11 SP3. It is more reliable then previous and as such represents less risk that previous update without using DVD.


Procedure for upgrading from SLES / SLED 11 SP2

There are different supported ways for updating a SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 system to SP3 level. Users can either update to SP3 by using the online update tools to install the respective patches or update using the SP3 installation media.

For installing SP3 via the respective patches, the following tools are supported:

Update via zipper is preferable as it can be scripted.

Update by using zypper

You can use this process ( with ultimate caution) for server, for which downtime is highly undesirable. All process take approximately 30 min and requires two reboots. Assuming 2 min each total downtime is 4 min or so. 

Preparation steps

  1. Open a root shell. If connection is not reliable run screen.
  2. Refresh all services and repositories:
    zypper ref -s
  3. Install package management updates:
    zypper update -t patch
  4. Install all available updates for SLES/SLED 11 SP2 (fully patch SP2 -- this is required for success of upgrade to SP3) running the same command the second time: 
    zypper update -t patch
  5. Reboot the server. The system needs to be rebooted, because the kernel and/or other important system components are updated.

    Note: if you want to use the above command in a script for an unattended upgrade, the command would be: "

    zypper --non-interactive patch --auto-agree-with-licenses --with-interactive"
  6. Now the installed products should distribution upgrades and migration products which should be installed to perform the migration. Read the migration product information from /etc/products.d/*.prod and install them. Use the following command:
    zypper se -t product | grep -h -- "-migration" | cut -d\| -f2

    The output of the command could be as follows:

    If it is
    You probably did not rebooted the server after patching. The system needs to be rebooted afterwards, because the kernel and/or other important system components are updated.

    If it does not help your only option is the upgrade from DVD. And actually chances for successful upgrade from DVD are higher now as your system is fully patched.

Actual upgrade

  1. Install migration products
    zypper in -t product sle-sdk-SP3-migration SUSE_SLES-SP3-migration
  2. Now run  command to register the products in order to get the corresponding SP3 Update repositories.
    suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log
  3. Refresh services and repositories.
    zypper ref -s
  4. Check the repositories using 'zypper lr' and if needed, disable the SP1/SP2 Pool/Core/Updates repositories manually and enable the new SP3 (SP3-Pool,  SP3-Updates) repositories:
  5. Then perform a dist upgrade by using the following command (example for SLES, please adjust catalog names in case SLED is updated):
    zypper dup --from SLES11-SP3-Pool --from SLES11-SP3-Updates

    add more SP3 catalogs here if needed, e.g. in case addon products are installed

  6. zypper will report that it will delete the migration product and update the main products. Confirm the message to continue updating the rpm packages.
  7. After the upgrade is finished, register the new products again:
    suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log
  8. Reboot the system

Update by using YaST and/or Update Applet

1.1) Using a "Custom URL" for updating with YaST



Update to SLE 11 SP3 via patches by using Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise

As an alternative to downloading the updates for each single client system from the Novell update server, it is possible to use Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise to mirror the updates to a local server.
This tool acts as Novell Customer Center proxy both for client registrations and as software update repository. The SMT documentation at gives an overview of its features as well as instructions on how to implement it.


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Old News ;-)

[May 26, 2010] Kernel versions - CoolSolutionsWiki

This site lists SLES8, SLES9, SLES10 and SLES11 kernel releases and updates released on Novell Downloads

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

Jun-2007 SP1 release - see table below

Nov-07-2007 (s390x only)
May-2008 SP2 release - see table below
Oct-01-2008 (x86_64)

Oct-01-2008 (x86_64)
Feb-17-2009 (ia64 only)

Apr-26-2010 (x86_64 only)

[May 26, 2010] Never ever play lose with /boot partition in case of "split kernel".

Here is the recent story connected with the upgrade of the OS (in this case Suse 10) to a new service pack (SP3)

After the upgrade sysadmin discovered that instead of /boot partition mounted there is none but there is a /boot directory directory on the boot partition populated by the update. This is so called "split kernel" situation when one (older) version of kernel boots and then it finds different (more recent) modules in /lib/modules and complains. There reason of this strange behavior of Suse update was convoluted and connected with LVM upgrade it contained after which LVM blocked mounting of /boot partition.

Easy, he thought. Let's boot from DVD, mount boot partition to say /boot2 and copy all files from the /boot directory to the boot partition.

And he did exactly that. To make things "clean" he first wiped the "old" boot partition and then copied the directory.

After rebooting the server he see GRUB prompt; it never goes to the menu. This is a production server and the time slot for the upgrade was 30 min. Investigation that involves now other sysadmins and that took three hours as server needed to be rebooted, backups retrieved to other server from the tape, etc, reveals that /boot directory did not contain a couple of critical files such as /boot/message and /boot/grub/menu.lst. Remember /boot partition was wiped clean.

BTWs /boot/message is an executable and grub stops execution of stpped /boot/grub/menu.lst.when it encounted instruction

gfxmenu (hd0,1)/message

Here is an actual /boot/grub/menu.lst.

# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu May 13 13:43:35 EDT 2010
default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,1)/message
##YaST - activate

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3
root (hd0,1)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/vg01/root vga=0x317 splash=silent showopts
initrd /initrd-

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3
root (hd0,1)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/vg01/root vga=0x317 showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off noresume edd=off 3
initrd /initrd-

Luckily there was a backup done before this "fix". Four hours later server was bootable again.

How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP2 (Document ID: 7000387 )

Update to SP2 via patches

Attention:The update process has to be done completely from beginning to reboot. There is no automatic way to revert changes. Furthermore, the server has to be connected online during the whole update process.

Prerequisites: You have to make sure to have your system registered. If you have not done this already, you can either do so by using the "Novell Customer Center Configuration" module in YaST or use the suse_register commandline tool. This will add an update source to your system.

1) Update by using YaST Online Update

2) Update by using zen-updater

3) Update by using rug

In case of problems with move to SP2 please look at log output of move-to-sp2
from /var/log/move-to-sles10-sp2-script.log

Adding Installation Sources to SuSE Linux 10.1


With a new backend on the package manager, come new problems. When you follow the directions above, then click finish on the Installation Source dialog, It can take anywhere from a couple minutes to EVER. While it may seem stalled, it is most likely is not. to verify this, you can open a root console and type the following, which will provide a live view of the yast log: tailf /var/log/YaST2/y2log

When you click finish, it has to sync with rug, which has serious issues currently, and this is why it takes so damn long. Please keep an eye on the log file and if it has been 15 or 20 minutes, I would suggest killing the process via xkill or hitting Ctrl + Alt + Esc and clicking on the frozen yast - installation source window.

IF you had to kill the window, then you have now got sources half way added, and things are going to be broken. To fix them, you need to do the following in a root console:

md /var/lib/backup
cp -R /var/lib/{zypp,zmd} /var/lib/backup
rm -Rf /var/lib/{zypp,zmd}/*
md /var/lib/zypp/db/products
cp /var/lib/backup/zypp/db/products/* /var/lib/zypp/db/products/

These directions will: make a backup directory, copy your existing zmd and zypp directories to that directory, remove the contents of your zypp and zmd directories recursively, recreate the product directory for zypp, and finally copy your product ID back into your /var/lib/zypp directory. Now you can attempt to add the yast sources again OR you can take my advise, stop using YaST - Software Manager, and start using Smart.

move-to-sp2 don't work - NOVELL FORUMS

Thomas Schneider
Guest Posts: n/a

move-to-sp2 don't work



I started yast to upgrade to SLES10,SP2 but it doesn't work, here the log output
from /var/log/move-to-sles10-sp2-script.log

listParams: command=listparams
register: command=register
lang: en-US
Wrote zmd allow file
Execute /usr/bin/lsb_release -sd
Execute curl command failed with '28': % Total % Received % Xferd Average
Speed Time Time Time Current
Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
... ... ... curl: (28) Operation timed out with 0 out of -1 bytes received
+ : registration done

maybe someone can help me...


Thomas Schneider

#2 27-Aug-2008, 03:44 PM
Thomas Schneider
Guest Posts: n/a

Re: move-to-sp2 don't work


I paste some outputs and there you can see that something is wrong! It writes
"SLE-10-i386-SP2 + "online updates", but if i start yast2-online update, there
comes only one selection "move-to-sp1...." aso...
Maybe this can help you more to find out whats wrong on this machine.


--> here the output:
www3:~ # SPident -v

Summary (using 615 packages)
Product/ServicePack conflict match update (shipped)
SLE-10-i386 0 0% 202 32.8% 18 (2524 8.0%)
SLE-10-i386-SP1 0 0% 296 48.1% 16 (2701 11.0%)
SLE-10-i386-SP2 0 0% 595 96.7% 16 (2875 20.7%)
Unknown 20 3.3%

CONCLUSION: System is up-to-date!
found SLE-10-i386-SP2 + "online updates"

www3:~ # rug sl

# | Status | Type | Name | URI

1 | Active | ZYPP | SUSE-Linux-Enterprise-Server-i386-10-0-20070221-190513 |
2 | Active | ZYPP | SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 |

www3:~ # rug ca

Sub'd? | Name | Service

Yes | SUSE-Linux-Enterprise-Server-i386-10-0-20070221-190513 |
Yes | SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 | SUSE Linux
Enterprise Server 10

www3:~ # rpm -qa kernel*

[Aug 29, 2008] OpenSuSE 10.1 small review

New in OpenSuSE 10.1 is also "rug - rug is the command-line interface to the ZENworks Linux Management (ZLM) agent. It works with the ZLM daemon to install, update, and remove software according to the commands you give it. The software which it installs can be from ZENworks 7 Linux Management, ZENworks 6.6.x Linux Management servers, aptrpm repositories, as well as local files.
ZENworks Linux Management servers sort software by category into catalogs, which are groups of similar software. For example, one catalog might contain software from the operating system vendor, and another the Novell Linux Desktop. You can subscribe to individual catalogs to control the display of available packages and prevent the accidental installation of unwanted software. By default, all operations are performed on software from within catalogs to which you are subscribed, although you may alter this with the --allow-unsubscribed flag."

As I said, suse_register is used by the update (and install ?!) manager. The tool automatically detects package and patch sources suitable for the current device and feeds the underlying package management system (zmd)
. You may wonder why. Here it is:

To perform its task suse_register transfers zmd's unique device identifier to Novell's registration webservice.
In order for the webservice to calculate the appropriate package and package
sources, suse_register also passes hardware architecture, operating system and version to the webservice. The current timezone is also passed so that the webservice can select a geographically close source mirror sites of its
Additionally Novell's backend systems allow for customer device management.
Customers can review their available systems and associate them with
appropriate entitlements they have purchased. In order to fulfill that task
suse_register can be configured to also transmit certain device details like
hostname, CPU type etc. so that customers can easier identify their devices.
To provide a maximum amount of flexibility Novell's webservice is able to ask back for needed parameters dependent on the needs of the registration procedure. Therefore certain device side invoked commands can be requested for their outputs. These hard coded commands are:

Novell Customer Center registration problem - NOVELL FORUMS

On Wed, 28 May 2008 19:26:02 +0000, swicklund wrote:

> If I select to the check box to enter registration codes then click next I
> get a server error.
> None of the installed products can be registered at the Novell
> registration server.
> My server stopped downloading updates, so I deleted its registration. Now
> I am trying to re-register it.

Stop the zmd service, delete the deviceid & secret files from /etc/zmd,
start the zmd service, then try running the NCC Configuration utility

Joe Marton
Novell Support Forum SysOp
Novell does not officially monitor these forums!

Software Management-Registration - openSUSE

19 December 2006.

Version 13,

This paper describes how the registration process is implemented on Linux systems. What happens on is documented elsewhere.

The registration process is invoked in one of the following ways:

1. During interactive installation, the user will be asked if they want to connect to the network and retrieve updates. This will cause interactive registration (see below). The user may skip this process, in which case the system will not be updated and the ZMD update facility will not be configured.

2. During scripted installation (i.e. with autoyast) registration may be completely scripted using the registration utility (see below). As with interactive installation, this may be skipped.

3. Manually calling the registration utility from YaST. When running in a graphical mode (i.e., webconsole or when YaST can realize an HTML widget), the registration process may be interactive.

4. Manually calling the registration utility from the command-line.

5. When the user attempts to use a ZMD-related command and ZMD is not configured, an error message will be generated prompting them to register in order to configure the update service. They will then need to manually register using one of the entry points described above. Optionally, if appropriate, the command may invoke a wrapper script that will call the registration utility.

Registration Utility: suse_register

suse_register [ options ] [-a parameter=value ...]

The suse_register utility collects system configuration and user information needed to connect the system to network-delivered services from Novell and configure the patch and update service. The information is supplied to a registration service at, and will return an XML-structured file with the information needed to configure ZMD for patch and update.


-i | --interactive – launch web browser and interactively collect registration information

--product <product> - product to register

-p | --list-parameters – contact the registration service for a list of parameters

--xml-output – print results in XML to stdout (for scripting)

-n | --no-optional – don't submit passively collected optional system information

-f | --force-registration – mark all parameters mandatory which are required for registration even though registration itself might be optional

--no-hw-data – never submit hardware data, even if they are mandatory

-L file | --log=file – log XML blocks sent to and received from the registration service to file

--locale=locale – force messages to a specific language and encoding

-b path | --browser=path – use web browser specified by path for interactive registration

--no-proxy – don't use proxies, even if the appropriate environment variables are set

--xml-output – print XML output

-h | -? | --help – print command-line syntax help




List Products

At the beginning of each call, suse_register will ask the server so send a list of known products. This happens by calling the URL .

The server return a list of products, for example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<productlist xmlns=""
  <privacy url=""
           description="Novell Privacy Statement"
  <product>Novell Linux Desktop</product>
  <product>SUSE Linux</product>
  <product>SUSE SLES</product>

List Parameters

When invoked with the --list-parameters option, the suse_register command will contact the registration service at, supplying the desired encoding and language identifiers for textual descriptions of the parameters. The content includes the product information.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<listparams xmlns="">
    <product version="10.1" release="Beta9" arch="i686"><![CDATA[SUSE LINUX]]></product>

The encoding and language specifiers are supplied using HTML form post or get methods, and are passed using the encoding and lang identifiers, respectively. The default values for encoding and language are derived from the LANG locale variable, and may be set in the runtime environment using the LANG environment variable. An appropriate value may also be passed on the command line using the --locale option. This value is structured as lang.encoding. The value for lang may require normalization by suse_register in order to conform to IETF RFC 3066. For example, en_US would be transformed to en-US. The value for encoding must be UTF-8; in instances where other character encodings are required, suse_register must normalize or de-normalize message strings.

The registration service will then return an XML structured document with a list of parameters, their description, and a command that may be used to collect the desired information (if applicable). The registration service may modify the language and encoding to match supported message catalogs. For example, if suse_register passes lang="en-GB", the registration service may change the language value to en because a single English language message catalog is supported.

The tag privacy has an url and a description attribute. The url is the link to the current privacy policy of Novell. The description a short description about the policy.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<paramlist xmlns="" lang="en">
    <param id="ostype"
           description="Operating System Type"
           command="lsb_release -sd"/>
    <param id="osversion"
           description="Operating System Version"
           command="lsb_release -sr"/>
    <param id="processor"
           description="Processor Type"
           command="uname -p"/>
    <param id="platform"
           description="Hardware Platform Type"
           command="uname -i"/>
    <param id="timezone"
           description="Timezone Offset from GMT"
           command="date +'%z'"/>
    <param id="username"
           description="Novell Account User Name"/>
    <!-- etc. -->
    <privacy url=""
             description="Submit information to help you manage systems in the Customer Center."

If suse_register was invoked with the --xml-output option, then the returned file will be sent to stdout. Otherwise, a human-readable version of the parameter list will be printed to stdout.



In all other cases, the suse_register command will send an XML structured document to the registration service at .

The registration service may respond with a redirect, in which case the request is resubmitted to the indicated URL.

The URL should contain the protocol version of suse_register, e.g. version=1.0, as query option.

The XML document will contain a globally-unique identifier (GUID) for the device provided by ZMD and any collected parameters. The ZMD GUID is one of two randomly-generated "unique" numbers that the system and the ZLM server will exchange with each other. The other is a registration code that will be passed back later in the process.

For virtualization the GUID of the Domain-0 could be provide inside the <host>...</host> element. This could be understand as a "link" to the entitlement of Domain-0. More about this is defined in an separate document.

At a minimum, the suse_register command will passively collect the products, the processor and hardware platform type, and the timezone. The products are used for update catalog selection. The timezone information is used to select an update server. The XML document will also include the desired language and encoding specifiers, as outlined above.

The mirrors tag ask for maximal count of mirrors returned by the registration server. If this value is missing in the request, the value is "1" . Update sources with the same catalog name are defined to be mirrors with the same content.

The product has the following attributes: version, release (might be empty) and arch. The value is the product name.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<register xmlns=""
          lang="en" accept="optional" force="registration">
    <product version="10" release="" arch="i686">
    <param id="processor">i686</parameter>
    <param id="platform">i386</parameter>
    <param id="timezone">US/Mountain</parameter>
    <mirrors count="5" />

It is possible to register more that one product. suse_register will submit the set intersection of server known products (i.e., products returned from a listproducts command), installed products, and any products provided via the --product command line parameter.

If the supplied information is sufficient to complete registration of the system, then the registration service will send back and XML structured document with configuration information for ZMD.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<zmdconfig xmlns="" lang="en">
    <param id="update_inventory">true</param>
    <service id="novell-emea"
             description="Novell Network European Update Service"
        <param id="url">
        <param id="regcode">fade4badbeeffeed</param>
        <param name="catalog">sle-10-common-i586</param>
        <param name="catalog">sle-10-server-i586</param>
        <param name="catalog">sle-10-sdk-i586</param>
        <param name="catalog">sle-10-unsupported-i586</param>
    <service id="mirror1"
             description="Mirror 1 in Germany"
        <param id="url">
        <param name="catalog">SUSE-Linux-10.1-Update</param>

The registration code returned for a particular update service is not the activation code; it is one of two randomly-generated "unique" numbers that ZMD on the system and a Novell-hosted ZLM server exchange with each other. Types other than "zenwork" may not have a registration code. The other is the ZMD GUID that was provided earlier in the process. By using two randomly-generated numbers, a different activation code may be assigned to a system at without having to update the system.

The server returned is either a best-guess appropriate server hosted by Novell, where "best" is determined by the timezone information supplied to the registration process, or, when possible, a company-hosted update server. In order to provide a company hosted update server, an interactive registration process must have been used so that the user could provide the necessary Novell user name and password.

The only other option currently defined is to have ZMD update the hardware and software inventory information. If optional (inventory) parameters are sent to the registration service, this will be set. If optional parameters are not sent (i.e., if the --no-optional command-line option is used), then this option will be unset. This option is a global ZMD parameter so it is send outside of a service tag.

The set of catalogs returned are based on the product information provided. For Novell-hosted update servers, Novell-defined catalogs are returned (defined elsewhere). For customer-hosted update servers, customer-defined catalogs are returned. For SUSE Linux (not enterprise) the best of a list of university mirrors are returned.


Need Info

The registration service may require additional information before completing the registration. In such cases, the registration service will return an XML structured document with a list of parameters that must be supplied to complete the registration process.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<needinfo xmlns="" lang="en"
    <param id="indentification" class="mandatory"
	     description="Identify System Owner">
            <param id="email" description="E-Mail Address"/>
            <param id="elogin" description="Novell Account Login">
                <param id="username" description="Username"/>
                <param id="password" description="Password"/>
            <param id="custid" description="Customer Number"/>
    <param id="sysident" description="System Identification">
        <param id="hostname" description="Hostname" command="uname -n"/>
        <!-- etc. -->
    <param id="hw_inventory" description="Hardware Inventory">
        <param id="cpu" description="CPU Details" command="hwinfo --cpu"/>
        <!-- etc. -->
    <!-- etc. -->
    <privacy url=""
             description="Submit information to help you manage systems in the Customer Center."

The above <needinfo> response is also sent by the service if the accept="optional" attribute is specified in the <register> request made by suse_register. This attribute should always be specified on the first <register> request made, and tells the service that respond back with optional parameters is allowed even if all mandatory parameters were already met. Whether the server really returns with a <needinfo> dependents on the business logic of the product.

If the –no-optional parameter is given, accept="mandatory" is included in the first register request.

If the –force-registration parameter is given, force="registration" is included in the first register request. In this case the server knows that the user wants a registration. Customers still would like to be able to register because they might get additional services by Novell other than patches, for example specific NTS services.

To suppress any interactive <needinfo> parameters force="batch" can be added to the <register> request by using --batch commandline parameter. When it is impossible for the server to perform the registration in this case, and error is returned.

The suse_register command will then passively collect information for all parameters where a command property is specified unless the --no-optional option is specified. If --no-optional is specified, then only parameters of class "mandatory" where a command property is specified shall be collected. The command must be one of hwinfo, lsb_release or uname; the command name will be substituted with a command-path determined by suse_register. All other command names will be rejected. lsb_release might not be installed. In this case an empty value is returned back to the server.

There are some additional "virtual" commands which are directly implemented in suse_register. These "virtual" commands are: zmd-secret, zmd-ostarget and installed-desktops .

Interactive parameters may be logically grouped by nesting parameter blocks (<param>...</param>) inside other parameter blocks, as shown in the example above. Where a choice one of a set of possible parameters is required, then the parameter blocks shall be contained within a a selection block (<select>...</select>). Note that a selection block masks inheritance of the mandatory class property.

A selection block (<select>...</select>) is forbidden if a command property is specified below.

If any information was passively collected, the registration request will be resubmitted to the registration service before suse_register continues.

If suse_register reaches a state where it does not have and cannot passively collect a value for a mandatory parameter, and the --interactive option has not been set, then it will terminate with an exit code and a diagnostic message. The diagnostic message will contain the XML "need information" block when the --xml-output option is specified, or printed in human-readable form otherwise. When the --no-optional option is used, optional parameters will be stripped from the diagnostic message.

When suse_register is invoked with the --interactive option, the utility will launch a web browser to collect the needed registration information and exchange it with The script will wait for the browser to exit before continuing, so the HTML exchange between the browser and should attempt to close the browser, and advise the user that the browser must be closed in order to continue the registration process.

Because suse_register is a command-line tool, a text browser is started when the --interactive parameter is given. If the --browser option is given, it cannot be sure that calling this browser really blocks the terminal until the browser is closed, and in that case suse_register will exit with a message to restart suse_register if the registration in the browser has completed.

The privacy tag has the same information as in command=listparams.


Standard Assumption for User Identification

In the general case an e-mail address is used as a rendezvous point for subsequent subscription management information functions at It is used in place of Novell "eLogin" account information for usability (e.g., in cases where the user does not yet have a Novell account, can't remember the information, etc.). The activation code, if provided, enables completion of the registration process without the registering user having to subsequently visit

Richer workflows may be implemented using autoyast scripting or interactive registration.


Privacy Policy

Documentation and interactive user interfaces should explain that the required system information (ZMD GUID, hardware architecture tag, operating system type, OEM edition, and timezone) are required to complete the registration process, and Novell reserves the right to use this information for aggregate reporting. However, no personal- or company-identifying information will be shared outside Novell.

Documentation and interactive user interfaces should explain that the optional system information is collected and stored at, but is not used by Novell in any way or shared with any party. It is simply collected for the convenience of the user in managing their systems and subscriptions. While users are encouraged to permit transmittal of this information for their own use, they are not required to do so.


Provisional Registration and Re-Registration

If an activation code is not supplied when suse_register is run, then will automatically allocate an evaluation activation code according to current Novell business policies. The registering user may subsequently assign as permanent activation code using web-based tools at, or using the suse_register process.

The suse_register command may be re-run at any time in order to submit an activation code for this system via the command-line, change the setting for inventory transmittal, or change the identifying information. The system information at will then be updated accordingly. This provides a mechanism for finding "lost systems" in the registration process.


Server Errors

If an error on the server occurs, it will send an HTTP error with a HTML error message page. Javascript in the error message page is not allowed.


Exit Codes

0 – registration or list command completed

1 – more information needed, not interactive

>= 2 – error

[Aug 29, 2008] Xen: Critical considerations when updating from SLES 10 SP1 to SLES 10 SP2

What are some important Xen considerations when updating SLES 10 SP1 to SLES 10 SP2?



Error: (2, 'Invalid kernel', 'xc_dom_compat_check: guest type xen-3.0-x86_32 not supported by xen kernel, sorry\n')

[Aug 29, 2008] Better version of SPident is SPident-0.9-74.24

The Novell note (document 5027381 ) about this version describes it as SPident 20080409. SP Update via YAST installs .14 by default. This version can detect if after semi-failed install the system is SP2 but is not called SP2
SPident 20080409 (83403d4cbac105fb425b735b6d8dc7d7)

This document (5027381) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

patches this patch supersedes

This patch does not supersede any other patches.

patches that supersede this patch This patch is not superseded by any other patches.

patch attributes

Architecture: x86-64

Revision: 1

Document ID: 5027381

Creation Date: 2008-06-04 15:46:55


SuSE Linux Maintenance Web (83403d4cbac105fb425b735b6d8dc7d7)

Applies to

Package: SPident
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP2 for x86
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP2 for AMD64 and Intel EM64T
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 for x86
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 for IPF
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 for IBM POWER
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 for IBM zSeries 64bit
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 for AMD64 and Intel EM64T
Patch: sledp2o-SPident-5160

Release: 20080409
Obsoletes: none


Indications Everyone should update.

Contraindications None.

Problem description

SPident has data for all architectures of SLES/SLED. Since this data is generated during the final media creation, only the local data can be completely correct. This update is meant to consolidate the data for all architectures.


Please install the updates provided at the location noted below.

Installation notes

This update is provided as an RPM package that can easily be installed onto a running system by using this command:

rpm -Fhv SPident.rpm

file contents

Files Included Size Date
SPident-0.9-74.24.noarch.rpm 200.7 KB (205529) 2008-06-04 15:46:58
readme_5027381.html N/A 2008-06-04 15:48:26

source packages Download the source code of the patches for maintained products.

[Aug 29, 2008] How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP2 (Document ID: 7000387 )

Update to SP2 via patches

Attention:The update process has to be done completely from beginning to reboot. There is no automatic way to revert changes. Furthermore, the server has to be connected online during the whole update process. Prerequisites: You have to make sure to have your system registered. If you have not done this already, you can either do so by using the "Novell Customer Center Configuration" module in YaST or use the suse_register commandline tool. This will add an update source to your system.

1) Update by using YaST Online Update

2) Update by using zen-updater

3) Update by using rug

Resetting your ZEN Updater and Novell Customer Center key registration

This document (3303599) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Novell ZENworks Linux Management Linux Management 7 - ZLM7


Registering another key for the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 server or desktop is resulting in a quick response of "success". However, the key is still not used and is also not listed.

If the evaluation key was used first to register SLED 10 or SLES 10, the new registration key that is aquired on purchase needs to be changed by following the below steps. The old key needs to be cleared to enable the new key to be used.


The key must be cleared from the local server or workstation. The process is :
  1. Stop the Zen management daemon using "/etc/init.d/novell-zmd stop".
  2. Remove the device ID using "rm /etc/zmd/deviceid".
  3. Remove the Zen secret using "rm /etc/zmd/secret".
  4. Restart the Zen management daemon using "/etc/init.d/novell-zmd start"
With this complete, restart YaST, and then launch the Novell Customer Center. This will register any new keys that were needed.

[Aug 20, 2008] It's probably time to install Suse 10 SP2 on production systems...

It's already thee month old upgrade. Major problems with installer are ironed out and automatic patch install does a reasonable job in upgrading the system. Installation takes than less hour on PE1950/2050 and requires a couple of reboots.

Problem arise when you use privately compiled bind or sendmail. In this case it's better to use default Suse upgrade and face consequences. after that you can restore your pre-compiled packages and delete those that are not needed.

[Aug 2, 2008] How to install & configure Xen Virtualization in openSUSE 11.0 SUSE & openSUSE

Virtualization cannot be that simpler than in openSUSE 11.0. In openSUSE 11.0, Xen Virtualization ins pre-built and all it takes is a few clicks away from up and running with Virtualization in no time. Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. This package contains the Xen Hypervisor.

[May 21, 2008] Novell Delivers SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Enhancements in Service Pack 2

"...SUSE Linux Enterprise – version 11 – is due to arrive in the first half of 2009 and is slated to deliver major advancements in mission-critical data center technologies, UNIX* migration, virtualization, interoperability, green computing and desktop Linux. More information on SUSE Linux Enterprise can be found at "

WALTHAM, Mass.- 21 May 2008- Novell today announced the availability to customers worldwide of SUSE® Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 2 (SP2), containing enhancements in virtualization, management, hardware enablement and interoperability. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 is the only Xen-based virtualization solution with full support from Microsoft for Windows* Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 guests and live migration of those guests across physical machines. Several improvements specific to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10 are also included in SP2. Novell further unveiled the Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise, designed to help customers better manage their SUSE Linux Enterprise software updates.

"This service pack for SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 has something for almost everyone – customers, partners and developers," said Holger Dyroff, vice president of outbound product management for SUSE Linux Enterprise at Novell. "The benefits of Linux in the enterprise are becoming well known, and Novell's focus is on continuing to simplify the customer's experience, always with an eye to reducing costs. Reliability, security and interoperability don't need to break the bank. That's the ongoing value Novell provides with SUSE Linux Enterprise."

Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise

The Subscription Management Tool (SMT) for SUSE Linux Enterprise helps customers easily manage their SUSE Linux Enterprise software updates while maintaining corporate firewall policy and regulatory compliance requirements. SMT is a package proxy system that is integrated with the Novell® Customer Center and provides key Novell Customer Center capabilities locally at the customer site. It provides a repository and registration target that is synchronized with the Novell Customer Center, thus maintaining all the capabilities of the Novell Customer Center while allowing a more secure centralized deployment.

SMT allows customers to easily distribute updates for all SUSE Linux Enterprise devices (server, desktop or point-of-service terminal) that are running Service Pack 2 or subsequent releases. By downloading these updates only once and distributing them throughout the enterprise, the customer is able to set more restrictive firewall policies and, where applicable, avoid significant network usage stemming from repeated downloads of the same updates by each device. SMT is fully supported and available as a download to customers with an active SUSE Linux Enterprise product subscription.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Enhancements

Delivering Xen* version 3.2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 includes several virtualization advances, including support for fully virtualized Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 and the live migration of those Windows Server guests across physical machines. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the only third-party virtualization solution offering full support directly from Microsoft for Windows Server guests. In addition, extensive updates to the YaST management toolset encompass first-boot enhancements and network module support for new devices.

Srinivasa Rao Addepalli, CTO and chief architect of Intoto Inc. and a participant in the SP2 beta program, said, "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has been the choice of customers for security applications in the virtualized environment. To secure virtual systems, Intoto has been providing UTM and MultiService Business Gateway solutions using Xen running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, and we have been pleased with the increase in performance and manageability of the SP2 release. With the addition of fully virtualized Windows Server 2008 guest support, the SP2 release facilitates creation of a true virtualization system."

Advances in high availability and storage management such as updates to Heartbeat 2 and OCFS2 are also included in SP2. Network management improvements include support for IPv6. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 has been designed to meet the U.S. government's requirements for IPv6 and is currently in the certification process. Enhanced hardware enablement includes new network, storage and other drivers along with support for IBM* cryptographic hardware.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Enhancements

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP2 provides improved interoperability with Microsoft* Windows and Office via local NTFS file system support, improved integration with Microsoft Active Directory* and an upgrade to 2.4 Novell Edition. The productivity suite features key enhancements to VBA macro support within Calc and embedded audio and video within Impress, as well as a technical preview of the Office Open XML (OOXML) translator. Other enhancements include plug-and-play support for wireless broadband (UMTS, 3G), improvements to Network Manager, and support for new hardware technologies from Novell partners.

Nick Piccone, network engineer for University Community Hospital and an SP2 beta tester, said, "The improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows and Office combined with the networking and hardware enablement enhancements that come with this release have demonstrated the level of productivity and reliability we have come to expect from SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop."

Updates to SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time

SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time is specifically engineered to reduce the latency and increase the predictability of time-sensitive mission critical applications. Service Pack 2 further improves the performance and predictability of time-sensitive applications running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time through support for adaptive locking, OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) 1.3 and the Precise Timing Protocol. OFED 1.3 enables the implementation of unified high-speed interconnects based on InfiniBand and 10-Gigabit Ethernet. With SP2, Novell becomes the first Linux* distributor to support OFED 1.3.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit (SDK)

The SUSE Linux Enterprise SDK also provides new capabilities in SP2, giving developers and technical enthusiasts even more ways to create powerful new software on and with SUSE Linux Enterprise. It includes updates to several tools that enable the creation of installation media and appliances: KIWI, YaST2 Product Creator, YaST2 Add-on Creator and YaST2 Image Creator.


Service Pack 2 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SDK are now available. SP2 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10 and the Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise will be available within 90 days. As announced in March at Novell BrainShare®, the next generation of SUSE Linux Enterprise – version 11 – is due to arrive in the first half of 2009 and is slated to deliver major advancements in mission-critical data center technologies, UNIX* migration, virtualization, interoperability, green computing and desktop Linux. More information on SUSE Linux Enterprise can be found at

diff -Nru a/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt b/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt
--- a/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt   2004-10-18 14:56:28 -07:00
+++ b/Documentation/filesystems/ext3.txt   2004-10-18 14:56:28 -07:00
@@ -22,6 +22,63 @@
          the inode which will represent the ext3 file
          system's journal file.
+noload         Don't load the journal on mounting.
+data=journal      All data are committed into the journal prior
+         to being written into the main file system.
+data=ordered   (*)   All data are forced directly out to the main file
+         system prior to its metadata being committed to
+         the journal.
+data=writeback      Data ordering is not preserved, data may be
+         written into the main file system after its
+         metadata has been committed to the journal.
+commit=nrsec   (*)   Ext3 can be told to sync all its data and metadata
+         every 'nrsec' seconds. The default value is 5 seconds.
+         This means that if you lose your power, you will lose,
+         as much, the latest 5 seconds of work (your filesystem
+         will not be damaged though, thanks to journaling). This
+         default value (or any low value) will hurt performance,
+         but it's good for data-safety. Setting it to 0 will
+         have the same effect than leaving the default 5 sec.
+         Setting it to very large values will improve
+         performance.
+barrier=1      This enables/disables barriers. barrier=0 disables it,
+         barrier=1 enables it.
+orlov      (*)   This enables the new Orlov block allocator. It's enabled
+         by default.
+oldalloc      This disables the Orlov block allocator and enables the
+         old block allocator. Orlov should have better performance,
+         we'd like to get some feedback if it's the contrary for
+         you.
+user_xattr   (*)   Enables POSIX Extended Attributes. It's enabled by
+         default, however you need to confifure its support
+         (CONFIG_EXT3_FS_XATTR). This is neccesary if you want
+         to use POSIX Acces Control Lists support. You can visit
+ to know more about POSIX Extended
+         attributes.
+nouser_xattr      Disables POSIX Extended Attributes.
+acl      (*)   Enables POSIX Access Control Lists support. This is
+         enabled by default, however you need to configure
+         its support (CONFIG_EXT3_FS_POSIX_ACL). If you want
+         to know more about ACLs visit
+noacl         This option disables POSIX Access Control List support.
 bsddf       (*)   Make 'df' act like BSD.
 minixdf         Make 'df' act like Minix.
@@ -30,8 +87,6 @@
 debug         Extra debugging information is sent to syslog.
-noload         Don't load the journal on mounting.
 errors=remount-ro(*)   Remount the filesystem read-only on an error.
 errors=continue      Keep going on a filesystem error.
 errors=panic      Panic and halt the machine if an error occurs.
@@ -48,17 +103,6 @@
 sb=n         Use alternate superblock at this location.
-data=journal      All data are committed into the journal prior 
-         to being written into the main file system.
-data=ordered   (*)   All data are forced directly out to the main file 
-         system prior to its metadata being committed to 
-         the journal.
-data=writeback     Data ordering is not preserved, data may be 
-         written into the main file system after its
-         metadata has been committed to the journal.
 quota         Quota options are currently silently ignored.
 noquota         (see fs/ext3/super.c, line 594)
@@ -114,7 +158,7 @@
 Ext2 partitions can be easily convert to ext3, with `tune2fs -j <dev>`.
- Ext3 is fully compatible with Ext2.  Ext3 partitions can easily be
+Ext3 is fully compatible with Ext2.  Ext3 partitions can easily be
 mounted as Ext2.
 External Tools

[May 6, 2008] JBD error message barrier-based sync failed

"Barriers do provide a greater degree of performance for journaling file systems and help ensure data is correctly written out to the disk so this patch can degrade filesystem performance. " So disabling them due to the bug described in Novell support note 3605538 Ext3 filesystem goes read-only without the underlying storage reporting errors can degrade performance

This document (3907838) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
Novell Open Enterprise Server (Linux based)
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10


ERROR: JBD: barrier-based sync failed on sda1 - disabling barriers"
or, in general: JBD: barrier-based sync failed on storage_device - disabling barriers


This message is primarily an informational message; it does not indicate a problem.

Suppress this message globally

Please note: This method is only available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server / Desktop (SLES/SLED) up to version 9 and for Open Enterprise Server (OES) version 1. From SLES/SLED 10 and OES2 on it is not possible to suppress the message globally. Instead use the solution in the section "Suppress this message for one filesystem".

To suppress this message globally, pass the parameter


to the kernel when booting (e.g., when using the GRUB boot loader, through /boot/grub/menu.lst). This will cause the kernel not to attempt to use the transaction barrier mechanism.

Suppress this message for one filesystem

To suppress this message for one particular ext3 filesystem, use the mount option barrier=0 when mounting the filesystem.

Additional notes


By default, the Linux kernel will try to use transaction barriers. Transaction barriers are an additional mechanism to help maintain data integrity. In general, modern storage subsystems may cache writes and may occasionally reorder pending writes in order to increase write performance. While this is fine in general, it is not desirable when handling journal data for journaled filesystems. With journal data, metadata updates, that is updates to the journal, should be written out to the storage prior to the regular data they are associated with, to make true crash recovery possible.

The informational message indicates that the storage driver and/or the storage device do not support transaction barriers. Under normal operation, this does not compromise data integrity. However, barriers do provide a greater degree of performance for journaling file systems and help ensure data is correctly written out to the disk.

"JBD" in this message refers to the Journaling Block Device, an abstraction that was developed to provide the journaling capabilities of the ext3 filesystem on top of the infrastructure of the ext2 filesystem on which ext3 is based. JBD is now used by the OCFS2 filesystem as well.


Document ID: 3907838
Creation Date: 2008-02-01 05:33:00.0
Modified Date: 2008-02-01 05:32:20.0
Novell Product: Open Enterprise Server
Novell Product: SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
Novell Product: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
Novell Product: SUSE Linux

[May 1, 2008] Ext3 filesystem goes read-only without the underlying storage reporting errors Novell support note 3605538

This was the first serious problem with Suse 10 that we faced since Feb 2007. It proved to be quite critical for us. Now it is described in Novell support note 3605538 Ext3 filesystem goes read-only without the underlying storage reporting errors The frequency of experiencing of this bug on production servers diminished after installation of SP1 but it did not went away. As of Feb 2008 it still exists as we were never informed about workaround proposed (may be the workaround was created only in Feb 2008; we discovered the document only in May 2008)

Status(Last updated: 2008-02-25)

This issue is not yet fixed in a maintenance update of the kernel. Root cause analysis has been performed and it is expected that a fix for this issue will be included in the next maintenance update of the kernel.


Explicitly disable barrier support for the affected filesystems, e.g. by specifying


in /etc/fstab's mount options field for the affected filesystems.

[Apr 17, 2008] Just enough operating system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JeOS is the abbreviation (pronounced "juice") for the concept of Just Enough Operating System as it applies to a software appliance.

JeOS is not a generic, one-size-fits-all operating system. Rather, it refers to a customized operating system that precisely fits the needs of a particular application. The application's OS requirements can be determined manually, or with an analytical tool, such as rPath's rBuilder.

Therefore, JeOS includes only the pieces of an operating system (often Linux) required to support a particular application and any other third-party components contained in the appliance. This makes the appliance more efficient, smaller, more secure and higher performing than an application running under a full general purpose OS.

[Apr 17, 2008] Novell announces Suse appliance program for ISVs - LinuxWorld

See press-release Novell Announces SUSE Appliance Program and LimeJeos - openSUSE

The program will enable ISVs to create appliances combining their applications with Suse Linux Enterprise in an integrated package.

Novell also announced the beta release of Suse Linux Enterprise JeOS, a minimized version of the Suse Linux Enterprise platform that ISVs can use for creating appliances

... ... ...

Novell also announced Wednesday that it will officially participate in the LimeJeOS project, which is an existing community-led project building a minimized version of the openSuse Linux distribution. Novell will release several new components of the Suse Appliance Program, including an automated tool to build appliances, it added.

Tech Watch InfoWorld Staff InfoWorld Renault in Linux deal with Microsoft, Novell January 30, 2008 0516 PM By Paul Krill

Microsoft will deliver more than 1,000 support subscription certificates for Suse Linux Enterprise Server to French automaker Renault, under an agreement announced by Microsoft and Novell on Wednesday.

Renault will receive priority support subscriptions to Novell's Suse Linux distribution. Renault plans to consolidate existing Linux distributions to Suse Linux Enterprise Server with the intent of improving interoperability and taking better advantage of virtualization, Microsoft and Novell said.

Through a 2006 agreement between Novell and Microsoft, Microsoft has purchased support certificates to Suse Linux, with Novell to provide the support.

[Jan 24, 2008] Project details for cgipaf

The package also contain Solaris binary of chpasswd clone, which is extremely useful for mass changes of passwords in corporate environments which include Solaris and other Unixes that does not have chpasswd utility (HP-UX is another example in this category). Version 1.3.2 now includes Solaris binary of chpasswd which works on Solaris 9 and 10.

cgipaf is a combination of three CGI programs.

All programs use PAM for user authentication. It is possible to run a script to update SAMBA passwords or NIS configuration when a password is changed. mailcfg.cgi creates a .procmailrc in the user's home directory. A user with too many invalid logins can be locked. The minimum and maximum UID can be set in the configuration file, so you can specify a range of UIDs that are allowed to use cgipaf.

[Jan 10, 2008] Find the speed of your Ethernet card in Linux

October 27, 2005 | All about Linux

For logging on to the net or for attaching as a node on a LAN, your computer needs a network card. The network card forms the interface between your computer and the network. There are different kinds of network cards available in the market depending on its speed and other features. Here is a tip to find out the characteristics of your network card.

If you want to find what type of network card is used, its speed, on which IRQ it is listed, and the chip type used, you use the following command :

# dmesg |grep eth0
Here eth0 is the first network card. If you have additional cards, it will be named eth1, eth2 and so on. And here is the output of the above command :
divert: allocating divert_blk for eth0
eth0: RealTek RTL8139 at 0xd800, 00:80:48:34:c2:84, IRQ 9
eth0:  Identified 8139 chip type 'RTL-8100B/8139D'
divert: freeing divert_blk for eth0
divert: allocating divert_blk for eth0
eth0: RealTek RTL8139 at 0xd800, 00:90:44:34:a5:33, IRQ 9
eth0:  Identified 8139 chip type 'RTL-8100B/8139D'
eth0: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex, lpa 0x41E1
eth0: no IPv6 routers present
The important things to note here are those highlighted in colour. As you can see from the above listing, my ethernet card is a RealTek RTL8139 chipset based card on IRQ 9 (Interrupt Request). Its speed is 100 Mbps and is a full-duplex card. And the link is up.

... ... ...

Another tool which also does the same thing is ethtool. Try the following command on your machine to see the output.
# ethtool eth0

Settings for eth0:
  Supported ports: [ TP MII ]
  Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                          100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
  Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
  Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
                          100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
  Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
  Speed: 100Mb/s
  Duplex: Full
  Port: MII
  PHYAD: 32
  Transceiver: internal
  Auto-negotiation: on
  Supports Wake-on: pumbg
  Wake-on: p
  Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
  Link detected: yes
Here full duplex, half duplex and auto-negotiation have the following meanings.

Full Duplex - Logic that enables concurrent sending and receiving. This is usually desirable and enabled when your computer is connected to a switch.

Half Duplex - This logic requires a card to only send or receive at a single point of time. When your machine is connected to a Hub, it auto-negotiates itself and uses half duplex to avoid collisions.

Auto-negotiation - This is the process of deciding whether to work in full duplex mode or half duplex mode. An ethernet card supporting autonegotiation will decide for itself which mode is the optimal one depending on the network it is attached to.

[Dec 21, 2007] LXER interview with John Hull - the manager of the Dell Linux engineering team

The original sales estimates for Ubuntu computers was around 1% of the total sales, or about 20,000 systems annually. Have the expectations been met so far? Will Dell ever release sales figures for Ubuntu systems?

The program so far is meeting expectations. Customers are certainly showing their interest and buying systems preloaded with Ubuntu, but it certainly won't overtake Microsoft Windows anytime soon. Dell has a policy not to release sales numbers, so I don't expect us to make Ubuntu sales figures available publicly.

[Dec 21, 2007] Red Hat to get new CEO from Delta Air Lines Underexposed - CNET

"When you take them out of the big buildings, without the imprimatur of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, or HP around them, they just didn't hold up."

Szulik, who took over as CEO from Bob Young in 1999 just a few months after its initial public offering, said he's stepping down because of family health issues.

"For the last nine months, I've struggled with health issues in my family," and that priority couldn't be balanced with work, Szulik said in an interview. "This job requires a 7x24, 110 percent commitment."

Szulik, who remains chairman of the board, praised Whitehurst in a statement, saying he's a "hands-on guy who will be a strong cultural fit at Red Hat" and "a talented executive who has successfully led a global technology-focused organization at Delta."

On a conference call, Szulik said Whitehurst stood "head and shoulders" above other candidates interviewed in a recruiting process. He was a programmer earlier in his career and runs four versions of Linux at home, he said.

Moreover, Szulik said he wasn't satisfied with more traditional tech executives who were interviewed.

"What we encountered was in many cases was a lack of understanding of open-source software development and of our model," he said. During the interview, he added about the tech industry candidates, "When you take them out of the big buildings, without the imprimatur of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, or HP around them, they just didn't hold up."

The surprise move was announced as the leading Linux seller announced results for its third quarter of fiscal 2008. Its revenue increased 28 percent to $135.4 million and net income went up 12 percent to $20.3 million, or 10 cents per share. The company also raised estimates for full-year results to revenue of $521 million to $523 million and earnings of about 70 cents per share.

[Dec 12, 2007] Office Depot Taps SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell to Reduce Information Technology Complexity and Control Costs Financial News

December 12, 2007 | Yahoo! Finance

...Office Depot ... has chosen SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server as a core operating platform for the company's global servers. The goal of the standardization is to reduce complexity and control costs while maintaining superior stability and performance for Office Depot's end-user applications.

[Dec 03, 2007] All about Linux swap space by Gary Sims

There are some errors. Not having swap doesn't mean that your kernel will crash. Recommendation of allocating 1 GB swap for 128 MB of RAM is questionable. The swap management needs physical RAM, and the more swap you have, the more RAM you need. Linus have said that you should generally aviod hving more than twice your amount of RAM for swap partition. And for most application servers (for example Oracle application server) half-memory swap is adequate.
December 03, 2007 |

Linux has two forms of swap space: the swap partition and the swap file. The swap partition is an independent section of the hard disk used solely for swapping; no other files can reside there. The swap file is a special file in the filesystem that resides amongst your system and data files.

To see what swap space you have, use the command swapon -s. The output will look something like this:

Filename        Type            Size    Used    Priority
/dev/sda5       partition       859436  0       -1

Each line lists a separate swap space being used by the system. Here, the 'Type' field indicates that this swap space is a partition rather than a file, and from 'Filename' we see that it is on the disk sda5. The 'Size' is listed in kilobytes, and the 'Used' field tells us how many kilobytes of swap space has been used (in this case none). 'Priority' tells Linux which swap space to use first. One great thing about the Linux swapping subsystem is that if you mount two (or more) swap spaces (preferably on two different devices) with the same priority, Linux will interleave its swapping activity between them, which can greatly increase swapping performance.

To add an extra swap partition to your system, you first need to prepare it. Step one is to ensure that the partition is marked as a swap partition and step two is to make the swap filesystem. To check that the partition is marked for swap, run as root:

fdisk -l /dev/hdb

Replace /dev/hdb with the device of the hard disk on your system with the swap partition on it. You should see output that looks like this:

 Device Boot    Start   End     Blocks  Id      System
/dev/hdb1       2328    2434    859446  82      Linux swap / Solaris

If the partition isn't marked as swap you will need to alter it by running fdisk and using the 't' menu option. Be careful when working with partitions -- you don't want to delete important partitions by mistake or change the id of your system partition to swap by mistake. All data on a swap partition will be lost, so double-check every change you make. Also note that Solaris uses the same ID as Linux swap space for its partitions, so be careful not to kill your Solaris partitions by mistake.

Once a partition is marked as swap, you need to prepare it using the mkswap (make swap) command as root:

mkswap /dev/hdb1

If you see no errors, your swap space is ready to use. To activate it immediately, type:

swapon /dev/hdb1

You can verify that it is being used by running swapon -s. To mount the swap space automatically at boot time, you must add an entry to the /etc/fstab file, which contains a list of filesystems and swap spaces that need to be mounted at boot up. The format of each line is:

<file system>     <mount point>     <type>     <options>        <dump>    <pass>

Since swap space is a special type of filesystem, many of these parameters aren't applicable. For swap space, add:

/dev/hdb1       none    swap    sw      0       0

where /dev/hdb1 is the swap partition. It doesn't have a specific mount point, hence none. It is of type swap with options of sw, and the last two parameters aren't used so they are entered as 0.

To check that your swap space is being automatically mounted without having to reboot, you can run the swapoff -a command (which turns off all swap spaces) and then swapon -a (which mounts all swap spaces listed in the /etc/fstab file) and then check it with swapon -s.

... ... ...

How big should my swap space be?

It is possible to run a Linux system without a swap space, and the system will run well if you have a large amount of memory -- but if you run out of physical memory then the system will crash, as it has nothing else it can do, so it is advisable to have a swap space, especially since disk space is relatively cheap.

A rule of thumb is as follows:

  1. For a desktop system, use a swap space of double system memory, as it will allow you to run a large number of applications (many of which may will be idle and easily swapped), making more RAM available for the active applications;
  2. For a server, have a smaller amount of swap available (say half of physical memory) so that you have some flexibility for swapping when needed, but monitor the amount of swap space used and upgrade your RAM if necessary;

... ... ...

The Linux 2.6 kernel added a new kernel parameter called swappiness to let administrators tweak the way Linux swaps. It is a number from 0 to 100. In essence, higher values lead to more pages being swapped, and lower values lead to more applications being kept in memory, even if they are idle. Kernel maintainer Andrew Morton has said that he runs his desktop machines with a swappiness of 100, stating that "My point is that decreasing the tendency of the kernel to swap stuff out is wrong. You really don't want hundreds of megabytes of BloatyApp's untouched memory floating about in the machine. Get it out on the disk, use the memory for something useful."

One downside to Morton's idea is that if memory is swapped out too quickly then application response time drops, because when the application's window is clicked the system has to swap the application back into memory, which will make it feel slow.

The default value for swappiness is 60. You can alter it temporarily (until you next reboot) by typing as root:

echo 50 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

If you want to alter it permanently then you need to change the vm.swappiness parameter in the /etc/sysctl.conf file.


Managing swap space is an essential aspect of system administration. With good planning and proper use swapping can provide many benefits. Don't be afraid to experiment, and always monitor your system to ensure you are getting the results you need.

Linux Setup - Fking Beagle on Suse 10

F**king Beagle on Suse 10
Ron Albright

2006-03-25, 10:19 am

How do I stop it, forever. I figured out how to kill the Beagle process
that were taking up 500MB of my memory but there are still process
starting every night by root and suing to another uid and they never exit.
What is starting these things and how do I stop them? I can't find
anything in the rc scripts or crontabs. Short of uninstalling it where can
I find information on what's starting anything related to Beagle? I can
find all kinds of information on installing and using it but nothing on
stopping it. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Nico Kadel-Garcia

2006-03-25, 10:19 am

Ron Albright wrote:
> How do I stop it, forever. I figured out how to kill the Beagle
> process that were taking up 500MB of my memory but there are still
> process starting every night by root and suing to another uid and
> they never exit. What is starting these things and how do I stop
> them? I can't find anything in the rc scripts or crontabs. Short of
> uninstalling it where can I find information on what's starting
> anything related to Beagle? I can find all kinds of information on
> installing and using it but nothing on stopping it. Any pointers
> would be greatly appreciated.

rpm -e beagle? It seems to be an RPM package.

J. Clarke

2006-03-25, 10:19 am

Ron Albright wrote:

> How do I stop it, forever. I figured out how to kill the Beagle process
> that were taking up 500MB of my memory but there are still process
> starting every night by root and suing to another uid and they never exit.
> What is starting these things and how do I stop them? I can't find
> anything in the rc scripts or crontabs. Short of uninstalling it where can
> I find information on what's starting anything related to Beagle? I can
> find all kinds of information on installing and using it but nothing on
> stopping it. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

You need to find what is starting beagled and either induce it to quit
starting beagled or have it start beagled with "beagled
--disable-scheduler". Once beagled is running it does its own scheduling.

Best thing to do about it IMO is remove the whole package.

to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)

[Dec 1, 2007] SUSE Linux Enterprise troubleshooting Fixing boot problems by repairing a broken initrd by Sander van Vugt

Troubleshooting is a near-science by itself on which I could spend many articles, but I'll try to keep it brief. During the system boot procedure, several phases occur, starting in GRUB, the Linux boot loader. Roughly, these are the following:

  1. GRUB loads the kernel
  2. GRUB loads the initrd
  3. The root file system is accessed by the kernel
  4. The /sbin/init process takes over.
  5. The initial boot stage happens
  6. The default runlevel is activated
  7. A login prompt occurs.

When a problem occurs, try to pin-point it to any of these seven phases. In some cases it is possible to tell exactly what happens, more often you will see that you can only give a rough indication of what is happening. In the case of a kernel panic, you can be sure about one thing: GRUB has loaded successfully and you are not yet at phase 4 of the boot procedure where the init process takes over. If a kernel panic occurs immediately after a driver installation, this is often caused by an error in the initrd.

How can we be sure? Sometimes it is quite obvious that the error is in initrd, as GRUB tells you that it failed to load the file /boot/initrd, in other cases some forensic work is needed as only a vague driver error message is generated. In the latter case, you have to check if the driver that fails is included in the initrd, as this helper file is used by the kernel to include drivers that are needed immediately. On SUSE Linux Enterprise, the file /etc/sysconfig/kernel contains a list of all drivers that should be included in the initrd. When you run the mkinitrd command, these drivers are written to your new initrd. When this happens automatically, something could go wrong.

Step 2: Fixing it
If an error occurs in the initrd, you will not be able to boot your server anymore. So, to fix it, you need the rescue system that is available from the installation dvd. This rescue system loads a complete Linux system off of the installation media. The next step is to mount all your Linux file systems off of that disk. Next, you need to run mkinitrd. You can only do this once the local file systems are all mounted, because the initrd has to be written to the local file systems. However, there is a caveat.

The problem with this approach is in the disk devices access in combination with the necessary use of a chroot environment. To start, you need to mount your server's file systems on a temporary mount point like /mnt. Let's say that you have the /boot directory on /dev/sda1 and your / directory on /dev/sda2. To mount them, you need the following two commands:

  1. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
  2. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

Since the mkinitrd command wants to write the new initrd in /boot and the /boot on your hard drive is now in /mnt/boot, you need to change the root directory to be set to /mnt. You can use chroot to do that:

chroot /mnt

The contents of /mnt now becomes /, so all path references are OK. But we still have a problem. If you look in the /proc and /dev directory on your new root environment, you'll see that /proc is empty and /dev is as good as empty. Both are dynamically created file systems and they are created at the moment that your server boots. This means that they were created in / when the server booted from the rescue cd. Now, since the new root is in /mnt, you cannot access them anymore. We need to fix this.

  1. Type exit to exit from the chroot environment. You'll now get back to the original /mnt under which your servers local file systems where mounted.
  2. Use mount -t proc none /mnt/proc to make the proc file system available from the /mnt environment.
  3. Use mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev which will make the original /dev which was filled by the udev process when booting available from /mnt/dev.

Now that you have the repair environment all in place, you need to check that the line in /etc/sysconfig/kernel that is used to generate a new initrd is as it should be. You are looking for the following line:

INITRD_MODULES="ata_piix processor thermal fan jbd ext3 dm_mod edd pciback"

This line will be different on every server, so check to make sure that all modules are included that are necessary to start your server (your server's documentation will help you with that.)

Now under /mnt you have the complete environment that is needed to repair your server, so take the following two steps to fix your server.

  1. Activate /mnt using cd /mnt and make it your new root environment using chroot .
  2. Issue the command mkinitrd to write the new initrd to /boot.

You have now fixed the initrd. Reboot your server and check that everything is working all right.

[Nov 2, 2007] Que Publishing - 067232749X - Novell® Open Enterprise Server Administrator's Handbook SUSE LINUX Edition

Introduction to Linux Kernel Management

At the heart of the SLES operating system is the Linux kernel. As mentioned in the "SLES Startup Procedures" section of this chapter, the Linux kernel is found in the /boot directory and is typically named vmlinuz-<kernel version>. The default kernel with an OES Linux installation is version 2.6.5-7.112-default. The kernel version number can actually be divided into the following three important numbers:

  • Major Number- This number represents the current major version number of the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is currently at a major number of 2.

  • Minor Number- This number represents the minor version number of the Linux kernel. Modern distributions are based on either minor number 4 or 6 of the Linux kernel. SLES9 uses a kernel with a minor number of 6. This kernel is commonly referred to as the 2.6 kernel.

    The minor number can also be used to represent the status of the kernel version. If the minor number is an odd number (such as in kernel version 2.5), that version of the kernel is a non-stable or developmental release of the kernel. Minor numbers using an even number (such as 2.6) are known as production or stable versions of the kernel.

  • Revision Number- The final number of the Linux kernel version is the revision number of the kernel. SUSE also adds some information to this field to indicate the build of the kernel, as well as the specific environment the kernel was intended for. In the OES kernel version number 2.6.5-7.112-default, the revision number is 5-7 and the SUSE build number and environment designations are 112-default.


The uname -r command can be used to display the version of the currently running kernel.

The most common administrative task relating to the kernel is most likely applying kernel updates to resolve security issues. Applying kernel updates through the YaST Online Update or Red-Carpet tools is a very straightforward process, but if problems are encountered, you may need to know more details regarding the layout of the kernel-related files.

Table 6.5 outlines the important kernel-related files found within the /boot directory.

Table 6.5. Important Kernel-Related Files in /boot
vmlinuz-2.6.5-7.112-default The 2.6.5-7.112-default version of the Linux kernel.
vmlinuz A symbolic link that points to the current version of the Linux kernel. The /boot/grub/menu.lst file typically configures GRUB to reference this vmlinuz file rather than the actual vmlinuz-<version number> file.
initrd-2.6.5-7.112-default Initialization RAM Disk used by the startup routine to provide required hardware drivers to the initialized kernel. This is used prior to the root filesystem being mounted.
initrd Symbolic link that points to the current version of the initrd file. The /boot/grub/menu.lst file typically configures GRUB to reference this initrd file rather than the actual initrd-<version number> file.
config-2.6.5-7.112-default Configuration file used for the compiling of the current kernel.
kerntypes-2.6.5-7.112-default File containing information about data structures within the Linux kernel-used by the Linux Kernel Crash Dump facility for debugging purposes. Map file containing address of symbols for the current kernel.


As mentioned in Table 6.5, the GRUB bootloader is typically configured to load both the kernel and the initrd image using the symbolic links rather than the actual filenames. This is normally a good thing, but if a kernel patch fails to properly configure these links, the bootloader process will be unable to locate these important files and the boot process will fail.

Kernel Sources

Compiling your own Linux kernel is not necessarily a difficult process, but because of the potential for misuse and catastrophic side effects, Novell does not support compiling your own kernel. As a matter of fact, if you do require support by Novell and you're running a custom kernel, the first question you will likely hear is "Does this problem occur when using the default kernel?"

Even though compiling a custom kernel is not a good idea for a production server, there are a number of reasons why you might want to install the kernel source code. One example might be that a custom program you need to compile requires the kernel source to be installed. An even better example is the potential ability to look through the kernel source code to help track down error messages and their causes.

Using the grep command to search for a specific error message within the kernel source code tree can often lead to the exact error message. When you find the code surrounding the error message, you can analyze it and the root cause of your problem may be apparent.

In order to use kernel sources in this manner, the kernel-source package must be installed. This package is not typically selected for installation using the default configurations, but can be easily installed after the initial installation. When installed, the Linux kernel source code is located in the /usr/src/linux directory structure.

Working with Kernel Modules

When the Linux kernel is built, it must be built in such a way as to support as much third-party hardware as possible. There are essentially two ways to accomplish this. The first is to compile the kernel with specific drivers for all third-party hardware as part of the kernel itself. Although this type of kernel does work, it is generally not considered an efficient method of building the kernel as any one server really only needs a somewhat limited number of third-party drivers loaded.

The second and more common method of building the kernel is compiling a kernel with internal support for common hardware components (such as PCI support) and providing third-party hardware support through the use of external modules. This type of modular kernel is what is available with SLES.

When using external modules, the system must be configured to load the appropriate hardware modules upon system startup. During the installation of SLES, the installation routine will scan and detect hardware devices and build the initrd image with the required modules. However, when adding hardware after the installation or when installing proprietary drivers for unsupported hardware, it may be necessary to configure the server manually.

Table 6.6 lists commands used to manage kernel modules.

Table 6.6. Commands and Files Used with Kernel Modules



lsmod Lists all currently loaded kernel modules.
rmmod Removes the specified kernel module from memory.
insmod Inserts a specific kernel module into the running kernel.
modprobe Inserts a specific kernel module into the running kernel. If the specified module is dependent on other kernel modules, additional required modules will be dynamically loaded.
/etc/modprobe.conf Configuration file used to load and alias kernel modules at system initialization. Additions to this file should be placed in /etc/modprobe.conf.local.
/etc/sysconfig/kernel Configuration file used by the kernel during system initialization. The MODULES_LOADED_ON_BOOT directive can be edited to load specific modules at system startup.

After you have used the utilities listed in Table 6.6 to load and test a required hardware module, you must configure your server to automatically load the module upon server restart. This can be accomplished by adding the module to the MODULES_LOADED_ON_BOOT directive of the /etc/sysconfig/kernel file, or the module can be added to the /etc/modprobe.conf.local file.


If you have a complex loading requirement, such as the specific ordering of more than one module, the /etc/modprobe.conf.local file is much more flexible than /etc/sysconfig. For more information on the syntax of this file, please see the man page for modprobe.conf(5).

Op is a tool for allowing users to run root privileged commands without the root password. It is described in detail in "Op: A Flexible Tool for Restricted Superuser Access" by Tom Christiansen. From this description Dave Koblas produced an impementation of op in C. Tom's original paper is included in this distribution in the file "op.paper". Differences between that design and the current implementation are noted in the file "op.changes".

[Oct 23, 2007] Yast (Yet Another Setup Tool) part of its distribution.

Oracle Enterprise Linux became more compatible with Suse. Suse users can use Oracle version as an upgrade.

Yet Another Setup Tool. Yast helps make system administration easier by providing a single utility for configuring and maintaining Linux systems. The version of Yast available here is modified to work with all Enterprise Linux distributions including Enterprise Linux and SuSE.

Special note to Oracle Management Pack for Linux users:

[Oct 22, 2007] XenSource, Novell N_Port ID Virtualization coming 'ASAP' in 2008 - Enterprise Linux Log

Xen: Ready for OES2's launch?

With the launch of OES2, Novell is trying really hard to entice those last few NetWare shops to make the leap to Linux. They're doing this by enticing them with virtual NetWare servers running in Xen. That said, was Xen mature enough for First American's mission critical NetWare applications? Would it perform as well?

At first glance, things were not looking too good.

Kurt Johnston, a lead engineer on the First American migration, wasn't optimistic. "I did not have high expectations for Xen," Johnston told me in a call last week. "With Xen being as young as it is, I was expecting it to be very difficult to install and configure a new domU onto dom0." Johnston and his boss, IT director Dan McDougall, were also wary of performance issues they had read about in trade magazines and had heard from other users throughout the year.

But they were soon pleasantly surprised, and so was I. Xen wasn't VMware ESX Server, but it was close enough–at least for First American. That, at least to me, was the surprise. It's been a 24 hour VMware lovefest for the past two years or so, and I hadn't been up on the subject enough to see any changes in that dynamic. When I talked with analysts in 2006 and '07 I had always heard Xen had plenty of potential, but like any new technology it needed work. Illuminata senior analyst Gordon Haff, speaking to me for the same article, told me that much of the work needed to prove that potential had been completed throughout 2007. It was a collection of hard work and bug fies; not any single thing, he said.

"The fact is, [Xen] was rather simple to install. It was the ease of installation and configuration that surprised me. I was expecting to use quite a bit of [a command line interface]," Johnston said. Fortunately for First American, there was very little CLI, if any. No headaches, no problems–save one.

There was one issue worth noting about Xen, according to Johnson. He said one thing he would like to see in Xen is in "the paravirtualization side of things":

"I'd like to be able to somehow mask certain virtual machines and only allow certain LUNs [logical unit numbers] on the SAN [storage area network] to serve and see certain virtual machines, via Xen. I'd like to be able to build in a limit to the different servers to see only specific LUNs on the SAN."

He went on to say that having the ability to visualize the host bus adapter (HBA) and use Xen to manage virtual Fibre Channel ports would allow LUN masking of these ports and give the ability to grant access to only specified LUNs.

This capability is also still an issue in VMware environments as well, but a support update for N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) in VMware ESX 3.5 was announced earlier this month.

Fixes from XenSource, Novell

But what about XenSource, the corporate entity behind the Xen hypervisor? Or Novell, which was the first commercial Linux OS vendor to bake Xen into its OS? Was a fix forthcoming for those Novell OES2 customers, like Johnston and McDougall, that wanted the same functionality in their environments? Simon Crosby, CTO of XenSource, responded to that question regarding support for N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) via email this morning. He said:

"It's planned ASAP for XenSource products (Q1 08). The Xen project doesn't have a storage roadmap - just the hypervisor. Whether any vendor puts a particular storage technology into its product is up to that vendor."

Novell is working on a multi-vendor fix: "We are working on N_Port Virtualization together with Qlogic and Emulex," said Holger Dryoff, vice president of management and marketing at Novell. "This will be available in one of the future service packs of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and therefore to OES 2 customers as well."

I find all of this interesting because it will mean more choices. More choices means competition, and competition means happier customers. Happier customers are more apt to speak to the press and tell their stories. Whether the technology ultimately makes the customers happy, well, that's what we're here to find out.

[Oct 20, 2007] Battle of the Titans Mandriva 2008 vs openSUSE 10.3

Desktop oriented and very superficial comparison. Deeper issues like packages availability are not covered.
openSUSE 10.3
Mandriva 2008.0
Boot up
Shut down

[Oct 18, 2007] The Perfect Server - OpenSUSE 10.3 (32-bit)

A lot of pictures: might be useful for those who does it the first time. From the 10.3 announcement:
The package management team have been working hard on improving the new openSUSE package management, and there is a lot to show for it now. It is reliable, more mature, and an awful lot faster. There is no more parsing during startup, greater compatibility with tools like yum and smart, and increased speed for the most common use-case: installing a package.


This tutorial is also available in German: Der perfekte Server - OpenSUSE 10.3 (32-bit)

This is a detailed description about how to set up an OpenSUSE 10.3 server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc.

This tutorial is written for the 32-bit version of OpenSUSE 10.3, but should apply to the 64-bit version with very little modifications as well.

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: Apache 2.2
  • Database Server: MySQL 5.0
  • Mail Server: Postfix
  • DNS Server: BIND9
  • FTP Server: proftpd (ISPConfig will not work with vsftpd on OpenSUSE 10.3)
  • POP3/IMAP: I will use Maildir format and therefore install Courier-POP3/Courier-IMAP.
  • Webalizer for web site statistics

In the end you should have a system that works reliably, and if you like you can install the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box).

[Oct 12, 2007] Windows to Run Unmodified on SLES 10 under Xen

Device drivers from Novell and Intel allow unmodified Windows Server 2000/2003/XP to run in Xen virtual environments on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and Intel® Virtualization Technology

SAN FRANCISCO (InfoWorld Virtualization Executive Forum)- 12 Feb 2007- Novell and Intel Corporation today announced the availability of paravirtualized network and block device drivers that will allow Microsoft* Windows* Server 2000/2003/XP to run unmodified in Xen* virtual environments on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell®, operating on Intel-based server platforms featuring Intel® Virtualization Technology. Combined with the existing ability to host unmodified Linux* on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, these new drivers will let customers confidently migrate to newer and fewer energy-efficient servers, consolidating legacy Windows or Linux solutions onto virtual servers.

"With our SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform launch in July 2006, Novell became the first major Linux distributor to integrate Xen virtualization into a Linux distribution," said Jeff Jaffe, Novell executive vice president and chief technology officer. "In September, we became the first distribution to support virtualized Linux workloads on Xen, and today we are the first distributor to support virtualized Windows workloads on Linux. Our commitment to innovation to solve customer problems has never been greater."

"Intel has been working with the open source community to enable Linux virtualization solutions to take advantage of Intel Virtualization Technology, so that guest OS and applications can run unmodified," said Doug Fisher, Intel vice president of Software and Solutions Group. "In addition, our Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor-based platform with its outstanding performance, energy efficiency and reliability provides unparalleled headroom for multiple Virtual Machines running varied data center workloads. Getting Windows to run with Linux unmodified and vice versa will bring an immense confidence boost to IT managers in making decisions on corporate platform standardization and refresh."

In addition to providing cost savings when virtualizing Windows on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, these drivers can improve the availability of Windows- and Linux-based workloads via clustered virtual systems and help IT staff respond faster to business needs by easily creating and provisioning services on virtual systems.

Novell is sponsoring a virtualization pilot program for customers, providing enterprise-level support for running fully virtualized Windows 2000/2003/XP workloads on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The paravirtualized device drivers are now available to members of the pilot program. General availability is scheduled for later this year. For more information on the pilot program and Novell virtualization solutions, visit For more about SUSE Linux Enterprise offerings from Novell, visit For more information about Intel Virtualization Technology, visit

[Oct 11, 2007] OpenVZ - SLES10 based OpenVZ kernel update

Here is good news for SLES users. I'm happy to report that the OpenVZ team resumed working on the SLES10-based OpenVZ kernel a few months ago, and we now have pretty stable SLES10 OpenVZ kernel. I encourage all SLES users to try it out.

The SLES10 kernel itself is based on the Linux kernel 2.6.16, and until SLES11 comes out, it remains the most "enterprise" (read stable and supported) kernel coming from Novell/SUSE. So, what we did is we took that kernel and ported our OpenVZ patchset to it. The only feature missing is I/O priority support, which is because the disk CFQ scheduler used in 2.6.16 is way too old. Other than that, it's a pretty decent kernel, and while we haven't declared it as stable yet we will do so really soon.

Here is a summary for all the other branches we develop/support as of now, with download links:
Stable: 2.6.9 (rhel4 based), 2.6.18 (rhel5 based), 2.6.18 (vanilla based). SLES10 will be added to this list soon.
Development: 2.6.22 (vanilla).

[Oct 09, 2007] The Perfect Desktop - OpenSUSE 10.3 (GNOME)

Some recommendations are plain wrong. For example Nvu is too primitive and buggy to use for serious work. So sound and video recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt:


Sound & Video:

  • Amarok - audio player
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer - media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player - audio player, similar to Apple's iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod - software similar to Apple's iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy program
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player - media player (video/audio)
  • Real Player
  • Totem - media player (video/audio)
  • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • Brasero - CD/DVD burning program
  • GnomeBaker - CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia-Codecs


  • Nvu - WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Quanta Plus - web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor

[Oct 09, 2007] Some openSUSE 10.3 Misconceptions

"With the one CD media the install downloads over 600MB. Didn't they manage to put it all on CD?"

The one CD install media contain a complete functional desktop, either KDE or GNOME, which can be installed offline. If you compare you will actually notice that we managed to fit more applications on it than most other CD distros which often miss bigger stuff like, Firefox, Gimp or games. openSUSE 10.3 introduces the new concept of registering online repositories before the installation starts. On the screen where you choose whether to install or upgrade, there is a checkbox "Add online repositories before installation" which is enabled by default. If you want a quick offline installation, or an 'unbloated' installation, disable this option. Keeping it enabled will give you the default installation like you would get from the release DVD for one desktop, including eg translations and more games. And yes, we didn't manage to fit the DVD content on a single CD.

"openSUSE is bloated"

This couldn't be further away from truth. openSUSE 10.3 has actually the most lean footprint of all recent releases. All patterns have been reworked and packages more splitted, eg you can install a very small base system or basic X window. The desktop CD installations are coercively optimized for size. You can call a full DVD or CD+online repos installation bloated but then you opted for the wide range of applications option.

[Oct 09, 2007] iTWire - openSUSE 10.3 one step forward, two steps back

A nice example how a somewhat incompetent/incoherent review can hurt important effort. There is a whole gender of such reviews by people who generally has no use for the system after install :-). The guy definitely does not understand that Suse is not for suckers; this is a distribution oriented on professional sys admins who either work or plan to work with an enterprise edition ;-). Note that he has nothing to say about quality of distribution per se, only about extremely superficial things like time of download, time of installation and problem with online install he encounter (as if installation from DVD is such a problem). We also need to distinguish between flows in the interface (and YAST is far from being perfect here) from flaws in functionally -- and YAST does extremely good job with detecting hardware and other non-trivial installation issues.

There was a choice of downloads and I chose the CD which had KDE as its desktop environment; KDE is one of the two main desktop environments for Linux users, the other being GNOME.

The download appeared to be a full CD, coming in at around 690MB. Normally, when one downloads a full CD one expects that it can be used on its own to effect a full installation. I noticed an Add-ons CD, but since this was said to contain software which was licensed under terms other than those of the General Public Licence, I reasoned that this wasn't really necessary.

After booting up, one of the first things one has to do is to agree to a long licence. This is reminiscent of that other system called Windows - maybe Novell's deal with Microsoft has been influential in this design.

After a few more screens, online repositories start getting downloaded. This took me by surprise; with a full CD, I did not think that I needed anything more from the worldwide web. I did not expect that the choice of downloading repositories would be selected by default.

I expected there would be fair warning - something like "do you want to add other software from online repositories?" or "do you want to download security updates?" But these minor courtesies appear to be unimportant for the openSUSE people so a few minutes went by with lists being downloaded.

Then up came a list of software which had been selected for installation - a total of 2.2 GB! Does one really need all that software? Anyway, I went on and after some software had been installed from the CD which I had created, the downloading began.

It took around half an hour in all for the software installation to end - and then up flashed a screen which informed me "some packages failed to install." Clicking OK on this took me back to a screen which is part of the old SUSE text install.

I started all over again from this point and, this time, deselected all the online repositories. Wonder of wonders, despite this a few packages were still downloaded. A total of 1.5 GB was installed and when it came to the end, up sprang that annoying message again: "Some packages failed to install."

I tried using the "rescue system" option but this again brought me back to the installation procedure. It's annoying to say the least.

openSUSE News " Blog Archive " Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 10.3 New Package Management

In addition to this, two new tools were also created in order to work with the new libzypp:
  • zypper, an advanced, featureful command-line tool. Below are a couple of usage examples to see zypper in action:

Displaying your repository list:

opensuse:~ # zypper repos
# | Enabled | Refresh | Type | Name | URI
1 | Yes | Yes | yast2 | 10.3 - Main Repository (NON-OSS) |
2 | Yes | Yes | rpm-md | KDE:Community |
3 | Yes | Yes | yast2 | 10.3 - Main Repository (OSS) |

Installing a package:

opensuse:/home/francis # zypper install filelight
* Reading repository '10.3 - Main Repository (NON-OSS)' cache
* Reading repository 'KDE:Community' cache
* Reading repository '10.3 - Main Repository (OSS)' cache
* Reading installed packages [100%]
The following NEW package is going to be installed:
Overall download size: 619.3 K. After the operation, additional 1.0 M will be used.
Continue? [y/n]: y
Downloading package filelight-1.0-6.1.i586, 619.3 K (1.0 M unpacked)
* Installing: filelight-1.0-6.1 [100%]

  • openSUSE Updater, a software updater applet that notifies you about software updates. The new one contains a small dialog to notify you of its progress:

What kind of advantages does this package management have over the old, pre SUSE Linux 10.1, package management?

The pre-10.1 stack, while mature, was showing its limitations. With the ZYpp based stacks we got:

  • A better resolver than before
    • Predictable behavior supported by a testsuite of upgrade and install scenarios
    • More information about why a package is installed or no solution is found
  • A better integration of all those feature that were added over the years to our package manager.
  • A common handling of packages *and* patches together
  • Dependency handling for update packages
  • A better way to handle selections (we call them "patterns" now)
  • More flexibility in handling of different repositories, e.g. it is possible to have additional patterns for each repository.
  • Additional dependencies based on language (for fonts, translations, etc.) or hardware (for drivers)

And now in 10.3 you will get:

  • Cleaner separation of different tasks like repository management, repository refresh, dependency resolution, package download and package installation. No more refresh and parsing during startup.
  • More compatibility with tools like yum and smart, we use the standard .repo files to list known repositories. The same format smart and yum uses and the same files you can find in the openSUSE build service repositories.
  • More speed for the common use case: install a package, search from the command line or upgrade your system.
  • More user-friendly notification applets.
  • A saner policy for 3rd party packages. They are not locked by default.

Upgrade candidates are considered from the same vendor, so you don't jump automatically between feature-sets and vendors as new versions are available.

openSUSE 10.3 Public Release#20856203

... zmd.exe (the default updater) is a mono app, and is prone to hanging.

Just after installation of 10.3

(Score:2, Informative)

by eimikion (973712) on Thursday October 04, @04:20PM (#20857427)

I've just installed a new OpenSUSE. All these little bugs from previous releases are gone. Yast software installer finally works with a good speed. Desktop responsiveness is amazing - KDE 3.7 works faster than GUI of Windows 2000. The default green artwork is very nice and gives a distinct feeling to this distro. Hardware detection is very good. My graphic card - nvidia 7600 and audio card - Creative Audigy 2 were working out of the box. Even installation of ADSL modem was a breeze - it is a cheap Sagem modem, used by the all telcos controlled by France Telecom, and most linux distros has problems with it.

What is especially important to people in countries with stupid law (read USA) - OpenSUSE gives you mp3 playback out of box, due to legal fluendo gstreamer plugins. In addition, there are provided Flash 9, newest Java runtimes, RealPlayer and seamless Wi-Fi support.

In the last year I've tried quite a few linux distros - Fedora, Ubuntu, Sabayon, Mint, Mandriva... nothing even come close to the OpenSUSE. Quality of Deutsch engineering.

  • ... zmd.exe (the default updater) is a mono app, and is prone to hanging. I've had to kill zmd and restart novell-zmd several times to get updates to work whenever I notice that a cron-run update is still in the process list 8-10 hours later.
  • Yes They Have

    (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Thursday October 04, @03:28PM (#20856493)

    Yes they have fixed those very annoying bugs from 10.1 -- I have been using SUSE since 9.1 and you speak of my most hated release. It seemed Novell crammed a bunch of their Zen Management tools into the 10.1 release and they mostly came out broken. By 10.2, SUSE was back to its standard, highly-polished state.

    Sometimes you gotta go backwards before you can go forward. I am usually on top of new SUSE releases, but I'm so pleased with 10.2 I will stay put until a KDE4 version of SUSE is released.

    Re:Yes They Have


    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <moornblade at> on Thursday October 04, @05:07PM (#20858251)
    ( | Last Journal: Friday August 08, @08:47PM)

    The standard 10.2 install included zmd and mono, for sure.

    Libzypp has since replaced zmd, and I think they made it the default in one of the 10.2 updates, and then updated the disk images.

    But I'm 100% sure that the standard backend at 10.2 release was ZMD.



    by jeevesbond (1066726) on Thursday October 04, @04:08PM (#20857197)

    I know, don't feed the trolls, I'm sorry but someone might actually believe this idiot and it's not going to take much effort to prove them wrong.

    Look at this image: [] that is YaST giving the user the option to install whatever desktop environment they like, under the cursor is XFCE [] whos tagline is '...and everything goes faster'. It's very lightweight, ideal for older computers and does not include any of the things you're complaining about.

    Welcome to the GNU/Linux world, where you get the choice of what software to run. That's rather the point with Vista, Microsoft will force people to upgrade to it even if they have to buy a new computer to do so. My apologies if that offends your sensibilities as an MS fanboy, but I'm afraid we don't support bullying in the form of forced upgrades 'round these parts.

  • Re:Great!

    ... ... ...

    PS: If you want people to actually take you seriously, quit the name-calling and immature attitude, stop SHOUTING, use a spelling checker and don't use multiple exclamation marks. Each of these things is like a sign telling everybody else you are a child.


    (Score:3, Informative)

    by TopSpin (753) * on Thursday October 04, @03:06PM (#20856127)

    SUSE is being pretty aggressive in terms of key packages like gcc, glibc and the kernel. 10.3 provides GCC 4.2.1, glibc 2.6.1 and the release of the kernel.

    My one serious complaint with YaST is the time wasted waiting for the package manager to download metadata every time you enter it. I've taken to just leaving it running on a separate desktop. Please, YaST folks, apply some caching; it should take at most only a few seconds to bring up package manager if it has been run in the last few hours. If I should need to ensure absolutely current metadata provide a simple means to force a full update, otherwise get the thing open as quickly as possible. Yes, it's probably possible to work-around, tweak or otherwise get this behavior now... I want it out of the box.



    by FranTaylor (164577) on Thursday October 04, @03:17PM (#20856309)

    My Fedora machine is running, what's so modern about

    YaST is a piece of junk. If you use rpm to install a package, you have hopelessly screwed up YaST and it will never behave correctly again. It's why I gave up on SuSE. Maybe there's a way to fix it, but there are plenty of distributions that behave correctly and don't require putzing around.



    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <moornblade at> on Thursday October 04, @05:05PM (#20858213)
    ( | Last Journal: Friday August 08, @08:47PM)

    That hasn't been my experience, and I install quite a few packages via rpm command line.

    YaST was borked for 10.1 and 10.2. It made sense to try and use an alternative package manager.

    As 10.2 matured, YaST started to work properly, but was slow.

    In 10.3, YaST is quite speedy, very capable, and runs very solidly. Plus, the one-click-install thing works really well.



    by grommit (97148) on Thursday October 04, @04:06PM (#20857167)

    I wouldn't say that it's fast now but it is definitely faster than any previous version of YaST's package manager. Ubuntu's package manager is extremely fast and it would be difficult to match that speed but thankfully I don't install/uninstall/reinstall packages very often so 10.3's package manager speed is fine for me. I would like it if the OpenSUSE team would work on having the package manager do multiple package processes at the same time such as downloading the next package while the previously downloaded package is being installed. Currently it is a very linear Download > Apply Delta > Install/Update > Download Next Package process.



    by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <moornblade at> on Thursday October 04, @04:57PM (#20858081)
    ( | Last Journal: Friday August 08, @08:47PM)

    I'm using it, and yes, its fixed. It's cached, and at each package manager startup it checks the cache versus the online version, and even if it needs update the cache update is an order of magnitude faster than a normal startup of the package manager used to be.

    It's quite useable now; time from clicking "software manager" to a usable interface is similar to using SMART.

    Speed seems to be one of the primary focuses of this release; from the package manager to the boot sequence.



    by griego (1108909) on Thursday October 04, @05:22PM (#20858517)

    Go into "Installation Source" in YaST and turn off Refresh for the slower repositories. Then refresh them manually once a month or something.

    openSUSE News " Blog Archive " Announcing openSUSE 10.3 GM

    Virtualization improvements might be valuable. openSUSE 10.3 will be supported with security and other serious updates for a period of 2 years.

    openSUSE 10.3 will be supported with security and other serious updates for a period of 2 years.

    This version contains new beautiful green artwork, KDE 3.5.7 and parts of KDE 4, SUSE-polished GNOME 2.20, a GTK version of YaST, a new 1-click-install technology, MP3 support out-of-the-box, new and redesigned YaST modules, compiz and compiz fusion advances, virtualization improvements, 2.3, Xfce 4.4.1, and much more! Read on for details of what is new and available in openSUSE 10.3, and for all the necessary download links.

    Read on for details of what is new and available in openSUSE 10.3, and for all the necessary download links.

    Under the hood:

    • Linux
    • GCC 4.2
    • libZYpp 3.26.2

    Linux Installing Suse Linux 10.3 RC1 64bit Edition

    You can put DVD image of existing FAR partition and install from the ISO image of DVD.

    ... Selected install using HDD option. Selected the drive and entered the directory as suse103. ...added the directory path as /suse103. Enter. Wow!! Success!!!

    Hping for suse.

    Index of /repositories/home:/peternixon/openSUSE_Factory/src
    hping-2.0.0-5.16.src.rpm 06-Sep-2007 15:19 105K [ ] hping-2.0.0-5.24.src.rpm 06-Sep-2007 ... Apache/2.2.6 (Linux/SUSE) Server at Port 80. - 5k -


    data=writeback While the writeback option provides lower data consistency guarantees than the journal or ordered modes, some applications show very significant speed improvement when it is used. For example, speed improvements can be seen when heavy synchronous writes are performed, or when applications create and delete large volumes of small files, such as delivering a large flow of short email messages. The results of the testing effort described in Chapter 3 illustrate this topic.

    When the writeback option is used, data consistency is similar to that provided by the ext2 file system. However, file system integrity is maintained continuously during normal operation in the ext3 file system.

    In the event of a power failure or system crash, the file system may not be recoverable if a significant portion of data was held only in system memory and not on permanent storage. In this case, the filesystem must be recreated from backups. Often, changes made since the file system was last backed up are inevitably lost.

    [Aug 7, 2007] Linux Replacing atime

    August 7, 2007 | KernelTrap

    Submitted by Jeremy on August 7, 2007 - 9:26am.

    In a recent lkml thread, Linus Torvalds was involved in a discussion about mounting filesystems with the noatime option for better performance, "'noatime,data=writeback' will quite likely be *quite* noticeable (with different effects for different loads), but almost nobody actually runs that way."

    He noted that he set O_NOATIME when writing git, "and it was an absolutely huge time-saver for the case of not having 'noatime' in the mount options. Certainly more than your estimated 10% under some loads."

    The discussion then looked at using the relatime mount option to improve the situation, "relative atime only updates the atime if the previous atime is older than the mtime or ctime. Like noatime, but useful for applications like mutt that need to know when a file has been read since it was last modified."

    Ingo Molnar stressed the significance of fixing this performance issue, "I cannot over-emphasize how much of a deal it is in practice. Atime updates are by far the biggest IO performance deficiency that Linux has today. Getting rid of atime updates would give us more everyday Linux performance than all the pagecache speedups of the past 10 years, _combined_." He submitted some patches to improve relatime, and noted about atime:

    "It's also perhaps the most stupid Unix design idea of all times. Unix is really nice and well done, but think about this a bit: 'For every file that is read from the disk, lets do a ... write to the disk! And, for every file that is already cached and which we read from the cache ... do a write to the disk!'"

    [Aug 7, 2007] Expect plays a crucial role in network management by Cameron Laird

    31 Jul 2007 |

    If you manage systems and networks, you need Expect.

    More precisely, why would you want to be without Expect? It saves hours common tasks otherwise demand. Even if you already depend on Expect, though, you might not be aware of the capabilities described below.

    Expect automates command-line interactions

    You don't have to understand all of Expect to begin profiting from the tool; let's start with a concrete example of how Expect can simplify your work on AIX® or other operating systems:

    Suppose you have logins on several UNIX® or UNIX-like hosts and you need to change the passwords of these accounts, but the accounts are not synchronized by Network Information Service (NIS), Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), or some other mechanism that recognizes you're the same person logging in on each machine. Logging in to a specific host and running the appropriate passwd command doesn't take long-probably only a minute, in most cases. And you must log in "by hand," right, because there's no way to script your password?

    Wrong. In fact, the standard Expect distribution (full distribution) includes a command-line tool (and a manual page describing its use!) that precisely takes over this chore. passmass (see Resources) is a short script written in Expect that makes it as easy to change passwords on twenty machines as on one. Rather than retyping the same password over and over, you can launch passmass once and let your desktop computer take care of updating each individual host. You save yourself enough time to get a bit of fresh air, and multiple opportunities for the frustration of mistyping something you've already entered.

    The limits of Expect

    This passmass application is an excellent model-it illustrates many of Expect's general properties:

    • It's a great return on investment: The utility is already written, freely downloadable, easy to install and use, and saves time and effort.
    • Its contribution is "superficial," in some sense. If everything were "by the book"-if you had NIS or some other domain authentication or single sign-on system in place-or even if login could be scripted, there'd be no need for passmass. The world isn't polished that way, though, and Expect is very handy for grabbing on to all sorts of sharp edges that remain. Maybe Expect will help you create enough free time to rationalize your configuration so that you no longer need Expect. In the meantime, take advantage of it.
    • As distributed, passmass only logs in by way of telnet, rlogin, or slogin. I hope all current developerWorks readers have abandoned these protocols for ssh, which passmasss does not fully support.
    • On the other hand, almost everything having to do with Expect is clearly written and freely available. It only takes three simple lines (at most) to enhance passmass to respect ssh and other options.

    You probably know enough already to begin to write or modify your own Expect tools. As it turns out, the passmass distribution actually includes code to log in by means of ssh, but omits the command-line parsing to reach that code. Here's one way you might modify the distribution source to put ssh on the same footing as telnet and the other protocols:
    Listing 1. Modified passmass fragment that accepts the -ssh argument

    } "-rlogin" {
    set login "rlogin"
    } "-slogin" {
    set login "slogin"
    } "-ssh" {
    set login "ssh"
    } "-telnet" {
    set login "telnet"

    In my own code, I actually factor out more of this "boilerplate." For now, though, this cascade of tests, in the vicinity of line #100 of passmass, gives a good idea of Expect's readability. There's no deep programming here-no need for object-orientation, monadic application, co-routines, or other subtleties. You just ask the computer to take over typing you usually do for yourself. As it happens, this small step represents many minutes or hours of human effort saved.

    [Jul 30, 2007] Due to problems on high loads in Linux 2.6.23 kernel the Linux kernel process scheduler has been completely ripped out and replaced with a completely new one called Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) modeled after Solaris 10 scheduler.

    This is will not affect the current Linux distributions (Suse 9, 10 and RHEL 4.x) as they forked the kernel and essentially develop it as a separate tree.

    But it will affect any future Red Hat or Suse distribution (Suse 11 and RHEL 6 respectively).

    How it will fair in comparison with Solaris 10 remains to be seen:

    The main idea of CFS's design can be summed up in a single sentence: CFS basically models an "ideal, precise multi-tasking CPU" on real hardware.

    Ideal multi-tasking CPU" is a (non-existent) CPU that has 100% physical power and which can run each task at precise equal speed, in parallel, each at 1/n running speed. For example: if there are 2 tasks running then it runs each at exactly 50% speed.

    [Jun 27, 2007] Tectonic Linux helps raise funds for a million soccer balls

    The Linux desktop multiplier for SUSE Linux enterprise desktop (SLED 10) and openSUSE 10.1 allows up to 10 users to share a single Linux PC.

    Although Linux geeks are not often found on the sports field, this week Linux computers will help in a fund raiser to donate a million soccer balls to improve children's lives through sport.

    Canada-based Omni Technology Solutions, Novell South Africa, Userful, and Pinnacle Micro have teamed up to provide Linux desktop computers for the "Let's Play a Million" South African telethon on June 27.

    The national telethon is a joint initiative of UNICEF, Supersport, the department of education and five radio stations. The objective is to donate a million soccer balls to South African youth and promote child survival through sports and healthy living.

    Each of the telethon locations will be equipped with a five-user SUSE Linux enterprise desktop. Using the Desktop multiplier software, the single computer will allow five operators to work at the same time to enter pledges.

    The Linux desktop multiplier for SUSE Linux enterprise desktop (SLED 10) and openSUSE 10.1 allows up to 10 users to share a single Linux PC. Running off a single computer, additional workstations can be added through adding dual-head graphics cards, monitors, keyboards, mice and a powered USB hub to an existing SUSE Linux enterprise desktop or openSUSE computer.

    "After the telethon, the computers will be donated to schools and further empower South African students", said Garry Hodgson, OEM business development manager for Novell South Africa.

    [Jun 21, 2007] RPM Search ksh-93s-41.x86_64.rpm

    Newer version "s"

    ksh-93s-23.x86_64.html Korn Shell OpenSuSE Factory for x86_64 ksh-93s-23.x86_64.rpm Package Notes and Changes 2007-03-28 Yes -- a new release in only 3 months. This release contains fixes and features that address the issues raised on the { ast-users uwin-users ksh-solaris-integration } lists. Thanks to all who helped. A summary of recent ksh93 changes:
    1. Double precision floating point arithmetic with full C99 arithmetic support on systems that provide the C99 arithmetic functions. The numbers Inf and NaN can be used in arithmetic expressions.
    2. TAB-TAB completion generates a numbered list of completions which the user can select.
    3. Support for processing/handling multibyte locales (e.g., en_US.UTF-8, hi_IN.UTF-8, ja_JP.eucJP, zh_CN.GB18030, zh_TW.BIG5 etc.) has been extensively revised, tested, and is now supported even on the language level (e.g. variable and function identifiers may contain locale specific codeset characters).
    4. /dev/(tcp|udp|sctp)/host/sevrice now handles IPv6 addresses on systems that provide getaddrinfo(3).
    5. The ability to seek on a file by offset or content with new redirection operators.
    6. A new --showme option which allows portions of a script to behave as if -x were specified while other parts execute as usual. This simplifies the coding of make -n style semantics at the script level by eliminating code replication. In particular, io redirections are handled by --showme.
    7. The [[...]] operator =~ has been added which compares the string to an extended regular expression rather than == which compares against a shell pattern.
    8. The printf(1) builtin has been extended to support the = flag for centering a field. The # flag when used with %d and %i provides values in units of thousands or 1024 respectively with an appropriate suffix added.
    9. Example screenshots from joint work with the Solaris ksh93 integration project are available here.
    See the release change log for details.
    This release, almost a year from the last big release, contains changes based on feedback from the { ast-users ast-developers uwin-users uwin-developers } lists and the ongoing ksh93-solaris integration project. Thanks to all who helped. Our resolution this year is to increase release frequency to keep internal and external source/binaries more in sync. See the release change log for details.
    See the release change log for details.
    This release fixes a few packaging missteps from 2006-01-24 and syncs the ast and uwin source release. See the release change log for details. The download site is being serviced by a new host. The intention is to preserve urls, but intervening caches may foil that intent. Details of the server change follow in case you run into trouble. The old host www was sgi, the new one public is linux. Both run apache. Urls prefixed by will go to the old server which will map the prefix to the new one Eventually the mapping will dissappear when www is retired and public takes on the name www.
    Its been almost a year since the last release, but we haven't been idle:
    • ksh(1) release 93r new features:
      1. The brace expansion option (-B, --braceexpand) expands {first..last[..incr][%fmt]} sequences.
      2. Redirection operators can be immediately preceded by {vname}, {n}>file, which allow the shell to chose the file descriptor number and store it in varname.
      3. Redirection syntax <# ((expr)) added to position file descriptor at offset specified by evaluating arithmetic expression expr.
      4. Shell pattern matching extension for matching nested groups while skipping quoted strings.
      5. The multiline option (--multiline) allows lines longer than the column width to be edited using multiple lines.
      6. The integer and float aliases now default to the longest integral and floating types on the system.
    • ast-open sort(1) now supports plugins, including -lsum for record summation, -lsync for IBM dfsort (aka mainframe syncsort), and -lvcodex for intermediate and output file compression.
    • The ast-open vczip(1) command and vcodex(3) base library have been added. vcodex is a grand unification of compression, encryption and data transformation methods. Software the way it should be -- small, composable, influencing paradigms in unexpected ways.
    • The ast-open dss(1) command, base library, and plugins have been added. dss suports efficient data stream scanning, schema specification, and dynamic data types. dss dynamic data types will be integrated into ksh(1) extensible types in the next release.
    • And, not to be left out of the latest fad, not one but two command line sudoku solver/generator programs in ast-sudoku to burn cycles and brain cells. There is some good math in there, including respectable order N QWH (quasigroup with holes / latin square completion) results.
    • Finally, see the release change log for details.
    • ast and UWIN source and binaries are now (finally) covered by the OSI-approved Common Public License Version 1.0.
    • The licence agreement prompt is back -- its either that or we don't post source. The prompt mechanism works with text-only and command-line browsers -- see the second paragraph of the main download page for details.
    • If the file $INSTALLROOT/bin/.paths contains the line BUILTIN_LIB=cmd then the ast libcmd enters the ksh(1) command $PATH search when $INSTALLROOT/bin is hit. i.e., if you place $INSTALLROOT/bin before /bin or /usr/bin in $PATH then builtin ast libcmd versions of cp, rm etc. will be run instead of standalone executables. This may provide significant speedups for some shell script applications.
    • After 20 years AT&T nmake(1) finally has regression tests -- up to now packaging, bootstrapping and building ast packages was the only test.
    • cp(1), date(1), ls(1), nmake(1), pax(1), and touch(1) now support nanosecond time resolution, due mostly to the fact that most of the new nmake regression tests would have failed to detect sub-second changes from one test to the next. As it is we have some machines that get > 10 compiles per second.
    • This release has quite a few malloc and ksh/malloc bug fixes. Thanks to the users who provided detailed bug reports through many rounds of testing.
    Older version "r" of ksh93.
    Name : ksh
    Version : 93r Vendor : SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Nuernberg, Germany
    Release : 41 Date : 2006-11-26 04:24:01
    Group : System/Shells Source RPM : ksh-93r-41.src.rpm
    Size : 2017509
    Packager : http://bugs_opensuse_org
    Summary : Korn Shell
    Description :
    The original Korn Shell. The ksh is an sh-compatible command
    interpreter that executes commands read from standard input or from a

    David Korn <>
    Glenn Fowler <>
    Phong Vo <>

    Download ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm ksh-93r-41.x86_64.rpm

    Provides :

    OP - Controlling Root Access

    This page is for a version of op that is no longer maintained! Active development of op is being carried on by Alec Thomas at

    I first came into contact with op at Octel in 1992. Over the years I added a couple of things, and ported it to architectures Octel cared about. Those included SunOS 4.1.x, Solaris 2.2 and greater, AIX, HP-UX 9.x, BSDI 1.1 and Linux 1.x. I added support for SecurID access control from Security Dynamics. This particular code has only been tested under SunOS and Solaris. I also enhanced the syslog stuff so it would log the command parameters that op executes as well as the command name. Support for Solaris shadow passwords was also added.

    I left Octel in 1996, and payed little attention to op for over a year. Recently, I had a need for op on Linux 2.0. I had to tweak the shadow password implementation to get it to work. While I was at it I cleaned up some of the logging code. It seems to work quite well on Linux. I've tried hard not to break other platforms with my mods, so they probably still work too. 8).I will test this code on any platform I need to use it on. If you have ported or built this code on other platforms, I'd like to hear from you. You can reach me via email at [email protected]. I'll try to help out with bugs time permitting.

    **** Disclaimer **** This code has been extensively tested only on the Sun architectures. We have noticed no egregious bugs on those platforms, but that's no guarantee such bugs don't exist. That goes double for the non-Sun architectures where testing has involved building, installing and running "op sh" once or twice.

    I'm grateful to Tom Christiansen and Dave Koblas for the original design and implementation of op. I'm also grateful to all those folks who, like Tom and Dave, have made my life easier by giving away marvelous, useful source code. I'm happy to give a little bit back, at long last.

    /* +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ */
    /* | Copyright 1991, David Koblas.                                     | */
    /* |   Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software   | */
    /* |   and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby | */
    /* |   granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all | */
    /* |   copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission  | */
    /* |   notice appear in supporting documentation.  This software is    | */
    /* |   provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.           | */
    /* +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ */
    	Ditto for my contributions which are Copyright (C) 1995, 1997 by
    	Howard Owen. ([email protected])

    Download the gzipped tar archive: op-1.11.tar.gz
    You'll need a gzip compiled for your architecture to decompress the above file.

    [Jun 18, 2007] Novell Ships SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 1 and New Virtual Machine Driver Pack

    June 18, 2007 (PRNewswire)

    Service Pack 1 Enhancements

    • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 enhancements include:
    • enhanced virtualization support and management, updated high-availability storage infrastructure
    • support for new processor technologies, including Quad-Core Intel Xeon* and Quad-Core AMD Opteron* processors.
    • enhanced security features, audit subsystem enrichment
    • support for Novell Open Enterprise Server 2.
    • For the desktop, SP1 features expanded support and an updated desktop user experience, along with a desktop virtualization technology preview and advances in enterprise integration capabilities.

    Benefits of Virtual Machine Drivers

    With the release of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack, Novell becomes the first vendor to offer a supported solution for Xen virtual machine guests. The driver pack brings the performance benefits of paravirtualization and enterprise-level support to a wider range of fully virtualized workloads, giving customers more choice and flexibility and enabling them to run legacy applications on newer, more powerful, energy-efficient hardware.

    The Virtual Machine Driver Pack includes drivers for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003, and will ship in July. Drivers for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 will be released later this summer and will be added to the driver pack at no additional charge via maintenance update. A one-year subscription to the Virtual Machine Driver Pack will cost $299 per physical server for up to four virtual machines or $699 per physical server for unlimited virtual machines. Xen drivers for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are already available and ship as part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise distribution.

    [May 14, 2007] Troubleshooting Suse problems

    1. supportconfig -- collects important system information for trobleshooting

    2. Siga can be ran with /usr/bin/siga. See Cool Solutions siga System Information GAthering

    3. For Dell servers useful set of information can be obtained using Dset which is available from the Drivers & Downloads link

    lt" width="100"> Description:
    Release Title: Systems Management: Dell Dell System E-support Tool, Utility, Multi OS, English, Multi System, v., A00
    Release Date: 5/10/2007
    Criticality: Creates "System Configuration Report" that can be used for troubleshooting or inventory collection of a system. Dell System E-Support Tool (DSET) provides the ability to collect hardware, storage, and operating system information from a Dell PowerEdge or PowerVault server. DSET is intended to be a small, non-intrusive tool that does not require a reboot of the system to provide most functionality. DSET is intended primarily to be used when instructed by Dell Technical Support. Dell Technical Support reviews the report generated by DSET when a support case is opened.

    [Apr 6. 2006] Cool Solutions siga System Information GAthering By John O'Riordan

    • SUSE Linux 10.0
    • SUSE Linux Professional 9.2-9.3
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9

    PROBLEM: As part of my job as a support Engineer I often need to get a detailed output of the configuration of a system. Trying to travel around a customers system copying configuration files was a very tedious time-consuming process.

    SOLUTION: That was until I discovered "siga"!

    This useful command grabs all the configuration files on a system and saves them in one, easy to navigate webpage. When running it you have the option to open it with a variety of browsers, save it to a directory or storage media, or (coolest of all) even open it in a remote display!

    Also if you don't want to see every configuration file on a system you can specify which subsystem you want the configuration files of, e.g. sound, modem, mail, usb etc.

    To have the output directed to a Konqueror type "siga kon". Want more info or examples? Simply type "man siga".

    SLES Performance Tuning Wiki

    whitepaper enhancements that SLES 10

    Linux Kernel in a Nutshell Book Free Online

    Get it either by chapter or all in one big tarball, the official book website has a nice description by the author of why he wrote the book and why it's being given away...

    [May 11, 2007] SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 service pack 1 might be released the next week

    Novell will probably release "service pack 1″ for SUSE Enterprise Linux 10 the next week.

    Open Source Toolbox Review automated network install of suse, debian and fedora with LinuxCOE

    The new InstallLinux site is using HP's LinuxCOE server as the web interface to a collection of scripts that are used to prepare CD images with all the information needed for unattended install.

    [May 3, 2007] IBM Redbooks Linux Performance and Tuning Guidelines

    A very useful redbook. A lot of difficult to find into about kernel tuning.

    Over the past few years, Linux has made its way into the data centers of many corporations all over the globe. The Linux operating system has become accepted by both the scientific and enterprise user population. Today, Linux is by far the most versatile operating system. You can find Linux on embedded devices such as firewalls and cell phones and mainframes. Naturally, performance of the Linux operating system has become a hot topic for both scientific and enterprise users. However, calculating a global weather forecast and hosting a database impose different requirements on the operating system. Linux has to accommodate all possible usage scenarios with the most optimal performance. The consequence of this challenge is that most Linux distributions contain general tuning parameters to accommodate all users.

    IBM® has embraced Linux, and it is recognized as an operating system suitable for enterprise-level applications running on IBM systems. Most enterprise applications are now available on Linux, including file and print servers, database servers, Web servers, and collaboration and mail servers.

    With use of Linux in an enterprise-class server comes the need to monitor performance and, when necessary, tune the server to remove bottlenecks that affect users. This IBM Redpaper describes the methods you can use to tune Linux, tools that you can use to monitor and analyze server performance, and key tuning parameters for specific server applications. The purpose of this redpaper is to understand, analyze, and tune the Linux operating system to yield superior performance for any type of application you plan to run on these systems.

    The tuning parameters, benchmark results, and monitoring tools used in our test environment were executed on Red Hat and Novell SUSE Linux kernel 2.6 systems running on IBM System x servers and IBM System z servers. However, the information in this redpaper should be helpful for all Linux hardware platforms.

    [Apr 22, 2007] SMB IT InfoWorld SUSE 10 Tastes Sweet to SMBs 0933 AM By Oliver Rist

    October 10, 2006 (

    After install, finding the Windows network was as easy as doing so with a PowerBook. Plug it into the network, assign the right domain name and you're a minute or so away from connected bliss. The server can even be setup to authenticate and respond to AD requests. All point and click. Very slick--should have been that way years ago.

    [Apr 20, 2007] [PDF] Tuning SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server on IBM M E server xSeries Servers

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML

    [Apr 19, 2007] IBM Redbooks Tuning IBM System x Servers for Performance

    Chapter 12. Linux

    By its nature and heritage, the Linux distributions and the Linux kernel offer a variety of parameters and settings to let the Linux administrator tweak the system to maximize performance.

    This chapter describes the steps that you can take to tune Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)1 or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)2. It describes the parameters that give the most improvement in performance and provides a basic understanding of the tuning techniques that are used in Linux.

    In this chapter, we discuss the following topics:

    • 12.1, Disabling daemons
    • 12.2, Shutting down the GUI
    • 12.3, SELinux (RHEL 4 only)
    • 12.4, Changing kernel parameters
    • 12.5, Kernel parameters
    • 12.6, Tuning the processor subsystem
    • 12.7, Tuning the memory subsystem
    • 12.8, Tuning the file system
    • 12.9, Tuning the network subsystem
    • 12.10, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
    • 12.11, Xen virtualization

    [Apr 12, 2007] Techzone OpenSUSE vs Ubuntu

    BTW, many openSUSE users use the Smart Package Manager (get it from guru's repo) in place of the Advanced Packaging Tool (apt). In many ways smart is an improvement over apt.
    Anonymous said...

    I dont understand your comments regarding package management - you can add package repositories (which are similar to apt sources, see for details), and as soon you have added these, they will be integrated to package management like the original installation media. You can install packages as you like, have automatic dependency resolution, all the package information is there, and if you want to install a specific version (instead of the newest, which is default for update), just go to the "Versions" tab. I may be a bit sluggish, yes, but otherwise ...

    Abhay said...

    I have tried Smart. Smart is much better than Yast, but sometimes misses some files. For eg. right now I cannot download and install K3b. Smart says that it is available in pacman repository but cannot download it.

    Similarly, Samrt does not give that much information about the packages as Synaptic does...

    People,dont worry.YAST-Package management and boot time will be faster in openSUSE 10.3:-). Developers communicate and know about it. I look forward to new openSUSE. Btw, as date for the final release of openSUSE 10.3 the end of September is considered.

    April 12, 2007 1:47 PM

    Guilherme Muller Jr said...
    Package Management on openSUSE is very good if you add Packman on your "Yast Installation Source". Just take a look on this guide and all codecs, DVD, flash 9, etc. will be automatically installed on your openSUSE box :

    With regard to your Package Management woes, see

    [Mar 23, 2007] Novell Outlines Enhancements in SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 1

    General availability scheduled for May.

    SALT LAKE CITY (BrainShare® 2007)- 19 Mar 2007- "The market has received SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 with open arms, and we are committed to increasing the return on their investment," said Holger Dyroff, vice president of SUSE Linux Enterprise product management for Novell. "In addition to integrating maintenance updates into SP1, we have listened to customers and added new functionality that will make it easier for them to take advantage of the benefits of enterprise Linux, as well as for hardware and software partners to ensure their products add maximum value to users."

    SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, providing a secure and reliable foundation for enterprise computing from the desktop to the data center – a lineup of enterprise-class solutions matched by no other Linux* vendor. SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 enhancements include the following:

    • Enhanced virtualization support and management. With the latest update to the Xen* hypervisor (version 3.0.4++), organizations can reduce costs through server consolidation and improved system management. New paravirtualized network and block device drivers will allow Microsoft* Windows* Server 2000/2003/XP to run unmodified in Xen virtual environments on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 operating on Intel* Virtualization Technology and AMD* Virtualization hardware. Seamless live migration is possible for paravirtualized virtual machines across distinct physical hosts.
    • Updated high-availability storage infrastructure. Service Pack 1 includes updates to all key components of the infrastructure, including the cluster file system, volume manager and cluster resource manager, to ensure data integrity and availability. As a result, there is improved support for workloads including SAP* running on Oracle*, DB2 and MaxDB, as well as Web services and virtual image storage.
    • Support for new processor technologies, including Quad-Core Intel Xeon* and Quad-Core AMD Opteron* processors. Through joint engineering with the chip vendors, SUSE Linux Enterprise enables multiple virtual machines to run varied data center workloads in native and Xen virtualized environments with outstanding performance, energy efficiency and reliability.
    • Enhanced security features. The Novell AppArmor™ 2.0 security framework is integrated into the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform and now includes support for Apache Tomcat. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now includes desktop lockdown tools, secure disk partitions and encrypted home directories.

    Expanded support. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now includes the latest version of the Novell edition of (version 2.1), including the new OpenXML/ODF translator to convert Microsoft Word 2007 documents to, additional Visual Basic macro support, and improved Impress presentation functionality, including the ability to play embedded video as part of presentations.

    Desktop virtualization. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now includes Xen virtualization technology along with improved management and auditing tools.

    Desktop enterprise integration technologies. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now fits more seamlessly into existing environments due to enhancements in Microsoft Active Directory* authentication and network management, and it also now includes Firefox 2.0.

    Updated desktop user experience. Improvements include redesigns to the Novell main menu, control center, and logout and screen-saver dialogs, and updates to the desktop effects engine. The desktop also includes new utilities like an international clock applet and a disk space usage utility.

    Audit subsystem enrichment. Major improvements and extensions to the audit subsystem enable SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 to meet strict government standards and vertical industry requirements. The updates include modules for security certification provided by the Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CAPP EAL 4+).

    Support for Novell Open Enterprise Server 2. SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 has many new features designed to support the workgroup services in Open Enterprise Server 2, including updates to the DNS, DHCP and LDAP modules, as well as support for paravirtualized NetWare® 6.5.

    Terri Hall, vice president of Software Solutions and Alliances for AMD, said, "The public beta of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 from Novell continues their tradition of leading the market with support for new hardware technology. The enhanced virtualization capabilities in SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 take full advantage of AMD Virtualization technology, providing customers with the ability to consolidate operating environments such as NetWare 6.5 and Windows Server 2003. We look forward to the general availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1, including significant support for AMD's next-generation Quad-Core processor, code named 'Barcelona,' which will provide customers with a seamless upgrade path to new levels of performance and increased computing capabilities."


    SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 beta software is now available, with general availability scheduled for May. For more information about SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 or to obtain the SP1 beta software, visit

    [Mar 23, 2007] Windows Security and Directory Services for UNIX Guide v1.0

    Just released, this prescriptive guide shows IT Pros how to use Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory for both authentication and identity storage within heterogeneous Microsoft Windows and UNIX environments.

    [Mar 19, 2007] SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 1

    General availability scheduled for May.

    [Feb 22, 2007] openSUSE 10.2 review by Jem Matzan

    So Novell fixed the damage done by 10.1., but still has not addressed many of the lingering problems with installation and configuration that have plagued SUSE variants for the operating system's entire history. It's still a decent desktop operating system, and has one of the industry's best configuration frameworks (YaST), but it just doesn't compete with commercial GNU/Linux distros like Xandros or Mandriva. It has a hard time competing even with the free-of-charge Ubuntu Linux. Indeed, openSUSE is in danger of losing relevance in a rapidly evolving market. You can't have poor quality releases anymore -- those days of leniency are over. Desktop GNU/Linux is now a mature market, and companies like Novell need to start treating it like such.

    A deeper look into (Open)Suse 10.1

    Ok, so much for the names. Now to the technical differences. If you think you can live happily with the Internet edition you might be disappointed later on: There are several programs missing compared to the boxed version. Here is a somewhat longer sample:

    • nessus, arpwatch, john (2), snort (security)
    • tinyca, pwgen (x509 cert mgmt, random password generator)
    • eclipse, nvu, bluefish (development, html)
    • cacti, nagios (monitoring)
    • asterisk, sipset (VoIP)
    • OpenPBS (batch compute system)
    • pcp, pcpmon (SGI's performance copilot)
    • ebtables, ulogd*, vlan ("bridge-iptables", alternate netfilter logging target, VLAN tools)
    • vlan, xsupplicant, pam_radius (needed for VLANs, RADIUS server + RADIUS authentication)
    • drbd, heartbeat* (HA), nbd, ocfs2*
    • ez-ipupdate, courier-imap, cyrus-imapd, exim (system daemons)
    • cfengine, uucp/uudeview (system)
    • amanda, bacula, dump, xfsdump (backup)
    • clamav (3) (free anti virus solution)
    • ncftp, pdksh, bash-completion, ghostview, git, webalizer (user)
    • xfce, xplanet, scummvm (window manager and toys)
    • gnokii, gsmlib (mobile phone tools)
    • exif, exifprobe, exiftran, jhead (digicam exif)
    • pdftk (editing PDFs), scribus (DTP), mdbtools* (converting MS access files)
    • lots of perl and python modules
    • "suselinux manuals" in foreign languages (cs, de, es, fr, it, pt, ja, zh, ...)
    I was kind of surprised about the fact that there are such tremendous differences. As it turned out – more see below – the Internet version is basically useless for myself (I don't normally use it for customers since 2 years update is not enough, but that's a different story). You have to make a decision for your own between the two Suse versions available, depended on your needs and time, ability and laziness to compile the missing pieces. For your help I've compiled a complete list of the differences.

    ... ... ...

    One of the changes in 10.1 compared to its predecessor 10.0 is that the architecture for the higher level package management and online update changed completely.
    Being used is a suite called ZENworks Linux Management which is basically the client part of a client-server architecture. It is supposed to ease management of systems, specifically if you're having large installations. If you have had contact with Ximian Linux and rug and their Red Carpet Daemon rcd you might know the already client side a bit.
    Providing this is in general a good idea, since Novell had nothing really to offer to centrally manage Linux systems before ZMD and was as far as this is concerned a little bit behind their competitors like Red Hat (provisioning module) and e.g. Sun (N1 System Manager and Service Provisioning System).
    According to some news the ZLM client – i.e. the tools around the ZENworks Agent zmd, aka ZENworks Management Daemon – was one of the reasons why the GA of Suse 10.1 and as a consequence the enterprise products were delayed for some months. That wouldn't be a problem if the result would be good. But Novell's new framework of Software updates writing Suse 10.1 is very politely speaking not a piece of usability. And not a resource effective piece of software either.

    [Feb 12, 2007] BetaNews Microsoft, Novell to Bridge Active Directory, eDirectory By Scott M. Fulton, III, BetaNews

    In the next phase of the two companies' much-discussed collaboration, Novell and Microsoft announced they are working together to develop a method for using existing protocols for bridging network access between eDirectory and Active Directory, with complete details to come sometime during the first half of this year.

    Though the two companies did not mention this explicitly, the common bond between the two identity management services for their networks is Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). Both are implementations of an LDAP store, although Microsoft utilizes a kind of abstraction layer that enables Windows Server-based networks to bind an LDAP application to a replica partition rather than specifically to an IP address. Differences in implementation such as this are why bridging the two identity services is not an academic process.

    [Feb 12, 2007] Authenticating Linux against Active Directory

    There are 2 alternatives to authenticate against Active Directory:

    1. Using the kerberos client (requires Active Directory)
    2. Using Winbind & samba client

    In my opinion, option 1 is the cleanest. I definitely found it more simple to setup. Option 2 offers some additional features, notably the use of the net command through which you can enumerate domain users and more. However on most workstations this will not be required. Therefore, if you have active directory i recommend option 1.

    [Feb 12, 2007] Authenticating Windows Active Directory 2003 - SUSE Wiki

    Zenworks Patents Defend Active Directory -- jimcal80@...'s comment on Microsoft patent peace--or patent war TalkBack on ZDNet

    Zenworks Patents? Defend Active Directory

    Novell can't sell the GPL -- it is legally impossible. So what is Microsoft buying?

    Zenworks and identity management. Back when I studied for an MCSE the old line Novell engineers would say that Zenworks & Novell's identity management software had better than the latest Microsoft features, "years ago."

    Microsoft's press releases and FAQ refer to systems management of real virtualized systems and to identity management. So Microsoft wants Zenworks and wants to be able to defend Active Directory against any patent claims by Novell or a future owner of Novell. That is why Microsoft is paying the upfront money, while retaining an annuity licensing income.

    As for Linux, I believe Microsoft wants to use Novell SUSE Linux for "account control." The key accounts are the large PC manufacturers (Dell, HP/Compaq, Lenovo/IBM, Gateway) and large customers (corporations, governments and universities). The kind of users that buy bulk or per PC licenses.

    If a PC manufacturer that pays Microsoft a per PC royalty (regardless of whether the PC has Windows or not) wants to ship Linux; Microsoft will probably wind up saying, if you ship SUSE Linux we will credit you the cost of Windows, but if you ship any other Linux, you will have to pay us as if there was a copy of Windows on the machine. Microsoft will use the argument that a non-SUSE version of Linux will just lead to a pirated copy of MS Windows being installed on the PC.

    ... ... ...

    Jim Callahan
    Orlando, FL

    [Mar 23 2005] Developing Perl CGI scripts on SUSE Linux (feature)
    Because there are so many tutorials on the web about Perl the focus of this article will be how to configure SUSE Linux for Perl CGI scripts and teaching you the basics of developing and debugging a Perl script.

    Personal letter to the editor

    The page is talking about loosing the /boot volume when upgrading SLES 10 to SP3 via the DVD. I too had this problem. I found that the issue is not that it is trying to use device manager or the /dev/disk/by-id scheme, it is just the evms has "taken over" the /dev/sda1 device (or whichever is used for /boot) but it doesn't update /etc/fstab with this change. So, /boot never gets mounted, nor can you mount that device, it says it is busy - true, it is used by evms. All you have to do is put in the evms device in fstab, for example:

    /dev/evms/sda1  /boot    ext2    acl,user_xattr     1 2

    It all then works and updates can happen. You'd think Novell would have
    fixed this bug by now, but no....


    Phil Crooker

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