SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a Linux-based operating system developed by SUSE. It is designed for servers, mainframes, and workstations but can be installed on desktop computers for testing as well. Major versions are released at an interval of 3–4 years, while minor versions are released about every 12 months. SUSE Linux Enterprise products, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, receive more intense testing than the upstream openSUSE community product, with the intention that only mature, stable versions of the included components will make it through to the released enterprise product.
It is developed from a common code base with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and other SUSE Linux Enterprise products.
IBM's Watson was built on IBM's POWER7 systems using SLES.
In March 2018, SUSE Product Manager Jay Kruemcke wrote in SUSE blog that SLES developers have ported SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to Raspberry Pi.


SLES was developed based on SUSE Linux by a small team led by Marcus Kraft and Bernhard Kaindl as principal developer who were supported by Joachim "Jos" Schröder. It was first released on October 31, 2000 as a version for IBM S/390 mainframe machines. In December 2000, the first enterprise client was made public. In April 2001, the first SLES for x86 was released.
From a business perspective, SLES is not only a technical offering, but also has entangled a commercial offering. The initial business model was inspired by recurrent charges established in the mainframe world at this time, and innovated by Jürgen Geck and Malcom Yates. Based on customer needs and feedback as well as other evolving Linux based offerings the business model has been reworked by different people in the subsequent years until today.
SLES version 9 was released in August 2004. Service Pack 4 was released in December 2007. It was supported by hardware vendors including IBM, HP, Sun Microsystems, Dell, SGI, Lenovo, and Fujitsu Siemens Computers.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 was released in July 2006, and is also supported by the major hardware vendors. Service pack 4 was released in April 2011. SLES 10 shared a common codebase with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10—Novell's desktop distribution for business use—and other SUSE Linux Enterprise products.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 was released on March 24, 2009 and included Linux kernel 2.6.27, Oracle Cluster File System Release 2, support for the OpenAIS cluster communication protocol for server and storage clustering, and Mono 2.0. SLES 11 SP1 rebased the kernel version to 2.6.32. In February 2012, SLES 11 SP2 was released, based on kernel version 3.0.10.
SLES 11 SP2 included a Consistent Network Device Naming feature for Dell servers.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 beta was made available on February 25, 2014, and the final version was released on October 27, 2014.
SLES 12 SP1 was released on December 18, 2015. SP1 added Docker, Shibboleth, Network Teaming, and JeOS images.
SP2 was released November 11, 2016.
SP3 was released September 7, 2017.
The SLES 13 and SLES 14 version numbers were skipped due to supersitions associated with those numbers in certain cultures.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 beta 1 was released on October 18, 2017, and the final version was released on July 16, 2018.

End-of-support schedule

Legacy versions of SUSE Linux Enterprise had a ten year product lifecycle. Newer versions have a thirteen year product lifecycle. The current support model consists of 10 years of general support from time of First Customer Shipment, followed by 3 years of Long Term Service Pack Support.

Version history

Release dates of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server versions: