Volume 3, Number 2 -- January 17, 2006

Novell Releases SUSE Linux Enterprise Server SP3

Published: January 17, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Commercial Linux distributor Novell has put out its Service Pack 3 for its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 implementation of the Linux 2.6 operating system. The update includes all of the security fixes and patches for SLES 9 since SP2 shipped in August 2004. SLES 9 SP3 also has the AppArmor security program that Novell bought when it acquired Immunix, a provider of application security software for Linux, last May.

SLES 9 SP3 has AppArmor woven in as well as Linux application security profiles for selected applications; the exact number was not revealed in the SP3 release notes. As the company revealed when it took the AppArmor product open source as an openSUSE project earlier this week, the full AppArmor code and a more complete set of application security profiles--some made by Novell, some made by application providers through the openSUSE community--are expected to be embedded into the future SLES 10 operating system, which is expected some time in May of this year.

The SP3 update to SLES 9 also provides support for the Linux Standard Base 3.0 specification , which was released in September 2005. LSB 3.0 is a base set of application programming interfaces (APIs), libraries, and interoperability standards, and to support the LSB spec, a Linux distributor must have test suites, development environments, developer documentation, and sample implementations of their Linux platforms. With LSB 3.0, the Free Standards Group, a non-profit organization that is trying to keep Linux distributions all pulling in the same direction, added an updated application binary interface (ABI) for C++, which is supported by all Linux suppliers. The new spec also incorporates yet more features of the POSIX standard for Unix, which will make it even easier to port Unix applications to Linux. All of the usual suspects were on hand to provide their support for the LSB 3.0 spec, including: Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, Turbolinux, the Debian Common Core Alliance (a consortium of Debian Linux providers Progeny, Credativ, Knoppix, LinEx, Linspire, Mepis, Sun Wah Linux, UserLinux, and Xandros), and Asianux (a partnership of Red Flag Linux, Miracle Linux, and Haansoft Linux).

Novell says that SLES 9 SP3 includes consolidated drive updates for storage and networks, as well as improvements for Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, an update to the openIMPI system management software embedded in SUSE Linux, and improvements to the storage mutlipathing software that made its debut with Linux 2.6 late in 2004 in the original SLES 9 release. SP3 also includes improvements to the open source Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS) for Linux, including updates from the project as well as official support for Linux running on IBM Corp's zSeries mainframes.

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
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