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Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!

Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009

Suse has kicked out a new version of its enterprise-grade commercial Linux distribution, Suse Linux Enterprise 12, more than five years after the last major-version release.

Not that the German firm has been resting on its laurels in the meantime. Countless patches and updates for the platform have been released for version 11 over the years, and Suse has shipped three official "service packs" for its flagship data center product, Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11.

Suse Linux Enterprise 12, however, brings the distro up to date with a number of popular modern technologies – including improved management capabilities, containers, and yes, even systemd – to help it better compete with the likes of CentOS, Red Hat, and Ubuntu.

The core Suse Linux Enterprise 12 distro forms the base of all of Suse's enterprise product offerings, so the new release brings with it not just SLES 12, but also new versions of the company's High Availability Extension, the Virtual Machine driver pack, and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).

Among the major new features of the release, support for Linux Containers (LXC) is now baked into the OS, and Docker-based container deployment and management is offered as a technology preview.

The controversial systemd management daemon replaces the older, Unix System V–style init process, and network configuration management is handled via a new system called wicked.

Also out is Oracle's MySQL database, which has been replaced by MySQL creator Monty Widenius' MariaDB fork. Several other Linux distros have already done the same, including Red Hat and its variants.

These and other changes all come wrapped in a new installer that requires fewer reboots and gives users the option of receiving all available maintenance updates as part of the installation.

SLES 12 also now supports installation without a separate boot partition, enabling full system rollback capabilities using Suse's snapper tool and btrfs as the default file system.

The full Suse Linux Enterprise 12 family is available now via subscription for 64-bit Intel architecture, IBM System z mainframes, and IBM Power processors. For the latter, only Power8 and later processors are supported, including support for the native little-endian memory model. The 32-bit Intel and Itanium architectures have also been dropped since version 11.

Free 60-day evaluations of SLES 12 are available. More detailed information about the release is available here, and detailed technical release notes are available here. ®

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