Suse Linux Enterprise Support Life Cycles / End of Life (EOL)

What is Suse Linux Enterprise Linux?

SUSE Linux Enterprise (often abbreviated to SLE) is a Linux-based operating system developed by SUSE. It is available in two editions, suffixed with Server (SLES) for servers and mainframes, and Desktop (SLED) for workstations and desktop computers. Its major versions are released at an interval of 3–4 years, while minor versions (called "Service Packs") are released about every 12 months. SUSE Linux Enterprise products 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 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 SUSE Linux Enterprise developers have ported it to Raspberry Pi.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is an adaptable and easy-to-manage platform that allows developers and administrators to deploy business-critical workloads on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge.


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SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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 (Telia) 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 (services and support). 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.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES 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 (SLES 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 (SLES 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 (released May 2010) 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 (SLES 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 superstitions associated with those numbers in certain cultures.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 (SLES 15) beta 1 was released on October 18, 2017, and the final version was released on July 16, 2018. SLES 15 SP2, which updates the kernel, PostgreSQL, Samba, Salt and many other parts of the operating system, was released on July 21, 2020.

Why SUSE Linux Enterprise Server?

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is an operating system that is adaptable to any environment – optimized for performance, security and reliability.

Simplify your IT environment

The SUSE Linux Enterprise “common code base” platform bridges traditional and software-defined infrastructure. Simplify workload migration, protect your traditional infrastructure, and ease the adoption of containers.

Modernize your IT infrastructure

Modernize your IT infrastructure with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server’s multimodal architecture. With its cloud-agnostic design, SLES can easily transition to public cloud—Alibaba, Azure, AWS, Google, IBM, Oracle.

Accelerate innovation

Connect to our developer community at SUSE Package Hub. Once you are ready to move to from development to production you can seamlessly transition from our community Linux distribution -openSUSE Leap - to SUSE Linux Enterprise with just a few clicks.

Top 4 Features


Includes APIs and services that make it possible to write applications that can work with the widest range of architectures, servers, storage and network options available. This approach allows SLES to adapt to any operating environment and enables smooth workload migrations between them.

Security and Compliance

SUSE engineers promptly react to security incidents, and deliver premium quality security updates. The configuration, auditing and automation features of SUSE Manager make it easy to ensure compliance with internal security policies and external regulations.

Business Continuity

SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, geo-clustering, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching improves business continuity and saves costs by reducing downtime, increasing service availability and enhancing security and compliance.


Each SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription includes support for the leading hypervisor technologies and cloud platforms. Maximize your flexibility and lower costs without sacrificing performance, security or reliability.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE®, a global leader in innovative, reliable and enterprise-grade open source solutions, today announced its flagship Linux distribution has earned Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 15 SP2 is now EAL 4+ level certified for IBM Z, Arm and x86-64 architectures, signifying compliance with the most-demanding security requirements for mission-critical infrastructure. SUSE's Common Criteria EAL 4+ software supply chain certification includes secure production, delivery of updates, and protection of critical digital assets.

10 year support cycle with optional 3 year LTSS extension

Service Packs approximately every 18 months

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15

(released 29 Mar 2019, EOL 31 Mar 2029) Extended EOL: 31 Mar 2032

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12

(released 27 Oct 2014, EOL 31 Oct 2024) Extended EOL: 31 Oct 2027

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11

(released 24 Mar 2009, EOL 31 Mar 2019) Extended EOL: 31 Mar 2022

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

(released 17 Jun 2006, EOL 31 Jul 2013)