SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4 is already among us to continue the evolution of one of the great distributions oriented to the corporate sector. In this case we find a system that is synchronized with openSUSE Leap 15.4 , so both share, broadly speaking, the same technological base.
SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4, from now on SLE 15 SP4, takes care of updating the software stack. During its development, 23% of all source code has been updated and has been synchronized with packages taken from openSUSE Factory. All of this is in addition to the work of both SUSE’s own staff as well as public beta testers and partners.
The first thing that stands out in SLE 15 SP4 is the inclusion of GNOME 41 as the default desktop environment for the latest stable release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED). The maintainers have synchronized with many openSUSE Factory packages to allow, for example, the arrival of GTK 4, a toolkit that tries to offer some visual standardization with libadwaita.
The default kernel is Linux 5.14 , to which SUSE has ported “a large number of patches” , so we find ourselves with an implementation that is apparently very far from the official upstream version. You know, free software stuff, which allows anyone to modify and redistribute it, and in the case of Linux, such source code redistribution is mandatory.
Another feature of SLE 15 SP4 is the inclusion of the official NVIDIA open source driver , making this the first major distribution to supply it through its official channels. At the time, we already learned that the current state of the driver was of little use in a desktop context, but possibly the situation is different on servers.
As for containers and virtualization, more SLES Base Containers Images (SLE BCI) images are available via registry.suse.com and images for Just enough Operating System (JeOS) virtual machines have been renamed to Minimal-VM.
Some features like Python 2, pam/nss ldap, and openldap2-server have been removed from SLE 15 SP4. The case of Python 2 is because this version of the interpreted language has been discontinued for a long time, while OpenLDAP has been replaced by 389 Directory Server.
At the level of programming languages, as in Leap 15.4, we find PHP 8 and OpenJDK 17 (JDK or Java 17) , while the new Python 3 modules include version 3.10 of the language. The main open source database management systems present are MariaDB 10.6 , fork of MySQL, and PostgreSQL 14 , more oriented to compete with corporate solutions on the market.
For security, the novelties are the addition of SLSA 4 compliance to existing security certifications, being SLE 15 SP4 “the first Linux distribution that delivers packages under the demanding Google SLSA standard in a clear way “; AMD SEV-ES to enforce virtual machine isolation; a hot patching infrastructure for applications located in user space; LUKS2 support in YaST 2 ; in addition to OpenSSL 3.0.1. As framework is systemd 249.
And so far the most important of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4. Those who want to know all the details have available the release notes of the Server and Desktop , which are the most prominent, along with the official press release and the official announcement .