What's new in this update release

This release of BigFix Patch for SUSE Linux Enterprise provides extended support to include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on IBM PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (LE).

Table 1. What's new
Enhancement or Feature Description Resources
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 PPC64BE support
The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 on IBM PowerPC 64-bit Big Endian (BE) is published in the Patches for SLE 12 PPC64BE site. This site is SLE's default package manager, and contains content from the following channels for SLES 11 PPC64BE systems:
  • SLES11-Pool
  • SLES11-Updates
  • SLES11-SP1-Pool
  • SLES11-SP1-Updates
  • SLES11-SP2-Pool
  • SLES11-SP2-Updates
  • SLES11-SP3-Pool
  • SLES11-SP3-Updates
  • SLES11-SP4-Pool
  • SLES11-SP4-Updates
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 PPC64LE support

The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on IBM PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (LE) is published in the Patches for SLE 12 PPC64LE site. This site is SLE's default package manager, and contains content from the following channels for SLES 12 PPC64LE systems:

  • SLES12-SP0-Pool
  • SLES12-SP0-Updates
  • SLES12-SP1-Pool
  • SLES12-SP1-Updates
  • SLES12-SP2-Pool
  • SLES12-SP2-Updates
  • SLES12-SP3-Pool
  • SLES12-SP3-Updates

Ensure that you update the SCC download plug-in from the Manage Download Plug-ins dashboard.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

Previous updates

Table 2. Previous updates
Enhancement or Feature Description Resources
SCC download plug-in enhancements

The SCC Download Plug-in now has the ability to use packages that are cached by the SCC Download Cacher’s download_dir (referred to as localCache in the plugin.ini file) and get packages from the internet at the same time.

Previously, the SCC Download Plug-in was used in BigFix server that was in either of the following scenarios:
  • The BigFix Server is fully air-gapped and uses the SCC Download Cacher, or
  • The BigFix Server is internet-enabled and does not use the SCC Download Cacher
With this enhancement, you can cache the packages offline to save time downloading the packages.

Using the download plug-in

Configuring the advanced SCC download plug-in settings

Using the SCC download cacher for air-gapped environments

Caching packages on the sha1 folder

Caching packages on the local cache folder

SCC download cacher enhancements
The SCC Download Cacher contains the following enhancements:
  • Package sha1 download support
  • Repository access check
  • Storage space requirement check
  • Space-saving benchmarks

Using the download cacher

SCC download cacher usage information

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP3 content support

The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP3 is published in the Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools site.

Ensure that you update the SCC download plug-in from the Manage Download Plug-ins dashboard.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on System z content support

The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 on System z is published in the Patches for SLE 12 on System z site.

Ensure that you update the SCC download plug-in from the Manage Download Plug-ins dashboard.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

Enhancement or Feature Description Resources
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 on System z native tools support

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (s390x) content is published in a new site called Patches for SLE 11 on System z Native Tools. This site uses zypper to reduce dependency issues and improve performance and reliable when installing patches. By using SUSE's default package manager, it simplifies the process of installing, uninstalling, updating, and querying software packages.

In addition, the native tools support allows you to use the SCC download plug-in and SCC download cacher to download and cache SUSE s390x patches from a vendor's website to the BigFix server.

You can now leverage your custom repositories to manage patches, as well as the use the Multiple-Package Baseline Installation solution to reduce the execution time of a baseline with multiple packages.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

Using the download plug-in

Using the download cacher

Custom repositories management

Multiple-Package Baseline Installation

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP2 content support

The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP2 is published in the Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools site.

Ensure that you update the SCC download plug-in from the Manage Download Plug-ins dashboard.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

SCC download plug-in

BigFix Patch released an enhanced version of the download plug-in for SUSE that uses the SUSE Customer Center (SCC) to download and cache patches from a vendor's website to the BigFix server. The SCC download plug-in uses native tools for dependency resolution and provides a user extensible repository list to customize available repositories.

The Fixlets from the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools and Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools sites were updated to support the SCC download plug-in. To ensure continuous access to the latest content, especially if you are using baselines, use the Baseline Synchronization Dashboard to sync your baseline components with the source Fixlets.

You must register the SCC download plug-in in the Manage Download Plug-ins Dashboard from the Patching Support site.

Using the download plug-in

SCC download cacher An enhanced version of the download cacher, which includes the basic functionalities of the SCC download plug-in, is available for air-gapped environments.

This solution is available to Fixlets from the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools and Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools sites.

Using the download cacher

Multiple-package baseline installation BigFix Patch offers a solution that can combine the installation of updates for the packages in a baseline into a single task, effectively reducing the execution time of the baseline.

This solution is available to Fixlets from the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools and Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools sites.

Multiple-Package Baseline Installation
Enhanced logging and error handling Redesigned error logs and debug outputs to provide clearer error reporting to help reduce the time spent troubleshooting and debugging issues.

This enhancement is applicable to Fixlets from the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools and Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools sites.

Troubleshooting
Audit Fixlets for troubleshooting

BigFix provides audit Fixlets to help determine whether any of the required packages, such as zypper, gzip, or bc, are missing and must be installed on the endpoints to deploy BigFix content. Ensuring that the prerequisites are installed on the endpoints before you deploy Fixlets can save you time from troubleshooting when issues occur.

The prerequisite packages must be installed on the endpoints to use content from the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools and Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools sites.

Troubleshooting
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP1 content support The content for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 SP1 is published in the Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools site.

Ensure that you update the SUSE download plug-in.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 content support The SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 12 (x86_64) content is published in a new site called Patches for SLE 12 Native Tools.

This release supports the package manager native command-line interface, Zypper, which allows you to patch SLE 12 systems. Zypper reduces dependency issues, improves performance, and is more reliable in terms of installing security patches.

Supported platforms and updates

Supported Novell repositories

Patching method

Package installation task

Custom repositories can give you the flexibility to control what you can deploy on the endpoints in your environment. For example, you can deploy custom software that you are hosting in your custom repositories.

Use the Install packages by using zypper task to install software that is in your custom repositories. This task is enhanced to allow you to update all the packages on the endpoint and to install packages based on CVE number. It also allows you to install all the packages that were issued until the date that you specify.

The Install packages by using zypper task is available on the Patching Support site.

Custom repositories management

Installing packages from a custom repository

SLE Btrfs Snapshot Management

Manage Btrfs filesystem snapshots for endpoints that are using SUSE Linux Enterprise versions 11 SP2 and later.

BigFix provides the SLE Btrfs Snapshot Management dashboard to allow you to manage root snapshots with the rollback feature to restore to a previous system state.

The SLE Btrfs Snapshot Management dashboard is available on the Patching Support site.

SLE Btrfs snapshot management

SLE Btrfs Snapshot Management dashboard overview

Rolling back a snapshot

SLE Custom Repository Management dashboard enhancements

The repository registration feature in the SLE Custom Repository Management dashboard now allows you to enable autorefresh and URI checks.

Registering endpoints to a repository or SMT

Custom repositories management

Installed package list

Use the Installed RPM Package List - SuSE Linux Enterprise analysis to view the list of RPM packages that are installed on the endpoints that are using SUSE Linux Enterprise versions 12 and earlier. This analysis is available on the Linux RPM Patching site.

Retrieving installed RPM package information
SLE Custom Repository Management dashboard enhancements

The repository registration feature in the SLE Custom Repository Management dashboard now allows you to enable autorefresh and URI checks.

Registering endpoints to a repository or SMT

Custom repositories management

Custom repository support

BigFix now supports custom repositories and the Subscription Management Tool (SMT) for patching SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server version 11 endpoints.

Support for custom repositories for patch management uses existing local repository mirrors and extended support channels to download patches. This solution can also be used to deliver custom software through BigFix. For more information, see Custom repositories management.

Custom repositories management

Package manager native command-line interface support

Zypper, which is the default package manager for SLE, replaces the Endpoint Dependency Resolver (EDR) utilities that Patch Management for SLE previously used.

Zypper gives you more flexibility in terms of patch deployment and provides results that are in parallel with SLE solutions. Use the Patches for SLE 11 Native Tools site to patch SLE 11 systems because Zypper reduces dependency issues, improves performance, and is more reliable in terms of installing security patches. For more information, see Patching method.

Patching method