From 17.06 to 19.06 the SUSECON took place in Berlin. Compared to the previous iteration of the conference, the event took place exclusively in presence.

Hinweis 🎙️

On the occasion of SUSECON 2024, a special was published in the FOCUS ON: Linux-Podcast. In addition to a wrap-up, there is also an interview with parts of the SUSE Manager team.


Estrel Berlin

The event took place at the Estrel Berlin - Germany's largest and busiest hotel.

Around 800 participants had the choice between 127 presentations and workshops - 23 sessions less than last year due to the discontinuation of the SUSECON Digital format. The opportunity to take free exams was also offered. This time I took advantage of the offer and obtained two SUSE Manager certifications.

Compared to last year, this year there was an event app for Android and iOS. This made it easier to create a individual agenda and to navigate the location. Unfortunately, the stored map material was limited to the first floor, so some rooms still had to be searched for manually. Contact with other participants could be established via an integrated chat function.

Some merchandise

This year, unfortunately, there was no store where merchandise could be purchased. Popular giveaways (T-shirts, stickers, socks and other swag) could be purchased at some stands - the obligatory conference backpack was once again of convincing quality.

In the exhibition area there were not only manufacturers and partners but also stands of the respective projects and products (including SUSE Manager, openSUSE, SLES,...), which were supervised by experts. Here, interesting discussions could be held and technical feedback could be given.


While the first day was mainly focused on the first sessions, exams and partner events, the following days started with keynotes.

Compared to last year, the omnipresent topic of AI was promoted much more aggressively. I understand that the topic is on everyone's lips and that companies need to position themselves in order to stay in the discussion. However, the level of content was too high for my taste, the level of technical detail too low and the number of repetitions clearly too high. With SUSE AI, there will soon be a GenAI solution that can be self-hosted - even in airgapped environments. Technically, the product is based on SLE Micro, is currently in Early Access and is set to find its way into Rancher Prime, among other things. Other products could follow, but there does not yet seem to be a concrete vision.

Much more exciting was the acquisition of the observability provider StackState by SUSE. SUSE CEO Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen and StackState CEO Andreas Prins jointly announced that the solution will become part of Rancher Prime in the future, but will also be made available as an open source version. StackState thus supplements containerized workloads with complete and comprehensive monitoring of application metrics.

Existing partnerships with manufacturers such as Fujitsu and AWS were praised.

The American artist Eric C. Wahl provided a thematic balance between the keynotes, creating potraits of well-known personalities such as Bono, Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein in just a few minutes, accompanied by music. Wahl is considered a motivational speaker and frequently appears at major events.

There were two successful music parodies again this year:

SLE Micro

SLE Micro 6.0 was released at the beginning of June and is the successor to SLE Micro 5.5, which will be supported until October 2027. The new main version largely corresponds to what was announced last year as ALP. However, this branding is no longer used - even in the context of SLES. SUSE also seems to be gradually replacing the name SLE Micro with SUSE Linux Micro, the new variant can already be found in the Release Notes. My guess is that this name was chosen to counteract previous misunderstandings about the conventional SLES.

The new version comes with the newer Linux kernel 6.4 and Python 3.11 and is particularly suitable for edge and container use cases. It can also be easily integrated into SUSE Rancher Prime, RKE2 and K3s.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP6 was recently released and brings numerous changes. The most noticeable is probably the update of the Linux kernel from 5.14 to 6.4, which results in a number of improvements:

  • numerous network and Btrfs optimizations
  • new hardware drivers
  • Support for AMD SEV-SNP and Intel TDX

SLE for HPC is no longer a separate product but can be consumed as a module. OpenSSL has been updated from version 1.1.1 to 3.1.4.

The latest SP7 is already in progress and is scheduled for release mid-2025. A Beta is planned for Q4 2024, the feature freeze is scheduled for next July. The service pack is to be supported with LTSS until 2037, which means that the entire life cycle of SLE 15 will extend to a considerable 19 years.

SLE 16 is also already in development - the new major version will be year 2038-ready and will no longer contain any 32-bit libraries. Migration from SLE 15 should be possible, the naming scheme will be based on minor versions such as 16.1 or 16.2 in future - service packs are a thing of the past. Highlights include innovations in the area of Supply Chains in order to better check and guarantee the increasingly relevant Software Bill of Material.

What is particularly interesting is that some central operating system components are also being replaced or removed:

  • AppArmor gives way to SELinux
  • Wicked is replaced by NetworkManager
  • Agama succeeds YaST
  • AutoYaST will no longer be maintained, a successor is still unclear
  • Ansible is being considered as a configuration framework

The reasons for the move are likely to lie primarily in the significantly broader distribution. AppArmor is easier to use, but SELinux has established itself in the enterprise segment. Personally, I have always regarded Wicked as a niche solution, and I have never warmed to YaST. AutoYaST is versatile, but only offers rudimentary debugging tools. With Ignition and Combustion there are clearly simpler solutions. Ansible has long since established itself as an infrastructure-as-code tool, and I would very much welcome an integration.

The GA release is expected to be published in Q3 2025, the first minor version 16.1 is planned for Q3 2026.

SUSE Manager 5.0

SUSE Manager was again the most exciting topic for me. While last year there was little information about the new version, this time the roadmap was more concrete.

SUMA 5.0 is scheduled for release mid-July, while the current version 4.3 will continue to be supported until July 2025. 5.0 is the first container-based version that will no longer be offered as a classic package version. As a result, the application will be made available as a container image in the future and run under SLE Micro 5.5 using Podman. This image contains all the required services and stores data to be persisted in volumes. An in-place upgrade will not be possible as with the upgrade from 3.2 to 4.0. A new system must be provided in parallel, which then automatically takes over the old data.

I have already been able to gather my first impressions as part of the beta program and am delighted with how easy the installation and configuration has become. The supposedly higher complexity due to container technology is abstracted by simple CLI applications (mgrctl, mgradm).

Later versions will distribute the individual services (Apache, Tomcat, PostgreSQL, etc.) to different containers, and a Helmchart is being discussed. Version 5.1 will follow a year later and will significantly enhance Ansible support. The details include a dynamic inventory and AWX integration. There will also be dynamic groups for recurring Salt activities.


The in-house Kubernetes platform Rancher will be released in August to match the respective Kubernetes releases. For Rancher Prime, RKE2 and K3s, 18 months of standard support are planned, with 3 and 5 years of LTS being offered as an option for the first time - even for versions that have already been released. RKE1 will soon reach the end-of-life phase, Docker support will be discontinued. There have been numerous improvements for Fleet, Rancher Desktop will be extended by Webassembly support. With K3K there is a tool for Kubernetes in Kubernetes.


NeuVector, SUSE's zero-trust platform for containers, receives two extensions:

Thus, with the Rancher UI Extension there is now a way to integrate NeuVector into the Rancher web interface. This means that two separate tools do not have to be used, which should make it much easier to use.

With version 5.3 NeuVector has been extended by CIS- and CVE-Scanning.


With Harvester, SUSE offers a hyperconverged infrastructure solution for VM and container workloads. Thanks to native CSI integration, other storage providers are also conceivable in addition to Longhorn. In view of the VMware/Broadcom discussion, a migration towards Harvester was demonstrated. The prospect of vGPU support for AI workloads was held out, and ARM support and fleet management were discussed as technical previews. Thanks to centralized DHCP management, infrastructure management will be easier in the future. Smaller clusters with 2 nodes will be supported in future, provided a Witness host is used.


Presentations are not the primary reason why I attend conferences - it is rather the people behind the individual projects or other participants. The lecture program is usually more extensive than my personal schedule allows and lecture slides are usually available afterwards anyway. I therefore try to attend only those lectures for which I would like to ask questions or talk to the speakers afterwards.

Compared to last year, there was also a chat function in the event app this time. There it was possible to contact other participants, provided they had activated the function via opt-in. I didn't use the function myself, but I find the option useful. The evening event provided a low-threshold opportunity for interesting discussions.

One highlight for me was meeting some of the SUSE Manager team again. We were able to have exciting discussions with Ricardo Mateus, Cedric Bosdonnat, Stefan Behlert and Can Bayburt about current developments and provide feedback. We were able to conduct another interview with Miguel Pérez Colino and Don Vosburg - and it was a real pleasure!

Parts of the SUSE Manager team


I enjoyed the conference despite the unmistakable AI lyricism. Above all, the networking with developers and participants was again very valuable. I'm already looking forward to the upcoming SUSE Manager 5.0 and SLE 16 releases. The event app is a welcome addition to the website.

My wish for the next SUSECON is what I wish for other conferences: fewer AI buzzwords, more tangible technology and realistic use cases. SUSE has already announced that the next SUSECON will take place in March 2025 in Orlando (Florida).