SAP on Linux in General FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Linux?
- Why Does SAP Support Linux?
- What is the SAP LinuxLab?
- What Role Does SAP Play in the Open Source Scene?
- Interested in Offering your Software to SAP Customers so They Can Enhance Functionality of their SAP Servers Running Linux?
- What Does "SAP NetWeaver on Linux" Mean?
- Where Can I Get the SAP Business Suite on Linux?
- Where Can I Get Linux for SAP Business Suite?
- Is there a Different Price for SAP Business Suite for Linux?
- How Many SAP Customers are Using the Linux Operating System?
- What Are the Main Reasons for SAP Customers Choosing Linux?
- Where Do I Get Support?
- Which Hardware Can I Use?
- Which Releases of SAP Business Suite Are Supported on Linux?
- Which Databases Are Supported for SAP Business Suite on Linux?
- Which Linux Distributions Are Supported for SAP Business Suite on Linux?
- Will a Customer Get Support When Recompiling the Linux kernel or Using 3rd-party Software that Modifies It?
- Which Server Configurations of SAP Business Suite will be Supported on Linux?
- Is Linux Supported as a Front End Platform?
What is Linux?
On the one hand, Linux is just another Unix operating system. People like its technical quality, performance, stability (despite the development speed), the wide range of software, worldwide support, comprehensive and easy-to-read documentation, clean design and user-friendly desktops. It's just fun to work with. But the main reason Linux became so popular is: it is Open Source! Basically, the rules of the game are: f
- all users have the right to redistribute the software
- the source code is available to all users
- any publicly distributed modifications/enhancements to Open Source products must be Open Source as well
The development method differs from conventional methods, but there is no difference from the user's perspective; Open Source products have well defined release numbers, and companies offer professional support (which they charge for!). To learn more about Open Source, try opensource.org.
Why Does SAP Support Linux?
SAP's goal is to be able to provide its customers the maximum of flexibility to create the best IT environment for their needs and be able to get the most value out of their business applications driving growth and profit. Openness, flexibility, and integrity of our products have always been part of our product strategy, putting customers in the position to decide what's best for their IT environment.
So the main reason is to offer you a free choice. Many SAP customers want to use Intel hardware and at the same time use their Unix know-how. Linux is growing with incredible speed and absolutely meets the quality standards of SAP. And thanks to the platform-independent SAP architecture, the port of the SAP kernel was fairly easy: none of the SAP business applications had to be modified.
Another reason is the number of Unix operating systems SAP has to support. Especially when you try to get maximum performance out of your hardware resources, there are significant differences between the different Unix flavors. SAP has to maintain, test and support each possible combination of OS, database, hardware and SAP release. With Intel moving to 64 bit there is a high probability of even more Unix flavors. A consolidation of these Unix derivatives would benefit both vendors and customers. From our point of view Linux has a realistic chance to become the unified Unix running on different hardware platforms.
If Open Source continues like this, it is very important for a software company to adapt early to the new situation. We are very proud that SAP was the first software in the world that run mission-critical ERP operations on Linux. We expect Linux to be successful in low and high end installations and SAP, as Trusted Adviser, is helping customers to make the right decisions around SAP on Linux.
What is the SAP LinuxLab?
The SAP LinuxLab assists in the releasing of SAP software on Linux and drives the porting of SAP software to new platforms, like the Intel Itanium or IBM Power PC. Furthermore it helps other SAP departments with developing on and for the Linux platform and processes Linux-specific support problems - internal ones, as of external - or forwards them to the appropriate hardware or software partner.
Currently, developers from AMD. Bull, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM, Intel, Novell/SUSE, RealTech, Red Hat, SAP, SUN and a number of temporary "guests" share the same rooms in the LinuxLab. Despite our hardware partners being competitors, the cooperation is excellent and we had a number of very successful projects.
The LinuxLab also closely cooperates with (and is located directly next to) SAP's Server Infrastructure department, which is responsible for the development of the SAP kernel, the basis layers on top of the native operating systems, which make SAP's business applications platform independent.
What Role Does SAP Play in the Open Source Scene?
We are supporting Open Source when it comes to Linux as an operating system or MaxDB (formerly Adabas/D or SAP DB) as a database. In fact, back in 1999, we were the first business software provider to support Linux as an operating system for running SAP solutions.
We work closely with the Linux distributors and our partners to ensure our solutions work smoothly on Linux. Our main focus with SAP on Linux is helping our customers build the IT environment that is right for them. More and more customers are requesting help with SAP on Linux. And we are there to provide them with the high quality support they expect from SAP.
Interested in Offering your Software to SAP Customers so They Can Enhance Functionality of their SAP Servers Running Linux?
SAP is open to third party software and hardware products. As SAP only uses standard APIs provided by the Linux OS, third party software is usually transparent to us. Whereas we usually do not certify third party software, LinuxLab is open for joint development efforts.
Before you contact us at email@example.com, please ensure that your software does not violate our Open Source requirements in the kernel space. You can check this in the following way: After your solution has been loaded, you can list loaded kernel modules as user root with OS command lsmod. All modules loaded for your solution must be published under GPL. Please see the for a list of GPL GNU project's web site compatible licenses.
What Does "SAP NetWeaver on Linux" Mean?
SAP is the market leader of inter-enterprise software solutions with the world's largest enterprise software customer base. SAP has more than 10 million licensed users, more than 20,000 installations in more than 100 countries and supports 28 different languages. More than half of the world's top 500 companies use SAP software!
SAP supports the SAP Business Suite in a productive environment under Linux. This also includes the database server (IBM DB2/UDB, Informix, Oracle and SAP DB/MaxDB) as well as the application server and the front end. You can run SAP on Linux in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments. The SAP Business Suite is running upon the SAP NetWeaver, which includes components like the SAP Web Application Server or the SAP Enterprise Portal. For a more detailed view on SAP NetWeaver please refer to sap.com/netweaver.
Where Can I Get the SAP Business Suite on Linux?
You can order the SAP Business Suite on Linux just like SAP software on any other platform. If you are a SAP customer already, there will be no additional charges. From Release 4.6 onward, the SAP Business Suite on Linux is part of the standard delivery.
Where Can I Get Linux for SAP Business Suite?
Linux distributors like Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat or SUSE offer Linux together with a set of other software packages, installation routines, documentation and support. Whereas there is a de facto standard for the Linux kernel itself, the distributions differ in other areas, especially in the administration area.
For a detailed overview of supported Linux distributions please refer to the Supported Platforms section.
Is there a Different Price for SAP Business Suite for Linux?
Standard pricing for SAP Business Suite applies also to SAP Business Suite on Linux.
How Many SAP Customers are Using the Linux Operating System?
Right now, there are more than 5000 (DB-) installations.
What Are the Main Reasons for SAP Customers Choosing Linux?
Each SAP customer has a unique set of reasons for running SAP on Linux, depending on the very specific customer's SAP scenario. Among many reasons customers decide for Linux as the operating system of choice, because they seek increased:
- Scalability with different sized commodity, or even large former Unix or mainframe systems
- Freedom of choice for technology vendors
- Replacing larger Unix-based SAP servers
Where Do I Get Support?
Support of SAP solutions on Linux meets the same high standards as for any other platforms. SAP is offering installation and migration tools and paths, and support staff trained for SAP on Linux matters. For porting and highly technical issues, SAP has the SAP LinuxLab, where hardware and software partners are working closely together to â€œbring you the best SAP on Linux experience".
Standard SAP support covers SAP related problems as on other platforms too. During message processing, if the problem turns out to be caused by a non-SAP part of the installation/system, it might become necessary to involve further expertise, as of the hardware- or software partner and its support organization. Therefore it is strongly recommended for SAP customers, running SAP software on the Linux platform, to maintain a support contract for both, hardware and operating system, so a seamless support process chain can be ensured.
Support for the operating system can either be covered directly by the vendor itself, like Red Hat or Novell/SUSE, or by a 3rd party company offering equivalent support, like all our Linux hardware partners do in combination with their products. Our Linux hardware and our database partners provide the same degree of support for Linux with their products as they already do for the respective Unix - if the necessary support contracts are given. Red Hat and SUSE offer direct operating system support contracts as well.
Please get in contact with your hardware or software vendor for more information.
This practice helps all involved parties to solve any possibly arising problem as fast as possible. If the support coverage is incomplete, it can lead to avoidable delays in problem solving - and please keep in mind: extraordinary expenses by SAP or our partners, caused by missing support coverage, may get billed to the customer afterwards!
Which Hardware Can I Use?
Please refer to the Supported Platforms section and the pages of the respective hardware vendors.
Which Releases of SAP Business Suite Are Supported on Linux?
SAP Business Suite on Linux is generally available for use in a productive environment starting with release 4.0B. For availability of other SAP software components, please visit the Product Availability Matrix (login required) in the SAP Service Marketplace .
Which Databases Are Supported for SAP Business Suite on Linux?
Supported databases for SAP Business Suite on Linux are IBM DB2/UDB, Informix, Oracle and SAP DB/MaxDB.
Which Linux Distributions Are Supported for SAP Business Suite on Linux?
Please refer to the Supported Platforms section.
Will a Customer Get Support When Recompiling the Linux kernel or Using 3rd-party Software that Modifies It?
Usually there should be no need for recompiling the Linux kernel when using SAP software on Linux, since the supported Linux distributors are shipping optimized kernels for the respective hardware architectures with revised and tested drivers. Any modification to the tested environment would furthermore make it nearly impossible for the Linux distributor to track a problem down. The same applies to 3rd party software that modifies the Linux kernel and is distributed only in a closed, binary-only, way.
Therefore the following can't be supported:
- Recompiling the Linux kernel, with or without source modifications
- Loading of 3rd party binary Linux kernel modules which have not been shipped by the Linux distributors
- Loading of any unsupported Linux kernel modules
- Loading of any closed source drivers
If you already are an SAP customer, you can also have a look at SAP note 784391 (login required) for further, more detailed, information.
Which Server Configurations of SAP Business Suite will be Supported on Linux?
SAP supports SAP Business Suite on Linux for database and application servers in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments. Please get in contact with your hardware partner for system sizing and similar.
Is Linux Supported as a Front End Platform?
The "SAPGUI for the Java Environment" can be downloaded from the SAP ftp servers. This project (formerly known as PlatinGUI - platform independent GUI) started in spring 1998 with the following objectives:
- build one GUI for all platforms (MacOS, Linux, OS/2, Win32, AIX, HP/UX, Solaris, Tru64 ...)
- provide Control-Enabling with Java Beans
- create a new, flexible GUI-architecture
- support web browser integration