Linux support in Zeuthen is mainly based on Scientific Linux, an effort kindly made available by FNAL with contributions from other labs.
SL is in use at virtually all HEP sites and many other labs, universities, and enterprises.
As of spring 2017, Ubuntu LTS is offered on desktop systems.
Information for Linux Users
All Linux users should really have a look at Singularity
Planned Future Linux Releases
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
We expect the next LTS release to become available on desktops in Q3/2020.
Red Hat finally released RHEL8, and a clone of it is foreseen to become our next workhorse on servers and compute nodes. Changes from EL7 are many and significant, which is also why most clones (CentOs, Springdale) are not available at the time of writing (July the 26th, 2019 - Oracle Linux 8 was released last week though). Integration into our environment will take some time, thus an availability before Q2/2020 seems unlikely.
Status of current Linux Releases
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
18.04 LTS is available on desktops since Q3/2018 and will be supported until Q2/2021 (one year after the availability of its successor).
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
16.04 LTS is available on desktops since May 2017 and will be supported until Q3/2019 (one year after the availability of its successor).
Scientific Linux 7
EL7 is available since May 2017 and will be supported until Q4/2020. It is not foreseen to be supported on desktops. It is our current workhorse since Summer 2018. All farm and cluster nodes are running it, as well as a growing fraction of workgroup servers.
Scientific Linux 6
SL6 was our workhorse from Summer 2012 to Spring 2018. General support ended in May 2017. Supporting existing systems should have been possible until November 2020, but due to a recent policy change redefining the "production 3 phase" in the lifecycle of the commercial enterprise distribution SL6 is derived from, it is effectively end of life and can no longer be considered a platform with adequate security support for our purposes. Features are generally frozen, and some will have to be removed soon. Support for SL6 on desktops ended in August 2018 (a bit more than one year after the availability of Ubuntu 16.04 desktops), and there are problems with some existing desktop configurations. While we're not pushing for it yet, users are encouraged to upgrade their desktops to one of the supported Ubuntu LTS versions. Problems with SL6 desktops will no longer be fixed.
Note that an SL6 runtime and development environment is still provided in the form of a Singularity container which can be used on Ubuntu and SL7.
Scientific Linux 5
SL5 was our workhorse from Summer 2007 to early 2012, and is end of life since April 2017.
New hardware worked with SL5 until mid 2012. Support for SL5 on Sandy Bridge and later hardware generations is not foreseen, which affects some hardware purchased in 2012 and all systems purchased later. Supporting existing systems should have been possible until April 2017, but due to a recent policy change redefining the "production 3 phase" in the lifecycle of the commercial enterprise distribution SL5 is derived from, it is effectively end of life since mid 2015 and can no longer be considered a platform with adequate security support for our purposes. Features are generally frozen, and some will have to be removed soon. There are no more user accessible SL5 systems. Remaining SL5 systems must be upgraded as soon as possible.
Note that an SL5 runtime and development environment is still provided in the form of a Singularity container.
Scientific Linux 4
SL4 was largely skipped, although a number of systems were used for providing services, as ATLAS WGS, and in the NAF. As of March 1st, 2012, SL4 is completely unsupported and all remaining systems were shut down.
Scientific Linux 3
SL3 was our workhorse from early 2005 to Summer 2007. It no longer works on any current hardware and is now completely unsupported. There are no more SL3 systems in Zeuthen.
Full upstream support ended November 2007. On December 1st, it transisitioned to "Legacy support". See this copy of the announcement.
Within these limitations, existing SL3 systems were supported until October 2010, the end of life date of RHEL3. A few systems with very special purpose (PITZ DAQ / radiation monitoring, APE reference host) were even run until late 2012, with dwindling support but still placing significant demands on our human resources.
Local Repositories and Mirrors
We mirror the current SL6 and SL7 releases: Local_Linux_Repositories
Network installations (http) are also possible from these repositories, using the small boot.iso CD images found in the images/ subdirectory of the distribution.
Full iso images are usually available in /project/linux/iso.