skip to main content

LCFG: SL5 Notes

The alpha release of LCFG was released on Thursday 27th September 2007. You should always aim to use the latest release as fixes and improvements will be forthcoming on a weekly basis at this stage. This is the first LCFG release for Scientific Linux. It features complete support for i386 and x86_64 platforms from the beginning and we expect both architectures to be of equal quality. We are aiming to have a stable production quality desktop platform by 1st December 2007.

You should read the official Scientific Linux 5.0 release notes for a full guide to SL5. (Ignore any mention of Scientific Linux 4.0; the notes are for 5.0.)

Basic Usage

For an i386 machine you should do something like:

#include <local/site.h>
#include <lcfg/os/sl5.h>

and for x86_64 you should do:

#include <local/site.h>
#include <lcfg/os/sl5_64.h>

Notable Changes


As with FC6 we are using updaterpms version 3 on both architectures, so the same syntax should be used as on that platform. Pay particular attention to the syntax needed when installing multiple architectures on x86_64 machines. See the FC6 LCFG release notes for more details on the updaterpms syntax.

Predefined CPP macros

As usual several CPP macros are defined for use in LCFG header files and profile source files. Note in particular that LINUX_FEDORA is not defined, as Scientific Linux is not a Fedora release. We define these macros for 32 bit SL5:

OS_NAME     linux
OS_VERSION  scientific
OS_ID       sl5
ARCH_NAME   i386

We define these macros for 64 bit SL5:

OS_NAME     linux
OS_VERSION  scientific
OS_ID       sl5_64
ARCH_NAME   x86_64


SL5 comes by default with Sun JDK 1.5 rather than the GNU Java compiler which comes with FC6.


This is installed by default in SL5.


ipw2100 and ipw2200 firmware drivers are installed by default.


The default kernel version in SL5 is 2.6.18 which provides SMP support. For SL5 machines the kernel.kerneltype resource should no longer need to be set to SMP. Choosing to boot from a non-existent kernel or from an invalid entry will make the system boot from the default kernel.

Install tests and supported hardware

For a full list of models on which SL5 LCFG has been tested, see In particular SL5 works on the Dell Optiplex 745 but does not currently work on the Dell Optiplex 755 because the network interface card is not recognised.

Software changes

For those upgrading from FC5, the warnings in the FC6 LCFG release notes concerning make and subversion are also relevant to SL5.

Other Issues

Additional Components

Beyond the default desktop for SL5 initially not all components will be supported. We will work on these mainly as we require them for our own services. If you need support sooner you are, of course, welcome to do the porting and feed back the necessary changes.

Known Problems

The default Scientific Linux 5 kernel, 2.6.18, has problems accessing the SATA drivers at boot time, right after loading the kernel, and hangs for around 60-90 seconds. Booting then proceeds normally.