SAP kernel update on Linux for ABAP systems

In this article You find shortly information how to update kernel on Linux for ABAP systems. Hope You find the steps useful.


Step 1: Check the current kernel release and patch level

You can do it in a minimum of two ways:

  1. In SAP run transaction: SM51 and next click: “Release Notes” in the Menu area:

in SAP Release information section You find all needed information:

Transaction SM51

2. You can find the same information from the OS level, for example:

server> disp+work -version

disp+work information
kernel release 753
kernel make variant 753_REL
compiled on Linux GNU SLES-11 x86_64 cc4.8.5 use-pr220520 for linuxx86_64
compiled for 64 BIT
compilation mode UNICODE
compile time May 21 2022 00:08:19

Sun Sep 11 14:36:59 2022
Loading DB library '/usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/' ...
Library '/usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/' loaded
Version of '/usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/' is "753.02", patchlevel (0.1011)

update level 0
patch number 1018
source id 0.1018
RKS compatibility level 1
DW_GUI compatibility level 1000

supported environment
database (SAP, table SVERS) 740

Step 2: Make backup of current kernel

Check via AL11 transaction where DIR_CT_RUN. This is central directory for executable files and programs. In my case, it indicates: /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/uc/linuxx86_64

Make backup of current DIR_CT_RUN (whole linuxx86_64 folder):

server> ll
total 24
drwxr-xr-x 5 sidadm sapsys 8192 Jul 6 22:07 linuxx86_64

server> cp -fpr linuxx86_64 linuxx86_64_BACKUP

server> ll
total 36
drwxr-xr-x 5 sidadm sapsys 8192 Jul 6 22:07 linuxx86_64
drwxr-xr-x 5 sidadm sapsys 8192 Jul 6 22:07 linuxx86_64_BACKUP

-- check and compare folder size:
server> du -sh *
1.2G linuxx86_64
1.2G linuxx86_64_BACKUP

Step 3: Download the new kernel

Go to -> Support Packages & Patches -> By Alphabetical Index (A-Z) -> K

Software Downloads site

Choose suitable kernel version – in my case is: SAP KERNEL 64-BIT UNICODE

Next I choose suitable kernel release:

Download latest version SAPEXE_XXX.SAR and SAPEXEDB_XXX.SAR archives for updating. You can also download the latest versions of the tools such as tp, R3trans, and R3load/R3ldctl individually. Pay attention to suitable operating system and database. Don’t forget download also database independend packages:

Download all to Your SAP server, for example here: /sapmnt/SID/exe/uc

Step 4: Stop SAP system

server> stopsap r3

Step 5: Extract kernel archives

First copy SAPCAR from DIR_CT_RUN outside of DIR_CT_RUN, e.g. here: /sapmnt/SID/exe/uc. This way extraction won’t stop due to “text file busy” error. Alternatively, if You have root persmission use SAPCAR from this location: /usr/sap/hostctrl/exe/SAPCAR

-- extract new kernel, e.g. from this location: /sapmnt/SID/exe/uc 
-- alternatively adjust path to Your environment...
hostname> ./SAPCAR -xfj SAPEXE_XXX.SAR -R ./linuxx86_64
SAPCAR: 736 file(s) extracted
hostname> ./SAPCAR -xfj SAPEXEDB_XXX.SAR -R ./linuxx86_64
SAPCAR: 24 file(s) extracted

Step 6: Adjust/verify permissions

-- follow the steps below
server> pwd

server> chmod -R 755 linuxx86_64
server> chown -R sidadm:sapsys linuxx86_64

server> ./linuxx86_64/ SID
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/uc/linuxx86_64/brarchive ...
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/uc/linuxx86_64/brbackup ...
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/uc/linuxx86_64/brconnect ...
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/brarchive ...
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/brbackup ...
Preparing /usr/sap/SID/SYS/exe/run/brconnect ...

Preparing icmbnd ...

Set user ID bit on /usr/sap/SID/ASCSXX/exe/sapuxuserchk
Set user ID bit on /usr/sap/SID/DVEBMGSXX/exe/sapuxuserchk

Step 7: Start SAP system and check new kernel

-- to start SAP system:
server> startsap r3

Next login to SAP and verify kernel version – look at step 1.

Thats all!

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