Chapter 15. System Configuration Profile Management

Table of Contents

15.1. Terminology
15.2. Configuring SCPM Using the Command Line
15.3. The YaST Profile Manager
15.4. Troubleshooting
15.5. Selecting a Profile When Booting the System
15.6. For More Information


This chapter introduces SCPM (system configuration profile management). With the help of SCPM, adapt the configuration of your computer to different operating environments or hardware configurations. SCPM manages a set of system profiles for the different scenarios. SCPM enables easy switching between two system profiles, eliminating the need for manually reconfiguring the system.

Some situations require a modified system configuration. This would mostly be the case for mobile computers that are operated in varying locations. If a desktop system should be operated temporarily using other hardware components than usual, SCPM comes in handy. Restoring the original system configuration should be easy and the modification of the system configuration can be reproduced. With SCPM, any part of the system configuration can be kept in a customized profile.

The main field of application of SCPM is network configuration on laptops. Different network configurations often require different settings of other services, such as e-mail or proxies. Then other elements follow, like different printers at home and at the office, a customized X server configuration for the multimedia projector at conferences, special power-saving settings for the road, or a different time zone at an overseas subsidiary.

15.1. Terminology

The following are some terms used in SCPM documentation and in the YaST module.

  • The term system configuration refers to the complete configuration of the computer. It covers all fundamental settings, such as the use of hard disk partitions, network settings, time zone selection, and keyboard mappings.

  • A profile, also called configuration profile, is a state that has been preserved and can be restored at any time.

  • Active profile refers to the profile last selected. This does not mean that the current system configuration corresponds exactly to this profile, because the configuration can be modified at any time.

  • A resource in the SCPM context is an element that contributes to the system configuration. This can be a file or a softlink including metadata, like the user, permissions, or access time. This can also be a system service that runs in this profile, but is deactivated in another one.

  • Every resource belongs to a certain resource group. These groups contain all resources that logically belong together—most groups would contain both a service and its configuration files. It is very easy to assemble resources managed by SCPM because this does not require any knowledge of the configuration files of the desired service. SCPM ships with a selection of preconfigured resource groups that should be sufficient for most scenarios.

SUSE LINUX Administration Guide 9.3