LEAP 42.3 -> 15 update on Dell XPS 13 with encrypted xfs home

Hello, over the years, I have done many online updates over generations of opensuse systems, usually without major problems. Specifically, I have been able to migrate my large encrypted home directory with its KDE “experience” developed over those years.

I have seen the instructions of how to do the update but what I read about the changes in LEAP15 makes me a little nervous.

Is anybody out there who has already parts of the experience I am likely going to make? Should I abandon the idea of the online update and go for a fresh install (I would like to avoid that)?

The system is a Dell XPS 13 which should benefit, I hope, from the wayland implementation. I do frequent updates to 42.3 with recent kernels (4.15.12) and plasma 5.13. I use a VirtualBox which also needs to migrate (currently not running under kernel 4.16 which is why I use 4.15).

I have not been able to find a thread about this - if there nevertheless is one, please point me to it.

Any suggestions are welcome!

As you do not explain what makes you so nervous, people will probably be unable to confirm them or unnerve you.

As far as I can see, may people upgraded from 42.3 to 15.0 by either using the upgrade function from the ISO, or by changing the repos and doing zypper dup.

What makes me nervous is hard to say since I cannot find out without trying, and trying probably means killing my running system.

One thing I wonder about is whether the switch of the root filesystem to btrfs is necessary, and if so, how does this happen during the update?

Another, could there be issues with the ultra high resolution graphics during the update?

Anything else to be prepared for?

Well, I guess nobody here is qualified in handling these sorts of feelings. Most here are dumb computer technicians. So, when you get the shivers while thinking about an upgrade, the only thing I would say is: be prepared for more upgrades in the coming years.

Doing an upgrade, but not a fresh install, will not change the file system type you are using. It only upgrades installed software packages with newer version. Specially the on-line method (changing repos and zypper dup) is working on your system when it is alive. Thus no chance to do sucha thing.
And btw, it is not even necessary to use btrfs with a new installation, you can choose what you want, btrfs is only a default (something must be a default in a list of choice).

As again you do not provide any details about what graphics card, what driver, what monitor and what is “ultra high resoltion”, answers will be difficult. I also think you are not so much interested in the resolutions “during the update”, but much more in what you have afterwards.

There will often be some glitches. Many of them you wil be able to repair easily enough, for others you ask here like other people did, yes there are threads about side effects of upgrades forom 42.3 > 15.0, they must be easy to find).

The most problematic thing I see is all software that you have installed from non standard repos (outside OSS, non-OSS and Packman). So maybe checking if those repos have a 15.0 version with what you need before starting might be a good idea.

And a no-brainer: maybe an extra backup besides what you normally do might be e good precaution.

So let’s put it this way: besides the commands of how to do the upgrade, I find really very little concrete information about the exact nature of the required changes. Somewhere I read that LEAP 15 should really run on a btrfs file system, but you sound like if that was not really important.

Actually, a lot of people seem to know what a Dell XPS 13 is, since a lot of its owners are running linux distributions on it (it is sold with ubuntu, but I installed leap on it). So I thought it was natural to ask whether these people had made any good or bad experiences without figuring out the exact number of its graphics card and things.

Let me quote you:

Hello, over the years, I have done many online updates over generations of opensuse systems, usually without major problems. Specifically, I have been able to migrate my large encrypted home directory with its KDE “experience” developed over those years.

IMHO this shows that you are doing nothing new and have experience. So I wondered why you now are anxious.

I admit that I paid not much attention to the fact that you mention a specific type of PC in your title. I would not know what is so special about it that it would act different then other PCs, specially when you take into account that you have already running openSUSE on it. But I have no experience with a Dell XPS 13 at all. Thus when you want to wait for others that have and to hear their experience that is fine of course.

What I tried is to get you explaining more precise what your fears are and to explain that using btrfs, or ext4, or whatever is something that everybody should decide for his/her own. And when you want to change your root file system to another one, my advice would be to achieve that wit ha fresh install (keeping your /home of course).

You can try if all you HW works with LiveUSB.
There is no need to use btrfs. It brings you snapshot and revert support, but it is more dificult to maintain (harder to get space usage info, harder to free some space, different way to repair broken filesystem).

On the wiki is manual, how to do online or offline update. Wiki recommends the offline update as the safer choice. I personaly will wait a few months before all bugs will be with known workarounds or fixed.

To prepare for upgrades I maintain two root partitions and rotate and install fresh for each new OS giving me a fall back if I see a major problem. Initial I don’t mount home until I see a stable new OS running at which point I then mount home.