To upgrade or not to upgrade

I stared using Linux very recently. To be precise a few months ago installed openSUSE 11.0 on my notebook (and I like it a lot).
It took me a while to configure it and to find and install all necessary software that I need in my daily life.

Since the openSUSE 11.1 is released I’m wandering should I upgrade. Also I have no clue how easy/difficult it is.
I’m now satisfied with my system and I would not like to throw that away and start from fresh.

I have the following questions on my mind:
Is it recommended to upgrade each time a new release comes?
What are the usual steps for upgrade?
Can I upgrade without downloading and burning a DVD?
What kind of problems can I expect during/after the upgrade?
I regularly consume all updates in YaST Software Management. How different/similar is this from upgrading to openSUSE 11.1?

With kind regards,

I would say that if you are happy with 11 and find that there is no other compelling (other than 11.1 being released) reason to upgrade, I would stay with 11 for a while.

Novell has a release cycle of 6-8 months. So if you upgrade every time, you would be doing it a lot. 11 will be supported for at least another couple of years (they just dropped support for 10.2). They usually support a version until the next major upgrade reaches that release. For example, 10.2 is out because 11.2 is going to alpha release. So 11 should be supported until 12 goes to alpha.

The best way to upgrade is to start from from scratch. There are ways to upgrade without starting from scratch, but it is recommended.

I have successfully done an upgrade in place before, but that can easily be screwed up and you would have to start fresh anyway.

The updates in the system updater are usually just security updates, so they do not work toward the new version.

I would recommend downloading the DVD. It will be easier to upgrade/update with the DVD. Doing a network upgrade can be troublesome sometimes. Dropped connections and corrupted downloads can wreak havoc on your installation

There should be no problems with upgrading (never forget to backup). I recommend to export list in YaST software management and use old /home partition. That is if You feel You want to upgrade;)

My advice: don’t do it. There is no reason to upgrade as there is almost nothing new worth of hustle. Trust Cybertaz, if you do it, do it from scratch. I am still on 11.0 and won’t be changing soon.

Thank you all for the advice.

Let me summarize this to be sure that I understood everything correctly:

  • It is recommended to upgrade from scratch, i.e. burn a new openSUSE DVD, format partition and install.
  • Network upgrade is not recommended due to danger of dropped connections and corrupted downloads.
  • Before the upgrade I should export a list from YaST software management. This list can be used later to install the applications that are not installed by default.
  • I should have a separate /home partition. The new openSUSE release can recognize and use my configuration settings from there.
  • Release cycle of 6-8 months is relatively short. Thus upgrading to each release would create a lot of work.
  • OpenSUSE 11.0 will be supported for at least another couple of years, until 12.0 goes to alpha.
  • The difference between openSUSE 11.0 and 11.1 is not as big to be worth upgrading effort.
  • YaST package updates do not work towards the new openSUSE release.

Based on this I conclude that it is wise to wait with upgrade unless I have plenty of time (which I don’t have).

With kind regards, until the next release,

A couple of clarifications:

  • Network upgrades are also for the more expierenced.
  • The updates through the system tray updater(the little SUSE icon) do not go toward the new version. YaST, with the right repositories, can update your whole system to the next release - even a pre-release alpha version. As long as you have the standard repos it won’t do this.

Thanks, that is much clearer explanation.

I have enabled the following repositories:

#  | Alias                                                                           | Name                                    | Enabled | Refresh
1  |                                     | Packman Repository                      | Yes     | Yes    
2  | openSUSE-11.0-Updates                                                           | Updates for 11.0                        | Yes     | Yes    
3  |                  | openSUSE BuildService - Games           | Yes     | Yes    
4  |               | openSUSE BuildService - X11:XGL         | Yes     | Yes    
5  |        | openSUSE BuildService - Wine CVS Builds | Yes     | Yes    
6  |       | openSUSE BuildService - GNOME:Community | Yes     | Yes    
7  | openSUSE-DVD 11.0                                                               | openSUSE-DVD 11.0                       | Yes     | No     
8  | repo-oss                                                                        | openSUSE-11.0-Oss                       | Yes     | Yes    
9  |                                                   | ATI Repository                          | No      | No     
10 | repo-debug                                                                      | openSUSE-11.0-Debug                     | No      | No     
11 | | openSUSE BuildService -  | Yes     | Yes    
12 |                | openSUSE BuildService - Mozilla         | Yes     | Yes    
13 |        | openSUSE BuildService - Mono:Community  | Yes     | Yes    
14 |          | openSUSE BuildService - GNOME:STABLE    | Yes     | Yes    
15 |                        | openSUSE Education                      | Yes     | Yes    
16 | repo-non-oss                                                                    | openSUSE-11.0-Non-Oss                   | Yes     | Yes    

So far I consumed all available updates.
I suppose this is all standard and does not bring me any closer to 11.1 release.

Those repos will not update you to 11.1 or anything any higher.

The repos that have STABLE in the url are the best ones to stick with anyway. The ones with FACTORY or UNSTABLE are for new stuff that may or may not work :wink:

A tad more clarification:

The difference between openSUSE 11.0 and 11.1 is not as big to be worth upgrading effort.

That is subjective. There are changes in the 11.1 kernel for certain new hardware; not applicable to you, but to someone else, could be very important. Where the 11.1 upgrade difference is big is in KDE 4. Now, you can use a special repo to get 11.0 up to near the level of KDE that’s in 11.1, but 11.1 still has a number of other KDE 4 changes. But you are using Gnome, and in that case, the Desktop Environment changes are not very significant. So your statement above is right on for your situation, but not necessarily, e.g., a KDE 4 user.

Also, be very clear in your mind between the “upgrade from scratch, format” and the “separate /home partition”. What I think you are referring to is one of the more common upgrade approaches, which is to do a clean install (format) of the root partition only but to mount the /home partition in that install, which will result in the installation making updates/adding file to what is in /home, but not touching any of your other data there.