Upgrade from 11 to 11.1 - where is the howto?

Ok, I have just come to OpenSUSE from many years of Debian. Things have gone well but I would like to upgrade from 11 -> 11.1. With Debian, I can do an update/upgrade with a running system using apt-update without disruption to the system, all over the network (i.e. no iso/dvd to download). I have have yet to see anything that describes how to do this?

Is there an officially supported upgrade procedure (and documentation) that I can do over the network? I see lots of people who have tried it on the forum here but with different levels of success.


Yes, it is possible to do an “in-place” upgrade - but as is also true of the other major distros, it may not be the best method. The reason is that when using installation/upgrade media, there is typically more visibility and granular control of the process - in particular, potential effects of the new kernel and other infrastructure components. If one is not somewhat comfortable working under-the-hood, issues may arise that are difficult to resolve. Hence the general advice to use the DVD.

Having said all that, many of us - myself included - do in-place upgrades. In fact, many times I prefer this method. It is particularly useful if one has a lot of software from outside the main repositories; you can add all the extra repo’s (e.g., multimedia, proprietary drivers) and have that all included in the upgrade. With the DVD this can be awkward or must be done as an add-on step after the main upgrade (depends on the source). And I may not want the upgrade process to change something I have done. So the approach I take is to review the release notes, scan initial user experiences here, and do a simulation - then I can see first hand in advance what, if anything, I may encounter. This approach is obviously not a fit for many, if not most, users.

In-place upgrade: First, in YaST add all your main repositories, i.e., oss, non-oss, multimedia (Packman), video drivers (nvidia, ATI) for 11.1. At the same time disable the 11.0 repo’s. Then run YaST Software Management, filter on Repositories; the first choice is @System - that will list all of your installed packages. Right-click anywhere in the list, click on “all in the list”, click on “update if newer version available”. You will see all the packages marked for upgrade, and it will be highly likely that there are at least some dependencies which you will have to manually resolve - no different than any other upgrade method. (By the way, when I used Debian-distros I preferred using Synaptic to apt-get precisely for this manageability.) Then do Finish and the upgrade will proceed.

This can also be done from the command line using the package mangement back-end, zypper (the equiv here of apt). Zypper is excellent and very comprehensive; I have not personally used it for a mass upgrade. The approach is basically the same: disable current repo’s, add new repo’s (which can be done in YaST first if desired), then request upgrade. IIRC the syntax would be:

zypper --non-interactive update

This would leave it to zypper to resolve dependencies the best it can without your help. Not using --non-interactive will stop zypper if it cannot resolve, and you must give it guidance. There are many querying, verifying, and simulation commands which are useful for planning the upgrade before actually executing it. The is a comprehensive manpage and an excellent article in the wiki.

Hope this helps with making your decision.

11.1 is only just out, if you look round (on forum and on opensuse mail list), you’ll find there’s very many ppl with problems requiring updates.

Everyone’s gone on holiday just after a release, 11.1 will still be there in february, and then it will have many fixes in place, that didn’t get into 11.1 GM (sent to the DVD presses).

Whilst it is possible to upgrade with zypper, the key installation and management tool is YaST. You can download and burn a Net installation 90 MiB CD and have a dry run. It analyses your system, and has potential to do more than non-interactive tools can on a live system.

If possible, I’d find an old disk, or make some space for a small /boot partition and about 6 GB disk for /, and try a test install, to have a look at the new release.

Probably you’ll realise, there’s not much there you couldn’t get via Online Build Service, and perhaps stay with 11.0 until the next release.