Upgrade or leave well enough alone

To start with I’m running openSuse 11.1 on my laptop and it is working reasonably well. I am wondering if it would be wiser to upgrade to 11.3 or to err on the side of caution and not upgrade. (I am not planning on moving to 11.4 since I don’t like being the guinea pig.) If not upgrading would present security risks, the answer is obvious. If it is more about some newer features and prettier interfaces, I think I would rather pass since I worry about breaking something. (Like my Windows partition … my wife hasn’t embraced the penguin and my couch isn’t comfortable.) Suggestions … condemnations … etc.


I think it would be a good thing to upgrade. There is no more official support for the 11.1 (there still the evergreen project though…) and all the newer apps or updates will not be available.

Moving on to the 11.4 would be wise too. I think that the 11.4 is quite excellent, you shouldn’t have any problem (save all your data and in the installer on disk partitioning part, choose customize) of security risks in updating.

If you need help, check this great dvd slide made by caf4926 : 11.4 Install Step by Step

Check out message #16 for a picture on how to do it with existing partitions.

You should upgrade from 11.1 to 11.2/11.3 (security updates are still coming through on both of those), since 11.4 doesn’t interest you yet. If you are worried about your Win partition, to reduce risk make sure you read the relevant threads in the forum’s Howto sections before deciding. If you use KDE, personally I would choose 11.3 over 11.2 for performance reasons. For me on 11.2, Gnome performed better than KDE4, whereas on 11.3 I don’t see a big difference, but there may be differ on your hardware depending on your laptop’s spec. You could get better advice if you post that spec, including processor speed, memory size, and graphics chip/card make/model.

Personally, I would wait 2 or 3 weeks, to make sure that there are no major problems reported with 11.4. Then, if it looks good, upgrade to 11.4. That will give you the longest possible time before you have to go through the same problem again with future releases.

I would upgrade to 11.3 .Also you might want to do that by way of a full 100% clean NEW install
There have been many changes from 11.1 to 11.3 and a clean reinstall will get you in shape for upgrading to 11.4 in 3 to 6 months

grab the 11.3 dvd
back up your data
install 11.3 as new
reinstall your backed upped data .

My view is to leave well enough alone, assuming of course it is well enough.

I typically try to help test during the various milestone and release candidate phases, and after having typed that, on my main PC I rarely do an update right away. On my sandbox/test PCs I do update right away.

Example-1: My old Fujitsu-Siemens laptop is still running openSUSE-11.1 (because never versions of Linux with a kernel that is 2.6.28 or newer (and not just openSUSE) don’t run on this laptop).

Example-2: I just moved my main PC (a Core i7) from openSUSE-11.2 to 11.3 about 2 months ago. ie over 6 months after the 11.3 release. I find I get maximum stability with that approach.

In the case of my newer laptop (a Dell Studio 1537 w/ATI radeon HD3450 graphics and an Intel WiFi 5300AGN) I plan to leave it on 11.3 and NOT update to 11.4. Reason ? Graphics don’t currently work well with KMS on that hardware (nomodeset is required to boot) and the WiFi on 11.4 stops after 5 minutes, requiring a reboot to restore. On that laptop 11.3 does not have that problem.

We have other PCs in our apartment that I will update to 11.4, but I am in no hurry. I have test partitions with 11.4 on 2 PCs in our apartment, and from that I can write bug reports and provide support.

But each to their own. Many users like to have the lastest software and be closer to the cutting edge.

I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to advise me on the best course. I love this forum as I can always count on you helpful people to offer well explained assistance. I’ll probably try downloading the live 11.3 to make sure everything works and make a decision then.
Have a great weekend,

You too for the weekend. Hope it goes well for your test. If you choose to install 11.3, by now there will be a large number of standard openSUSE updates including kernel.