Upgrade questions and Advice

Just found out that my Leap42.3 is no longer supported and I need to upgrade. Can experienced users give me advice as to the most reliable and smooth way to proceed to Leap 15.1 without the loss of data and hardware problems such as printer drivers and such? I have been using Opensuse for years, but still my upgrade experiences have never gone completely smooth and I would like to avoid as many problems as possible. Thanks for any advice that can be offered.

Well you can do an upgrade but jumping versions does produce uneven results,

The way I do it (takes some prep and forethought) I keep two partitions for the OS the current and pervious. When a new version is called for I install as new to the previous versions partition but do not mount home at first… I then setup and test the new version until I’m satisfied it works and is stable with my hardware. I can always boot to the previous version until I’m happy with the new. Once I’m happy I set home partition to mount as /home in the new and stop using the old unless I need it in an emergency. Yes I do have to reinstall various programs but I also see this as a time to clean out all the stuff I may have installed but don’t use and it really does not take all that much time. .

Since all user setting and data are in /home normally. You can simply do a fresh install but leave the home partition not formatted and mount at /home. You do have to go to expert mode in install, Again you have to reinstall programs but user settings and data are safe at home.

I have lots of multiboot PCs and do lots of zypper/online upgrades, some of which jumped to 15.1 from as far back as 13.1. Those include my primary system, which I upgraded directly from 42.3 to 15.1. The only things I remember losing were connectivity to OS/2, and the ability to run an ancient 32bit version of Firefox. The connectivity issue was solved a day or two later by adding another option to OS/2 shares in fstab, something I should have discovered long before via the other PCs. The old Firefox issue I haven’t tried to deal with yet.

TW gives zypper lots of exposure to online upgrades, which makes it very competent for use with Leap.

I’ve never upgraded any Linux within recent years, so I can’t judge the current upgrade process. Rather, I made two proper and physically different backups last summer, then installed a fresh copy of Leap 15.0 on a pristine SSD with only one primary ext4 partition, properly aligned for optimal throughput.

After one year I can report absolutely smooth sailing, and according to the zypper lifecycle command I’ll enjoy updates for 15.0 until 2019-11-30. My main rig cleanly boots within about 2 to 3 seconds into KDE/Plasma 5, and it runs everything I throw at it (xterm, all web browsers important to me, LibreOffice, virtual guest OSes, Steam games, Stellarium, xaos etc).

As a fan of fast boots, I usually disable Plymouth, use a minimal KDM instead of SDDM and systemd-networkd with static IP instead of wicked/NetworkManager, among several other dracut/initrd-related optimisations. I find it more fun and more instructive to experiment and tinker with an otherwise rock-solid system with well-tested package updates like Leap 15.0, that way the culprit for any regressions or unusual system behavior is easily identifiable (me, every time).

Tumbleweed would be far too noisy for my taste, and judging by the forum activity, there may be still a few oddities lurking in 15.1, so I’m going to cast along with 15.0 for another four months, and I invite you to try as well and enjoy the serenity and bliss. Cheers!