Upgrading to a new release

Did anyone see a news release about distro upgrade on Opensuse recently ? I am wondering what has changed in the world of distro upgrade as against reinstalling. As noted on other posts, Debian and its cohorts (read Ubuntu) have had this feature all along.
In Suse and Opensuse it came with a lot of qualifications.
Has zypper now improved to the state where we can upgrade with confidence ?

This is a good question indeed, I have heard Opensuse is not so good on keeping current.
For debian and Ubuntu I know there is some way to keep current in a easy way, thats why I typically use Debian/Ubuntu based systems.

  • The officially supported way of upgrades (boot from installation medium and choose “Update”) have always worked since I am using SuSE/openSUSE.

  • So called “Hot upgrades” from running system are not oficially supported (yet) but have worked here since openSUSE 10.2 (didn’t use them before).

  • Only potential problems are 3rd-party packages but never were “show stoppers”, the “worst case” was to uninstall problematic 3rd party packages and reinstall them later.

Zypper upgrades have been ‘reliable’ since 11.0 came out and a few patches for the distribution upgrade routine were rolled out. The biggest issue usually comes with 3rd party repositories such as Packman and people not removing the old repositories when ugprading to a newer version.

The Debian/Ubuntu issue a seperate thing - you’re referring to having a streaming distribution where software is upgraded via the repositories and actually do version jumps up, the SuSE distro has always been about having a stable platform where you don’t change major version numbers but backport changes.

The benefit of this is you can rely on having the fixes but not having to bother yourself whether the newest library breaks your old programs - something Debian and Ubuntu do all the time if you take a few peeks at their forums.

Which is not the official release policy of debian stable and ubuntu.

There is no difference compared to openSUSE, released distributions also only get bugfixes/security updates (backported) and no “version bumps”.

There are “rolling release” versions of debian (based) distributions, but *Buntu is not one of them (Sidux or debian sid are examples for debian based rolling release distros).