Upon System Upgrade-only basic apps are installed not all installed packagesfrom previous version

As I understand it, when you do a version upgrade, e.g., from 15.2 to 15.3, opensuse (for the new version) only installs the “basic” system + desktop(s) that were previously installed in the older version. The user then needs to reinstall the additional apps that were installed subsequent to the install of the previous version. For example, if you had installed audicity from repos in 15.2 and then upgraded to 15.3, you would need then to manually reinstall audacity. as it is not in the “base” packages. Same with all the other additional package manager packages that were installed. in the previous versioon.

I think opensuse always upgraded that way but I could be wrong. The upgrade version is a “base” install and not an install to repllicate the previous version. There are many threads, including one I started, seeking a means of upgrading to a similar condition to that of the previous version. There does not seem to be one and this seems to be an ongoing area of discussion. Thus after version upgrade, you need to put in significant effort to get to previous version operational status. I have had to do that several times and it is a time consuming process. It dwarfs the upgrade process.

If I am not accurate in the above, would someone correct me as to the general characteristics of the upgrade process.

I am suggesting, firstly, an addon to zypper so that when doing a version upgrade, zypper could give some assistence to getting back to where you were in previous version. First, a listing of package manager installed packages that will not be there after a version upgrade but were there in the previous version. This would at least give a user a re-install list to work from. A second step would give that option to try to replicate the previous version and pinpoint those packages where this could not be done and install them…

If possible another feature would be to list “3rd party” software, outside the system repos, that had been installed into system files (/) in the previous version. These would be packages installed outside the knowledge of the package manager.

I would like to throw this idea into the hopper for development considerations if I am not flawed in my thinking.

thanks for any comments, tom kosvic

You just have to make sure the third party repository has a Leap 15.3 repo and as part of the upgrade process change those as well. Then run zypper dup.


Apparently, I am mistaken, a “base” package list is NOT installed in an upgrade.

From above comment, any repo that has an upgrade version, e.g., 15.2 -> 15.3 will install and upgrade to the new version any package that was installed in the previous version. I have to conclude that that is not happening. I have had to manually reinstall many packages installed in older version after a dup upgrade. The packages were installed in the old version and not iinstalled n the new version.

I think the above ref upgrade doc


needs a relook and some further description on upgrade settings of repos. Needs someone with detailed nowledge of the zypper upgrade process to be able to provide the clarifications.

thanks, tom kosvic

Perhaps you have adjusted the repository priorities?

Ease of automatic upgrade is VERY important to class of persons who cannot do a manual upgrade through lack of skill or understanding.

This ability to upgrade an existing set up to the next point upgrade is important.
It is for this, that I usually, on computers of seniors I tutor, install Ubuntu LTS rather than the openSUSE I use.

While Ubuntu LTS is not the ‘latest thing’ it can be set to upgrade the entire system from one LTS version to the next LTS version in its settings. (It waits until the first sub-point version from the next LTS ( year.month.0) original version before it advises user to upgrade. e.g LTS version 16.04 will be upgraded when the next version LTS 18.04.1 is issued , about 3 months after original issue of LTS 18.4.0). [LTS versions are two years apart, e.g, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022]

I can leave users on the LTS version knowing they will be automatically asked to upgrade by single click when the time comes. Thus allowing them to use system without external person’s support.

I cannot install openSUSE LEAP on an elderly person’s computer, as it will go out of date and out of safety unless I can manually, do a version upgrade by a USB and reinstall their packman repos (they need packman for video support on news channels and other videos) Usually no other software is installed.

If “zypper dup” reproduced the system including packman to next version, his could probably be taught to seniors [and myself] and used.

A “big ask”, but do openSUSE developers and maintainers consider the ‘ordinary user’ who uses computers but is not ‘Linux or openSUSE’ knowledgeable; so hey cold use openSUSE?

The refinement of third party (as in not on the Build Service) is being worked on as patents expire etc, See <https://lists.opensuse.org/archives/list/factory@lists.opensuse.org/thread/SWI5I36PSZMZVXIFCCOF46PVOKW633UO/&gt;

Unfortunately some other distributions ignore legal requirements, openSUSE does not :wink: that’s why we have oss and non-oss repositories.

  • you apparently never attempted to upgrade Ubuntu LTS in presence of third party repositories. FYI - upgrade will disable them and leave you with outdated programs that you must manually update
  • zypper dup will upgrade packages from third party repositories if those repositories are available for new version and they have been defined correctly (i.e. using $releasever instead of fixed version number)
  • you do not need USB to perform upgrade

So no, Ubuntu is not better in this respect. Ubuntu looks better because it more polished and GUI to perform release upgrade is really convenient. That is something that openSUSE lacks. But you still need to be able to handle issues during upgrade (my first upgrade 14.04 -> 16.04 was a disaster) so you cannot leave it co completely “ordinary” user. At which point zypper is functionally equivalent and probably even better.

I think now I may add my two cents as I’m rather the user than a developer or maintainer. Tom, may I ask if this particular part of the new online upgrade procedure has found your attention?

Extra repositories handling

Zypper dup can now better handle extra repositories during upgrade. Removing a repository causes the problem that every package that was installed from it will revert to another repository (if found), or deleted, or left at the old version, depending on the administrator choices. It may be a better method to leave the repository active. A typical example would be Packman.
However, a system upgrade can be the perfect occasion to remove some repositories,(…)

This was the first time I dared doing the upgrade on our four boxes with all repositories active including packman and nvidia and there was no need for any reinstall nor any serious trouble aside from a few self-afflicted issues.
The only issue worth mentioning was that I had to confirm some kernel related folder (or something…) could not be deleted. Well, it was startling the first time but I got used to hit “ignore”.
Just one thing that might have been added to the howto of this specific upgrade is that a second “zypper up” is recommended immediately after the “zypper dup”. I have learned here in the forum that this will pull the packages from the two additional repos related to SEL15.
The first dup brought me to a boot to CLI which I was kind of used to, already. But instead of running YaST in terminal trying to reinstall nvidia drivers I just did the zypper up and after some 700MB+ the next boot went smoothly to GUI. I guess the proper kernel packages have been pulled suiting the already updated nvidia driver. With all other upgrades I didn’t bother to reboot but did that zypper up straight away and everything is fine ever since.
I guess that won’t be an issue for the next 15.4 upgrade as the merge of openSUSE and SLED / SLES is done already. So … what…?

As long as 15.4 will use the same (update) repository layout, it should just work.

Reply >A. In Ubuntu no third party repositories were added, but base system handled senior’s requirements, whereas openSUSE Leap did not with just “oss and non-oss repositories” as packman contains the codecs to handle our public broadcasting system short news videos.
Reply >B. What does “if those repositories are available for new version and they have been defined correctly (i.e. using $releasever instead of fixed version number)” mean?

I have on spare machine tried to up date by replacing say 15.2 with 15.3 and keep repositories at new number but was unsuccessful, so now I always do a USB fresh install and work in my ‘extras’’ rather than “zypper dup”. Any hints?

I admit I do not understand what is going wrong in your situation, but it seems that you think upgrading using the online method (changing version in the URLs, either manual or by using $releasever and then zypper dup) is nit functioning.

Personally I upgraded systems that way since at least 15.0 (when not already from 42.n) without major problems. Two weeks ago I upgraded a system this way from 15.2 >15.3. More then 2000 packages (including thngs like audicity and what all from the standard repos), no problem. So I would say: it works, as it does for many here.

To find out why it goes wrong in your case, details must come forward. Thinks like repo lists, exact sequence of exact commandos done, etc. I see none of those in this thread.

Thanks for all the comments but no one has addressed my question in a simple answer. I think I will repose it.

In an online upgrade (done by modifying the repo list) does opensuse replicate all the installed software from the old version to the new version. Or, does online upgrade just install a “base” set of packages, ala, like those from a new install and does the user need later to reinstall all the extra packages that were installed over the life of the old version system. Of course, software installed outside the knowledge of the package management system can’t be upgraded. Also, there may be packages that were discontinued for some reason that also can’t be upgraded. Please give a concise answer to this.

If the answer to the first part of the above is YES, a list of the necessary repos to make a complete replication of the previous version installs happen would be appreciated. I do believe I have seen written upgrade instructions that suggest disabling non-system repos such as packman when doing the online upgrade.


In a dvd/usb with network support upgrade, does opensuse replicate all the installed software from the old version to the new version. Or, does dvd/usb upgrade with network support upgrade just install a “base” set of packages, ala, like those from a new install and does the user need later to reinstall all the extra packages installed over the life of the old version system. Please give a concise answer to this.

This question has been floating around on multiple threads for quite a while. With the upcoming upgrade to leap 15.4 version, these answers might help a lot of people avoid a lot of extra work.

thanks all, tom kosvic

YES :wink: All installed packages will be upgraded, it will ask you what to do with obsolete/non-upgrade-able. As long as the next version repository, eg packman is available it will upgrade from there as required. Again the installer will likely ask what you want to do. I upgraded my ADS-B system the other day, it has the application:geo and hardware:sdr repos present, I changed to $releasever and did a dup, one package (conky) was deleted on my request, aside from that 20 odd minutes later ready to reboot and done.


Well, the DVD only has a small subset of packages available so along with the online repositories you have configured and checked (third party and build service ones), For the non repo rpms I always create a local plain rpm repo to put those in so available for any update. But the answer is YES :wink:

Any upgrade I have done (SLE and openSUSE) has upgraded all packages available, informed me if not and asks what to do.

I am not aware of the existence “a list of base packages”. Above I told how an upgrade replaced all packages I had. I guess I may conclude this from more then 2000, I found my notes, in fact more then 3000, packages. Rather not a “basic list”. When this observation does not answer your question, I do not understand the question at all.

And that is logical. There not being a “base set”, the only list there is for the upgrade action is the list of already installed packages. The zypper dup will replace them by the same packages now available in the new repros when they have a newer version (which they most probably all have and when not, who cares, they are the same).

Of course there are some peculiarities like @malcolmlewis indicated, but these do not alter the general idea: all packages are installed over their old versions.