Mar 142011
 

Here’s a quick and dirty HOWTO about upgrading from openSUSE 11.3 to 11.4, with all additional repos enabled…

  1. Switch to runlevel 3: as root, execute “init 3”
  2. Login as root
  3. Make a backup of all your repositories:
    cd /etc/zypp
    cp -r repos.d repos.d_11.3
  4. Go through all your .repo files in /etc/zypp/repos.d and replace “11.3” with “11.4”.
    Here’s a “before/after” example:
    before: 

    [openSUSE 11.3 OSS]
    name=Haupt-Repository (OSS)
    enabled=1
    autorefresh=0
    baseurl=http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.3/repo/oss/
    path=/
    type=yast2
    keeppackages=0

    after:

    [openSUSE 11.4 OSS]
    name=Haupt-Repository (OSS)
    enabled=1
    autorefresh=0
    baseurl=http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.4/repo/oss/
    path=/
    type=yast2
    keeppackages=0
  5. Refresh your repository cache:
    zypper ref
  6. Upgrade zypper:
    zypper install zypper

    You have to pay attention on the list of conflicts. Generally the best of the proposed solutions is the one the would uninstall the least number of packages while still installing/upgrading what you want.

  7. Do the full upgrade:
    zypper dup

    Again, pay attention to any listed conflicts, and resolve them carefully. Again, the best of the proposed solution would be the one that installs what you want while uninstalling as little as possible.

  8. The scary moment:
    Reboot your system. If all went well you will be greeted by a working openSUSE 11.4 installation.
  9. Cleaning up afterwards:
    Login as root, and run the following command:

    LANG=CTYPE zypper search -si | grep "(System Packages)"| cut -d "|" -f 2

    That will list all installed packages that are not available from any of the configured repositories anymore.
    You might want to carefully remove them one by one with “zypper remove”. If you use “zypper remove -u” instead, you will also remove all dependencies that are not needed anymore. This can really break things.

Jul 232010
 

Just after we came back from our summer vacation I started upgrading a few computers to openSUSE 11.3, and I have to say, I found that to be pleasantly painless.

When I did that with 11.2, I found some major pains, but in 11.3, the "zypper dup" upgrade is officially supported, and "just works". So far I’ve done four machines, three of them had given me major headache when I upped them to 11.2 (as seen here).

With 11.3, the upgrade simply worked, seamless, even while still using the laptop in case for my daily work!

Now here are some few pros and cons that I’ve discovered so far:

The Pros

  • Like I said, you can upgrade a running system from 11.2 to 11.3 with the "zypper dup" approach described in the suse wiki. Take note to change EVERY repository to the 11.3 version, and disable/remove the ones that you won’t need.
  • Automatic X11 configuration works like a charm
  • The whole desktop (I’m using KDe 4.4.4 which is included with 11.3) feels very polished

The Cons

  • It took some time for the nvidia drivers to appear; without them the automatic X11 configuration would have failed, or rather, defaulted to that noveau driver which is not quite ready for use. Who in his right mind would include a driver at that state in a release.
  • SCPM config management will have to be redone in two cases… Time to rethink some settings anyways.
  • In one case I need a kernel parameter at boot time to disable the internal display of my lenovo laptop at work, because the thing doesn’t disable it from the bios if the laptop its in its docking station with the lid closed. Not exactly openSUSEs fault here.

Summary:

Go for it. It is good.

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