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YAST Online Update De-Mystified

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 9 Mar 2005

It's generally considered a good practice to keep your operating system as secure and updated as possible. Beyond the fact that Linux is the best operating system available for this type of practice, SUSE makes it a snap. This guide will demonstrate how YAST Online Updates can be performed and automated to keep your system as solid and impenetrable as possible.

First, I'd like to distinguish between updating to a newer version of your software and downloading security patches for your software. In YAST, you have the ability to upgrade your software to the latest versions, as outlined in the article entitled System Upgrade How-To. There is also another feature of SUSE called YAST Online Update. This is different than what is outlined in the System Upgrade How-To. Rather than upgrading your software to a newer version, it will download and apply security patches to your system. It is this YAST Online Update, or YOU, that is explained in this tutorial.

Now that we know the direction we're headed, let's make sure the SUSE Watcher desktop applet is running. Look for the SUSEWatcher icon in your system tray. As it uses different icons to report its state, it may look like any of the following:

You may have to just hover the mouse over each of the icons in your system tray one by one until you find it. The tooltip will say "SUSE Watcher."

If it is not there, feel free to start it up! To do this, click on the K Menu, then SYSTEM, DESKTOP APPLET, and finally SUSEWATCHER:

Once you have found the icon in your system tray, click on it. If you are prompted to activate the SUSE Watcher services, click YES. The "susewatcher" window should then appear:

Check the "Automatically check for updates" and "Start automatically" boxes. Then click CLOSE WINDOW.

The system will then periodically check for updates. When they become available, the icon will look like this one:

You just click it, and the "susewatcher" window will appear again.

This time, it will tell you "New security updates available." To perform the update, click START ONLINE UPDATE:

After you enter your password, you are taken to a window labeled "Welcome to YaST Online Update." For detailed information about online updates, read the information in the left pane. To perform the updates, select an Installation source close to you and click NEXT:

YAST then retrieves information about new updates.

Momentarily, the available patches and updates appear. Keep in mind that this is not new versions of the software. It contains bug fixes, patches, and security updates to the software currently installed on your system. To execute the update, click ACCEPT in the lower right corner of the window:

YAST then downloads and installs all the patches and updates. You may be prompted to install a patch or two:

When the update is completed, just click the FINISH button in the lower right corner.

Next time you see the red icon in your system tray, repeat the steps here to perform the update.

It's always a good idea to keep a system as secure as possible. This means applying any and all available patches and security updates. YAST provides a wonderful way to do this, outlined in this guide.

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