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Basics: Safely upgrading SUSE using YaST

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Stomfi

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Posted: 10 Nov 2005

A Linux Newbie wrote: Can you tell me how to upgrade using YaST from the 9.2 to 9.3? SUSE is going to be a great OS!

Answer: For SUSE

The first and most important things to do is to backup all your variables in /var, settings in /etc, maybe some settings and files in /opt and all the home folders files. Do this as the root user. This will make sure that if anything you really needed gets overwritten, you can restore it to your preferred state.

If you have added any programs not on the SUSE 9.2 CDs, you should also make sure you have the sources, rpms, tars etc saved somewhere, or at least know where to download them again, as the upgrade will want to delete most of these. You can tell the upgrade not to delete them, but you run the risk of adding inconsistencies to your new system. If you want to keep some of them, it is a good idea to make a note of what they are, abort the installation, and back up these files as well. Also it's a good chance to do some spring cleaning for all the stuff you didn't really want.

Read chapter 4 of the System Administration guide, which you will find in /usr/doc/manual or on your CD/DVD.

You've done all that, O.K., it's time to start the upgrade.

Boot the computer from the SUSE 9.3 CD/DVD. As soon as the menu appears, select installation with the down arrow key, and check that the resolution displayed at the bottom of the screen is reasonable for your hardware. I usually set mine to 1024x768. Press enter to start the installation.

SUSE will boot into your RAM. By and by, depending on your system speed, you will see the SUSE license. Read all licenses.

Agree to the license to continue the upgrade.

In the next screen, select your preferred language and click the Accept button in the bottom right of the screen.

You should see this pop up window next. Select "Update an existing system" and click OK.

If you have more than one Linux system on your computer, choose the one which says SUSE 9.2.

The system will spend some time on the step that deals with "Rebuild package database and select packages for update.

If and only if you get a red typed message under packages - "Requires Manual Intervention", this will be because you have installed extra packages that SUSE doesn't recognise. Click on this item and fix any problems as previously explained. SUSE will list any dependency conflicts at this stage, and you must give a resolution. Finish up the manual intervention by clicking "Check Dependencies" until all are resolved. You will have to click Accept and Continue for Automatic Changes.

Check that the partition information is OK and partitions are not being formatted, and your boot parameters and grub configuration is as you want it.

If there are no other messages, click Accept, read and Accept any licenses, and click "Start Update" to update your system.

You can watch which new files are being updated by clicking the "Details" flag. This step will take some time.

After all the files are updated, the system will update the configuration, reinstall the boot manager, and reboot the computer with the updated system. If you leave everything alone, the CD will boot from the hard drive into your upgraded SUSE.

SUSE will ask if you want to test your connection to the Internet. This is a good idea, especially if you want to download the latest security and performance upgrades in the next step, although this can be done later from YaST if you are keen to see your shiny new 9.3.

The system will write the new configuration in the "Clean up" step.

Finally, you will see the Release Notes. Take the time to read these and click next. SUSE will initialise the desktop and ask to configure any hardware peripherals it finds. Answer yes to everything and click finish if it is already configured.

Check your desktop and restore anything you need to. You have upgraded your system to 9.3.

Use YaST package manager to check the CD/DVD for additions from 9.2. You will find synergy, beagle, and qemu to name a few.

This Newbie answer has covered:

How to safely upgrade SUSE 9.2 to 9.3

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