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Backrev Software Packages with YaST

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Aaron Gresko

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Posted: 28 Jun 2005

Customers sometimes want to know how to backrev an updated software package back to a previous support pack or even to the original shipping version. Updating and backrevving of software packages can be done using YaST's software update feature in Install and Remove Software.

Before actually backrevving a package, understanding what YaST is displaying is crucial. Figure 1 shows the YaST Install and Remove Software window.

The list has been filtered with the search java. The key columns for the topic of backrevving software are as follows:

  • checkbox---Indicates if a package is installed. Checking an unchecked package selects it for installation.

  • Avail. Ver.---The version of a package available on the installation media listed in YaST > Change Source Of Installation.

  • Inst. Ver.---The installed version of a package.

Notice in Figure 1 that the package java2 has installed version 1.4.2-129.10 and available version 1.4.2-129.7. The package shows red since there is a discrepancy between the installed and available versions. The available version, which represents the package available on the known sources, is lower than the installed version. This is because the java2 package was updated with rug on the system the graphic was taken from.

The installation sources for the system are shown in Figure 2.

Since this is an Open Enterprise Server, the list includes the OES software and the SUSE CORE 9 software. Notice the up and down buttons, which move the available sources up and down in the list and in priority. This is the key, so pay attention---the available version of a package in YaST is the version of the package available on the highest source in the list.

If the source list contains SUSE SLES 9 above SLES 9 SP1, for example, the packages in SUSE SLES 9 will be given higher priority as the available version.

If you select a package for update in Install and Remove Software, the package is updated to the available version---regardless of whether the available version is numbered higher or lower than the installed version.

So, to backrev a package, arrange the installation sources so the source containing the desired version of a package is at the top and then update the package in Install and Remove Software.

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