From openSUSE Leap to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server PAYG on Azure


brigde in cloud Several years back, SUSE had provided the sources from SUSE Linux Enterprise for usage in openSUSE Leap to bring the experience and quality of openSUSE Leap and SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) to a new level.

The contribution promoted openSUSE Leap as a development platform for communities and industry partners going forward, as the provided source is 100% identical.

Basically, you can start with the free community distribution openSUSE Leap and later, simply migrate to a SUSE Linux Enterprise server

The links below show additional benefits and helpful information around openSUSE Leap and other SUSE offerings:

SUSE and Microsoft have been working together for over 10 years to provide unique solutions for SUSE Linux Enterprise products that are Azure-optimized.

One example would be the Azure marketplace offering of a free SUSE Enterprise Linux 15 SP4 +Patching, where you get all the patches, but no support. If you need support, you need to buy a subscription from SUSE or use the PAYG model.

There exist various other joint offerings, however, for our particular use case, the most interesting is Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) for Linux. It lets you easily switch the software subscription model for your VM without any reinstall – more details below.

Simply migrate

Below a visual representation of the openSUSE to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server migration, and the switch to PAYG:

The migration steps are:

  1. Install yast2-migration-sle within openSUSE Leap
  2. Register the system with a valid subscription during the process
  3. Reboot – now you have a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
  4. Install the Azure Hybrid Benefit Extension and switch to PAYG



  • A Microsoft Azure Account
  • openSUSE Leap 15.4 running in Azure
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Serve (SLES) subscription (60-day trial or full)


Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) for Linux

In Azure, there are two main licensing/subscription pricing options: pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and bring-your-own-subscription (BYOS).

is a pricing option where you pay Microsoft for the resources you use on a time based usage, e.g., and hourly or monthly. You will only pay for what you have used. It includes the OS and the used infrastructure.
is the pricing option where you pay Microsoft only for the infrastructure, but not for the OS. You need to buy a subscription for the OS from SUSE directly (or its distributors).
Azure Hybrid Benefit
AHB for Linux lets you switch the software subscription model for your VM nearly on the fly.

AHB works with Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Spot Virtual Machines, and custom images. It allows for easy bidirectional conversions between the two buying models without the need to re-install anything. The infrastructure pricing part does not change (see picture).

Both options have pros and cons

  On-Demand / PAYG   BYOS




+ One contact – the CSP two contacts, CSP and SUSE

Fire up and use.


Migrate your existing subscriptions to Azure


Pay as you go, for the time the instance is running. 1y,3y Reservations possible

1y or 3y upfront payment


One support contact (L1,L2) by CSP, SUSE & CSP work together in the back (L3).


Two contacts, direct access to SUSE Support.


No Registration needed, repositories automatically configured.

Manual Registration for every instance needed


Updates via Azure region local infrastructure.

Updates via SUSE Customer Center (Public Internet).

CSP’s are not capable of handling Add-on’s


Provides the ability to purchase Add-on’s


OS always compliant due to PAYG model

Usage need to be monitored (compliance)


In SLES4SAP, Live Patching and SUSE Manager Lifecycle Management is included

Extra subscriptions for Live Patching and SUSE Manager Life cycle Management needed


MACC eligible

NOT MACC eligible

Get a SLES subscription

Depending on your needs and requirements, you need to decide if you want to run in future SLES as PAYG or BYOS.

For PAYG you simply can download a 60-day trial subscription and for BYOS you need to buy a subscription. Simplest would be through the SUSE Shop or any software distributor.

Follow the steps at → Free Downloads (upper right corner) for a 60d-trial, or the steps at → Shop for a full 1y subscription

The migration process step by step

As example here, let us use openSUSE Leap 15.4 as starting point

  • Start with a openSUSE image in the Azure Marketplace, e.g., opensuse-leap-15-4:gen2:2022.11.04
  • Run all updates and install the package yast2-migration-sle
          sudo zypper update
          sudo zypper in yast2-migration-sle
  • Login to the running openSUSE instance and run yast2-migration-sle
          sudo yast2 migration-sle
  • This yast2 process will ask you for your email and the subscription key
  • Now you have a SLES BYOS instance. Please verify it with it.
          cat /etc/os-release
  • NOTE: The openSUSE repositories will remain attached and are handled as 3rd party repositories at this point and not get touched.
  • You can switch to SLES PAYG with help of the Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) extension
  • Install the extension with the help of the az cmd-line tool.
    Log out of the instance, and from your shell or console do:
          sudo yast2 migration-sle
          az vm extension set -n AHBForSLES --publisher SUSE.AzureHybridBenefit --vm-name <YOUR_VM_NAME> --resource-group <YOUR_RESOURCE_GROUP>
  • Update now to a SLES PAYG version with
          az vm update -g <YOUR_RESOURCE_GROUP> -n <YOUR_VM_NAME> --license-type SLES
  • It could take up to five minutes for the extension to read the license type value and install the repositories. You should now be connected to the SUSE public cloud update infrastructure on Azure. The relevant repositories are installed on your machine.
  • Finally, you can verify this change by running the following command to list SUSE repositories on your virtual machine:
         sudo zypper repos

Now you have an Azure SLES PAYG instance, and you get billed by Azure for the time you use the instance.

A short video shows the whole process.


It is a very simple process to migrate from openSUSE Leap to a supported SUSE Linux Enterprise Version. So take the benefit of starting with openSUSE Leap and migrate the instance when needed to SLES.

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