In-Place Upgrade NetWare to Open Enterprise Server | SUSE Communities

In-Place Upgrade NetWare to Open Enterprise Server


Currently, Novell doesn’t support an in-place upgrade from NetWare to OES. This has prevented some customers from upgrading to OES.
To address this shortcoming, Novell Consulting is investigating a procedure that allows customers to perform an in-place upgrade when certain prerequisites are met and address the following needs.

  • Be running a supported platform before the end of Extended Support for NetWare 6.5
  • Avoid transferring data from old to new hardware
  • Avoid the long downtime that is required for a migration
  • Avoid purchasing new hardware for migration

The attached document presents a technical overview of a type of in-place upgrade. The solution presented in this document allows customers to

  • Use the existing server when it meets the prerequisites, simply replacing the OS.
  • Upgrade the platform without touching existing data. In fact, users can simply reconnect afterward.

In addition, this process requires only a short downtime per server.

Attached to this article you will find the following files

  • The detailed description of this solution
  • A set of tools and scripts to start with
  • A link to some prepared appliances to have a quick start

The solution itself consists of 4 major steps


  • Build Upgrade-DVD with appliances build in SUSE Studio
  • Backup Identity (run mig-pre.ncf on Upgrade-DVD)
  • Replace OS (boot Upgrade-DVD with
  • Restore Identity (

Depending of the scope of your upgrade and the selected option the whole process takes from 30 minute up to 1 1/2 hour.

Detailed instructions and example-scripts are attached to this article.
Example appliances for this method can be found at

Feedback is welcome!



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  • jzitnik says:

    The documentation is to upgrade to SLES 11. Can this same process be used to upgrade to SLES10 SP3? We have a new piece of software coming on board that supports iPrint, but only on SLES 10.

  • pjohanon says:

    This sounds nice on paper, but it is dangerous. My philosophy has always been to have a way to return to the old server if something goes wrong. If you have a separate piece of hardware, and the installation fails, you can go home and try it again another day. If you are doing an in-place upgrade, and the installation fails, you have an all night frantic panic session restoring the OS, and restoring the data from backup. Money tight? Buy a used piece of hardware, and do a migration. Contented users and piece of mind is very important.

  • smflood says:

    If you read the attached PDF (page 4 – PDF page 8) you’ll note that Martin tested this with 64-bit OES2 SP3 on SLES10 SP4 (as well as OES11 beta on SLES11 SP1).


  • chapindad says:

    You are assuming that everyone still uses their local disks for storage. I boot from a Compellent SAN so I can make a replay before I try the in place upgrade and if it goes bad then I just roll back to my replay and reboot the server. Do a search for Davenport Group, my Compellent Business partner, and they will explain it to you or put you in contact with me.

  • mweiss2 says:

    The outlined method was tested with SLES 10 SP4 (together with OES 2 SP3).
    BUT – SLES 10 SP3 is not supported with Studio 1.2 anymore so you can not build that image in Studio – but if you build your own image it might work with some customization.

  • mweiss2 says:

    You are right – moving to a new hardware should be the better option. However – this is not always possible or too much effort (ex. if you have >600 servers distributed worldwide ;-)).

    This method has some risk – and due to that it must be customized and tested for the environment where it should be used and a backup is required in any case.

    Keep in mind, that this method also allows you to have some sort of a failback. If you copy the SYS volume to an other pool before the SYS pool gets deleted – a failback to NetWare is still possible.

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