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Covering installed systems with Long Term Service Pack Support repositories



By: coolguys-suse

April 25, 2013 11:53 am

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There are many reasons you might not always upgrade SLES whenever a new Support Pack is released.  You might have policies or even regulatory requirements that affect how often you can upgrade.  You might have resource constraints that force you to take a longer time to transition to a new SP level.  And it is very common to have dependencies on 3rd-party (or home-grown) applications that will need to be transitioned at the same time, and it can take a long time to get all those ducks in a row.

Whatever the reasons for delaying your upgrade to a new SP, this raises the issue of support.  SUSE typically releases service packs every 18 months.  When a new service pack for SUSE Linux Enterprise products is released, SUSE starts a six-month dual support phase that covers the new version and the one just previous. After six months,  support for the previous  service pack is stopped and no further recommended or security related updates will be released.

If you find yourself in the situation where you can’t upgrade yet but support has run out, Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS) is a great option.  It can extend support an additional 12 to 36 months in 12-month increments, giving you a total of 3 to 5 years of support on any given service pack.  You can get all of the details about that coverage here.

Configuring Long Term Service Pack repositories

Once you have purchased LTSS you will want to set up repositories to grab updates whenever they are available for your older SP.  Here is the rundown of exactly how to add LTSS repositories to systems which fetch updates from Novell directly or are connected to a Subscription Management Tool (SMT), SUSE Manager or SUSE Studio installation.

Direct Connection

SLES9SP4

In order to patch a SLES9SP4 with LTSS packages, adjustments in /var/adm/YaST/ProdDB/prod_0000000* need to be made as these files define the directory on the update server where to check for new packages.

Change the last line in any prod_* file — for example from:

=YouPath: i386/update/SUSE-SLES/9

to

=YouPath: i386/update/SUSE-SLES/9-LTSS

Please note: SLES9SP4 systems need to be fully patched to the latest patch level before changing the update source path.

SLES10SP1 / SLES10SP2 / SLES10SP3 / SLES11SP1

When the server is connected directly to the internet, the system needs to be registered using a LTSS activation code which can be located in the Novell Customer Center account. Please note, LTSS  activation codes are product dependent. Registering a SLES11SP1 with an LTSS code for SLES10SP2 will not succeed. Make sure the correct activation code is selected when registering the system.

In this situation the usual procedures for registering a SLES server apply. Please see this page for details  about how to register a SLES server using YaST2. If a scripted approach is necessary, the command suse_register might be used to accomplish the registration:

suse_register -a email=EMAILADDR -a regcode-sles=LTSS-ACTIVATIONCODE

While adding the option -d 3 to the command above, the following output should be seen when the repositories are added:

Adding repository 'SLE11-SDK-SP1-Updates' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLE11-SDK-SP1-Pool' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLES11-SP1-Updates' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLES11-SP1-Pool' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLE11-SP1-Debuginfo-Updates' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLE11-SP1-Debuginfo-Pool' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLES11-Extras' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLE11-WebYaST-SP1-Pool' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLE11-WebYaST-SP1-Updates' [......done]
Adding repository 'SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates' [......done]

Please adjust  EMAILADDR and LTSS-ACTIVATIONCODE accordingly. To change the registration on any SUSE Linux Enterprise based  system please follow TID 3303599 – Resetting your ZEN Updater and Novell Customer Center key registration.

Updates via Subscription Management Tool (SMT)

Environments using an SMT server to download and provide updates locally will have to enable the appropriate LTSS channels they are entitled to either by using the YaST2 smt module or the smt-catalogs command:

rizzo:~ # smt-catalogs -e SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates
.--------------------------------------------------------------
| Mirror? | ID | Type | Name                    | Target        | Description                               | Can be Mirrored | Staging |
+---------+----+------+-------------------------+---------------+
| No      |  1 | nu   | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates | sle-11-i586   | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates for sle-11-i586   | Yes             | No      |
| No      |  2 | nu   | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates | sle-11-s390x  | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates for sle-11-s390x  | No              | No      |
| No      |  3 | nu   | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates | sle-11-x86_64 | SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates for sle-11-x86_64 | Yes             | No      |
'---------+----+------+-------------------------+---------------+
Select repository number (or all) to change,  (1-3,a) :3
1 Repo(s) enabled.

After finishing the repository sync, please re-run suse_register to have the machine fetch the new channels from the SMT server.

Systems maintained via SUSE Manager

For systems operating a SLES11SP1 patch level and connected to SUSE Manager, verify first if the Channel sles11-sp1-ltss-updates-<arch> is available and can be mirrored. Run:

mgr-ncc-sync -l

and check for the channel availability below sles11-sp1-pool-<arch>. Enable the channel using this code for the x86_64 architecture:

mgr-ncc-sync -c sles11-sp1-ltss-updates-x86_64

or this code for 32-bit installations:

mgr-ncc-sync -c sles11-sp1-ltss-updates-i586

A repository sync will be triggered automatically. When the sync is finished, create a new activation code specifically for SLES11SP1 or adjust any existing one - just make sure that the key that is about to get changed does not contain any SP2 repositories.

The SP1 key needs to contain the following child channels:

SLES11-SP1-Updates-<arch>
SLES11-SP1-LTSS-Updates-<arch>

Save the key and generate a bootstrap file. Adjust this file to your needs and re-register the client using the bootstrap script to enable the LTSS repositories.

SUSE Studio Onsite

  1.    Login to SUSE Studio as admin
  2.    Click Admin user in the upper right corner
  3.    Click Advanced
  4.    Click the Repositories link
  5.    Here you can enter a name and URL to access the LTSS repository

Once the settings are done, you can manually add the LTSS repositories to your appliances as follows:

  1. Login to SUSE Studio with your user account
  2. Select an existing SLES 11 SP1 appliance
  3. Go to the “Software Tab”
  4. Select “Add repositories”
  5. Add the LTSS repository to your appliance
  6. Rebuild the appliance.

IMPORTANT: This information comes from Support TID 7011670 — you should check that TID to see if it has been updated before proceeding.

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Categories: Subscription Management Tool, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Manager, SUSE Studio, Technical Solutions

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.

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