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How to upgrade to SLES/SLED 10 SP4

This document (7008357) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
Novell Linux Desktop 9


A system running one of the product versions listed above should be updated to SLES/SLED 10 Service Pack 4.


Like SLE 10 Service Pack 1 to 3, Service Pack 4 is a full product; a variety of methods for updating a system exist.

Don't panic:  This document is quite long and detailed, but don't be afraid. In fact the update procedure is very simple, straight-forward and (in most cases) self-explaining. Just pick the method that suits your needs best and start with it.

Important note:  After completing any form of update, look at the contents of the file /var/adm/rpmconfigcheck. This file contains a list of configuration files that could not be updated automatically. These files must be checked and the configurations adjusted manually.

Updating OES2

Please find information on how to upgrade OES2 systems to SLES 10 SP4 in TID 7008364 - Availability of SLES10 SP4 for SLES10 SP3 servers running OES2SP2 or OES2 SP3.

Procedure for updating from SLES 8

There is no supported direct upgrade path from SLES8. To update a SLES8 installation, first update to SLES9. Refer to the SLES9 documentation for details.

Procedure for updating from SLES 9

A supported way to update a SLES 9 system (SLES9 version GA, SP3 and SP4) is by booting from a SLE 10 SP4 media. See the respective section below.

Procedure for updating from NLD 9

A supported scenario to update an NLD 9 system is by updating it to NLD9 SP4 first, followed by updating to SLED 10 SP4 by booting from the SLE 10 SP4 installation media. This is the only way it has been tested.

Procedure for updating from SLES 10 and SLED 10 GA version, SP1, and SP2

There is no supported direct migration path from these SLES/SLED 10 versions to Service Pack 4. You have to perform an update to to the next higher Service Pack by using the respective boot media. This means, if you for example whish to update a system that is on GA level you have to update to SP1 first, then to SP2, then to SP3, and then to SP4. This is the only way it has been tested. 

Procedure for updating from SLES 10 Service Pack 3 and SLED 10 Service Pack 3

There are different supported ways for updating a SuSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP3 system to SP4 level. You can either update to SP4 by using the online update tools to download patches or update via using an SP4 installation media.

For installing SP4 via downloading patches, the following tools are supported:
  • 1) YaST Online Update (YOU)
  • 2) zen-updater
  • 3) rug
Alternatively, you can download the full SP4 media (CD or DVD ISO image) and use one of the following procedures, especially in case of environments without network access:
  • 4) by booting from SLES/SLED 10 SP4 media
  • 5) by using "Patch CD update"

Update to SP4 via patches

Attention: The update process has to be done completely from beginning to reboot. There is no automatic way to revert changes. Furthermore, the server has to be connected online during the whole update process. Prerequisites: You have to make sure to have your system registered. If you have not done this already, you can either do so by using the "Novell Customer Center Configuration" module in YaST or use the suse_register commandline tool. This will add an update source to your system. If your system is already registered, make sure that the assigned activation key is still valid.

1) Update by using YaST Online Update

  • Start the Online-Update module (YOU) from the YaST control center.
  • Press 'Accept' to apply updates with 'package management' flag set. This will install a libzypp maintenance stack update (Patch slesp3-softwaremgmt-...). After installing it, YOU will restart itself.
  • Press 'Accept' to apply all available updates that are available for SP3. This may also install a new kernel, so you should reboot the system after applying this one.
  • Start the Online-Update module from the YaST control center again.
  • Select the optional "Update to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server/Desktop Service Pack 3" ('move-to-sles10-sp4' / 'move-to-sled10-sp4') patch. Do not select any other patch at the same time - except for for additional migration patches for add-on products. If an add-on product (e.g. the SDK) is installed, the respective migration patch will be selected automatically. The migration of the add-on product should be done at the same time as the base product, otherwise there would be rpm dependency conflicts.
  • After the patch is installed, YOU will close.
  • Start the Online-Update module from the YaST control center again.
  • The patches 'slesp4o-sp3_online' and 'product-sles10-sp4' (or 'sledp4o-sp4_online' and 'product-sled10-sp4' accordingly) are preselected. Apply these patches to bring the system to SP4 level.
  • Reboot the system.
  • Start YOU again to install patches that have been published after the release of SP4.

2) Update by using zen-updater

  • Start zen-updater from the system tray.
  • Apply updates with 'package management' flag ('slesp3softwaremgmt-....').
  • Apply all maintenance updates that are available up to this point. This may also install a new kernel (a subsequent reboot is recommended).
  • Select the 'move-to-sles10-sp4' patch (or 'move-to-sled10-sp4'  accordingly). If add-on products are installed, migration patches for these will be selected automatically.
  • Select "Refresh" from the zen-updater context menu might be necessary.
  • After that, the patches 'slesp4o-sp4_online' and 'product-sles10-sp4' (or 'sledp4o-sp4_online' and 'product-sled10-sp4' accordingly) are preselected in zen-updater. Apply these patches to upgrade the system to SP4 level.
  • Reboot the system.
  • Install patches that have been published after the release of SP4.

3) Update by using rug

  • Open a root shell.
  • It is recommended to quit zen-updater. Do not only close it's window! If unsure, run 'killall zen-updater'.
  • Run 'rug up -t patch'. This will update the software maintenance stack.
  • Run 'rug ping -a' to ensure that zmd is responsive again.
  • Run 'rug up -t patch' again to apply all maintenance updates provided for SP3 before starting the migration.
  • Run 'rug ping -a'.
  • Run 'rug in -t patch move-to-sles10-sp4' (or 'rug in -t patch move-to-sled10-sp4' accordingly).
  • Run 'rug ping -a'.
  • Run 'rug up -t patch' to upgrade the system to SP4 level.
  • Run 'rug ping -a' in order to wait for ZMD to become responsive again.
  • Run 'rug up -t patch' again. This will install post-SP4 updates.
  • Reboot the system.

  • The following script can be used as a base for a complete unattended update from SP3 to SP4:

set -x
# update the package management stack first:
rug in -y -t patch slesp3-softwaremgmt-201101
sleep 40 && rug ping -a
# install all updates that are available for SP3:
rug up -y --agree-to-third-party-licences -t patch <<EOF
sleep 240 && rug ping -a
# install the move-to-sles10-sp4 patch:
rug in -y --agree-to-third-party-licences -t patch move-to-sles10-sp4 # For SLED use move-to-sled10-sp4
sleep 40 && rug ping -a
# upgrade the system to SP4 level:
rug up -y --agree-to-third-party-licences -t patch <<EOF
sleep 240 && rug ping -a
# install post-SP4 updates:
rug up -y --agree-to-third-party-licences -t patch <<EOF
n                                                          # For an automatic reboot after the migration, you may change 'n' to 'y'

Technical background

As a general technical background, these are the steps involved when updating by using YaST online update, zen-updater, or rug.
  • The packagemanagement software itself is updated first (patch slesp3-softwaremgmt-201101).
  • The patch to enable migration to SP4 needs to be applied explicitly. This patch is called 'move-to-sles10-sp4' or 'move-to-sled10-sp4', depending on the product. It is an optional patch and therefore it is not preselected.
  • The patch installs the SP4-migration product marker (it can be checked by calling 'rug products' or '/usr/lib/zypp/zypp-query-pool products @system').
  • A log of the operation of this patch is kept as  /var/log/YaST2/move-to-sles10-sp4-script.log.
  • Furtheron 'suse_register' is called to add the SLES10-SP4-Online or SLED10-SP4-Online catalog. Additionally for SLED, third-party vendor catalogs (ATI, NVIDIA, ...) are updated. If SuSE Linux add-on products are installed (e.g. the SDK), the rescpective catalogs are updated as well.
  • At this point, the installation source may need to be adapted if add-on products, repositories of other vendors or other third party repositories were configured.
  • The online tools now offer three patches to move the system to SP4:
  • 'slesp4o-sp4_online'/'sledp4o-sp4_online' is a meta patch which contains all packages to upgrade the system to SP4 level.
  • 'product-sles10-sp4' ('product-sled10-sp4' on SLED respectively) replaces the SP4-migration product marker with the SP4 product marker. It furtheron calls 'suse_register' again to unsubscribe the SLES10-SP3-Online or SLED10-SP3-Online catalog and to add the SLES10-SP4-Update or SLED10-SP4-Update catalog.
  • A log of the operation of this patch is stored as /var/log/YaST2/product-sles10-sp4-script.log.
  • As a result, there are now three catalogs listed:
    • The SLE 10 SP3 installation source
    • The SLES10-SP4-Online/SLED10-SP4-Online catalog, which contains the software which was necessary to perform the actual update to SP4.
    • The SLES10-SP4-Updates/SLED10-SP4-Updates catalog, which contains software updates published after the release of SP4.

    Both, the SLE 10 SP3 catalog and the SP4-Online catalog now act as the installation source.

    In order to simplify the setup you can substitute certain catalogs by the SLES10-SP4-Pool/SLED10-SP4-Pool catalog. SP4-Pool is a rpm-md repository containing all packages from the SP4 media (It does not contain the patches for migration). By default, the catalog is returned as unsubscribed and not added to YaST. Please have a look at TID 7001199 - Which software catalogs to mirror with Subscription Management Tool which explains the different catalogs and which ones that are needed in the various scenarios of installation sources and update paths in more detail.

Update to SP4 via patches by using Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise

As an alternative to downloading the updates for each single client system from the Novell update server, it is possible to use Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise to mirror the updates to a local server.
This tool acts as Novell Customer Center proxy both for client registrations and as software update repository. The Novell Appnote Keep your SUSE Linux Desktops, Servers and OES Servers Updated with Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise gives an overview of its features as well as instructions on how to implement it.

Update via using an SP4 installation media

Please obtain the ISO images from

4) Update by booting from a SLES/SLED 10 SP4 media

To start the standard update from CD-ROM or DVD, reboot your computer with this medium in your CD-ROM or DVD drive. Perform a system update instead of a fresh installation. To achive this, select"Installation" -> Select the language -> Agree to the License ->  Select "Update" instead of "New Installation".

4.1) Providing the SP4 media as a network installation source

It is also possible to provide the installation media via network. Because SLE 10 Service Pack 4 is a complete product it can be added to an Installation Server in the same way as every other SUSE LINUX Enterprise Product.

The procedure on how to setup an installation server and to add the service pack is described in the Installation Notes for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server/Desktop 10 SP3. You will find this document in the README file on the first DVD. For SLES see chapter "3.1 Setting Up an Installation Server" of this document. For SLED, see chapter 6.2 of the README.

You will find a more detailled guide in the documentation of your SLES9/SLES10 GA version. For SLES10 have a look at chapter 4.2.1 "Setting Up an Installation Server Using YaST" in the file sles-admin.pdf, which you can find on the first CD/DVD in the directory /docu/en. This document is also available online under For SLES9 you find this chapter in the file docu/en/manual.pdf (online available under

4.1.1) To start the update, go ahead as follows:

  • You need a bootable medium to initialize the process. Booting via network/PXE is also possible. For ready-to-apply configuration examples for PXE boot, see chapter 4.3 in the SLES10 documentation mentioned above (online available at
  • Boot the machine and choose "Installation".
  • If your installation source is announced via SLP, enter "install=slp" in the "Boot Options" field (or change the installation source via "F3", if this is available on your platform).
  • After the machine boots, it shows a selection of install options it has found via SLP.
  • If SLP is not configured on your installation server, you have to enter the IP and path to your installation source and the protocol via the "F4" key.
  • Select "System Update" instead of performing a fresh installation.

4.2) Providing the SP4 media as a network installation source for YaST Online Update (only supported for SLES, not for SLED)

It is also possible to provide the installation media in a way that you can use YaST Online Update for updating. The advantage is, that you don't have to boot from an Installation media. Instead you update from a running system. This minimizes downtime. (The procedure is also described in  chapter 5.4 of the SLES README mentioned above). Please note: This procedure is not supported for SLES 10 version GA/SP1/SP2. Your system has to be on SP3 level in order to use this method. (Please also note that the README says SP2, but that is a typo.)

You have to create an installation source as described in the chapter above. After this, you have to do an additional  modification.  Go into the directory named "patches"  and create a symlink to "../suse":

ln -s ../suse .

Further, make sure that the system is on the latest patch level. At least the latest SPident patch for SLES10-SP2 has to be installed prior to the upgrade to SP3. For further information see TID 7004955 - Dependency problem when upgrading to SLES10-SP3 via Patch-CD.

4.2.1) To start the update, go ahead as follows:
  • Add the new repository. In case you have released the repository as an NFS share, go ahead as follows:
    • You have to create an additional symlink on the installation server. Assuming that the SLES10-SP4 installation source is stored under /instserver/SLES10-SP4-i586/CD1, change into above directory and execute the following command: "ln -s patches/repodata .".
    • Start YaST2, select "Software" -> "Change Source of Installation Source".
    • Disable the SLES10 SP3 source and SLES10-SP3 update catalog.
    • Add the new repository by selecting "Add" -> "NFS". For "Path to Directory" enter "/instserver/SLES10-SP4-i586/CD1".
    • Update the system by starting "YaST" ->"Online Update".
    • For background information see TID 7001502 - Yast2 online update to SLES10 SP2 / SP3 via NFS fails.
  • The procedure for FTP and HTTP repositories is similar:
    • Disable the SLES10 SP3 source and SLES10-SP3 update catalog in the YaST Installation Source Menu, as described above.
    • Add the new repository by selecting "Add" -> "HTTP" or"FTP", depending on your installation server configuration. Attention: you have to specifiy the path to the patches subdirectory, otherwise YaST Online Update would not work. The path would be for example::
    • Update the system by starting "YaST" ->"Online Update".

5) Update by using "Patch CD update" (supported only for SLES, not for SLED!)

A physical CD/DVD drive is required to use this update method. On systems without CD/DVD drives (e.g. System Z) please use a different update method.

The procedure is described in the README on the first DVD. In here, see chapter 5.3. Also make sure that the system is on the latest patch level. At least the latest SPident patch for SLES10-SP3 has to be installed prior to the upgrade to SP4. For further information see TID 7004955.

Please note: It is recommended not to execute the update process via remote connection, e.g. via ssh. If the network connection is interrupted, YaST would quit.

Additional Information

Document history

This document supercedes the following TIDs:
3509359 (How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP1,
7000387 (How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP2,
7004640(How to update to SLES/SLED 10 SP3,


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7008357
  • Creation Date: 12-Apr-2011
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • Subscription Management Tool
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Software Development Kit

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