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How to upgrade to SLES/SLED 11 SP2

This document (7010200) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 for VMware
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 for SAP Applications
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
Novell Linux Enterprise Desktop 9


A system running one of the product versions listed above should be updated to SLES 11 Service Pack 2 or SLED 11 Service Pack 2.


SLES/SLED 11 Service Pack 2 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, run the command "rcrpmconfigcheck", then 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. Also please note cross-architecture upgrades (32-bit to 64-bit and 64-bit to 32-bit) are not supported.

Upgrading OES, OES2, and OES11

See the Open Enterprise Server product documentation under on how to upgrade to OES 11  SP1 / SLES 11 SP2.

Upgrading SUSE Manager 1.2

A SUSE Manager 1.2 appliance can be upgraded using the following document: TID 7010797 - How to upgrade SUSE Manager 1.2 to version 1.7.

Upgrading SUSE Studio Onsite

Please see the SUSE Studio Onsite documentation.

Upgrading SLES for SAP Applications 11 SP1

SLES for SAP Applications can only be upgraded by booting off the installation media. See the respective section  below. There is no supported online upgrade possibility.

Upgrading SLES 8, SLES 9, and NLD 9

There is no supported direct upgrade path from SLES 8, SLES 9, and NLD 9. Instead it is recommended to perform a new installation.

Procedure for upgrading from SLES 10 / SLED 10 (GA version, Service Pack 1, Service Pack 2, and Service Pack 3)

There is no supported direct migration path to SLES/SLED 11 SP2. An update has to be performed from SLES/SLED 10 GA to SP 1, then to SP 2, further to SP 3, and then to SP4 by using the respective boot media. 

Procedure for upgrading from SLES 10 and SLED 10 Service Pack 4

The supported migration path from SLES/SLED 10 SP4 to SLES/SLED 11 Service Pack 2 is by using the SLES/SLED 11 SP 2 boot media. See the respective section below.
A further migration path for SLES only (not for SLED) is the unattended upgrade feature described in the deployment guide, which can be found under

Upgrading from SLES / SLED 11 (GA version)

There is no supported direct migration path to SLES/SLED 11 SP2. An update hast to be performen from SLES/SLED 11 GA to SP 1, then further to SP 2 by using the respective boot media.

Procedure for upgrading from SLES / SLED 11 SP1

There are different supported ways for updating a SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 system to SP2 level. Users can either update to SP2 by using the online update tools to install the respective patches or update via using the SP2 installation media.

For installing SP2 via the respective patches, the following tools are supported:
  • 1) YaST ("yast2 wagon")
  • 2) zypper
Alternatively, the full SP2 media (DVD ISO image) can be downloaded and one of the following procedures can be used, especially in case of environments without network access:
  • 3) by booting from SLES/SLED 11 SP2 media

Update to SP2 via patches

Attention: The update process has to be done completely from beginning to reboot. There is only a limited chance to revert changes. Furthermore, the server has to be connected online during the whole update process. Prerequisites: Users have to make sure to have the system registered. If this is not done already, it can either be registered by using the "Novell Customer Center Configuration" module in YaST or by using the suse_register commandline tool. This will add update sources to the system.

1) Update by using YaST and/or Update Applet

  • Start the Online-Update module (YOU) from the YaST control center. 
  • Check, if all available patches that are named "You update for Software update stack" are installed. If this is not the case, those patches will automatically be preselected. Press 'Accept' to apply those updates. Among others, this will install updates of libzypp, satsolver, yast2-wagon, yast2-pkgbindings, etc. After installing those, YOU will restart itself.
  • Now it is possible to install all other updates that are available for SLE 11 SP1. The system needs to be rebooted afterwards, because the kernel and/or other important system components are updated.
  • The tray applications kupdateapplet or gnome-packagekit will display a message that a distribution upgrade is available and start the YaST2 module 'wagon' on request. If the gnome desktop is being used, but the gnome-packagekit applet is not started automatically on login, go ahead as follows:
    • Press ALT-F2 and run 'gconf-editor'. 
    • In here, select 'apps' -> 'gnome-packagekit' -> 'force_get_update_login'. 
    • After the next login the gnome-packagekit will start automatically and open up a message that a distribution upgrade is available.
  • As an alternative to using the tray application open up a root shell and run '/usr/sbin/wagon &'.
  • yast2-wagon contains a workflow to upgrade the system to the next Service Pack level. On the welcome page press "Next". 
  • yast2-wagon will do an automatic self update if needed. 
  • In the following dialogue select how to migrate. Select "Customer Center" if the update repositories should be used or select "Custom URL" if you want to specify the update source manually (see the respective section below). In most cases "Customer Center" should be the right choice. If you want to review the repositories changes yourself, additionally select "Check Automatic Repository Changes". Click "Next". 
  • A re-registration of the system will be done. During the registration process the appropriate SP2-Pool update catalogs (11-SP2-Core and SP2-Updates) will be added. The SLE 11 SP1 catalogs will stay enabled (SP1-Pool + SP1-Updates). Click "Next". 
  • The success dialog-popup at the end informs about which repositories were added (click on the "Details" Button).
  • If you have selected "Check Automatic Repository Changes", the list of repositories will be displayed, providing the opportunity to manually enable/disable/add/delete repositories. Klick "Ok" when finished.
  • In the next dialogue it is possible to select a migration type:
    • "Minimal migration" just upgrades all packages that are required to bring the system up to SP2 level.
    • "Full migration" installes all additional updates.
    • Press the "Advanced" button to manually select the repositories used for upgrading.
  • A proposal screen (named "Distribution Updrade Settings") is now listed with the following sections: 
    • Add-On Products: Third Party add-on products can be added here. 
    • Update Options: This shows what will happen with the product. Temporary migration products (e.g. SUSE_SLES-SP2-migration) will be removed, real products (e.g. SUSE_SLES) will be upgraded. Further, it can be selected, if all packages should be downloaded before upgrading (this is the default) or if the packages should be downloaded and installed one by one.
    • Packages: shows some statistics about rpm packages to update, to install and to remove. 
    • Backup: some backup options. 
  • Please note: If you changed your mind and want to abort the upgrade to SP2, click "Back" then "Abort". In this case a rollback is triggered to bring the system back to SLE 11 SP1 level. Further the migration products are removed, a re-registration is performed and the newly added repositories are removed.
  • To continue the upgrade to SP2 press "Next" -> "Start Update".
  • The following steps are executed:
    • The update of the rpm packages is performed. 
    • SuSEconfig is executed.
    • A message to reboot the system is displayed (Press "Ok").
    • A registration of the final SP2 product(s) takes place. Please note that SLE 11 SP1 catalogs need to stay enabled.
  • After a reboot the system is on SP2 level.
1.1) Using a "Custom URL" for updating with YaST
  • Start yast2 wagon as stated above.
  • In the "Update method" dialogue select "Custom URL". 
  • A list of repositories will be displayed, providing the opportunity to manually enable/disable/add/delete repositories. In here it is possible to manually adjust installation- and update repositories.
  • Add the SP2 update source(s). This can either be the SP2 installation media or the new SP2 repositories (SP2-Core and SP2-Updates). 
  • Klick "Ok" when finished and continue with the "Distribution Upgrade Settings" dialogue as stated above.

2) Update by using zypper

  • Open a root shell.
  • Run 'zypper ref -s' to refresh all services and repositories.
  • Run 'zypper update -t patch' to install package management updates. 
  • Now it is possible to install all available updates for SLES/SLED 11 SP1: run 'zypper update -t patch' again.
(As a sidenote: if you want to use the above command in a script for an unattended upgrade, the command would be: "zypper --non-interactive patch --auto-agree-with-licenses --with-interactive")
  • Now the installed products contain information about distribution upgrades and which migration products should be installed to perform the migration. Read the migration product informations from /etc/products.d/*.prod and install them. Use the following command:
  • zypper se -t product | grep -h -- "-migration" | cut -d\| -f2
  • A sample output could be as follows:
  • Install these migration products (example):
    • zypper in -t product sle-sdk-SP2-migration SUSE_SLES-SP2-migration
  • run 'suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log' to register the products in order to get the corresponding SP2 Update repositories.
  • Run 'zypper ref -s' to refresh services and repositores.
  • Check the repositories using 'zypper lr'. Only if needed, disable repositories manually (please note that the SP1-Pool and SP1-Updates repos need to stay enabled!) and enable the new SP2 (SP2-Core,  SP2-Updates) repositories:
    • zypper mr --disable <repo-alias>
    • zypper mr --enable <repo-alias>
  • Then perform a dist upgrade by using the following command (example for SLES, please adjust catalog names in case SLED is updated):
    • zypper dup --from SLES11-SP2-Core --from SLES11-SP2-Updates --from SLE11-WebYaST-SP2-Pool --from SLE11-WebYaST-SP2-Updates #add more SP2 catalogs here if needed, e.g. in case addon products are installed
  • zypper will report that it will delete the migration product and update the main products. Confirm the message to continue updating the rpm packages.
  • The commands above reflect a 'minimal' migration. In case you want to finish with a 'full' migration, additionally run the following command:
    • zypper update -t patch
  • After the upgrade is finished, register the new products again:
    • suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log
  • Reboot the system

Update to SLE 11 SP2 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 SMT documentation at gives an overview of its features as well as instructions on how to implement it.

Update via using a SLE 11 SP2 installation media

Please obtain the ISO images from

3) Update by booting from a SLES/SLED 11 SP2 media

To start the standard update via DVD, reboot the computer with this medium in it's DVD drive. Perform a system update instead of a fresh installation. To achive this, select"Installation" -> Select language and keyboard layout -> Agree to the License ->  Select "Update an Existing System" instead of "New Installation".

3.1) Update by booting off a SP2 network installation source

It is also possible to provide the installation media via network. The SLE 11 Service-Pack 2 media contains a complete product. So 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 on how to add the service pack is described in the product documentation. For SLES 11 have a look into chapter 14.2 of the deployment guide. The document is available online under

To start the update, go ahead as follows:
  • A bootable medium is needed to initialize the process. Booting via network/PXE is also possible. For PXE boot configuration examples see chapter 14.3 in the SLES 11 deployment guide (online available at ).
  • Boot the machine and choose "Installation".
  • Change the installation source via the "F4" key and enter the IP and path to the installation source or select "SLP" if this protocol is configured on your installation server.
  • Select "System Update" instead of performing a "New Installation". 

NOTE: The default value for RUN_PARALLEL in /etc/sysconfig/boot has changed from "yes" to "no" with SP2. When upgrading to SP2 the old value still remains.

Additional Information

You can find more information about the software repositories that are enabled in SUSE Linux Enterprise Service Pack 2 in TID 7010225 - Software repositories in SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 2.


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:7010200
  • Creation Date: 22-Feb-2012
  • Modified Date:28-Sep-2022
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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