Registering and Updating SUSE Linux Enterprise

Registering SUSE Linux Enterprise with the Novell Customer Center

SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) is integrated with the Novell® Customer Center (NCC), a centralized tool for managing Novell products and subscriptions, as well as customers' systems and administrators. For more information on the NCC, please see http://www.novell.com/customercenter/. Registering a SLE machine with the NCC adds the system to the NCC for management, and allows the system to receive online updates. Registering a machine can occur during or after SLE installation.

Registering During Installation

NCC registration is performed during installation after the network has been configured and tested. If the network is not configured and tested the NCC configuration is skipped. To register with NCC choose "Configure Now" and press "Next." on the "Novell Customer Center Configuration" screen. To skip configuration and do it later, choose "Configure Later." The amount of information given to Novell can be customized, with as little as an email address actually sent.

NCC Configuration

Figure 1: NCC Configuration

After Novell's servers are contacted, a notification is given that additional action is required. The NCC registration is performed through a web browser, which is launched automatically. A URL is also given where this registration can be performed from another computer if this registration cannot be performed from the current machine. To launch the web browser, choose "Continue."

Manual Interaction

Figure 2: Manual Interaction

Depending on whether the installation is performed through a text-console or a GUI, the Firefox or w3m web browser is launched.

Firefox Web Browser

Figure 3: Firefox Web Browser
w3m Web Browser

Figure 4: w3m Web Browser

The web page prompts for:

  • Email address. This address will be used for communication from Novell, and for identifying administrators in the NCC. Use the email address associated with the Novell Account for this administrator, or be sure to use this same email address when creating a Novell Account later. The NCC can be accessed at http://www.novell.com/center. If a Novell Account does not exist, it can be created when visiting this page.
  • Activation Code. Enter the product Activation Code here. If the code can not be found or has not been purchased yet, then leaving the field blank will assign a temporary 15-day provisional code to the machine. This will allow the machine to get updates immediately, but should be replaced by another code later. To switch codes later, select this machine in NCC and choose the "Activate" button (the one with a key on it). Select or enter the activation code to move the system to the new code.

    Activating A System

    Figure 5: Activating A System
  • System name or description. This field is for the administrator's convenience only. It can contain anything such as a hostname or "the second blade on the Linux rack." This information can later be used to help identify a machine in the NCC and can be changed at any time.

The w3m web browser can be a bit tricky to navigate for those that are not familiar with it.

  • Switch between input fields and links with the Up/Down arrow keys. There is no real visual indicator when some elements are in focus (such as the input fields and "submit" link).
  • To begin typing in an input field or navigate a link (such as the "submit" link) press the Right arrow key. When entering text in an input field, the text is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
  • To exit w3m after the registration is complete, press "q". A prompt for confirmation is given at the bottom of the screen.

After completing the registration in the web browser the NCC registration is completed and an update source is added to the operating system. If this machine is SLE11SP1 installation sources for ATI and Nvidia graphics card drivers are also added.

Registering After Installation

If the NCC configuration was skipped during installation, either intentionally or because of network problems, the configuration can be run later. To register:

  1. Launch YaST®
  2. Choose Software > Novell Customer Center Configuration
  3. Run through the configuration as described above.

NCC YaST Module

Figure 6: NCC YaST Module

Updating SLE

Updating SLE can be done during installation after NCC is configured, or at any time after the installation. There are three ways to update SLE:

  • Through the YaST "Online Update" module (GUI or text-based).
  • Through the Software Updater applet.
  • From the console with rug.

Updating using YaST Online Update

During installation, YaST Online Update (YOU) can be run immediately after the NCC configuration has been completed, or can be run at any time after installation. To launch YOU after installation:

  1. Launch YaST
  2. Choose Software > Online Update

YaST Online Update

Figure 7: YaST Online Update

When YOU is launched, the available patches are listed in the left pane. After clicking on a patch, details about it are given in the other panes. To install the patch, click the checkbox and ensure there is a black checkmark in it. Once all desired patches are selected, choose "Accept" to install them.

Installing Patches

Figure 8: Installing Patches

It is important to remember that YOU lists all available patches, even patches for packages that are not installed. If patches are installed for packages which don't exist, it may seem like the patch is installed, but it is not. When YOU is launched again it will show the patch as not installed again. To verify if a package is installed before installing a patch, look at the patch the details in the right pane. There are columns indicating the installed version of a package and the version available via a patch. If there is no installed version listed, then the package is not installed. Each patch can include updates for several packages. If there are no installed packages within a patch, the patch does not need to be installed.

Patch Details

Figure 9: Patch Details

Updating through the Software Updater Applet

If Gnome or KDE are used in a GUI environment then the Software Updater applet is available to ease the installation of updates. When updates are available a notification is given in the task bar:


Figure 10: Update Notification

To install updates click on this notification. Updates are listed and can be selected for installation. Unlike YOU, the Software Updater only lists updates for packages which are installed. Install the updates by selecting "Update". If this is the first time updates are attempted as this user a prompt will be given to add them to the privileged user list, allowing them to install updates without root access.


Figure 11: Installing Updates

Updating Using rug

rug is a command-line tool for installing patches and updates. rug is a very powerful tool with many options. For full documentation see man rug. To install updates with rug:

  • Ensure an update channel is available: rug ca. There should be a "SLES10-Updates" channel. If there is no channel available, go through the NCC configuration described above.
  • List available updates: rug lu.
  • Install specific updates: rug in. For example: rug in gpg2.
  • Install all updates from all channels: rug up.

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