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How to upgrade to SLES/SLED 11 SP1

This document (7005410) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
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 SLES11 Service Pack 1 or SLED11 Service Pack 1.


SLES/SLED 11 Service Pack 1 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

See the Open Enterprise Server product documentation under on how to upgrade OES.

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, and Service Pack 2)

There is no supported direct migration path to SLES/SLED 11 SP1. You have to perform an update from SLES/SLED 10 GA to SP 1, then further to SP 2, then further to SP 3 by using the respective boot media. 

Procedure for upgrading from SLES 10 and SLED 10 Service Pack 3 and 4

The supported migration path from SLES/SLED 10 SP3/SP4 to SLES/SLED 11 Service Pack 1 is by using the SLES/SLED 11 SP 1 boot media. See the respective section below.
A further migration path for SLES only (not for SLED) is the unattended upgrade feature described here:

Procedure for upgrading from SLES / SLED 11 (GA version)

There are different supported ways for updating a SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 system to SP1 level. You can either update to SP1 by using the online update tools to install the respective patches or update via using the SP1 installation media.

For installing SP1 via installing the respective patches, the following tools are supported:
  • 1) YaST Online Update (YOU)
  • 2) zypper
Alternatively, you can download the full SP1 media (DVD ISO image) and use one of the following procedures, especially in case of environments without network access:
  • 3) by booting from SLES/SLED 11 SP1 media

Update to SP1 via patches

Attention: The update process has to be done completely from beginning to reboot. There is only a limited chance to 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.

1) Update by using YaST and/or Update Applet

  • Start the Online-Update module (YOU) from the YaST control center.
  • Press 'Accept' to apply updates with 'package management' flag set. Among others, this will install updates of libzypp, satsolver, yast2-pkgbindings, etc. After installing those, YOU will restart itself.
  • Press 'Accept' to apply all available updates that are available for SLE 11. This may also install a new kernel, so you should reboot the system after applying this one.
  • 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 you use the gnome desktop, 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 your 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 you want to migrate. Select "Customer Center" if you want to use the update repositories or use "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 SP1-Pool update catalog(s) will be added. The SLE 11 GA catalogs will be disabled. Click "Next". 
  • The success dialog-popup at the end tells you which repositories were added if you click on the "Details" Button. The SP1-Pool repositories for the installed products should be listed. 
  • 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.
  • You will now see a proposal screen (named "Distribution Updrade Settings") 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-SP1-migration) will be removed, real products (e.g. SUSE_SLES) will be upgraded. 
    • 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 SP1, click "Back" then "Abort". In this case a rollback is triggered to bring your system back to SLE 11 GA level. Further the migration products are removed, a re-registration is performed and the newly added repositories are removed.
  • To continue the upgrade to SP1 press "Next" -> "Start Update".
  • The following steps are executed:
    • The update of the rpm packages is performed. 
    • SuSEconfig is executed.
    • A message to reboot your system is displayed (Press "Ok").
    • A registration of the final SP1 product(s) takes place. SP1-Update repositories will be added, SLE11 GA repositories will be removed.
  • After a reboot your system is on SP1 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, deactivate all SLE 11 GA installation sources and SLE 11 GA update repositories. 
  • Add the SP1 update source(s). This can either be the SP1 installation media or a SP1 update repository (SP1-Pool). 
  • 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 up -t patch' to install package management updates. 
  • Run 'zypper up -t patch' again to install all available updates for SLES/SLED 11.
  • 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. You can use the following command:
  • grep '<product>' /etc/products.d/*.prod
  • A sample output could be as follows:
  • Install these migration products (example):
    • zypper in -t product sle-sdk-SP1-migration SUSE_SLES-SP1-migration
  • run 'suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log' to register the products in order to get the corresponding SP1-Pool repositories.
  • Run 'zypper ref -s' to refresh services and repositores.
  • Check the repositories using 'zypper lr'. If needed, disable repositories for the old GA Products manually and enable the new SP1-Pool repositories:
    • zypper mr --disable <repo-alias>
    • zypper mr --enable <repo-alias>
  • Then perform a dist upgrade by using the following command:
    • zypper dup 
  • zypper will report that it will delete the migration product and update the main products. Confirm the message to continue updating the rpm packages.
  • After the upgrade is finished, register the new products again. It will remove the SLE 11 GA update repositories and add the new SP1-Update repositories. The SP1-Pool repositories will stay untouched.
  • suse_register -d 2 -L /root/.suse_register.log
  • Reboot the system

Update to SLE11 SP1 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 a SLE 11 SP1 installation media

Please obtain the ISO images from

3) Update by booting from a SLES/SLED 11 SP1 media

To start the standard update via DVD, reboot your computer with this medium in your 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" instead of "New Installation".

3.1) Update by booting off a SP1 network installation source

It is also possible to provide the installation media via network. SLE 11 Service-Pack 1 is 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 to add the service pack is described in product documentation. For SLES11 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:
  • You need a bootable medium to initialize the process. Booting via network/PXE is also possible. For PXE boot configuration examples see chapter 23.2 in the SLES11 deployment handbook (online available at ).
  • Boot the machine and choose "Installation".
  • Change the installation source via the "F4" key and enter the IP and path to your installation source or select "SLP" if this protocol is configured on your installation server.
  • Select "System Update" instead of performing a "New Installation". 

Additional Information


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:7005410
  • Creation Date: 01-Mar-2010
  • 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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