System no longer stable after updating with active openSUSE repository enabled.

This document (7015683) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
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

Situation

After adding an openSUSE repository to gain access to packages not available under SLE, the SLES or SLED box is then patched and becomes unstable.


Resolution

At this point your server is unsupported, and salvaging is not always possible. However, the following steps may help.

  1. If a backup is available, rollback to the point just before the update, delete the openSUSE repo, then patch.
  2. If a backup is not available, it may be advantageous to rebuild the server.
  3. If you are unable to rollback or rebuild the server, it may be possible to fix manually.
  • First, use rpm to view which rpms came from openSUSE rather than SLES repos.
    • rpm -qa --queryformat "%-35{NAME} %-35{DISTRIBUTION} %{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}\n" | sort -k 1,2 -t " " -i
  • For each rpm that was installed from an openSUSE repository, re-install using zypper.
    • zypper in --oldpackage <package name>

Keep in mind that for the last step, it is not always possible to clean up all remaining artifacts from an upgrade. This option should only be used as a last resort.

Cause

When you patch or update using zypper, all available repositories will be searched for the most up to date versions available in the repositores. As SLES is an enterprise ready version of Linux, this often means older packages due to a longer testing/development period. If repositories from SLES and openSUSE are both available at the same time, many rpms from openSUSE will be pulled from openSUSE and replace the SLES versions. This results in a mix of packages which haven't been tested together and often results in system instability.

Additional Information

To verify that you are subscribed to an openSUSE (or other) repository, run "zypper ca" or "zypper repos".

# /usr/bin/zypper --non-interactive --no-gpg-checks repos
#  | Alias                             | Name                | Enabled | Refresh
---+-----------------------------------+---------------------+---------+--------
 1 | nu_novell_com:SLES11-SP1-Pool     | SLES11-SP1-Pool     | Yes     | Yes   
 2 | nu_novell_com:SLES11-SP1-Updates  | SLES11-SP1-Updates  | Yes     | Yes   
 3 | nu_novell_com:SLES11-SP2-Core     | SLES11-SP2-Core     | Yes     | Yes     
 4 | nu_novell_com:SLES11-SP2-Updates  | SLES11-SP2-Updates  | Yes     | Yes    
 5 | openSUSE:13.1                     | openSUSE:13.1       | Yes     | Yes   


To see which repo a package came from, run the above command and look in the second column. Here is an example:

# rpm -qa --queryformat "%-35{NAME} %-35{DISTRIBUTION} %{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}\n" | sort -k 1,2 -t " "
glibc               SUSE Linux Enterprise 11      2.11.3-17.45.49.1
glibc-32bit         openSUSE 13.1                 2.18-4.4.1
glibc-devel         SUSE Linux Enterprise 11      2.11.3-17.45.49.1
glibc-i18ndata      openSUSE 13.1                 2.18-4.4.1
glibc-locale        SUSE Linux Enterprise 11      2.11.3-17.45.49.1

Disclaimer

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:7015683
  • Creation Date: 23-Sep-2014
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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