There is a new version of this tutorial available for openSUSE 12.2.

How To Upgrade OpenSUSE 11.4 To 12.1 (Desktop & Server)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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This guide shows how you can upgrade your OpenSUSE 11.4 desktop and server installations to OpenSUSE 12.1.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

The upgrade can be done on the command line or via the YaST module Wagon (if you are on an OpenSUSE desktop). Since the Wagon method is less tested than the command line update, we will use the command line method here for both servers and desktops.


2 Installing the Latest Updates

Before we do the distribution upgrade, we install the latest updates for OpenSUSE 11.4. Open a terminal/command line window and run

zypper repos --uri

to check what repositories are used and enabled on the system. Make sure that the line that contains in the URI column reads Yes in the Enabled column (in this example the Alias is repo-update and the Name is openSUSE-11.4-Update, but these values can differ; the important column is the URI column):

server1:~ # zypper repos --uri
# | Alias                            | Name                             | Enabled | Refresh | URI
1 | Updates-for-openSUSE-11.4-11.4-0 | Updates for openSUSE 11.4 11.4-0 | Yes     | Yes     |
2 | openSUSE-11.4-11.4-0             | openSUSE-11.4-11.4-0             | Yes     | No      | cd:///?devices=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-VMware_Virtual_IDE_CDROM_Drive_10000000000000000001,/dev/sr0
3 | repo-debug                       | openSUSE-11.4-Debug              | No      | Yes     |
4 | repo-debug-update                | openSUSE-11.4-Update-Debug       | No      | Yes     |
5 | repo-non-oss                     | openSUSE-11.4-Non-Oss            | Yes     | Yes     |
6 | repo-oss                         | openSUSE-11.4-Oss                | Yes     | Yes     |
7 | repo-source                      | openSUSE-11.4-Source             | No      | Yes     |
server1:~ #

(If the line reads No in the Enabled column, enable the repository as follows:

zypper modifyrepo --enable Updates-for-openSUSE-11.4-11.4-0

repo-update refers to the Alias column; if the Alias column reads something like, for example, the command would be

zypper modifyrepo --enable

If there's no repository with the URI, then add the repository as follows:

zypper addrepo --check --name 'openSUSE-11.4-Update' repo-update


Now install the latest upfates:

zypper refresh
zypper update


3 Doing The Distribution Upgrade

Now that the latest updates are installed, disable all OpenSUSE 11.4 repositories...

zypper modifyrepo --all --disable

... and enable the OpenSUSE 12.1 repositories:

zypper addrepo --name "openSUSE-12.1 OSS" repo-12.1-oss
zypper addrepo --name "openSUSE-12.1 Non-OSS" repo-12.1-non-oss
zypper addrepo --name "openSUSE-12.1 Updates" repo-12.1-update

(If the zypper repos --uri command from chapter 2 displayed any third-party repositories, please check if these third-party repositories are available for OpenSUSE 12.1 as well; if they are, add them as follows:

zypper addrepo --name <name> <url> <alias>

For example, if you use the VirtualBox repository...

server1:~ # zypper repos --uri
# | Alias           | Name                         | Enabled | Refresh | URI
7 | virtualbox      | VirtualBox for openSUSE 11.4 | Yes     | Yes     |
server1:~ #

... enable the VirtualBox repository for OpenSUSE 12.1 as follows:

zypper addrepo --name "VirtualBox for openSUSE 12.1" virtualbox-12.1

At the time of this writing, there was no VirtualBox repository for OpenSUSE 12.1, but this is just an example of how you'd do it.

Use values for Name and Alias that are not in use yet.)

Now run the full distribution upgrade:

zypper ref
zypper dup

At the end, reboot the system...


... and enjoy your new OpenSUSE 12.1 system.


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8 Comment(s)

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By: Jason Masson

You can pretty much just edit existing repos in Yast.  YAST > Software Repositories. Change all items that have 14.1 to 12.1 in the name and url of the enabled repos.

Complete the end of the how-to.

zypper ref

zypper dup

At the end, reboot the system...


... and enjoy your new OpenSUSE 12.1 system.

By: Anonymous

I followed all steps above, but after reboot sysinfo still tells me that I am running opensuse 11.4. All start screens and the desktop still look the same as before.

 Is there anything I might have missed??

By: macias

Please note that OS team does not perform full regression tests, second, packages are not self contained (i.e. they rely on other packages). I already found out that new glibc is not fully compatible with older (from OS 11.4) version. If software you use hits the incompatibility bit, you will be in trouble. So word of advice -- before you do any system wide update, make a 1:1 clone of your current setup, run update there and test all pieces, if they work, run update for real.

By: Jorg K

I followed the steps and during the

zypper dup

I got heaps of errors:

insserv: script jexec is broken: incomplete LSB comment. insserv: missing `Required-Stop:' entry: please add even if empty. Perl-Bootloader: 2012-01-10 20:22:06 ERROR: GRUB::GrubDev2UnixDev: did not find a match for hd2 in the device map

and others. Due to the last problem the /boot/grub/menu.lst file was updated incorrectly. But even after fixing this manually, the system doesn't boot any more in "normal" mode. In "fail safe" mode it boots sometimes and sometimes it doesn't boot at all any more. So I don't quite enjoy my new 12.1 system.

By: martin

I had to replace systemd with sys-v init in order to get vmware VM network interfaces up and running after upgrade from 11.4 to 12.1:

 zypper in sysvinit-init

By: Guido

Many thanks for you very clear and useful tips.

I tried to upgrade from11.4 to12.1 from the desktop environment... without success!

I was unable to start a graphic section.

Now following your detailed tips I solved the problem.




By: Rob Cranfill

I have one other suggestion: make sure you've got a fair amount of space free. I think you'll need it on the root partition, but I'm not sure about that. I got nasty warnings when I updated that I was running out of space; luckily I had just enough to complete, but I suspect Bad Things would happen if you ran out.



By: Rogier