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How to upgrade OpenSUSE to a new release

OpenSUSE Linux has, by far, one of the best upgrade systems out there. It’s super user-friendly, hands off and best of all, users don’t need to know a whole lot about OpenSUSE to do it! If you’re itching to upgrade OpenSUSE to a new version but are unsure about what to do, or how to go about it, we can help! Follow along with us in our guide as we walk you through how to upgrade your OpenSUSE Linux PC to a new release!

Note: In this post, we cover how to upgrade OpenSUSE LEAP 42.3 to OpenSUSE LEAP 15.0. The reason we cover upgrading to version 15.0 is that it’s the newest version of LEAP available. That said, the upgrade process is identical with all versions of the operating system. So, if you plan to do an upgrade, follow these instructions but replace OpenSUSE 15.0 to whichever release of SUSE you wish to upgrade to.

Making the upgrade disk

Upgrading OpenSUSE Linux starts by downloading the new release. Usually, new versions of the operating system are delivered in the form of ISO disk image files, which are available for download on SUSE’s official website. In this guide, we’ll be using OpenSUSE LEAP version 15.0 as the distribution being upgraded to.

To get your hands on OpenSUSE Leap, head over to the official OpenSUSE website. Once you’re there and click on the LEAP icon, then, download the latest 15.0 ISO to your computer.

When the OpenSUSE LEAP ISO file is done downloading to your Linux PC, follow the step-by-step instructions below to create a new USB live installation disk.

Step 1: Go to Etcher.io and download the latest version of the Etcher USB tool to your Linux computer. Be sure to follow the installation instructions on the website to learn how to start up the program.

Step 2: Plug in a USB stick into your computer’s USB port. Please keep in mind that it must be at least 4 GB in size. OpenSUSE Linux ISO files tend to be pretty big, so the more space, the better.

Step 3: Using the Etcher application, click the “Select image” button. Then, use the pop-up file browser to select the OpenSUSE ISO file on your computer.

Step 4: Click the “Select drive” button in Etcher. Then, in the selection menu that appears, find your USB flash drive and select it to use for the ISO.

Step 5: Click “Flash!” in Etcher to start the burning process. Be warned; the USB creation process will take some time (about 15-20) minutes. Sit back and be patient!

When Etcher is done making your OpenSUSE USB stick, reboot your PC, load up your BIOS and configure it to boot from USB. Then, when SUSE boots up, choose the “Upgrade” option in the Grub boot menu.

Upgrade OpenSUSE

Selecting the “Upgrade” option when the OpenSUSE boot screen appears will immediately take you to the SUSE end user license agreement. Read through it and click the “Next” button at the bottom of the page.

After the EULA, the installation tool will detect the version of OpenSUSE Linux currently on your computer. Select it with the mouse and click “Next” to move on through the installer.

Once the installer detects your current installation of OpenSUSE Linux, it’ll propose changes to the software repositories and mark all of them for removal. Thankfully, this is an automatic process, so there’s no need to fiddle with anything. Just click “Next” to allow the changes.

Following the removal of previous software repositories, the installer will propose new ones to activate as part of the upgrading process. Leave the selections as they are, and click “Next” once again to continue.

When you’re done disabling old software repositories and enabling new ones, OpenSUSE will show an outline that tells you information about your upgrade. The outline details how many new packages will be installed, how many it needs to upgrade, uninstall, etc.

Read through the upgrade outline to understand the changes that the installation tool is about to make. If you’re happy with the changes, click the “Update” button to start the process. Or, cancel by clicking “Abort.”

Selecting the “Update” button will instantly bring up an update window. In this update window, you’ll be able to watch your OpenSUSE installation upgrade to the new release in real-time.

The OpenSUSE upgrade will take quite a bit of time, as the installer has a lot of data to install on the system. Sit back and let the installation tool do its thing.

When the OpenSUSE upgrade process is complete, a message will appear on the screen. This message will let you know that your computer is about to reboot itself. Click the “OK” button to confirm.

Once your Linux PC finishes rebooting, you’ll be running the new upgrade! Unplug the USB flash drive from your computer and enjoy!

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