Client Migration

Upgrading traditional clients from SLE 12 with the latest Service Pack to SLE 15 is automated, but you will need to do some preparation steps before you can upgrade.

Upgrading traditional clients from earlier SLE 15 Service Packs to later SLE 15 Service Packs is fully automated.

For supported SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 upgrade paths, see

Upgrade Clients from SLE 12 to SLE 15

Your clients must have the latest available SLE 12 Service Pack, with all the latest updates applied. Before you start, ensure that the system is up to date and all updates have been installed successfully.

The upgrade is controlled by YaST and AutoYaST, it does not use Zypper.

Prepare to Migrate

Before you can migrate your client from SLE 12 to SLE 15, you need to make these preparations:

  1. Prepare installation media

  2. Create an auto-installation distribution

  3. Create an activation key

  4. Upload an AutoYaST profile

Procedure: Preparing Installation Media
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server, create a local directory for the SLE 15 installation media.

  2. Download an ISO image with the installation sources, and mount the ISO image on your server:

    mkdir /mnt/sle15
    mount -o loop DVD1.iso /mnt/sle15
Procedure: Creating an Autoinstallation Distribution
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Distributions and click Create Distribution.

  2. In the Create Autoinstallable Distribution section, use these parameters:

    • In the Distribution Label section, type a unique name for the distribution. Use only letters, numbers, hyphens (-), periods (.), and underscores (_), and ensure the name is longer than four characters.

    • In the Tree Path field, type an absolute path to the installation source. For example, /mnt/sle15.

    • In the Base Channel field, select SLE-Product-SLES15-Pool for x86_64.

    • In the Installer Generation field, select SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

    • In the Kernel Options field, type any options to be passed to the kernel when booting for the installation. The install= parameter and the self_update=0 pt.options=self_update parameter are added by default.

    • In the Post Kernel Options section, type any options to be passed to the kernel when booting the installed system for the first time.

  3. Click Create Autoinstallable Distribution to save.

Procedure: Creating an Activation Key

In order to switch from the old SLE 12 SP4 base channel to the new SLE 15 channel, you need an activation key.

  1. In the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems  Activation Keys and click Create Key.

  2. Enter a description for your key.

  3. Enter a key or leave it blank to generate an automatic key.

  4. OPTIONAL: If you want to limit the usage, enter your value in the Usage text field.

  5. Select the SLE-Product-SLES15-Pool for x86_64 base channel.

  6. OPTIONAL: Select any Add-On System Types. For more information, see

  7. Click Create Activation Key.

  8. Click the Child Channels tab and select the required channels.

  9. Click Update Key.

Procedure: Uploading an AutoYaST Profile

Create an AutoYaST profile. For more information about AutoYaST, see client-configuration:client-automating-installation.adoc.

  1. In the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation and click Upload Kickstart/Autoyast File.

  2. Paste the XML content in the text area or select the file to upload and click Create.

  3. Navigate to the Details tab.

  4. In the Kernel Options field, select autoupgrade=1 and click Update.

  5. Navigate to the Variable tab.

  6. In the registration_key= field, enter the activation key, and click Update Variables.


Before you begin the migration, make sure that the migration target channels are completely mirrored. For the upgrade to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, at least the SLE-Product-SLES15-Pool base channel with the SLE-Manager-Tools15-Pool child channel for your architecture is required. The matching update channels such as SLE-Manager-Tools15-Updates and SLE-Product-SLES15-Updates are recommended.

You can monitor the mirroring progress in /var/log/rhn/reposync/sles15-pool-x86_64.log.

Procedure: Migrating
  1. In the SUSE Manager Server Web UI, navigate to Systems and select the client to be upgraded.

  2. Navigate to System Details  Provisioning  Autoinstallation  Schedule, and select the AutoYaST profile you uploaded.

  3. Click Schedule Autoinstallation and Finish.

Next time the client synchronizes with the SUSE Manager Server, it will receive a re-installation job. The re-installation job fetches the new kernel and initrd packages. It will also write a new /boot/grub/menu.lst, containing pointers to the new kernel and initrd packages.

When the client next boots, it will use grub to boot the new kernel with its initrd. PXE booting is not used during this process.

Approximately three minutes after the job was fetched, the client will go down for reboot.

SP Mass Migration

If you want to migrate a large number of clients to the next SP version, you can use SUSE Manager API calls.

Procedure: SP Mass Migration
  1. You need to know to which migration target you want to migrate. List available migration targets:

    spacecmd api -- system.listMigrationTargets -A 1000010001

    Create a list of system IDs you want to migrate.

  2. For each system ID, call listMigrationTarget and check that it is an available target.

    • If the system ID is an available target, call system.scheduleSPMigration.

    • If it is not an available target, skip the system.

Adapt this template for your environment:

target = '[....]'
basechannel = 'channel-label'
system_ids = [1, 2, 3]

session = auth.login(user, pass)
for system in system_ids
  if system.listMigrationTargets(session, system).ident == target
    system.scheduleSPMigration(session, system, target, basechannel, [], False, <now>)
    print "Cannot migrate to requested target -- skipping system"