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Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP1

1 Upgrade Paths and Methods Edit source

SUSE® Linux Enterprise (SLE) allows to upgrade an existing system to the new version, for example, going from SLE 12 SP4 to the latest SLE 15 service pack. No new installation is needed. Existing data, such as home and data directories and system configuration, is kept intact. You can update from a local CD or DVD drive or from a central network installation source.

This chapter explains how to manually upgrade your SUSE Linux Enterprise system, be it by DVD, network, an automated process, or SUSE Manager.

1.1 Supported Upgrade Paths to SLED 15 SP1 Edit source

Before you perform any migration, read Chapter 3, Preparing the Upgrade.

Important: Cross-architecture Upgrades Are Not Supported

Cross-architecture upgrades, such as upgrading from a 32-bit version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop to the 64-bit version, or upgrading from big endian to little endian are not supported!

Also, since SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 is 64-bit only, upgrades from any 32-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 systems to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 and later are not supported.

To make a cross-architecture upgrade, you need to perform a new installation.

Note: Skipping Service Packs

Skipping Service Packs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is not supported. You need to consecutively install all Service Packs.

Note: Upgrading Major Releases

We recommend to do a fresh install when upgrading to a new Major Release, for example from SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 to SUSE Linux Enterprise 15.

Overview of Supported Upgrade Paths
Figure 1.1: Overview of Supported Upgrade Paths
Supported Upgrade Paths per Version
Upgrading from SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 GA / SP1 / SP2

Upgrading from SLED 12 SP2 or older service packs directly is not supported. You need at least SLED 12 SP3 before you can proceed to SLED 15 SP1.

If you cannot do a fresh installation, first upgrade your installed SLED 12 service pack to SLED 12 SP3. This upgrade is described in the SLED 12 Deployment Guide.

Upgrading from SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 SP3 / SP4

Upgrading from SLED 12 SP3 / SP4 is only supported via an offline upgrade. Refer to Section 1.2, “Online and Offline Upgrade” for details.

Upgrading from SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 GA

Upgrading from SLED 15 GA is supported both online and offline. Refer to the following for details:

1.2 Online and Offline Upgrade Edit source

SUSE supports the following upgrade and migration methods. For more information about the terminology, see Section 2.1, “Terminology”. The methods are:


Upgrades that are executed from the running operating system itself (system up and running state). Examples: online update with Zypper or YaST, connected through SUSE Customer Center or Repository Mirroring Tool (RMT), Salt Policy via SUSE Manager.

For details, see Chapter 5, Upgrading Online.

When migrating between Service Packs of the same major release, we suggest following Section 5.4, “Upgrading with the Online Migration Tool (YaST)” or Section 5.5, “Upgrading with Zypper”.


Upgrading offline implies that the operating system to be upgraded is not running (system down state). Instead, the installer for the target operating system is booted (for example, from the installation media, via network or via local boot loader), and performs the upgrade.

For details, see Chapter 4, Upgrading Offline.

Important: SUSE Manager Clients

If your machine is managed by SUSE Manager, update it as described in the SUSE Manager documentation. The Client Migration procedure is described in the SUSE Manager Upgrade Guide, available at https://documentation.suse.com/suma/.

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