Client - Major Version Upgrade

Your clients must have the latest available service pack (SP) for the installed operating system, 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.

1. Prepare to Migrate

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

  1. Prepare installation media

  2. Create an auto-installable distribution

  3. Create an activation key

  4. Upload an AutoYaST profile

Procedure: Preparing Installation Media (for example, SLE 15 SP2)
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server, create a local directory for the SLE 15 SP2 installation media:

    mkdir -p /srv/images/sle15sp2
  2. Download an ISO image with the installation sources, and mount the ISO image on your server:

    mount -o loop DVD1.iso /mnt/
  3. Copy everything from the mounted ISO to your local file system:

    cp -r /mnt/* /srv/images/sle15sp2
  4. When the copy is complete, unmount the ISO image:

    umount /mnt

    This image is the Unified Installer and can be used for multiple autoinstallable distributions.

Procedure: Creating an Autoinstallable 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. For example, sles15sp2-x86_64.

    • In the Tree Path field, type an absolute path to the installation source. For example, /srv/images/sle15sp2.

    • In the Base Channel field, select SLE-Product-SLES15-SP2-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.

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

Procedure: Creating 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-SP2-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.

2. Create an Autoinstallation Profile

Autoinstallation profiles contain all the installation and configuration data needed to install a system. They can also contain scripts to be executed after the installation is complete. For example scripts that you can use as a starting point, see

For valid AutoYaST upgrade settings, see

Procedure: Creating an Autoinstallation Profile
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Profiles and upload your autoinstallation profile script.

    For example scripts that you can use as a starting point, see

  2. In the Kernel Options field, type autoupgrade=1.

    Optionally, you can also include the Y2DEBUG=1 option. The debug setting is not required but can help with investigating any future problems you might encounter.

    Clients running in Azure cloud must add textmode=1 console=ttyS0 to Kernel Options.

  3. Paste the autoinstallation profile or use the file upload field.

  4. Click Create to save.

  5. When the uploaded profile requires variables to be set, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Profiles, select the profile to edit, and navigate to the Variables tab.

    Specify the required variables, using this format:


3. Migration

Before you begin, check that all the channels referenced in the autoinstallation profile are available and fully synchronized.

You can monitor the mirroring progress in /var/log/rhn/reposync/<channel-label>.log.

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

  2. Navigate to the Provisioning tab, and select the autoinstallation profile you uploaded.

  3. Click Schedule Autoinstallation and Finish. The system downloads the required files, change the bootloader entries, reboot, and start the upgrade.

Next time the client synchronizes with the SUSE Manager Server, it receives a re-installation job. The re-installation job fetches the new kernel and initrd packages. It also writes a new /boot/grub/menu.lst (GRUB Legacy) or /boot/grub2/grub.cfg (GRUB 2), containing pointers to the new kernel and initrd packages.

When the client next boots, it uses 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 goes down for reboot.

For Salt clients, use the spacewalk/minion_script snippet to register the client again after migration has completed.