openSUSE 11.1 on Linode ala zypper dup

Published on Monday, May 18, 2009

I've been a Linode user for around four years now, and have always run Debian, until today. Last year Linode added openSUSE 11.0 as one of the distributions available to install, and I tried it very soon after it was available. Unfortunately it could barely boot (UML related issues I assume), and without any time to poke around, I switched back to my Debian image.

This weekend I decided to try again, even though the openSUSE version from Linode is still 11.0. I figured, "I've never actually done a [so called] dist-upgrade in openSUSE, so maybe I should try." I was quite impressed.

It took all of about 30 minutes to fully migrate my Debian Linode to openSUSE 11.1 - with fully working/migrated lighttpd, mysql, and git-daemon.

  • Deploy an openSUSE 11.0 distribution in your Linode, boot it.
  • Log in as root (via SSH, not LISH)
  • Nuke the 11.0 repository list: /etc/zypp/repos.d
  • Add the 11.1 base repository: zypper ar -f openSUSE-11.1
  • Update the update stack: zypper in zypper
  • Refresh the repo (probably not actually necessary, will be done automatically by the next step): zypper refresh
  • Update to openSUSE 11.1: zypper dup

At this point you will have fully migrated from openSUSE 11.0 to openSUSE 11.1, something that historically has been very difficult with SUSE. zypper is awesome! Now reboot the machine as a sanity check, and configure for updates.

  • Add the update repository: zypper ar -f openSUSE-11.1-Updates
  • Patch the 11.1 install to be fully up-to-date: zypper up

Reboot again as another sanity check. At this point you have the latest patched and stable openSUSE 11.1 on your Linode. The openSUSE base install is fairly stripped down by Linode, so I recommend installing and setting up the firewall (SuSEfirewall2), sudo, iputils, lighttpd, mysql, git-daemon, etc.

Additionally, you can easily update to the latest stable Mono release by subscribing to the official Mono OBS repository:

  • zypper ar -f Mono
  • zypper in mono-core mono-data mono-data-sqlite mono-web

So finally I am still a happy Linode user, but now with my favorite and most familiar distribution, openSUSE! I'm looking forward to playing with ASP.NET MVC on Mono 2.4. Any good MVC blog engines out there?