How to Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4

This guide shows you the step-by-step process to upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4 to enjoy the latest features and improvements!

openSUSE Leap, a widely recognized Linux distribution, has garnered a reputation for stability, security, and user-friendliness. Among its recent releases, openSUSE Leap 15.5 stands out as a noteworthy upgrade that brings many new features and updates.

However, upgrading to the latest version of an operating system can take time and effort for some users. But fear not, as this comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of upgrading from openSUSE Leap 15.4 to Leap 15.5.

This article will explore upgrading from openSUSE Leap 15.4 to the latest version, openSUSE Leap 15.5, using the command line and taking advantage of the Zypper command.

Following these instructions, you can harness the power of the newest Leap release and enjoy its improvements.

Step 1: Take System Backup

Backing up your essential files and configurations is highly recommended. So, we strongly recommend making a full system backup. If something goes wrong, you can restore your system with all of the vital data to its previous state.

Of course, you can always use a command like the one shown below, which will archive all of the more critical directories and their contents in a tar.gz archive.

sudo tar czf /leap.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/leap.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/dev \
     --exclude=/mnt \
     --exclude=/proc \
     --exclude=/sys \
     --exclude=/tmp \
     --exclude=/media \
     --exclude=/lost+found \
     /Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Feel free to add more “–exclude=” parameters if needed. Finally, the command creates a backup of all files in “leap.tar.gz” located on the root partition (/), which you should ideally transfer to another computer or drive, for example, using the SCP command.

Step 2: Check Repositories

The next step is to ensure that the following three update repositories already exist on your openSUSE Leap 15.4 system and are enabled:

  • repo-update
  • repo-backports-update
  • repo-sle-update

You can do it by performing the following:

zypper repos -u
Check update repositories.
Check repositories.

If the “Enabled” column is set to “No,” run the command below, where “repo-name” is the name of the repository to enable it.

sudo zypper modifyrepo --enable repo-name

Step 3: Update All Currently Installed Packages

Before you upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5, ensure your current Leap 15.4 system is fully up to date to guarantee a seamless upgrade. So, open the terminal and type the following two commands:

sudo zypper refresh
sudo zypper update

If any updates are available, install them, then reboot your system.

After the system boot, log in. This is our current openSUSE Leap 15.4 system before we upgrade to Leap 15.5.

openSUSE Leap 15.4 before starting the upgrade to Leap 15.5.
openSUSE Leap 15.4 before starting the upgrade to Leap 15.5.

Step 4: Update Repos

First, it is important to check if your Leap repos defined in “/etc/zypp/repos.d/” are using the “$releasever” (are not hard-coded with a particular Leap version number) variable already in the URIs.

To check, run the following command:

grep baseurl /etc/zypp/repos.d/*.repo
Check repos for the $releasever variable.
Check repos for the $releasever variable.

Then, refresh all repositories to the new Leap’s 15.5 ones.

sudo zypper --releasever=15.5 refresh

You will be prompted multiple times to approve/accept the new signing keys used to sign the Leap 15.5 repositories. Enter “a” and press the “Enter” key.

Accept the new signing repo keys.
Accept the new signing repo keys.

You should get a message that all repositories have been successfully refreshed.

Successfully refreshed the new openSUSE Leap 15.5 repositories.
Successfully refreshed the new openSUSE Leap 15.5 repositories.

However, remember that refreshing does not permanently change the “$releasever” variable yet. This will happen after the completion of operations in the next step.

Step 5: Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4

It is time to start the upgrade, which will migrate our system from openSUSE Leap 15.4 to Leap 15.5. However, one very crucial clarification is required beforehand.

It is strongly recommended that you run the upgrade outside the X-window graphical mode. Why? Because if your X session crashes during the update, causing the upgrade to fail, you will end up with a broken system.

So, switch to the virtual terminal using the “Ctrl+Alt+F3” keyboard shortcut, login, and run the command below there, which will start the upgrade process.

sudo zypper --releasever=15.5 dup --download-in-advance

Accept typing “y” on the message informing you of the packages to be installed, then load yourself with patience.

Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4.
Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4.

All the packages required for the upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.5 will start downloading. Depending on your internet speed, this will take some time.

The number of updates to download will vary depending on what is currently installed on your system, but it will probably be more than a gigabyte.

Once everything is complete, you will be informed that your system is waiting for a reboot to apply the new changes, so do it.

Reboot the system.
Reboot the system.
sudo reboot

The bootloader will greet you, indicating that you are now running openSUSE Leap 15.5.

GRUB Bootloader.
GRUB Bootloader.

Finally, login and enjoy your newly upgraded openSUSE Leap 15.5 system.

Successfully upgraded to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4.
Successfully upgraded to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4.


Upgrading to openSUSE Leap 15.5 from Leap 15.4 is a straightforward process that ensures users can enjoy the latest features, security updates, and performance enhancements the operating system offers.

Following the steps outlined in this guide, users can seamlessly transition to the new version and take advantage of its improvements.

After the upgrade is complete, it is recommended to thoroughly test the system to ensure that all applications and functionalities are working as expected.

For additional help or useful information, we recommend checking the official openSUSE documentation.

Finally, thank you for trusting our step-by-step instructions and relying on our expertise. I hope you have found our guide helpful.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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