How to Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5

Tested and proven step-by-step guide for in-place upgrade on your existing openSUSE Leap 15.5 system to Leap 15.6.

If you’re using openSUSE Leap 15.5 and considering upgrading to the latest and greatest version, Leap 15.6, you’re in the right place. With openSUSE’s robust platform, the process is straightforward and a breeze.

This article is designed to guide you through the seamless upgrade process from Leap 15.5 to Leap 15.6. We’ll walk you through every step, from preparation to execution, ensuring you can make the transition smoothly and confidently.

Step 1: Take System Backup

First, let’s ensure all your important data is safe. Before doing anything else, we strongly recommend a full system backup of your openSUSE system. Thus, if something goes wrong, you can restore it with all the vital data to its previous state.

However, if you do not feel like taking the above approach, you can instead 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-data.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/leap-data.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/dev \
     --exclude=/mnt \
     --exclude=/proc \
     --exclude=/sys \
     --exclude=/tmp \
     --exclude=/media \
     --exclude=/lost+found \
     /Code language: Bash (bash)

Feel free to add more “–exclude=” parameters if needed. Finally, the command creates a backup of all files in the “leap-data.tar.gz” file 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-backports-update
  • repo-sle-update
  • repo-update

You can do it by performing the following:

zypper repos -u
Verify that update repos are available and enabled.
Verify that update repos are available and enabled.

If, for any reason, 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-nameCode language: Bash (bash)

Step 3: Update All Software

Ensure you have a fully updated Leap 15.5 system. In the terminal app, type the following command:

sudo zypper refresh
sudo zypper updateCode language: Bash (bash)
Update all software.
Update all software.

If any updates are available, install them, then reboot. The result should be a fully up-to-date system with no packages waiting to be updated. Here is our openSUSE Leap 15.5 box before migrating to Leap 15.6.

openSUSE Leap 15.5
openSUSE Leap 15.5

You can check the current OS version by running:

cat /etc/os-releaseCode language: Bash (bash)

Step 4: Refresh Repositories to Leap 15.6

First, check if your Leap repos defined in “/etc/zypp/repos.d/” are using the “$releasever” (i.e., are not hard-coded with a particular Leap version number, for example, “15.5“) variable already in the URIs.

grep baseurl /etc/zypp/repos.d/*.repoCode language: Bash (bash)
Check repos for the $releasever variable.
Check repos for the $releasever variable.

Then, refresh all repositories to the new Leap’s 15.6 ones.

sudo zypper --releasever=15.6 refresh

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

Successfully refreshed the new openSUSE Leap 15.6 repositories.
Successfully refreshed the new openSUSE Leap 15.6 repositories.

Step 5: Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5

It is time to start the upgrade, which will migrate our system from openSUSE Leap 15.5 to Leap 15.6. However, one very crucial clarification is required beforehand.

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

In light of this, we advise switching to the virtual terminal using the “Ctrl+Alt+F3” keyboard shortcut, logging in, and running the bellow command, which will start the upgrade process.

sudo zypper --releasever=15.6 dup --download-in-advanceCode language: Bash (bash)

Accept typing “y” on the message informing you of the packages to be installed.

Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.
Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.

The upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 will start with downloading and applying the updates. Now is the perfect time to grab a coffee and settle in because the process will take some time, depending on your internet connection speed, hardware capabilities, and the number of updated packages.

Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.
Upgrade to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.

Once the process is completed, you’ll be offered to reboot the system. Okay, the moment of truth!

Reboot the system.
Reboot the system.
sudo rebootCode language: Bash (bash)

Wait for the system to reboot. It will take a bit longer than usual. Finally, the bootloader will greet you, indicating you are now running openSUSE Leap 15.6.

GRUB Bootloader.
GRUB Bootloader.

At this point, it’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back because, just like that, you’ve successfully transitioned your system from openSUSE Leap 15.5 to 15.6. I’m sending you big congratulations, too. Login and enjoy!

Successfully upgraded to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.
Successfully upgraded to openSUSE Leap 15.6 from Leap 15.5.


Upgrading from openSUSE Leap 15.5 to 15.6 is straightforward. By following our detailed guide, you can ensure a smooth transition. So, congratulations! Your system is now more robust and secure, ready to meet current and future demands.

For additional help or useful information, we recommend checking the official openSUSE documentation. Thanks for using our guide! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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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