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Re: [suse-security] remote upgradeability of suse linux pro (7.3, 8, 8.1, 8.2) editions

On Jan 13, Avtar Gill <av_gill@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Andreas Bittner wrote:
> > i was looking for some information on the possibility of how to remotly
> > upgrade a suse linux system from some older release to a newer one
> > (having all the dvd/cd media, but no physical access to the target
> > boxes, only ssh/shell).

I think it is not professional to update boxes without any physical
access. But, if you have enough bandwidth and harddisk space and a serial
console (or someone who can help you with the bootloader on the remote
machine), you may want to try this:

* Create a partition for the new system. You have to reboot afterwards. 
This may be the trickiest part, if you don't have any kind of "rescue" 
system and the root partition consumes too much space
* Set up the new system on a local machine and make an image from it (big 
advantage: You can test everything, adapt old config files to the new 
machine, etc.!)
* Transfer the image to the remote system and put it on the new partition
* reboot and select the new partition in the bootloader (preferred: grub)
* A serial console support for the kernel would be nice. 
* Change the partitions as you want them.

A little bit riskier, but still good, if you have a small rescue 
partition for maintainance:
* Save the current root partition to a local file (e.g. on the home 
partition) and overwrite the old root partition. No reparitioning needed 

Most of this lives and dies with someone local who can press reset and a 
serial console.

PS: After thinking about this, I think that I'll have to make such a 
rescue partition for myself ;-)

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