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Question for anyone out there managing a network of openSUSE machines. How do you keep track of and apply updates? I know about YaST Online Update (YOU) but it seems more geared towards keeping a single machine up to date. It doesn't seem to scale well to a larger number of machines. How do you keep your machines updated? Our network is fairly heterogenous in terms of package installation as the servers are mostly infrastructure machines with varying roles.

I know that SUSE Linux Enterprise has tools to manage updates network-wide, but updating to that is currently not an option for budget reasons.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I use Puppet for all configuration and package management on servers. Though it's probably not the easiest method for homogenous servers if they weren't all built from a single source.

Other options are (assuming you're using relatively new SuSE) scripting Zypper to do the updates for you, or just scripting the YoU tool if that's possible. Personally, I try to stay away from any of the Yast stuff if at all possible (I'd rather do things with files and tools I can script).

Without preaching too much, if you have a large number of servers, configuration management is a big issue. You might as well bite the bullet now and spend some time looking at automated configuration management tools (puppet, cfengine, bcfg, etc.) that can handle this as well as other tasks. Just my 2 cents.

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This is basically how we eventually solved the problem. –  Kamil Kisiel Jan 27 '11 at 3:37

Novell's Subscription Management Tool has a not very well known feature of also being able to replicate openSUSE update archives. All you need is a novell.com login, free and if you have SLES you probably already have one. Look for in the SDK repos for SLES.

This is also free for SLES as well. It isn't as featured as Novell's enterprise linux management, but at least it'll get you a local update repo to sync your servers against.

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Looks interesting, but unfortunately it appears to require SLE to install. At least as of the latest version. –  Kamil Kisiel Aug 24 '09 at 17:45

We use mrepo to provide a local mirror of the CentOS update repositories. The docs seem to state that there is support for mirroring openSUSE archives.

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using opensuse i think it not possible but if have one server /desktop register with novell.com then you can config that as main update server that can push/pull config for updates that is only way i feel

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You could write a simple script that would run zypper up on a schedule (via cron) and then email/log the packages that were updated on that server. I know it sounds simple, not sure how robust of a solution your looking for?

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Actually that's exactly what we're doing right now. It works for the time being, but I don't know how big it will scale. –  Kamil Kisiel Jun 18 '10 at 6:37

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