2.10. Online Update from the Command Line

The behavior of the YaST Online Update can be controlled with command-line parameters. The syntax is online_update  [command-line parameter]. The possible parameters and their functions are listed below.

-u URL

Base URL of the directory tree from which the patches should be downloaded.


Only download patches. Do not install.


Install downloaded patches. Do not download.


Check if new patches are available.


Show the current configuration. Do not perform any action.

-p product

Product for which patches should be downloaded.

-v version

Product version for which patches should be downloaded.

-a architecture

Base architecture of the product for which patches should be downloaded.


Dry run. Download patches and simulate installation (system remains unchanged; for test purposes only).


No signature check of the downloaded files.


Display a list of available patches.


Verbose mode.


Debug mode for experts and for troubleshooting.

Using the command-line tool online_update, the system can be updated automatically, for example, with scripts. For instance, you may want your system to search a specific server for updates and download the patches and patch information at a specified time in regular intervals. However, you may not want the patches to be installed automatically. Instead, you may want to review the patches and select the patches for installation at a later time.

To use the tool, first configure a cron job that executes the following command:

online_update -u <URL> -g <type_specification>

-u introduces the base URL of the directory tree from which the patches should be downloaded. The supported protocols are http, ftp, smb, nfs, cd, dvd, and dir. -g downloads the patches to a local directory without installing them. Optionally, filter the patches by specifying the type: security, recommended, or optional. If no filter is specified, online_update downloads all new security and recommended patches.

The downloaded packages can be installed immediately without reviewing the individual patches. online_update saves the patches in the directory /var/lib/YaST2/you/mnt. To install the patches, execute the following command:

online_update -u /var/lib/YaST2/you/mnt/ -i

The parameter -u specifies the local URL of the patches to install. -i starts the installation procedure.

To review the downloaded patches prior to the installation, start the YOU dialog:

yast online_update .url /var/lib/YaST2/you/mnt/

YOU starts and uses the local directory containing the downloaded patches instead of a remote directory on the Internet. Select the patches to install in the same way as packages for installation in the package manager.

For more information about online_update, enter online_update -h.

SUSE LINUX Administration Guide 9.3