OpenSUSE 10.3 YaST allows upgrade even if there is no room for upgrade?

I tried to upgrade OpenSUSE 10.1 to OpenSUSE 10.3. My PC is a Laptop PC with an 80 GB hard drive. I have quite a many data files on my PC and hard drive had only 3 per cent of free space at the beginning. I was unsure, if it was enough but thought that YaST will tell me if there is not enough free space for upgrade.

At the beginning YaST wanted to remove quite many packages. I had installed many packages from the source and selected to keep many of those ones YaST wanted to remove.

I also turned off the automatic dependency checking. When dependencies were ok and I had accepted the removed packages, YaST wanted to install additional packages due to dependencies. I accepted those all.

When upgrade started I went to sleep. After some hours I woke up and checked, if this upgrade had completed. It was not. There was still some 1174 packages to install and YaST reported that a subprocess had failed. YaST provided three options: Cancel, Try again, and Skip. When I clicked the Skip button, I got the same error message from the next package. When I clicked Cancel button, I got again the same error message from the next package.

My conclusion was that I had run out of space and it was better to cancel this upgrade. It looked that if I wanted to cancel upgrade now, I had to click Cancel button thousands time. I selected the fourth option: Power off and went back to bed.

When I tried to boot my Laptop (with OpenSUSE 10.1, no OpenSUSE 10.3 in the boot menu) next morning, I got the following error messages:

INIT: Id “3”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

INIT: Id “4”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

INIT: Id “5”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

INIT: Id “1”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

INIT: Id “2”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

INIT: Id “6”; respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

and the same error messages second time. I decided again to make a power off.

It looks like I have succeeded to corrupt my OpenSUSE installation. For bugzilla reporting Open Source development teams want different kind of information about hardware construction, installation log, etc. I can’t provide anything like that, so I have ignored bugzilla and decided to write this document. Let’s hope that someone will tell OpenSUSE YaST team about those problems I encountered when I tried to upgrade OpenSUSE.


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13 Responses to “OpenSUSE 10.3 YaST allows upgrade even if there is no room for upgrade?”

  1. Mike Harden Says:

    The fourth option should have been “kill -9 PID” where PID is the PID of Yast’s upgrade.

    If you need to recover data from the drive (like photos and stuff), try running photorec from a live CD. It’s never failed to recover all my photos and documents (of course you get back a bunch of duplicates and junk too). Just be sure to write the data it finds to a different drive or you might overwrite data you’re interested in.

    Centerlink’s reply:
    Thanks, I have done it previously. It is even possible with the SuSE installation CD. It’s quite easy to mount a CD drive (or hard drive), but sometimes a bit difficult to find a device driver for (target) USB disk (for example).

  2. Magnus Boman Says:

    >>had only 3 per cent of free space
    And you wonder why you run out of disk space?

    >>selected to keep many of those ones YaST wanted to remove.
    And you wonder why you run out of disk space?

    >>selected the fourth option: Power off and went back to bed.
    Very smart! No reason to think that some, but not all, vital packages had already been upgraded.

    >>It looks like I have succeeded to corrupt my OpenSUSE

    >>For bugzilla reporting
    Report what exactly? That if you don’t know what you are doing, you should ask someone to help you?

    >>Let’s hope that someone will tell OpenSUSE YaST team about
    >>those problems
    I don’t see any problems that needs to be reported.

    Centerlink’s reply:

    Actually, if you want to install some packages with YaST and if you have, for example, a Windows partition with minimium free space, YaST warns you that you are running out of space with that (windows) partition. But with this upgrade I didn’t see any such kind of warnings.

    Also, YaST wanted to remove many packages, because OpenSUSE distro did not include any new versions for those packages (that was one reason). Another reason could be to make more room for upgrade. But if user do not accept (all) removals, YaST should have announced that after these (changed) selections you are running out of space. I did not see any such kind of message.

    I think that if you can’t cancel your upgrade without 1000 and more clicks of Cancel button, it is a bug to report.

  3. Shane Says:

    Doesnt surprise me. There have been a tonne of issues with 10.3. While some have had success with it, it was a terrible and embarrassing release effort.

    Centerlink’s reply:
    It is a long way to really user-friendliness when upgrading and installing Linux Distros.

  4. AC Says:

    Not really a smart thing to do, is it? Trying to upgrade a system with only ~2.5 Gb–kinda deserved this. –AC

    Centerlink’s reply:
    I knew it prior to my upgrade. But there are many newbies, who don’t check it. They have to rely on it what YaST tells them.

  5. joe Says:

    Can anyone tell me, why is refering to stories like that?
    Opensuse 10.3 is certainly one of the top 3 linux distros, I my opinion the best at all.
    Now some moron has broken his installation trying to upgrade from 10.1 to 10.3 … sad story, I come to tears.

    Centerlink’s reply:
    Yes, I agree. I have used SuSE since release 6.4. But it will never be the best distro if there aren’t morons, who try out every aspect of the distro. 🙂

  6. Chris Jones Says:

    MikeR: the point is that YaST didn’t tell him he didn’t have sufficient space. Not all users even know how to check their diskspace.
    Simply, YaST should refuse to do an upgrade that is guaranteed to fail. You can blame the users for trying anyway, but you also have to blame the software for not preventing something that would obviously never work.

  7. Ashaman Says:

    Good grief! Someone is a moron. PEBCAK

    Centerlink’s reply (for other morons 🙂 ):

    PLS, tell me something. Have you ever used Windows? Do you have updated any software or upgraded the operation system? Have you ever have computer with two partitions, C and D ? Have you ever run out of the C partition space? It happens sometimes. I have seen it happen and not only for my computer. The latest was last summer. I had to start to work with such kind of PC (the previous user of that PC had a vacation in New York and I could not re-install Windows before his return). How does Windows setup behave when there is not enough space on C partition? The answer is: It always tells about it. It tells how to solve the problem. And it quits. It never has allowed me to continue. But OpenSUSE 10.3 YaST allows it.

  8. Benjamin Weber Says:

    YaST actually does check the amount of free disk space, and gives warning in some cases, sometimes even when there is sufficient space. The trouble is that determining whether there is sufficient free space is not a trivial problem.

    Sure we know the size of the package prior to its installation, but this is not enough information. A package contains files which might go anywhere in the filesystem, some to /usr, some to /var etc,

    There is no way to know how much space is occupied on each partition on the disk, especially as the complete filelists of packages are not downloaded to save download & repository refresh time.

  9. Mike R. Says:


    It’s not about the software. He already knew he only had 3% of the drive left. The OP stated that. I’m sorry, but it’d kinda like passing a cop when you are doing 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. You know it wrong, but hey, the car will go that fast, so why can’t I do it?

    Why is it that folks absolutely have to have something or someone else to blame? Oh, it’s the software that allowed me to do it. Or some other silly reason for their own problem. It’s not the fault of the software. I guess it’s the same as blaming the auto maker for building a car that goes too fast and you get pulled over. “No officer, it’s not my fault, send the ticket to the maker of the car because it allowed me to go too fast”. That’s would really go over well. You might try it though, you might get a cop with a sense of humor and let you off with just a warning.

    OH, and just for the record, after clicking all those cancels, it still gives you one more try to abort the install. Are you sure? Apply or abort. With all the problems it was showing, somehow I think I would have aborted. But that’s just me. I tend not to try things when it doesn’t look right.


    Centerlink’s reply:

    Mike R.

    Your analogy is not quite correct. I’ll try the better one:

    Let’s image that you are a tipper truck driver. Your truck is loaded by a hydraulic shovel driver. But because of rainy last night and moist sand your truck will be overloaded. On your way an officer called YaST stops you and tries to calculate, if your truck is overloaded. But he fails. Some truck drivers have told me, that cops can sometimes fail with these kind of calculations. And after the next turn you will continue towards a weight-limited bridge…

  10. Mike R. Says:

    Even that analogy shows that folks are looking to fault or blame someone else. You are driving the truck. You are the one that knows or should know that it’s over weight. Believe me, I’ve driven enough heavy trucks to know when I’ve got a heavier load than usual. Even the cop tried to stop you, but you ignored all the signs. You, not the cop, not the equipment, you. You and you alone are responsible for what happened.

    Either way, It was your choice to continue. You had the final say. Once you ignored all the cautions, like the dependencies, and clicking through all the cancels, you continued on.

    Yes, I understand that this was a rant. But I’ll say it again. It wasn’t Yast that made the final decision to do this. You made that final click.

    Centerlink’s reply:


    You haven’t used YaST yourself. When I turned off the automatic dependency checking, it does not mean that I discarded the dependency checking of the packages. It means only that I did it manually. It was not possible to continue without handling of dependencies. Dependency checking means that YaST will check which version of some other packages and libraries are needed for a specific package (to work). You can also select to ignore dependency checking warnings for a specific package. For the most packages it does not mean that the whole installation will be corrupted. For example, you can install some library package from the source. But Yast doesn’t always know that that package already exists, and creates a false warning during the dependency checking.

  11. Mike R. Says:

    I haven’t used Yast? Guess again. Been using it since it was ncurses only. It was called Yast back then somewhere around version 5.3. When the current version came out they called it Yast2.

    But lets get to basics. You complain because it wouldn’t stop you. That’s the problem. Software is only as good as the user. You chose to check things manually thinking that you could do better than the automatic checking. It’s possible. But after all the problems you had, it still asks one final time if you want to proceed. You said yes. Yast didn’t say yes, you did. It’s that final click that did it. You could have aborted and tried a different approach. Now you blame Yast for allowing this.

    It’s the old blame game. You chose to blame the product thinking that you can’t do anything wrong. Oh, well, I guess it’s Yast’s fault for not stopping you. I hope you get it fixed without losing your data. Hopefully you had it on a separate partition.


  12. Marco Says:

    The responses from most Linux users here are a perfect showcase why (with that attitude) Linux will never become as populair as Windows.

    They expect the whole world to comprehend computers like they do. While, in reality (reality, you know?) it’s only like 1% of all computer users.

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