7.1 Using Zypper
Zypper is a command line tool for installing and updating packages.
It is especially useful to accomplish remote software management tasks or
to manage software from shell scripts.
zypper has a help overview built in:
7.1.1 General Usage
The general syntax of zypper is:
zypper [global-options] command [command-options] [arguments] ...
The components enclosed in brackets are not required. The simplest way to
execute zypper is to type its name followed by a command. For example, to
apply all needed patches to the system type:
Additionally, you can choose from one or more global options by typing
them just before the command. For example,
--non-interactive means, run the command without asking
anything, decide on your own:
zypper --non-interactive update
To use the options specific to a particular command, type them right
after the command. For example,
--auto-agree-with-licenses means, apply all needed
patches to the system without asking for confirming any
licenses—all of them were read in advance:
zypper update --auto-agree-with-licenses
Some of the commands require one or more arguments:
zypper install mplayer
Some of the options also require an argument. The following means, update
the system with newer packages:
zypper update -t package
All of the above combined means, install using the
factory repository only and be verbose:
zypper -v install --repo factory mplayer amarok
7.1.2 Installing and Removing Software with Zypper
To install a package from registered repositories, use
zypper install package_name
You can also install a local or remote RPM directly:
zypper install http://www.example.com/package_name.rpm
To remove an installed package, use
zypper remove package_name
WARNING: Do not Remove Packages Mandatory for the System
Do not remove packages such as glibc,
zypper, kernel, or
similar. These packages are mandatory for the system and if missing, the
system may stop working.
By default, zypper asks for confirmation before installing or removing a
selected package. Override this behavior using the
--non-interactive option. This option must be given
before the actual mode (install, remove, and update) as in
zypper --non-interactive install package_name
This option allows using zypper in scripts and cron jobs.
If you want to install the corresponding source package of a package, use
zypper source-install package_name
With this command, you will also install the build dependencies of the
specified package. If you do not want this, add the switch
--no-build-deps as follows:
zypper source-install --no-build-deps package_name
Of course, this will only work, if you have the repository with the
source packages added to your repository list. For more information about
adding repositories, see Section 7.1.4, Managing Repositories.
7.1.3 Updating Software with Zypper
There are two different ways to update software using zypper. To
integrate all officially released patches into your system, just run
In this case, all patches available in your repositories are checked for
relevance, and installed if necessary.
If a repository just has new packages, but does not provide patches,
zypper update does not show any effect. To update
all of these packages, you must specify to install updates of the type
zypper update -t package
To update individual packages, use the installation command:
zypper install package_name
A list of all new packages available can be obtained with the command:
zypper list-updates -t package
7.1.4 Managing Repositories
All installation or update commands of zypper rely on a list of
repositories known to zypper. To list all repositories known to the
system, use the command:
The result will look similar to the following output:
# | Enabled | Refresh | Type | Alias | Name
1 | Yes | Yes | yast2 | openSUSE-DVD 11.0 | openSUSE-DVD 11.0
2 | Yes | No | yast2 | Main (OSS) | Main (OSS)
3 | Yes | No | yast2 | Main (Non-OSS) | Main (Non-OSS)
If you want to remove a repository from the list, use the command
zypper renamerepo together with the alias of the
repository you want to delete. To remove the Main Repository
(Non-OSS) from the example, use the following command:
zypper renamerepo Main Repository (Non-OSS)
To add a repository, run
zypper addrepo URI Alias
URI can either be an Internet repository (see
for a list of available repositories), a directory, or a CD or DVD. The
Alias is a shorthand and unique identifier of
the repository. You can freely choose it, with the only exception that is
has to be unique. zypper will issue a warning if you specify an alias
that is already in use.
Various querying commands such as search,
info, or what-provides are
search works on package names and displays status
(S) information in the first column of the output.
info with a package name as an arguments displays
detailed information about a package.
The what-provides package
is similar to rpm -q --whatprovides
package, but rpm is only able to
query the RPM database (that is the database of all installed packages).
Zypper, on the other hand, will tell you about providers of the
capability from any repository, not only those that are installed.
Especially for debugging purposes, switches such as
--disable-system-resolvables are available. Use them,
if you want to search within one repository only. For detailed usage
information, see the zypper manpage (man zypper).
7.1.6 Using the Zypper Shell
Sometimes, several different zypper commands must be run in a sequence.
To prevent zypper from rereading all the databases for each zypper
command, it is possible to run zypper in shell mode:
When the shell is running, just issue the zypper commands with the
zypper> in zsh
Using the zypper shell is usually faster, because all the relevant data
stay in memory.
Zypper supports the readline library. This means you can use all the
command line editing functions in the Zypper shell that are also
available in the Bash shell. Zypper maintains its command history in file
7.1.7 For More Information
For more information about updating from the command line, enter
zypper --help or see the
zypper(8) man page. For examples and detailed