A live upgrade of OpenSUSE was not officially supported until OpenSUSE 11.2 (the most recent release). However, a live upgrade can be done.
- Change from the old repositories to the new open-source distribution repositories (and refresh).
- Update zypper – the update tool that takes the place of apt or rpm or yum.
- Add non-open source repositories (and refresh).
- Add the updates repository (and refresh).
I would add one more step: update the system with the most current RPMs using zypper up – although this may already be done. It can’t hurt to do it.
Upgrading from OpenSUSE 10.3 to 11.0 requires some special steps; so could upgrading 11.0 to 11.1 if you are running KDE. See the article for details.
A live upgrade from OpenSUSE 11.1 to 11.2 is supported.
If you want to get started with OpenSUSE (an excellent distribution!), go to opensuse.org and try it.