I've seen a number of posts from people who can't subscribe to the oes
patch channel even though they can activate the update.novell.com service.

This is caused by not have the file /etc/novell-release, which is
installed by the package oes-release.

I'm trying to isolate the cause of why the oes-release package does not
get installed and why, in some cases, the package doesn't show up in YaST
at all for installation.

So if you've had this problem, I want to know:

1. What was you install source (CD, network, etc) and where did you get
the installation media?
2. Did you upgrade the system from a previous SLES?
3. Did you install OES software on top of a SLES 9 box?
4. What did you select as the preconfigured software option? Also, did you
change the detailed selection? If so how?
5. Can you see the oes-release package by searching in YaST > Software >
Install and Remove Software?