Thursday, October 19, 2006

Installing SuSE Linux 10.1

I'd like to write a short HOWTO on installing SuSE Linux 10.1 for amd64. It's how it worked for me and my computer and doesn't mean to be THE way.

So first of all grab the DVD image from here, which also includes the non-opensource software like Adobe Reader, Real Player and Flash-Plugin. SUSE just released an updated version called "remastered" which comes with all updates since the initial release. Don't forget to compare MD5 sums (for Windows: use MD5summer) and then burn the iso to DVD with your preferred software. Once you've set your BIOS to boot from DVD-drive, insert DVD and up we go!

The installation starts with SuSE's "yast2" asking some easy questions like preferred language, time-zone default desktop (KDE 3.51 or Gnome 2.12), etc. If yast2 has finally gathered the required information all settings are summed up. There's an "Expert" view of all settings which you should use to adjust some of the default settings (just by clicking on the corresponding title).

  • First of all, if you plan to dual-boot with another OS I'd recommend using a customized partitioning scheme. I personally don't trust automatisms... How you do that is up to you. I always use a very large "/" and a separate "/home" partition. "swap" is round about 2GB - I don't know if it needs to be this big, but I have enough disk space.

  • Second click on "Software" and then "Details" (on the lower left) to add some software you want. You should add the kernel-sources and smart package manager. You'll need the former to install the nVIDIA driver and the latter because the default SuSE package manager simply doesn't work. We'll update smart later but if you choose to install it right away you'll get all the dependencies as well.

  • Third you should adjust the grub bootmanager settings if you plan dual-booting with another OS. If yast2 detects another OS it will install grub to the bootsector of your boot partition and NOT to the MBR! You have to click on "Bootloader" and select "MBR" if you like to use grub as a bootloader, which is what I'd recommend.

If all is set hit "Accept" and go for a cup of coffee... After everything is copied to hard disk yast2 will reboot your machine. Leave the DVD in the drive choose "Boot from hard disk" if its bootmenu appears or simply do nothing as you will boot automatically into your new Linux installation and will continue afterwards with the setting of root password and first user. There are one or two hooks after that first reboot:

  • DO NOT try to register during installation (Internet connection test works though)

  • DO NOT install updates

==> SKIP both steps by clicking the appropriate option, because they tend to take a while and are a little shaky...

The last part will be configuring hardware. In my case, except for screen resolution everything was detected well. Adjust what you need by clicking the corresponding link. That's it and you may finally log in to your newly installed SuSE Linux!

I'll come to some configuration tips and the smart package-management later...

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