Linux Installations

SUSE Linux 10.1

The purpose of this guide is to present the reader with a visual tutorial for installing OpenSUSE Linux 10.1. The first thing you will need is a SUSE Linux installation disk. Once you have the iso burnt, allow your computer BIOS (or Virtual Machine BIOS) to boot from the CD. This is usually done through pressing either the "Delete" key or the "F2" key during boot. Once you enter BIOS setup, you will see a screen similar to Figure (1). Change the boot order to boot from the CD first. The BIOS of various motherboard manufacturers are different, however, and your BIOS screens/key sequences may be different.

BIOS boot order screenshot.
Figure (1)

Once your computer has booted and the BIOS has loaded the SUSE CD Bootloader, you will see a screen similar to Figure (2). Here the disk gives the options to Boot from the hard disk, various modes of install, system restore, and a very useful memtest.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Screen 1.
Figure (2)

Press the down arrow once to highlight "Installation as shown in Figure (3), and press the "Enter" key.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Screen 2.
Figure (3)

This brings up a dialog box with a progress bar stating, "Loading Linux Kernel" as shown in Figure (4). Once the kernel is loaded, a blank GUI screen with the "Wheel of Death" spins, as shown is Figure (5). This is just an overlay to hide the command line stuff happening under the hood as modules come online. In past Linux distributions, feedback was given to the user as he/she patiently waited for Linux to load all the proper modules.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Screen 3.
Figure (4)


SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Screen 4.
Figure (5)

Once the modules are loaded, you will get a white screen with a message box stating that the installer is probing for a mouse. This is so the mouse cursor is active for the installation process. The next screen--Figure (6)--is for the installer language selection. This tutorial assumes the English language (sorry, I'm not 100% fluent in other languages).

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Language Selection Screen.
Figure (6)

After you have selected the installer language, you must agree to the license agreement to continue. After you check the "I Agree" radio button and click next, message boxes display the current actions of the installer. No interaction is required for this step, it's just to let you know what is happening. Once the devices have been probed, you see a screen similar to Figure (7). Select "New Installation" and click "Next".

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  New Install Screen.
Figure (7)

The next screen [Figure (8)] is where you configure the software clock. Select your location and time zone. The combo (drop-down) box determines the output of the clock. Select UTC if you would like your system clock to output the Universal Time, or local time if you prefer the clock to output the relative time in your local time zone. As a side note, UTC is great for servers and geeks who convert time in their head easily. For desktop Linux use, most people will prefer local time.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Time zone selection.
Figure (8)

Once you have selected the time format, now it's time to make a decision. Figure (9) shows the desktop environment selection screen. The two most popular desktop environments are Gnome and KDE. Both have their advantages, and it's easy to switch between the two (if you install both environments in a future step). I personally prefer KDE, but it is strictly through a personal preference. Feel free to use Gnome if you are so inclined.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  DE selection.
Figure (9)

Once you have selected your Desktop Environment preference and clicked "Next", you see a screen similar to Figure (10). Here you will get a brief message box telling the user that the installer is evaluating the package selection.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Install Options
Figure (10)

For most users, the default "Partitioning" options are sufficient. If you have need to alter the partitioning, such as incorporating an additional HDD, feel free to do so with the disclaimer that this operation is outside the scope of this tutorial. Click the blue/purple underlined "Software" link. Here you see a screen similar to Figure (11). Within this screen, keep the default selections, but also check the following boxes:

  • Office Applications
  • C/C++ Compiler and Tools (even if you aren't a programmer, it's used for software installations)
  • Games (Optional, but fun none-the-less)
  • Laptop (if using a laptop)

If you've got the disk space, go ahead and select all the boxes. This lets you play with other packages and applications that you might otherwise have never tried. After you have done this, click "Accept". You will have a few license agreement windows pop-up, these will be for Adobe and Macromedia third party application support like Flash player. Accept these and move along.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Package Selection
Figure (11)

You will be taken back to the installation summary screen like Figure (10). Click "Accept". An installation confirmation window pops-up to warn you that the disk will be formatted. Click "Install". You will see a format progress bar like Figure (12) as the system formats and mounts the HDD devices to their default mount points. Once the devices have been formatted and mounted, you will see a screen like Figure (13). You can either watch the progress bar count down and watch the slide show; or click on the "Details" tab and watch the package installation in real time. (Or do what I usually do--get up and do something else for the amount under the "Remaining Time" counter.)

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Format progress Bar
Figure (12)


SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation. Installing
Figure (13)

Once all the packages have been installed, you will see a screen prompting you for the hostname [Figure (14)]. This is the name your computer will be referred to across a network. If you are installing this on a standalone Linux box (i.e. not connected to a network), your hostname doen't matter that much. If you will be using this Linux computer on a network, it helps to name it something meaningful--like "fileserver" or "SUSEbox". The domain name is primarily if you are using this as a webhost. If you are using this in a network, consider this like the "Workgroup" on a Windows machine. If you are installing SUSE on a standalone computer, it doesn't matter what you put in this box; however, most would type in "localhost" in the domain box in this case. Use your imagination (or policy if its required). Once you type in the hostname and domain, click "Next".

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Hostname
Figure (14)

Figure (15) shows the "Root Password" screen. This is an important step. CAREFULLY type in a secure root (administrator) password. This is the password that gives a user (hopefully only an administrator) access to the most critical system files, the ability to install applications, update the system, etc. Root is the most powerful user (Read: superuser) on a system. Do not take this step lightly. Enter a secure password and click "Next".

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Rootpassword
Figure (15)

The next screen [Figure (16)] is the network configuration screen. SUSE does a really good job of autodetecting most hardware. Most users will simply click "Next". However, if you will be using your SUSE computer on a network and want to share files/printers with Windows boxes on the network, you might want to disable the firewall until you get those services (SaMBa) configured. Once you are either satisfied with the defaults or make alterations, click "Next". SUSE stores the configuration files and presents the user with a network test option--Figure (17).

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Network Configuration
Figure (16)

This option is entirely user preference, I generally allow the installer to test the network connection. If you test the network connection, you will get a screen with a progress bar as SUSE tried to contact the Novel Servers for the release notes. Once the connection test is complete (if you did it), the "On-Line Update" screen is shown [Figure (18)]. I recommend waiting on this option. Once SUSE is fully loaded it's easier to run software updates from within.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Network Test
Figure (17)


SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Software Update
Figure (18)

Figure (19) shows the user authentication method. For most users (especially on a standalone or home networked maching), "Local" authentication is the option of choice. This checks the username and password against a locally stored file on the computer's hard drive. Select "Local" and click "Next" to be taken to the working user screen [Figure (20)]. This is the user account that you will use for day-to-day tasks. Enter the required information and click "Next".

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Pass Authentication
Figure (19)


SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  User Account
Figure (20)

Once you have entered the required user information and clicked "Next", the installation clean-up screen is shown. This is to finalize kernel modules, caches, and configuration files needed for log-on. Once this operation is done (there is no required user input), the release notes are displayed. On this screen click "Next" and you will see the "Hardware Configuration" screen [Figure (21)] displayed. The SUSE installer probes the hardware for graphics card information, sound device information, etc. Confirm the default options or change these to suit personal preference. The most common alteration is the video resolution option. SUSE looks so much better at higher resolutions; however, this depends on the type and setup of your monitor. Setting the resolution too high can fry a CRT monitor (ask me how I know :) ). Once you are happy with these options click "Next".

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Hardware Config
Figure (21)

The SUSE Installer will then save the hardware configuration files and you will then be shown the "Installation Complete" screen [Figure (22)]. Good work! Click "Finish" to log-on to the machine.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Install Complete
Figure (22)


SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Loading SUSE
Figure (23)

Congratulations! You can now explore and use SUSE Linux 10.1.

SUSE Linux 10.1 Installation.  Completed.
Figure (24)