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Thread: OpenSuse 12.2 installation notes from a new Linux user

  1. Post OpenSuse 12.2 installation notes from a new Linux user


    Hello all,
    I just built a my first linux PC with OpenSuse 12.2, and thought I would contribute by compiling my notational nuggets and links from the web that I found the most useful. My hope is this post will save someone like me from repeating the same searches.

    I've used various unix systems but never had root privileges for my own system. In other words, I'm new to Linux and have a lot to learn. So these notes are from a new user perspective, and I'll update the post as needed.

    Since this was a SSD/HDD setup I focused a good amount of time on looking into a partitioning scheme, SSD configuration for performance & extending the life of it. I am aware the life of more modern SSDs is becoming less of a concern, but the $/GB is still > HDD.

    In my next post, I have some post-install actions I took after researching disabling unnecessary services in OpenSuse and KDE (unnecessary for some that it is). I'm also coming from a winXP and Mac OSX (10.6.8), so there were a few hangups with some hardware (Wireless USB adapter, and NTFS formatted USB external backup hard drive).

    General Guides

    I familiarized myself with the following guides before starting anything:


    Check and Update SSD and other hardware firmware version if necessary.
    Example for my Crucial m4: Product Downloads - Firmware Updates

    For SSD: Ensure sata ahci is enabled in BIOS. It is needed for TRIM support (explained later).

    Downloading OpenSuse

    Before downloading, I recommend reading/bookmarking the following forum stickies/pages, and to especially do the download verification. I'll admit it was a lot to take in a first, and not all applicable for my needs, but worth the time.
    Note: I downloaded the OpenSuse .iso to my macbook to burn to DVD. ,and for Mac OSX the commands for md5sum and sha1sum are:
    md5 install.iso
    shasum install.iso


    I'm just going to cover highlights here, as there are already plenty of general & complete install guides / walkthroughs. Again, it was helpful to become familiar prior with the process prior to install (less surprises that way). Here are a few I liked:
    openSUSE 12.2: Start-Up

    4. Installation - Howto Install openSUSE on Your Computer
    This great post covers how to make changes to fstab to enable TRIM support (discard, and noatime) during install, and after.

    - In BIOS, set to boot from CD/DVD first when ready to install OpenSuse from DVD.
    - During Install, Uncheck the 'automatic configuration' box on the “Installation Mode” step.
    - Come up with a clever hostname prior to starting the install ;)
    - I chose KDE over GNOME based on it having more customization features (so I've read).
    - During Install, On the “Suggested Partioning” Step, use the (Edit Partition Setup) or (Create Partition Setup) buttons to create your own scheme


    I would recommend deciding on the partition scheme prior starting the install by reading through the links in this section. After reading numerous posts I decided on the following:

    / SSD sda1 ext4 filesystem, single partition
    /home HDD sdb3
    /var HDD sdb2 20 GB
    swap HDD sdb1 swap not on SSD

    I left 100 GB un-partitioned on my HDD in case I wanted to try another distro.

    If you decide to partition your SSD, there are numerous post about ensuring the “block alignment”. It was a confusing topic, but I verified mine after the install; see link in post-install section.

    TRIM Support

    Add 'discard' and 'noatime' to fstab to enable TRIM.
    This post covers how to make changes to fstab to enable TRIM support (discard, and noatime) during install, and after.

    Mount /tmp as tmpfs

    There many posts advocating mounting /tmp as tmpfs, I just haven't done it yet. OpenSuse may eventually do it by default:
    AJ's Open Source, openSUSE and SUSE Ramblings: /tmp as tmpfs for openSUSE?

    With a reboot everything in /tmp will be gone. Check out this script to maintain /tmp on reboot:
    Performance tweaking with tmpfs

    There are also options for mounting subdirectories of /var/tmp /var/log to tmpfs, but are more involved and not always recommended by the community. Refer to the references below for more information.


    SSD optimizations on Linux

    Linux Mint Forums • View topic - Setting Mint up on an SSD

    How to maximise SSD performance with Linux

    Reducing writes to SSD: mounting /var (and others) on RAM disks (tmpfs).

    I plan on getting an SSD. What do I need to do in order to properly set up linux on it, and then maintain the drive? : linux

    installation - How do I optimize the OS for SSDs? - Ask Ubuntu

    Running Ubuntu and other Linux flavors on an SSD

    My System

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
    • CPU Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro series H50
    • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD55
    • Video Card: MSI N650Ti PE 1GD5/OC
    • Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1866
    • SSD: Crucial m4 128GB CT128M4SSD2
    • HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III
    • DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST
    • Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
    • Case: Corsair 400R

  2. Default OpenSuse 12.2 post installation notes from a new Linux user

    Post Install Tweak, Checks, and Fixes

    Changes to boot.local and readahead

    Change I/O Scheduler to NOOP or DEADLINE from CFQ for SSD,. The steps here assume /dev/sda is the SSD

    Following post includes several other recommendations, and fairly extensive boot.local script:

    To determine I/O scheduler in use

    where 'sda' is SSD
    $ cat /sys/block/sda/queue/scheduler 
    noop deadline [cfq]
    The scheduler currently in use denoted by the brackets.

    Disable Services

    In the default install several services were already disabled. Keep in mind you to only disable what you don't need, and leave it alone if you don't know.
    avahi-daemon : disable (will also disable avahi-dnsconfd)
    fbset : disable
    nscd : disable
    postfix : disable, unless used it for mail transport or mail server

    Disabling Akonadi and Nepomukin in KDE

    and Nepomuk can use a noticeable amount of resources and may not even be useful to you:
    openSUSE 12.1 – Taming Akonadi & Nepomuk » TweakHound

    Firefox cache

    In Firefox's 'About:Config' point 'browser.cache.disk.parent_directory'to /tmp/[firefox cache]

    For Chromium cache, see Running Ubuntu and other Linux flavors on an SSD

    Verify TRIM working

    Just go here: Techblog

    Verify SSD Block Alignment

    With fdisk -l,and this post
    Linux Mint Forums • View topic - [Solved] Checking SSD alignment under LM 13


    openSUSE 12.1 Tips And Tricks » TweakHound

    Few Tips to make openSUSE 12.2 (KDE) run faster

    openSUSE Tweak : Increase openSUSE Speed & Performance | Spirit of Change

    openSUSE 12.2: Chapter 9. General System Resource Management

    Speed up your Linux Boot and normal use ( openSUSE ) | Free Techie Blog

    Minor Issues Resolved

    Automount of external NTFS USB drive fails

    My backup external USB drive was already formatted as NTFS and was not mounting properly in OpenSuse. Solution: Add 'ntfs' to /etc/filesystems

    dmesg and lsusb [-v] were also two useful commands for troubleshooting my USB device(s).

    Middle Mouse to Paste Selection

    If using KDE,and assuming Klipper is running,and want to middle mouse to paste your selection, goto Klipper configuration and check “Synchronize contents of the clipboard and the selection.“ Some have suggested disabling Klipper altogether.

    Wireless Adapter

    Turns out the Motorola WU830G Wireless USB adapter doesn't appear to be supported by linux.
    Motorola WU830G - WikiDevi

    These sites may help you determine a wireless adapter model with linux support:
    HCL:Network (Wireless) - openSUSE
    Linux wireless LAN support
    16. Wireless Driver Installation - Making Your Broadcom, Ralink etc. Wifi/Wlan Work

    Install Software Example with Zypper

    nano text editor zypper install command:
    sudo zypper install nano


    I just started looking into backup options, and have yet to decide which route to take; diy rysnc, Bacula, or BackupPC.

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