• New Users: openSUSE Pre-install (general) PLEASE READ

    This article series is for New openSUSE users (ie newbies to openSUSE) to provide basic guidance in burning your installation CD/DVD and installing openSUSE. This is for simple, and not complex setups.

    This first article is the first of a series of posts in this thread, which will hopefully provide helpful hints on how to install openSUSE.

    Note: openSUSE releases are scheduled in advance. Please wait until the release date, and then proceed to download your CD / DVD. [Before then you will get the last openSUSE version]. You may also find things somewhat slow the first day or so, as the masses all try to download at once.

    1. Where to find the openSUSE installation ISO file

    Note, typically you go to openSUSE web site, and download an ".iso" file. Software.openSUSE.org

    You then burn that to a CD or DVD (dependent on whether you downloaded CD or DVD version) the installation CD/DVD. This first post has some important hints on that.

    Please note, if you decide to download openSUSE, pay very close attention to the MD5 checksum.

    2. Checking MD5 SUM on ISO FILE from Linux

    The theory here is one downloads the appropriate .iso file(s). For those who already have Linux, one then runs "md5sum file.iso" (or something like that) in a konsole, against the downloaded file (which in my example I called "file.iso"). This will give an md5 checksum value. One then compares that to the checksum that is on the download web site. If they don't match, you have a problem, and you MUST download again.

    Typically, bittorrent downloads are more reliable than FTP or HTTP downloads. Another new download method is metalink - ref openSUSE Lizards � Best Way to Download openSUSE (more detail here Downloading openSUSE FAST using Metalink - openSUSE Forums )

    3. How to check the MD5SUM from Windows:

    One completely free, MS-Windows application for running the md5 checksum on a number of different operating systems, is here on sourceforge.net: md5deep

    Another gui md5 checker for MS-Windows 95/98/NT (it works in Xp as well even though it doesn't say so). The file is md5.exe (248kB) and can be downloaded from MD5 GUI for Windows. It's under the gpl licence and you can download the source if you want.

    4. Burning the CD/DVD

    Next, when one burns, burn the CD/DVD iso file as an "image file". For windows users, in Nero, this does not mean selecting some iso option, but rather means selecting the "image" option (this is under "file > burn image").

    When burning, please burn at a VERY SLOW speed. VERY SLOW. Also, choose a CD/DVD media that is of the highest quality you can get. Don't use some no name bargain basement brand CD/DVD that you know nothing about (see the end of this post for more information on this subject).

    There is further excellent guidance, providing help on "burning the ISO image" on the opensuse wiki:

    5. Ensure BIOS is set properly

    Also, on the PC where the installation is to be done, ensure in one's BIOS that the PC is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive before booting from the hard drive.

    6. Check MD5SUM again from within installation CD/DVD

    When installing openSUSE, you may be given an option to check the MD5 checksum on your CDs (it is called a "media check" on the initial installation menu). Take the extra hour (or more) to do this!! It will potentially save you many evenings later on down the road, looking for some elusive problem that you can't find.

    7. Installation Menu

    If you have a simple PC setup, with only a single MS-Windows partition on your drive, then likely you can leave the "Use Automatic Configuration" selected. BUT if you believe you may have to change the location of the openSUSE boot manager GRUB in your Master Boot record then you MUST deselect "Use Automatic Configuration". If you do not, you will NOT be able to control the location of your boot manager GRUB.

    8. Desktop Selection

    Your two main desktop choices under the automatically installed Linux X Window System are GNOME or KDE 4 . Both are good. Surf the web for more info. Alternatively, select "Other" and you also have a choice of Xfce , or minimal X window or minimal server (text) installation. Official Novell/SuSE-GmbH support for KDE3 was stopped with openSUSE-11.1 being the last KDE3 release.

    Please note the official Live CDs for openSUSE only come with KDE4 or Gnome.

    9. MS-Windows Users - you MUST defrag your MS-Windows partitions before installation of openSUSE. That is because if you have not already prepared a partition for openSUSE, then openSUSE installer will try to carve up your MS-Windows hard drive (allocating space for both MS-Windows and Linux), and a badly fragmented drive can cause problems.

    Good luck to all.

    Notes on CD Burning. Note it is recommended one use a High Quality CD and burn at a slow speed. I have had better experiencing using the PC with the burner on which openSUSE is planned to be installed. On PCs with significant difference in CD/DVD burner age, I have noted there can be problems related, I believe due to calibration of older drives being poor. Reference burning speed and CD quality, please note the following: openSUSE Forums - some burning speed observations
    The drive may not be rated at the high speed in combination with the media used. If you realise that a lot of cheap media are turned out in factories where economy wins over quality, you might have DVDs where the manufacturer ID might be fake and this causes the writer to choose the wrong burn power, which become a more serious problem at high speeds.

    The drive might require the latest revision of firmware to work at high speeds. Something like this: Maybe when the drive was first issued, it was rated at 8x for all known DVDs and at 16x for QualityRUS DVDs and other brands were not available yet. As more media brands came out, the drive manufacturer might have updated the firmware to handle those. But you haven't got the latest firmware. BTW this also applies to PVR appliances.

    And cheap media are just that, cheap. They are ok for handing your relative copies of programs you recorded off free-to-air TV, but don't expect them to keep data for more than months or a year. I have seen media where it was obvious that exposure to air had caused the dye layer to thin and start developing pinholes.

    Having said that, I don't believe it is necessary to go down to 1x. I hardly ever have problems with 4x.

    You have to watch k3b. It could pick a high speed when you choose Auto, but this is not compatible with your drive or medium for reasons given above. So set k3b manually to use 4x or less.

    BTW if you want to make archival quality DVDs, two words: Taiyo Yuden. The real ones, made in Japan. And good storage conditions of course.
    Reference CD/DVD quality, here is a link with good information on this subject: digitalFAQ.com | Blank DVD Media Quality Guide

    Cautions to take when migrating from an old openSUSE Linux to a new version

    For relatively new openSUSE Linux users, who are migrating from an older openSUSE, to a more recent openSUSE, here is some advice from the SuSE-10.2 reference manual, which is a useful reference for users who are updating (or re-installing) their SuSE for the first time:

    5.1 Updating the System

    5.1.1 Preparations

    Before updating, copy the old configuration files to a separate medium, such as streamer, removable hard disk, USB stick, or ZIP drive, to secure the data. This primarily applies to files stored in /etc as well as some of the directories and files in /var and /opt. You may also want to write the user data in /home (the HOME directories) to backup medium. Back up this data as root. Only root has read permission for all local files.

    Before starting your update, make note of the root partition. The command df / lists the device name of the root permission. There is also df -h.

    For example, I typically make copies of my /etc/fstab, /etc/X11/xorg.conf, /etc/cups, /etc/modprobe.d/sound, /boot/grub/menu.lst.

    And I typically keep a copy of the output of:
    df -Th
    cat /etc/fstab
    su -c 'fdisk -l'
    #enter root password when prompted

    Keep any /etc/X11/xorg.conf File.

    Also, the more recent openSUSE versions (starting with openSUSE-11.2 and even more true on openSUSE-11.3) in most cases do not need an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. However sometimes such a file comes in handy, and if you have such a file from a previous install, KEEP THE FILE!! It might come in handy.
    Additional Important Links you should know about

    Here are some more important URLs for new openSUSE users (including DRIVER Information):

    Linux partitioning
    Theory to help in your hard drive setup before install:

    Wireless under openSUSE:

    openSUSE Graphic Driver - General:

    ATI Graphics Driver Custom Install:

    Nvidia Graphics Driver Custom Install:

    Intel Graphics Driver under Linux:

    Chrome/Via Graphics Driver under Linux:

    Printing - General guidance for printing under openSUSE:

    Webcam under openSUSE:

    Scanner working under openSUSE:

    Checking for hardware compatiblity under openSUSE:

    Basic openSUSE concepts: for the Windows users migrating to openSUSE

    Audio - Troubleshooting Sound:

    MS-Windows NTFS under openSUSE:

    Zypper - openSUSE Software Package Manager: for installing software under openSUSE without using the one-click install

    Administrator (root) essentials:
    It is not required to log into KDE/Gnome/etc as the Administrator (root) to do administrator tasks. Nor should one log into KDE/Gnome/etc as Administrator (root). Instead see:

    LAMP - Advanced Users ONLY. Do you need help in setting up LAMP?
    • Linux Apache MySQL PHP Server (lamp) - openSUSE
    • Securing SUSE Linux - openSUSE
    • Note this sort of install likely goes well beyond the capability of a new openSUSE Linux user to implement. Just because one is an expert/experienced MS-Windows user, don't assume you will automatically be an average openSUSE Linux user. Its a new OS, and unfortunately we all had to learn to crawl first in this OS, before we could walk or run.

    Novell Support
    In case any new user has purchased a "boxed" version of openSUSE, and is looking for official Novell support for their openSUSE, here are a couple of links:
    Circumstances Warranting Installation Assistance for openSUSETable providing level of support one can get with commercial boxed openSUSEHaving noted that, if one has problems with their openSUSE, please post the details of your problem here on our forum, and there is a chance one of the many volunteers on our forum will be able to help you.
    Guide re: recovery when openSUSE installed on external drive

    User snapperfishes created a useful guide for how to recover from a situation where one has Windows XP installed on one's computer's internal drive, and then after installing openSUSE on an external hard drive the installation has overwritten the booting sequence in the internal drive, and one can no long boot into Windows directly without the external drive.

    The guide for recovery is located here:Here is a link to a section for "Beginners" to find various openSUSE wiki that may be useful to beginners. Category:Beginners Guides - openSUSE

    For those new (and old) to openSUSE, here is a link to a wiki that provides suggestions on how users can contribute/participate in the openSUSE community: How to Participate - openSUSE
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. kgroneman's Avatar
      kgroneman -
      Great article for people just starting out with openSUSE.
    1. grasshopper1's Avatar
      grasshopper1 -
      Thank you. Since updating to 12.1 I can't use my printer. Until this install, the printer was much easier to setup, click on YAST and everything went beautifully. I don't want to be rude, but I find that everything is much more difficult now, too many changes. I've been using SUSE since 10. what has everything become so much more difficult. Sorry, and thank you. I read all your how-to's , eternal newbie