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Thread: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

  1. #1

    Question Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Ok, to start: I am a 100% linux virgin. I have yet to boot once.

    I have a 1TB external HD bought today (), which I formatted to 32GB Fat32 and the rest NTFS. (The 32GB partition is the second in order)

    I tried installing 11.4 with the full release DVD, and managed to get through the 'partition' part of the setup without raging about losing valuable internal HD data.

    I changed / to the 32GB partition, and figured a native format was safer: formatted it in setup as Ext4, and installed after ignoring the under 128GB warning (the machine is only a few months old).

    The installation seemed to go well. The loadup was unsuccessful. There were plenty of "fails".

    I was given a command screen with "Login:" and after, "Password:". It seemed to take the Login, however the correct password echoed back a "Login module failed" or something similar. Interestingly, an incorrect password yielded a "Incorrect Login".

    What I may need to do (?):

    1. I did not specify a /home or swap during install
    2. ?
    3. ?
    etc


    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Here is some partitioning help I have posted before. Read through it and then ask more questions.

    Each hard drive can have up to four PRIMARY partitions, any of which could be marked active and bootable. No matter what you might hear, only one of the first four primary partitions can be booted from. That means you can boot from Primary partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that is all. In order to boot openSUSE, you must load openSUSE and the grub boot loader into one of the first four partitions. Or, your second choice is to load the grub boot loader into the MBR (Master Boot Record) at the start of the disk. The MBR can be blank, like a new disk, it can contain a Windows partition booting code or generic booting code to boot the active partition 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or, as stated before, it can contain the grub boot loader. Why load grub into the MBR then? You do this so that you can "boot" openSUSE from a logical partition, numbered 5 or higher, which is not normally possible. In order to have more than four partitions, one of them (and only one can be assigned as extended) must be a extended partition. It is called an Extended Primary Partition, a container partition, it can be any one of the first four and it can contain one or more logical partitions within. Anytime you see partition numbers 5, 6 or higher for instance, they can only occur inside of the one and only Extended Primary partition you could have.

    What does openSUSE want as far as partitions? It needs at minimum a SWAP partition and a "/" partition where all of your software is loaded. Further, it is recommended you create a separate /home partition, which makes it easier to upgrade or reload openSUSE without losing all of your settings. So, that is three more partitions you must add to what you have now. What must you do to load and boot openSUSE from an external hard drive? Number one, you must be able to select your external hard drive as the boot drive in your BIOS setup. Number two, you need to make sure that the external hard drive, perhaps /dev/sdb, is listed as the first hard drive in your grub device.map file and listed as drive hd0. I always suggest that you do not load grub into the MBR, but rather into the openSUSE "/" root primary partition which means a primary number of 1, 2, 3 or 4. If number one is used, then that will be out. You will mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting and finally you must load generic booting code into the MBR so that it will boot the openSUSE partition. I suggest a partition like this:

    0. /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
    1. /dev/sdb1, Primary NTFS Partition for Windows
    2. /dev/sdb2, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
    3. /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 "/" openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (40-80 GB)
    4. /dev/sdb4, Primary EXT4 "/home" Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  3. #3

    Default Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Thank you for the info!

    I've created 4 partitions on my external now, and loaded the installer a few times to be more acquainted with it.

    F: 850GB+ for the NTFS win7 machines in the apartment
    H: 4.00GB for the swap
    K: 40.00GB for the install
    L: 33GB+ for /home

    A few questions:

    1) I can assign "/", and "/home". How do I assign the swap?

    2) The install recommends that I add boot (something or other) to all my other drives. Can I do this and not experience a Win7 crash?

    3) Should I add the install to MBR, given I'm favoring keeping the external HD priority above my internals; so it will load only when the external is plugged in on startup?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Ok, scrap that last post. I played around a bit and everything is working beautifully now.

    Except for:

    The. Dreaded. Wireless. Card.


    Any help on this problem is greatly appreciated.

    /posting from win7, hopefully soon from suse.

  5. #5
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    Smile Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Ok, scrap that last post. I played around a bit and everything is working beautifully now.

    Except for:

    The. Dreaded. Wireless. Card.


    Any help on this problem is greatly appreciated.

    /posting from win7, hopefully soon from suse.
    Happy to hear you got openSUSE working. There is a lot of information in my first post, much of which may not make any sense until you have installed openSUSE more than once and looked through your many options. All of the information in the world at your finger tips still does not make up for experience and just what to do with all of that info.

    As for Wireless, tell us more about the hardware. Consider that, before I even see what you have, it is possible it will not work with openSUSE. Older hardware is more likely to work as does hardware from larger companies like Dell or HP when compared to Sony or some other lesser player. Often wireless does work, but the default installation does not come with the correct files and you can only get it working by being on-line using a wired connection at first. Some issues can exist with the default networking setup. Specifically, if you use KDE, you need to load the NetworkManager and Kwallet in oder to get wireless to work. A few users have determined it is better to install the GNOME Network Manager for use in KDE, which apparently can be done.

    So, tell us about your networking hardware as well as PC brand and model if Wireless is built-in and not an add-in card of some sort. I have a bash script file that can be help acquiring info from your PC you can use here in message #11:

    netinfo - Read Network & PC Information into a Local Text File

    You can post parts or all (always use the advanced message editor and the code # tag function to post large blocks of text) of your information.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    I hate to disagree but...

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmcdaniel3 View Post
    Specifically, if you use KDE, you need to load the NetworkManager and Kwallet in oder to get wireless to work.
    ...is not true. On many installs, ifup is the default network setting, regardless of which Desktop Environment is installed. So network manager is an alternative to ifup but isn't required.

    You simply need to start YaST > network settings and configure your wireless from there. If your router is recognized, then you'll probably be able to set it up with no problem.

    And ifup will work in text mode, while network manager requires the DE to be running. And like was mentioned above, you may need to connect an ethernet cable first to download a package required by your adapter card.

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    .
    ..is not true. On many installs, ifup is the default network setting, regardless of which Desktop Environment is installed. So network manager is an alternative to ifup but isn't required.

    You simply need to start YaST > network settings and configure your wireless from there. If your router is recognized, then you'll probably be able to set it up with no problem.

    And ifup will work in text mode, while network manager requires the DE to be running. And like was mentioned above, you may need to connect an ethernet cable first to download a package required by your adapter card.
    Hello pilotgi. It is very true that you can configure ifup to use any single network interface on your computer. If you have a desktop, there may be even an added login speed up by selecting a single interface. I think that anyone that uses a laptop would want to think twice before sticking with ifup unless they don't mind making a visit to YaST or terminal each time they switch between a wireless and wired connection. While anyone could be using wireless, due to the speed advantage, wired will be used more often with Desktops while Laptops are more likely to use wireless and have both wireless and wired connections. It is for that ease and automatic switching between network adapters on a laptop that one would want to select NetworkManager and Kwallet for wireless when a wired connection also exists. I might also say that NetworkManager makes it much easier to switch between different wireless connections over ifup. On my main computer, i even have two wired and one wireless as I try different things to attempt to understand and help out others with networking issues. Anytime you use the exact same network connection day in and day out, you would want to consider using the ifup method. Thanks for your comments pilotgi.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Hi jdmcdaniel3. On my 11.4 system, if I go to YaST > Network Devices > Network settings, the sub-title says 'configure network cards'. As in plural. My own desktop system is set up to boot to wireless and 'start automatically on cable connection' for wired ethernet. I'm not aware of any need to go into YaST or the terminal to switch between the two.

    I think that the annoyance of Kwallet is too high a price to pay for having a graphical network configuration tool. Besides, YaST is graphical also and you usually only have to use it once for network config.

    And being able to have a working network connection in text mode has saved my butt many times when I had KDE or X problems.

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Hi jdmcdaniel3. On my 11.4 system, if I go to YaST > Network Devices > Network settings, the sub-title says 'configure network cards'. As in plural. My own desktop system is set up to boot to wireless and 'start automatically on cable connection' for wired ethernet. I'm not aware of any need to go into YaST or the terminal to switch between the two.

    I think that the annoyance of Kwallet is too high a price to pay for having a graphical network configuration tool. Besides, YaST is graphical also and you usually only have to use it once for network config.

    And being able to have a working network connection in text mode has saved my butt many times when I had KDE or X problems.
    I am thinking that if you switch to a different wireless location, you will need to make a change in YaST or terminal. I will say that everyone can surely select the method they are most comfortable with and stick with it. I have been able to get NetworkManager with Kwallat to work on my Laptop and to find, save and switch between different wireless setups. With the save allowing to enter the required network pass phrase when needed. I would still suggest the use of NetworkManager or the GNOME Network Manager (which can be used in KDE) to anyone that has two or more networking setups. But you are free (as always) to use any method that you so desire.

    Thank You,
    My Blog: https://forums.opensuse.org/blogs/jdmcdaniel3/

    Software efficiency halves every 18 months, thus compensating for Moore's Law

    Its James again from Austin, Texas

  10. #10

    Default Re: Linux noob, first install (external HD)

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmcdaniel3 View Post
    Here is some partitioning help I have posted before. Read through it and then ask more questions.

    Each hard drive can have up to four PRIMARY partitions, any of which could be marked active and bootable. No matter what you might hear, only one of the first four primary partitions can be booted from. That means you can boot from Primary partitions 1, 2, 3 or 4 and that is all. In order to boot openSUSE, you must load openSUSE and the grub boot loader into one of the first four partitions. Or, your second choice is to load the grub boot loader into the MBR (Master Boot Record) at the start of the disk. The MBR can be blank, like a new disk, it can contain a Windows partition booting code or generic booting code to boot the active partition 1, 2, 3, or 4. Or, as stated before, it can contain the grub boot loader. Why load grub into the MBR then? You do this so that you can "boot" openSUSE from a logical partition, numbered 5 or higher, which is not normally possible. In order to have more than four partitions, one of them (and only one can be assigned as extended) must be a extended partition. It is called an Extended Primary Partition, a container partition, it can be any one of the first four and it can contain one or more logical partitions within. Anytime you see partition numbers 5, 6 or higher for instance, they can only occur inside of the one and only Extended Primary partition you could have.

    What does openSUSE want as far as partitions? It needs at minimum a SWAP partition and a "/" partition where all of your software is loaded. Further, it is recommended you create a separate /home partition, which makes it easier to upgrade or reload openSUSE without losing all of your settings. So, that is three more partitions you must add to what you have now. What must you do to load and boot openSUSE from an external hard drive? Number one, you must be able to select your external hard drive as the boot drive in your BIOS setup. Number two, you need to make sure that the external hard drive, perhaps /dev/sdb, is listed as the first hard drive in your grub device.map file and listed as drive hd0. I always suggest that you do not load grub into the MBR, but rather into the openSUSE "/" root primary partition which means a primary number of 1, 2, 3 or 4. If number one is used, then that will be out. You will mark the openSUSE partition as active for booting and finally you must load generic booting code into the MBR so that it will boot the openSUSE partition. I suggest a partition like this:

    0. /dev/sdb, Load MBR with generic booting code
    1. /dev/sdb1, Primary NTFS Partition for Windows
    2. /dev/sdb2, Primary SWAP (4 GB)
    3. /dev/sdb3, Primary EXT4 "/" openSUSE Partition Marked Active for booting (40-80 GB)
    4. /dev/sdb4, Primary EXT4 "/home" Your main home directory (Rest of the disk)

    Thank You,
    Hi James, it is great information

    I never know before about this boot flag rule, they only can be in primary partition.
    That explain why my partition table looks like this:
    linux-2tny:~ # fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xf9b3bd79

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 5179 41597952 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2 5179 24633 156261377 5 Extended
    /dev/sda3 * 24633 28931 34523136 83 Linux
    /dev/sda4 28931 60801 255999520+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda5 5179 5310 1048576 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6 6616 11715 40960000 83 Linux
    /dev/sda7 11715 21390 77717504 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda8 21391 24633 26045440 83 Linux
    Bootflag is at sda3, sda3 is my openSUSE partition. But actually i'm using Ubuntu's grub as bootloader, Ubuntu is on sda8 (logical).
    I now understand if Ubuntu's grub is installed at MBR and it bypassed bootflag so it would load first.
    Is my assumption right?

    Sorry for OOT.

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