Easiest way to install 12.3 on old PC without DVD?

**Is it possible to download openSUSE 12.3 onto a PC running 11.3 and install it directly without using a DVD/CD/USB-Stick? How?
**
The Situation:

  • I have an old PC (1.7Ghz, 265MB) running 11.3, which I want to upgrade to 12.3.
  • The device has a DVD-ROM drive, which cannot read DVD-R, DVD-RW nor CD-RW.
  • The device has only a slow wireless network connection through WLAN-USB stick, which is prone to breakdowns and thus not suitable during an actual installation process.
  • I do have a state-of-the-art laptop already running 12.3, which even achieves a reasonable WLAN connection at the same location as the PC.

In previous years, I either used the LiveCD (no longer a CD for 12.3); or the Network-Installation-CD together with a reliable WLAN-Bridge to provide a “wired” connection to the PC (but I do not have the bridge any more).

This time, I used the Network Installation CD (burned on CD-R just for this single use) and used a temporary 25 meter cable to reach the cable modem located in the flat next door. It worked, but it struck me as unnecessarily complicated. I would have preferred to just download the whole installation using the unreliable WLAN-USB-Stick under 11.3 and once the download is complete and verified, install right away from the harddisk, which has enough free space for several installations!

(…and yes, I would happy to pay for an entire hardware upgrade rather than maintaining current machine, but the elderly owners of the PC won’t allow me do so for various silly reasons, like being feeling too old for a new machine… :wink: )

OK, I’ll brave the unenviable task of being the first to reply to the OP’s conundrum!

> unnecessarily complicated. I would have preferred to just download the
> whole installation using the unreliable WLAN-USB-Stick under 11.3 and
> once the download is complete and verified, install right away from the
> harddisk, which has enough free space for several installations!

To my knowledge you can’t download an ISO within openSUSE and upgrade in-situ without resorting to some kind of media or
virtual machine onto which to apply the ISO. I’ve never used `zypper dup’ and wouldn’t recommend it anyway for an
upgrade from 11.3 to 12.3. And I haven’t ever Tumbleweeded, so can’t be sure this will work for you either.

*Is it possible to download openSUSE 12.3 onto a PC running 11.3 and
install it directly without using a DVD/CD/USB-Stick? How?

So strictly speaking, the answer to this question is `yes’ if you don’t upgrade 11.3 and run 12.3 within something like
kvm. But I guess the this isn’t going to be a useful solution for the elderly owners. You need some kind of media.
Can’t you just use an external hard drive connected via USB temporarily just to install openSUSE. Just make sure you
check the md5 checkums especially if the WLAN is dodgy. But you say…

> -(…and yes, I would happy to pay for an entire hardware upgrade
> rather than maintaining current machine, but the elderly owners of the
> PC won’t allow me do so for various silly reasons, like being feeling
> too old for a new machine… :wink: )-

… which makes me wonder whether you’re doing the right thing in the first place. Although openSUSE is first class,
it’s a distribution that requires proper maintenance. Will you be doing that even if you do install 12.3? My guess is
not, because 11.3 is still on their machine, and I’m not sure you doing them the best service by sticking with openSUSE.
I don’t if there is a distribution suited for the older user, but I’ve installed Linux Mint KDE on my parent’s laptops
and they are still going strong (and I can ssh into them to keep them up-to-date).

The specs you show are on the low side, even for 11.3
I’d consider a lightweight install CD, f.e. LXDE or KlyDE. The latter is new, but based on KDE, with a low memory footprint. Minimal Klyde – SUSE Gallery

On 2013-05-13, Knurpht <Knurpht@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
> The specs you show are on the low side, even for 11.3

You’re being a bit harsh on the poor laptop! I have a similar 1.7GHz laptop and running openSUSE 12.3_i586_KDE and it
goes along just fine. It may not be the fastest, but it’s comfortably usable for emails and browsing!

I’m always harsh on laptops, but that’s not the point here, see

I have an old PC (1.7Ghz, 265MB) running 11.3, which I want to upgrade to 12.3.

@OP: what I’ve done in the past, is take the HDD out of PC#1 (with low specs), put it in PC#2 (with better specs and own HDD’s detached), install, put HDD back in PC#1 . This works around a text install, which you could do.

Not answering your question , but if you can burn on a CD-R, why not use this LXDE/Xfce combined liveCD for openSUSE-12.3: openSUSE 12.3 LXDE/Xfce/E17 Remix – SUSE Gallery I posted about it here in post#16: https://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/install-boot-login/486643-how-install-really-old-computer.html

Given only 256 MB of RAM, its possible that liveCD won’t boot in a graphic mode, in which case try a text mode install with that liveCD using the guidance here: https://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/how-faq-forums/unreviewed-how-faq/436916-text-mode-install-livecd.html

For updates/getting all the additional apps you want, you will still, after the install, need to connect same computer to the Internet to obtain all the packages you want (or make a copy of the entire repository to an external hard drive and find some way to mount that external drive on the old PC).

I still don’t understand why I cannot download openSUSE directly on the machine, and then create a new bootable partition on the harddisk that then performs the installation into yet another partition on the machine. I have plenty of space on the HDD, why do I need an external fetish medium at all?

On 2013-05-28, STurtle <STurtle@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
>
> I still don’t understand why I cannot download openSUSE directly on the
> machine, and then create a new bootable partition on the harddisk that
> then performs the installation into yet another partition on the
> machine. I have plenty of space on the HDD, why do I need an external
> fetish medium at all?

I suppose the simplest answer is that the binary installer of openSUSE is designed to be booted', not to be executed’
from a pre-booted OS. In principle installing directly from hard drive can be done by compiling from source, but the
subject header says `easiest way’ and using alternative media is by far easier than compiling from source. Apparently
there are Windows hacks (e.g. see http://marc.herbert.free.fr/linux/win2linstall.html ) that allow you to install from
partition to partition but do not expect much support from this forum community who aren’t familiar with Windows if
anything goes wrong.

What you want is possible:

Place the downloaded ISO in a folder /ISO in 11.3 (this means you cannot use the “/” of 11.3 but you already say you have enough space for extra installs.
Next, boot from an install medium, set the source to /dev/sdX#/ISO/NameOfDownloadedISO
Can’t test at the moment, but IIRC this can be done from the NetinstallCD.

And in addition to that you can also start the installation system from the hard disk, i.e. you don’t necessarily need the NetinstallCD.
See here: openSUSE 12.3: Chapter 1. Installation with YaST

I “hid” that, since the OP already knows about the Net install.

The tread title was "Easiest way to install 12.3 on old PC without DVD? " and IMHO the easiest way is via CD. Copy to hard drive for an install, or using USB, while doable, are IMHO not the easiest for a user who is not familiar with such.

You’re right. One might argue if imagewriter is easier than burning a CD with k3b, but the latter still is the most common way.

OK, but the question was:

Thanks for the replies, but my question is really more philosophical: Why doesn’t openSUSE support a direct installation from itself nowadays?

As indicated in my first thread, I already finished that particular installation using a CD-R and Net-Install. I agree, using a CD/DVD is indeed easy in most circumstances, but it even strikes me as odd to burn a DVD-RW just to update my modern laptop. It is pretty much the only time I need an optical drive at all! I guess optical media is now fading like floppy disks did. Even USB-Sticks are on the way out, since people just store stuff online (for better or worse, it is what is happening).

If it is possible to install openSUSE from within Windows, then it ought to be possible from Linux as well, should it not be?

Thanks, I did not realize that the HardDisk option did exist. I will surely give that one a try for the next time! It might not be easier in terms of manual commandline plumbing that is required, but easier in the sense that it does not need any external media.

Yes, and you can do this from Linux.
Of course you would have to specify the installation source manually if you copied the whole DVD’s content to your harddisk… (or specify the online repo)

Not sure if I understand that correctly: Do you mean to upgrade itself to the next version without a CD/DVD?

That is of course possible, I do that all the time:
Just edit your repos to point to the wanted openSUSE version, and then call “zypper dup”. (Or use YaST->Sofware Management to do that)

But note that this is only supported from one version to the next. You can try to jump versions, but might encounter issues then.

IMHO its a good question, … but I do think next time you may wish to spend a bit more time composing the title, as your title asks a different question, and with such an inaccurate title you may end up garnering the attention of a different group of people than what you actually get. And you may also end up getting different answers than you wish.

Note in part, that what you ask, can be accomplished by a zypper update from one openSUSE version to a newer openSUSE version.

The other ways would be from either a formatted internal hard drive install (from the same, or from a different operating system), or from an external hard drive install, which in effect is typically (but not always) a USB.

Having typed that, I note the worlds’ most popular operating system, when not distributed by OEM, is still distributed on the CD/DVD media, so that CD/DVD media is far from fading.

Likely if you think it worthwhile for the distribution to change its approach, then the place to propose this is openSUSE fate ( https://features.opensuse.org/ ) followed up by a corresponding post on the appropriate mailing list openSUSE:Mailing lists subscription - openSUSE Wiki .

On 2013-05-29, oldcpu <oldcpu@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
> Having typed that, I note the worlds’ most popular operating system,
> when not distributed by OEM, is still distributed on the CD/DVD media,
> so that CD/DVD media is far from fading.

You are of course correct, but OEM installs constitute the majority of cases and IIRC only <10% of users of OEM installs
ever insert a CD/DVD/USB that boots into an alternative environment. The absence of CD/DVD drives from many modern
laptops probably reflects this position. However, although I can see the attraction of proposing partition->partition
installs, I can’t see how it offers much improvement over USB->partition installs which are presently available.