Installing openSUSE on a computer that already has linux.

I am interested in installing openSUSE on my computer and my PC already has a Debian installation on it.
What is the easiest/best way of installing openSUSE without losing any data?

Sorry for such a simple question, I’m just quite keen to get it right.


P.S My installation cd is 11.0 if that makes a difference.

It is better to try out the latest version (11.2). If you have spare partition in your current installation, you can install it there. You can share the same swap with your other Linux distro.

Also, it is a good idea to try out the LiveCD to get a feel of it.

Should not be a real problem but what version fo grub are you using. If 2 then there is some dancing that must be done.

Grub version 0.97.

I recommend 11.2. Don’t waste your time with 11.0 unless you specifically know your hardware is not supported in 11.2 … (some intel graphic users are in that boat).

Pay very close attention to the proposal that the openSUSE installer will make. It may propose to carve up your Debian in a way that you don’t want. Or if you wanted to replace your Debian the SuSE installer may propose to keep it. So you should plan and know in advance EXACTLY where you plan to put openSUSE on your PC’s hard drive.

We have some new user suggestion/stickies here:

When installing over an old openSUSE, or over another Linux, before installing, I recommend that one 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

Since I am a thunderbird email user, I keep a backed up copy of /home/oldcpu/.thunderbird (which keeps my isp settings, my emails, email addresses, etc … ).