Need help installing openSUSE to thumb drive.

I have Leap 42.2 ISO and I want to install this onto a thumb drive. I noticed that it is not a Live ISO which allows me to try it and install from there.

Is there a way I can achieve this without involving CD or other USB drive?

Why openSUSE 42.2? This is already out of support.
Version 42.3 is still supported, but the best is to take 15.0.

And do you mean installing it on a thumb drive (which is not realy different from installing it on other mass-storage devices), or do you mean to ask how to put the ISO on the thumb drive to be able to use it for installing?

I mean installing it to a thumb drive from the same thumb drive. (I already know how to put an ISO onto a thumb drive and make it bootable)

You mean you have an installation device, you can boot from it and start the installatrion and then you want to use that same device as the goal of the installation?

That won’t work, because when you install to a device, you must create partitions on it, an thus create (or change) the partition table. That would overwrite the beginning of the device and thus destroy the bootable ISO.

By far too difficult.
@OP: Use a Live image. It will create an overlay filesystem, allowing you to update/extend the install and use the full size of the USB device. In fact, it creates a portable install. This at least goes for the Leap 15 and Tumbleweed Live images.

+1 to what Knurpht said here.

I just tried that with the latest Tumbleweed live image and it is only showing HDDs as the destination of installation, and not the thumb drive. How can I make it install on itself?

On the thumb drive it is showing 3 partitions, one of it is labelled “cow”, what is the reason it is labelled cow?

It is already ‘installed’ on itself. You can use ‘zypper’ to install anything. The config uses an overlay filesystem, that’s probably the cow you see :). And it should use the entire USB device’s space.
Of course you cannot perform a ‘normal’ install on the same disk. You could however ( and mind about the bootloader ) use a second USB stick to install to. FWIW, my USB SSD has been running and updating fine, but it’s a Leap 15 image.

Thanks for the prompt reply. What does “cow” stand for, is it an acronym or abbreviation?

‘cow’ stands for ‘copy on write’. AFAIU this means that any attempt to write to the underlying FS ( that of the Live image ) results in a write to the overlay FS. This allows you to update/upgrade/extend the installed system. In my case the original underlying FS is ~2 GB, the overlay FS ~30 GB. The latter is what the system uses, keeps files in my /home and gets the actual updates. But, I will stand corrected if any expert on this tells me I’m wrong.

For some reason openSUSE website and forums are loading very slowly.

From what you said, am I right to assume everything I install using it’s package manager will be installed to the thumb drive?

My main reason for doing this is to learn from a book called “C Programming in Linux”, they recommended Ubuntu and openSUSE, I chose openSUSE because of it’s very accessible.

But OS feels a little sluggish, is it because of thumb drive and USB interface?

Thanks for all the help.

Forgot to mention I’m using GNOME and the Night Light doesn’t seem to be working. I’m downloading MATE as I type this.

If something doesn’t work, ask for help, report bugs etc. Moving to other things will not solve any issue. You’ll need to learn that anyway if you want to be a programmer. :D.

So after MATE installed, I logged out and switched to MATE but I’m running into problems with this, the menu is showing “Couldn’t load plugin” in three places. And I’m unable to log out and switch to GNOME. Using MATE’s file manager, I searched for terminal, through that I opened Firefox and typing this. How can I switch to GNOME?

What is the default root username and password? It is asking for it when I type “yast uninstall *mate”.


I figured out how to remove MATE through this thread:

I’ve installed Cinnamon and it seems to be running fine.

Doesn’t Tumbleweed live image come with GCC? How can I install the base one for practice?

You can install most anything from the repos. Check out Yast-Software Maintenance

And USB sticks ae relatively slow compared with HD or SSD

YaST > Software > Software Management, the from the View menu > Patterns. Scroll down to Development and check your choice. You will have then combinations of C, make, etc. in one install.

The book I’m reading requires one of the file I compiled to be copied to “/srv/www/cgi-bin” but I’m unable to do that, I think it’s because I’m root. How can I do that?

I do not understand you. When you “are root”, you must be able to do so.

But you should not be root normaly.

And, you should not make such vague descriptions like “I am unable to copy to …”. Exactly describe, ot better show, what you are doing. There are many ways one can copy a file, how can we guess what you are doing.

It’s a typo, it should read “I’m not root”. I’m logged in as “Live CD User”. I’m using Cinnamon and I’m using the GUI to copy it from the folder where it is compiled to /srv/www/cgi-bin

In cgi-bin folder, the paste option is unavailable.

BTW, you are going more and more “off topic”. The topic is “Need help installing openSUSE to thumb drive”.

You last questions have nothing to do with that.

Also, you were given advice on how to install compilers. You never reported back about that. That is not nice to those that try to help you.

So please.

Start a new thread for every question or problem you have. Do so in the most fitting sub-forum and give it a good telling title that informs those who browse through those titles a good idea what it is about. This to give you a better chance to draw the attention of the people that can help you best.

And please, when you got help, report back if it helped. People are helping here for free in their spare time and the only reward is when someone says: Ok, this helped, thanks.