New user to linux

I just installed openSuse 11.2 dual boot with my current windows OS for the first time to get a feel for it as I’m planning to install it dual boot on a new laptop.

I’d value any tips or feedback as I go along (I think this is the right forum but if it’s not just say and I’ll move) though I’ll be trying to get to grips with it through my own research.

The biggest issue I had during the process of installing Suse was actually making a partition through Windows to begin with! Seeing as I didn’t have any applications to hand and I didn’t want to buy one I used the partitioning tool in Windows. I went to great lengths to find a defragger that would consolidate the freespace on my drive including the MFT so that the uber basic partitioning tool wouldn’t tell me I could only create a 2gb partition in 400gb of free space. Eventually Perfect Disk 10 did the trick, using the consolidate option in offline mode, after I’d moved it to the front of the bootlist so it could actually function offline.

Installation of Suse was both easy and confusing at the same time:
Having created my nice partition of around 150gb leaving my other 2 Windows partitions it took me a few minutes on the ‘disk’ part of installation to work out how to put it on the second partition rather than getting it to shrink the current windows partition. I was pretty glad that there was an explanation of the boot names of the different partitions and why it was creating multiple partitions for the installation or I’d have been a little more vexed than I was.

After installation I’ve been pretty amazed at how quickly and simply everything has loaded.

There was one horrid moment where it updated all the applications on the installation and the system was brought to a grinding halt by error messages about the updates. Thankfully Ctrl+Alt+Delete is a linux function too and I shut down the system and it restarted with everything updated and without the error messages.

One click ATI graphics installation has worked fine and I have audio and video.

I like the interface and widgets and I’m digging for options at the moment. I think I’ll play for a week then seek out some guides and possibly buy a few magazines.

Anyway I’m impressed so far and I think once everything is loaded it’s possibly more intuitive for everyday functions than windows. I’ve got to say though I wouldn’t like to see someone who only has a basic level of interest try to install this let alone dual boot it without a whole bucket load of time for research.

Edit: I forgot to say I went for the KDE desktop.

Ctrl+Alt+Del is actually only maintained for us former Win ppl who don’t know what else to do. But it does work!

Welcome on board. I highly suggest you read the permanent How-To pages, even if you think you don’t need to. It won’t take long, and you will find lots of useful stuff there.

By now, having actually installed openSuSE, you probably realize that you could have used the partitioner that comes with the installer. And it probably would have been a lot easier. Something you can tell your friends about, tho.

Anyway, good luck, and have fun! OpenSuSE is a good distro.

Welcome. There is a link at the head of the forum to the introductory material and there is a lot of other material on the wiki which you may like to read.

Linux uses as specialist swap partition for temporary storage whereas Windows simply puts it on any Windows partition.

openSUSE automatically creates a / (or root - not to be confused with /root which is the administrator’s personal folder) partition to hold all the programs and a /home partition to hold all the data.

This means that, when you upgrade, you can upgrade your programs on / without touching your data in /home.

All your user preferences are also stored in /home/<user> which means you can have several people using the same program but each with their own preferences.

Explore the KDE system settings and also the configure/settings options in most programs to find out what you can do. Unlike Windows, you won’t crash the system. The worst thing will probably be a freeze which you can normally unlock with Ctr-Alt-Backspace (press Backspace twice). Even if the freeze is so serious that you do have to reboot because you have been experimenting with some not quite finished KDE program, you won’t get all the hassle you get with Windows - you’ll probably not even notice Linux fixing the files on the hard drive.

Note that there is no documentation for KDE4; they’ve been so busy writing the new programs, they’ve only just got round to it.

Didn’t know about Ctrl+Alt+Backspace… Could be useful.

What are the useful key combinations that a newbie should know? As of today, I know of :

  • Ctrl+Alt+F[1…6] for a console
  • Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back to display
  • Hit 3 or 5 when at boot time to define runlevel
  • F2 to access BIOS at boot time

Is this all correct? Anything else worth mentioning?

I assume you read our two stickie:

I also recommend you read up on some openSUSE basic concepts

And finally read this to help setup your multimedia

alt-sysrq REISUB trick

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel
up 2 days 3:00, 2 users, load average: 0.03, 0.04, 0.01
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.18

On 01/14/2010 02:46 PM, oysterboy wrote:
> Didn’t know about Ctrl+Alt+Backspace… Could be useful.
> What are the useful key combinations that a newbie should know? As of
> today, I know of :
> - Ctrl+Alt+F[1…6] for a console
> - Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back to display
> - Hit 3 or 5 when at boot time to define runlevel
> - F2 to access BIOS at boot time
> Is this all correct? Anything else worth mentioning?

Ctrl+Alt+F7 to see the error log console

The key to access the BIOS at initial load depends on the BIOS. On some of my
machines it is F2. On others, I use the Delete key.

Thanks guys for the responses all pretty useful, especially the short codes and guide links.

I understand why it does the partitions now and I’m sat here wondering why Windows doesn’t automatically do the same their upgrades generally suck or just end up requiring a reformat.

I had a read through the pre installation instructions before I went ahead. It’s fairly basic to install and the reason I partitioned through Windows was I read on a guide somewhere that using GRUB elicited the need to use the Dvd to repair windows to run correctly afterwards. Is this correct? Anyway I figured it was less hassle trying to do it through windows than taking the risk of losing the installation and having to do a clean install or spend time fixing windows.

Again the guides are excellent and I’m off to spend a few hours looking at them now/ when I get some spare time at work. The more time I spend playing with it the more I like it at the moment. I’ll hope to get all the basics down over the next month or so. Obviously I could say lots of sappy nice things about the OS as I’m oddly excited by it all but I’ll try and use my posting space for any interesting problems or feedback I’ve got.

Larry Finger wrote:
> Ctrl+Alt+F7 to see the error log console

on mine it is Ctrl+Alt+F10…

hmmmm, maybe i changed it but i don’t remember when or how…on the
other hand, i think F7 is standard to get back to the ‘normal’ X, so
your note is probably a typo…

and, if you start another instance of X it would be on F8…
i’m not sure what F9 is used for…


GRUB will not require you to use the install DVD for Windows to repair it. That is only if you wish to uninstall Linux and return to using the Windows bootloader.