NEWBIES - Suse-11.0 Pre-installation Preparation – PLEASE READ
This thread is for newbies.
This first post is the first of a series of posts in this thread, which will hopefully provide helpful hints on how to install openSUSE-11.0.
Note: openSUSE-11.0 is scheduled to be released on 19-June-2008. Please wait until then, and then proceed to download your CD / DVD. [Before then you will get openSUSE10.3]. You may find things somewhat slow the first day or so, as the masses all try to download at once.
1. Where to find the openSUSE installation ISO file
Note, typically you go to opensuse web site, and download an “.iso” file.
You then burn that to a CD or DVD (dependant on whether you downloaded CD or DVD version) the installation CD/DVD. This first post has some important hints on that.
Please note, if you decide to download SuSE-11.0, pay very close attention to the MD5 checksum.
2. Checking MD5 SUM on ISO FILE from Linux
The theory here is one downloads the appropriate .iso file(s). For those who already have linux, one then runs “md5sum file.iso” (or something like that) in a konsole, against the downloaded file (which in my example I called “file.iso”). This will give an md5 checksum value. One then compares that to the checksum that is on the download web site. If they don’t match, you have a problem, and you MUST download again.
Typically, bittorent downloads are more reliable than FTP or HTTP downloads.
Another gui md5 checker for MS-Windows 95/98/NT (it works in Xp as well even though it doesn’t say so). The file is md5.exe (248kB) and can be downloaded from MD5 GUI for Windows. It’s under the gpl licence and you can download the source if you want.
4. Burning the CD/DVD
Next, when one burns, burn the CD/DVD iso file as an “image file”. For windows users, in Nero, this does not mean selecting some iso option, but rather means selecting the “image” option (this is under “file > burn image”).
When burning, please burn at the SLOWEST speed your burner will allow. YES, the slowest. If you have an old PC with a functioning burner that burns REAL slow, that is often a good PC to do the burn from, since you can burn at a slower speed. Also, choose a CD/DVD media that is of the highest quality you can get. Don’t use some no name bargain basement brand CD/DVD that you know nothing about.
There is further excellent guidance, providing help on “burning the ISO image” on the opensuse wiki:
5. Ensure BIOS is set properly
Also, on the PC where the installation is to be done, ensure in one’s BIOS that the PC is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive before booting from the hard drive.
6. Check MD5SUM again from within installation CD/DVD
When installing SuSE-11.0, you may be given an option to check the MD5 checksum on your CDs (I know SuSE-10.2 & 10.3 had this feature). Take the extra hour (or more) to do this!! It will potentially save you many evenings later on down the road, looking for some ellusive problem that you can’t find.
7. KDE-4.0.x NOT RECOMMENDED FOR NEWBIES
Please note KDE-4.0.x is still very experimental and it is not recommended for Newbies. It is intended mainly for developers and cutting edge hackers or those who live and breath on the cutting edge of the latest software updates. Newbies, during the install please select KDE-3.5.9 or Gnome desktops instead, in order to obtain more stability.
Further to the KDE-4.0x caution, please note the Live CD for KDE ONLY comes with KDE-4.0.x and not KDE-3.5.9. to get KDE-3.5.9 one must install off of the DVD and not the Live CD.
**8. MS-Windows Users - you MUST defrag ** your MS-Windows partitions before installation of openSUSE. That is because if you have not already prepared a partition for openSUSE, then openSUSE installer will try to carve up your MS-Windows hard drive (allocating space for both MS-Windows and Linux), and a badly fragmented drive can cause problems.
Good luck to all.
Notes on CD Burning- I saw the following quote on another forum, and I think it provides a good explanation as to why one can have problems with a CD that to all extents and purposes appears good, yet one can’t boot from the CD (or one gets errors in trying to read from some applications/rpms on the CD).
When you burn to a low speed, the data is written more “clearly” on the disc (higher speed writes tend to burn the data “fainter” and this can make reading slower). The problem is that most BIOS don’t give the computer much time to read the disc before trying to boot from it. If the disc is faint, it may take longer to read, and then the computer will not read it in time to boot from it.
*Such a read problem can happen to old PCs, old CD drives, poor quality CDs, and CD’s burned at a high speed.
*I recently saw the following on yet another forum, and I think it provides further useful technical information on the benefits to burning an Operating System CD/DVD at a slower speed:
I confess to being somewhat skeptical about the statement that the quality of the disk doesn’t matter, but I do think it useful to read the comment on the slow speed being desireable. My experience (and those of some collegues) is high quality CD/DVDs do make a difference, but I concede low qual CD/DVDs will work on occasion, and the advantage offered by hiqher quality CD/DVDs is not always consistantly superior. My view is one should do the best one can, to improve the odds of success.