Partition challenge

  1. I have a windowless unit completely Linux i.e. Ubuntu 8.10 and Debian with little room left of internal HD
  2. I have a 160 GB external USB with nothing on it.
  3. Yast attempts to repartition sda which is internal rather then SDB because initially it does not recognize until I go to edit or expert (forgot designation)
  4. At that point it appears one must manually partitio and if that is the case I lack that capability unless someone shares with me the typical SUSE partitioning configuration. However there must be an option I am missing like give it the entire drive and let it do its thing. Please advise.

Installing SuSE on External USB Drive - openSUSE

I have never used a usb drive for install myself. And in your case you may not need it to be the boot device. You will need to consider your bootloader and if you want to use your current one or let suse take over.
Traditionally suse will give:
swap (but you should already have one)