suse on old computers who crash to console

Peter’s guide for installing suse

This method is special for old computers without dvd drivers and old pre 2000 motherboards.
when I wanted to instal linux suse from a live-cd or an ftp-server the computer booted to a login screen for linux-terminal.
here’s a guide when you meet the same problems (or other problems)

First of all verify your’e dealing with the bug. this can be done by loging in as “root”
If this is a succes, just unplug your computer from it’s power. you will have to do some things bevore you start that thing up again.

Search for an installed computer (windows prefered), and look on the internet for the startup applet “acronis”. TAKE ONE FROM BITTORENT OR BUY ONE, THE DEMO DOESN’T WORK
this is a boot-up applet what has the ability to backup your entire partition table.
Download this iso to your pc and burn it to a cd.
download suse dvd and ftp setup (both must be same version like 11.1) from the suse site

Download a stable version of “virtual box” (a computer simuliser from sun)
Downloads - VirtualBox
and install it to your system.
start the program and make a new virual machine and give it any name you like. make sure you configure it for your system (suse).
in the section where you can choose a virual disk, make a disk thats 50 mb smaller than the space on your old computer (this covers the bug you accidently overide the diskspace in the recovery later on. make the speed 50% of the speed of the virtual host (the computer with virtual box installed)(this keeps your computer in a meassured state but close all unnecesairy programs!!)

now install suse dvd when the computer askes for an install disk. and prefer to low disk usage (only istall what is needed if you have a small disk) and choose for the gnome desktop.

after the install, startup your system to test it. install extra apps like vlc and other stuff (since this goes faster than your old computer).
now shutdown the computer (the virtual one) by shutting it down like a regular computer (you don’t want to ruin what you made).

when the computer is shutted down return to the startup-list (virtualbox), press your virtual suse once and click on settings (above the system logo)
go to te tab cd/dvd-rom and mount acronis (from cddrive letter (like E:))
got to the tab usb and click on the add filter from device.
select your usb flash drive (must be the same size as your installed system).

now start the computer like you did before. you will see cronis starting up. choose the second option in the first screen (the regual backup)
and make a full disk backup.

Acronis will add your flash drive to the list of backed-up partitions (since it has a windows partition) make shure you only select the partitions from linux.

now do a full backup.

when the backup is finished close the virtual machine and put your flash drive in the old computer together with the cronis disk.
restore your linux by clicking the second option again and choosing for restore.

shut down the computer and take out the usb-drive + cd-rom restart your computer with the suse ftp disk.
make sure you have a wired internet connection. start the computer up and choose for repair installed system.
follow the instructions on the screen (after loading) you should get an error from your partitions witch you will have to fix and an error from the grub loader.

repair that in the following way:
in the repair mode go to the second tab and choose for an other loader (NOT GRUB AND ALSO NOT NOTHING!!) your computer will try to install that but discover that the packages for the other loader are not on the ftp-disk. now wait until the computer discovers the grub loader problem again and choose for grub. when the computer askes what to do with the partition table choose new table (the computer will automaticly generate one). click ok and wait for the program to finish.

now restart your computer without any cd or usb and tadaa it works :stuck_out_tongue:

Peter van der Meuelen, The Netherlands

if you have troble with this guide feel free to coment

thanks for the effort in making this guide … I believe before it can be used it needs rework. First off, what are you trying to do? Your title states “suse on old computer who crash to console”.

Perhaps a better title would be:

“Install openSUSE on an old PC using Virtual Box openSUSE backup from a newer PC”

… but maybe you can think of a better title than that.

Typically openSUSE-11.1 will NOT run on most pre 2000 motherboards. Perhaps you could be more specific as to your specification ? ie what MHz/GHz CPU ? How much RAM ? What sort of graphics?

Dependant on the CPU and RAM you may recommend a text only openSUSE, or recommend a minimal graphic openSUSE, or recommend an Xfce openSUSE.

Thats not suprising. For a live-cd one needs lots of RAM.

Dealling with what bug?? This is very unclear. Are you certain this is a bug? Or is it just an openSUSE installation limitation ?

I think you need to re-write that. It makes no sense. Please can you specify exactly what one should be looking for on the Internet for a bittorent download? Do you mean openSUSE-11.1 ? Note openSUSE-11.1 will typically NOT install on pre-2000 computers.

Download what iso ? openSUSE-11.1 ? This makes no sense unless you are more specific. Please, can you be more specific.

Virtual Box is great software. But please note Virtual Box needs to run on a reasonably powerful PC. It definitely will NOT run on most pre-2000 PCs.

So I think I understand now. You recommend installing a minimal openSUSE on a new powerful PC, make a backup to a USB, and then install the backup on to an old PC.

OK, that appears to confirm my guess. You are suggesting to create Virtual Box on a NEW PC, such that on the New PC you try to emulate the speed of the old pre-2000 PC ?

OK, but note, if one makes the spec of Virtual Box (hosted in a new PC) to match that of a pre-2000 PC, then openSUSE-11.1 will not run with any sort of powerful desktop. Typically 512MB of RAM is recommended for KDE or Gnome, although one can get KDE to run with 256MB of RAM (I don’t know about Gnome). However most pre-2000 PCs do not have 256MB of RAM.

Ok, so you are proposing making a backup from a Virtual Box session (running on a new PC) that you can then restore the backup to an old PC?

Hmmm … Acronis is MS-Windows backup software. Acronis is commercial software. I believe it important you mention that you are recommending the use of commercial software. Can you instead recommend some free opensource software? That would go better with the policy of our forum and the views of many of our members.

I am not sure my fellow moderators would agree with a HOW-TO that forces users to use commercial software.

OK, so you restore the Virtual Box WinXP client on to the old PC.

OK, I follow that.

I don’t know enough about grub to comment on this last part.

Overall, a pretty neat idea, but please, is it possible to make the guide a bit more clear, … possibly specify the minimum PC it is suitable for ?? If KDE and Gnome are not suitable desktops, then advise users when installing openSUSE in the Virtual Box session that they should instead specific XFCE of a Minimal GUI, or text only Linux.

Many thanks for the contribution.

Could you please consider my observations, and then if you are still interested in maintaining this “guide”, resubmit making it more clear? Also, could you instead post your updated guide here: Unreviewed How To and FAQ - openSUSE Forums
That is our “unreviewed” how-to / faq section, where guides are typically posted.

Thankyou again for your contribution.