SUSE Linux Installation

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 18 Oct 2015 (23:04 BST)

Things have changed quite a bit since this page was last updated and while many of the developments make little sense, keeping a working system moving forward just requires care to disable the elements that have no practical use. Switching from SUSE13.1 to 13.2 is relatively easy as long as the, but this crib sheet is intended for  clean installation on a new machine to match the current SUSE13.2 installations.

Current version of OpenSUSE is 13.2 which can be downloaded from OpenSUSE and there are three options to installing a new machine. The quick way of starting is to download a simple network CD image which is around 60Mb of initial download, but requires an active internet connection on the new machine to download the main bulk of the software. An intermediate method is to download a Live CD, which SUSE provide with either a Gnome desktop, or KDE version. This path allows one to play with a version without actually installing anything which can be useful to try out some of these new desktops while not loosing an existing setup. The final path is to download a copy of the DVD distribution disk which as all of the software ready configured for that version. Since much of the material on the disk will never be used, it makes more sense to use one of the web based installation methods, which will also use the latest versions of a package rather than having to download updates later.

Need to document the process of installing from the network CD, but the installation process is covered by the Unofficial SUSE Users Guide and this provides many of the crib sheets that in the past I would have written myself.  The base installation also includes LibreOffice. This does provide my normal base platform for desktop/laptop machines, but even on the servers, having OO available allows processing of documents directly on the machine. The only thing to ensure is that the default partitioning of the hard disk(s) under 13.2 is disabled. Without any discussion, OpenSUSE now uses BTRFS filing system for the root area and like many I find this unacceptable preferring myself to retain EXT4 for root partitions, and EXT3 for data disks that get transferred between machines.

Configuring the desktop nowadays is still not as easy as it should be. I had given up on KDE following the totally unnecessary mess created by KDE4, and Gnome has gone down the same track with version 3, but can at least be returned to 'classic' mode . However the KDE developers have finally seen the light and have provided an almost usable classic configuration option. It has a strange feeling working across two monitors, something which was perfect only a year ago now breaks leaving a cursor visible either side of the join if you pan too quickly, and one has to move the mouse onto the second screen to wake it up rather than both waking in parallel, but that experience has been modified somewhat by the inclusion of a separate AMD powered graphics card which cuts across the poor choices SUSE has made on hardware management. Configuring the card however has been fun since it does have to restore a traditional X11 hardware install.

We can then add the relevant target packages for development, or server target. Base Development Platform adds Eclipse and it's various extensions for web application development. Web Development Environment Target provides a FLAP based server environment for a dedicated server and this can either be installed on the development machine or remotely targeted for testing purposes. The server setup needs to be combined with Server Software which has the dedicated server details.

Additional packages to be installed need a number of extra repository locations which are logged in SUSE Repositories

Specialist tools needed above a basic installation
Now need to umpdate OSM tool set on SUSE13.1 for SUSE13.2