Configuring the System with YaST

S USE has always had a great configuration tool, YaST. Over the years it has moved from being a small configuration tool to being able to control system services configuration and X configuration. With each release iteration, the module's integration into YaST grows, and SUSE 9.1 is no different.

YaST (yet another setup tool) can be executed in either a terminal-oriented, non-graphical mode or an X Window system mode, the difference being that one is purely text-based menus for remote configuration and the other is a GUI running under X.

With SUSE 9.1, SUSE has released the source code for YaST under the General Public License (GPL) license. As we discussed in the Introduction, this has been a bone of contention because people felt it restricted the distribution of the SUSE operating system.

With the release of YaST under GPL, it means that the powerful configuration modules can now be ported to other versions of Linux. Other distributions do not have the wealth and breadth of configuration modules for system configuration as YaST does, so we hope this will help speed up the use of Linux by both home users and enterprise deployments.


With the recent acquisition of SUSE by Novell, the technologies from both companies should be able to take YaST to a much higher and more centralized configuration management infrastructure.

We talk about YaST in GUI mode in this chapter, but the differences between YaST on the command line and YaST under X are only cosmetic. YaST has been designed so that regardless of the way you view it, the functionality is the same.

YaST and YaST modules

Keeping time with NTP

Configuring a printer

Online updating with YaST

Installing other systems from yours

Figures 9-1 and 9-2 show the same YaST view from both the text and GUI system.

YaST Control Center


Hardware System

Metwork Devices Metwork Services Security and Users Mise

On Ii tie Update

Install and Bernöwe Software Change Source of Installation Installation into Directory Patch CD Update System Update

Figure 9-1: YaST running under text mode

Figure 9-2: YaST running in GUI mode

There are numerous ways you can start YaST, either from a terminal directly or via the GNOME/KDE menus. Chapter 8 details exactly how to load YaST from the desktop environment menus.

To load the GUI YaST interface, type yast2 at the command prompt. If YaST detects that X is running, it loads the GUI. If not, it runs the text-based interface. If you wish to force the text-based interface, use the su command to become the root user and type yast at the command prompt.

Once loaded, you will see the main YaST menu, as in Figures 9-1 and 9-2, depending on what version of the interface you have chosen.

From now on we will deal with the GUI-based YaST system.

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