Configuring your network access

If any network interface cards have been detected in the system, you will be asked to configure them for network access (see Figure 1-21). By default, YaST sets the first Ethernet card it finds as your system's primary Ethernet interface and assigns it an address that is configured via the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).


You can find discussions about DHCP servers in Chapter 19.

For most people using SUSE in a business environment, a DHCP server may already be running, and an address, domain name system (DNS) server list, and router configuration will already be available. Home users and users setting up a server system will find it necessary to configure these details manually. Home users with simple broadband or dialup connections will often automatically receive this information from their Internet service providers (ISPs) and therefore may not need to change these settings.

To change the configuration of the network card, click the Change button. You are then asked to select the network card that you wish to work with (see Figure 1-22).

Figure 1-21: Configuring network cards
Figure 1-22: Selecting your network card

In this example case, you have only one network card that has been configured by the system. If you had more cards configured (for example, one network card with DHCP and one with manual configuration), you would see the network card type, the configuration options, and also the device ID as seen by Linux for each.

During this configuration, you can remove and add any cards that have been defined, as well as change the configuration of an existing card. In this example, you will change the default SUSE settings to a manual configuration, so select the Edit button. A screen like the one shown in Figure 1-23 appears.

Figure 1-23: Configuration of network cards

In this example configuration, we will set the IP address of the network card to, with a router/gateway of and a DNS server of If you are unfamiliar with these terms at this stage, see Chapter 6 for additional information.

To change the configuration of the network card from automatic to manual, select Static address setup. This enables you to edit the IP and subnet mask fields. As you can see in Figure 1-23, we have set the IP address/netmask to that of the configuration we talked about in the preceding paragraph.

Setting up your host name and DNS addresses

To set up the host name of the Linux machine and the addresses of your Domain Name System servers, select the Host name and name server button. A screen like that shown in Figure 1-24 appears.

Figure 1-24: Configuring DNS and host name

The host name of your Linux machine can be anything you like, such as a person's name, a descriptive name, or something random. The only thing that you have to bear in mind is that the host name and domain name can contain only letters and numbers as well a hyphen or an underscore. The host name can be only one string of characters and cannot contain a space or a period. As the name suggests, the domain name dictates the network "domain" that this machine falls into. This domain may well be something in line with your company's policy or could be something you have set up yourself.

Tip When integrating a new system into an existing networked environment, you should always follow the same naming conventions that are already being used, especially for the domain name. If you do not, other systems on the network may not be able to locate your system correctly, and certain services on your system may not be able to intemperate with existing network services.

Enter the name server address into the Name Server 1 field. You can also enter up to two other separate DNS server entries. Your administrator or ISP should be able to give you this information.

The Domain Search entry is used to control how your machine looks up the address of other machines connected via TCP/IP. For example, if you use a Domain Search entry such as suse. com, you can communicate with any machine in the SUSE domain by just its host name. For example, with as the Domain Search entry, you can communicate with the machine you are setting up in this example by just using the host name of bible. If you do have as a Domain Search field, however, you have to specify the fully qualified domain name of the machine you wish to communicate with (in the case of this example, that is

When you have set the DNS configuration for your system, press OK to save your changes.

Configuring the default gateway

Next, you will probably need to configure the router/gateway for your system. To do this, click the Routing button. You should see a screen like the one shown in Figure 1-25.

Figure 1-25: Configuring a default gateway

Your default gateway address is the IP address of the host to which TCP/IP packets that are not destined for your local network are sent for further processing. For example, your gateway address will be that of your asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) router if that is how you connect to the Internet. In other cases, your network or system administrator will be able to provide you with this information.

When you have set the gateway address, click OK to proceed. If you have finished configuring all of the network cards that you need to configure, you can select Finish in the Network cards configuration overview window. This tells YaST to save the changes to your network configuration and restart the system networking.

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