Installing from the Installation Media

Installing software from the installation media is a pretty straightforward process. Follow these steps:

1. From YaST, select Software > Software Management. This will start the module that allows you to install new software packages.

2. You will see the software management utility, as shown in Figure 9-1. By default, it will open the Search utility from the drop-down list in the upper-left corner. This option allows you to search for a software package in the list of available software. For example, if you want to install the kernel sources to your system, use kernel, and next click Search. This will list all the software that has the word kernel in its description. The search option offers many possibilities. Ordinarily, YaST will search for software that contains the keyword you have entered in either its name or its summary. If this doesn't provide the result you want, select the Description option as well. This will force the utility to search in the description of the package as well. Because this is more extensive, you will have a better chance of succeeding in your search.

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Figure 9-1. YaST offers an extensive interface to manage software.

3. In the list of software presented by YaST, click the software you'd like to install. You can also click software that has already been installed. Clicking it once will force the module to update the software, and if you click it again, the selected software package will be removed when you apply all changes.

4. If you are not sure about the package you need to install, you can see a description of the selected software package in the lower-right corner. This description works because SUSE Linux Enterprise Server uses the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) standard for software installation, and in RPM packages, you can always find a description of the software. The following descriptive fields are available:

• Description: This tab provides a short description of the software package. Usually it explains what the package will do.

• Technical Data: On this tab you can see information about the package, such as its author(s), the time it was built, and so on.

• Provides: This is an important field, because you can see what exactly is installed with this software package. In the Installed Version column, the field Provides shows exactly what files are installed by this package. Also, in the Prerequisites and Requires fields, you can see the dependency information for this package. In these fields, you can see what software needs to be present on your system in order to install this package properly.

Note Most software packages have dependencies. These are software packages that need to be present on your system in order to install the selected package. YaST will always do an automatic dependency check. If there are missing dependencies, these will be installed as well.

• Versions: This tab shows you which versions of the software package are currently installed.

• File List: For debugging purposes, this is also a pretty important tab; you can see a list of all the individual files that were installed with this software package.

• Change Log: This log file shows you some history about the package. This is development-related history where the programmer has noted what changes have been applied. You will notice that some of the changes for older packages are in German.

5. After selecting one software package, you can enter the name of some other packages you want to install and repeat the previous procedure. Always keep an eye on the lower-left corner of the software installation screen; there you can see an overview of the amount of disk space that is required on your server and the amount of disk space that is still available. Keeping an eye on this option makes sure you don't select more packages than can be contained by your server's hard drive.

6. When finished making your selections, click Accept. This will start the installation of the software you have selected and copy the files contained by the packages to your server. If so required, the installer will ask you to insert the installation media it inserts, and then it will start copying files.

In the previous procedure, you learned how to search for software packages. The software installation program in YaST offers some other options as well. You can select them from the dropdown box in the upper-left corner of the screen. The following options are available:

Patterns: Select this option to find the installation patterns that you have also used when initially installing your server. On this screen (see Figure 9-2), you can easily select a complete product group and packages from this product group. Use this option to install, for example, a type of server, such as a file server, XEN virtual host, and so on.

Package Groups: The Package Groups option provides an overview of software, categorized by the type of software it is. For example, you can find the option Amusement, the option Toys that shows all toys that have been installed, and the option Documentation that shows generic information. The option Man will provide an overview of all the man pages that are currently installed.

Languages: Although not recommended for support reasons, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server does offer you different languages to work with. From the Languages interface, you can see which languages are currently installed and add languages if so required.

Installation Sources: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can work with different installation sources. For example, you can install software from the DVD but also from the network. On the Installation Sources screen, you can see the software that was installed from a certain installation source.

Tip Want to know exactly what packages are on what installation sources? In the installation source, you will always find a file with the name ARCHlVES.gz.This is a gzip-compressed file with a complete list of all the software packages on the media. To view its contents, execute zcat ARCHlVES.gz, and you can see exactly what software is on the installation source and from where the software is installed.

Figure 9-2. The Patterns option in the software installer makes it easy to install a certain type of service.

Installation Summary. This gives an overview of all the packages that currently are installed. This is useful because you can also see the current status of the packages. For example, on this screen, you can find all the packages that are marked for deletion. This is a useful option to make sure the right thing is happening before you click the OK button.

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