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Chapter 1 Installing SUSE

Chapter 2 Linux Fundamentals

Chapter 3

Partitions, Filesystems, and Files

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The most important part of getting Linux up and running is installing the system. Some aspects of the Linux installation process may seem unfamiliar and slightly alien when you see them for the first time. This chapter demystifies the process by helping you through the installation, explaining the general principles, pointing out any stumbling blocks that you may hit upon, and offering suggestions for resolving them.

The program used to install SUSE Linux is known as YaST, which stands for Yet another Setup Tool. (The "Yet another ... "is common in Unix/Linux, and is intended to reflect humorously on the number of similar tools that different people and companies have developed to do specific tasks in their favorite, customized fashion.) YaST provides a framework that supports independent modules that perform a variety of administrative tasks, including modules for installation, all system administration and configuration tasks, and subsequent system updates. The YaST interface that you use for installation is therefore very similar to the interfaces that you will use for system configuration and administrative tasks when you have completed your SUSE Linux installation. Powerful and well designed, YaST will quickly become your friend.

[ ; There are minor differences in detail in the instal ls- „■ •«i'^-'k ,t .-.ï . lation process among the different versions of openSUSE, SLES, and SLED covered in this book, but the essentials are the same. The screenshots and procedure shown here are from an openSUSE 11.0 installation. For a description of the differences between openSUSE, SLES, and SLED, see the Introduction.

IN THIS CHAPTER

Partitioning your disks

Partitioning your disks

Setting up X

Setting up X

Selecting Your Installation Method

You can install SUSE in numerous ways. Different installation methods are useful in different circumstances. The most common traditional installation method is to use physical media: a set of CDs or a DVD. A network installation is also possible, either across a local network or directly from the Internet. This book focuses first on installing a SUSE system from physical media: specifically the DVD provided with this book.

j rj ^j^' "' The DVD included with this book provides openSUSE 11.0.

You can install SUSE Linux in the following ways:

■ Compact disc: The easiest and most common form of installation because almost every modern computer system includes a CD drive. This is the standard way to perform a fresh installation of SUSE Linux on a computer system. Starting with openSUSE 11.0, a single "live-CD" version is available for download that can also be used to start off an installation.

■ DVD: A popular form of installation that saves you from having to swap out multiple CDs, but the computer system on which you are installing SUSE must contain a DVD drive. Because of the amount of storage available on a DVD, the SUSE Linux DVD also includes some packages that are not available on the CD installation set.

■ Manual installation: Manual installation requires that you boot from a SUSE CD but provides more control over the source of the packages used when installing SUSE Linux. If you intend to install from a network installation source, you can boot from the first installation CD or use a special small CD to boot the computer and start the installation; the main package installation is then carried out across the network. For example, this installation method enables you to install SUSE from a centralized network repository where the SUSE Linux packages are located, using network protocols such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), NFS (Network File System), SMB (Server Message Block, the Windows file sharing protocol), and even TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol). Network installation is particularly useful if you want to install SUSE on a large number of networked computer systems. Manual installation also enables you to install SUSE from an existing hard drive partition where the SUSE packages are already stored. You can also use Manual installation to install SUSE from a portable, external hard drive or USB stick.

■ AutoYaST: AutoYaST is an advanced installation method that enables a system administrator to create a profile file that can be used to completely automate the installation of SUSE Linux on any number of identically configured systems.

As you can see, each installation method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and some are specifically targeted toward technically sophisticated users or system administrators who are installing SUSE into existing networked environments. The remainder of this chapter focuses on installing from CD or DVD, but also provides an overview of using SUSE's network-based installation.

Different Installation Sources

This chapter focuses on installing SUSE Linux from the DVD that was packaged with this book or from the installation discs you have purchased or downloaded and burned to disk. However, your installation discs and the installation DVD that is packaged with this book (like all SUSE installation media) also support a number of other installation sources. At the start of the installation, you can choose to install from a network installation source rather than the CD or DVD that you booted the installation from. The alternative installation source can be chosen by pressing the F4 key on the first screen of the installation. This enables you to select from a variety of different installation sources, including FTP installation, which enables you to install SUSE from a network source, including SUSE's up-to-date repositories. (Other network installation mechanisms include HTTP, NFS, and SMB/CIFS (Windows-style network share), although FTP is the most common.) An openSUSE "mini-iso" is available that starts an installation, but assumes then that the rest of the installation will be done across the network. As noted earlier, the DVD packaged with this book provides the most recent version of openSUSE available at the time that this book was written. To get the latest and greatest version of SUSE Linux and all of its patches, you can always install this version and then update it using the YaST Online Update module that is discussed in Chapter 9.

Starting Your Installation

Insert the first CD or the bootable DVD in your system's optical drive.

Next, check that your computer is set to boot from the optical (CD or DVD) disk drive so that you can boot from the installation disk to get the installation started. During the bootup routine, you may need to enter the BIOS and set the order in which your system will probe attached devices looking for bootable media. You can enter your system's BIOS setup routines by pressing a special key when booting the machine. Typically, this is the F2, Delete, or F1 key — check your system's boot screen for BIOS Setup instructions, which are usually displayed at the bottom of the screen. When you've entered the BIOS setup screens, different BIOS have different ways of configuring your system's boot sequence. You may find the options you are looking for under Startup Items, Boot Options, or under your Advanced settings. Make sure that your CD or DVD drive is probed before your floppy disk, hard drives, or network. Once set, save the new settings, and your machine will reboot. Some systems allow you to make a one-time choice of how to boot the system; if this is the case, you may see a message from the system such as "Press F12 for Boot Menu.''

At this point, your system should boot from the first SUSE CD or the DVD, and you will see the Welcome screen (see Figure 1-1).

i- : i , In the unlikely event that your system does not display a screen like the one in v '3 . i-.-.,".\s ^ Figure 1-1, reboot and hold down the Shift key while your computer system boots. This will reboot your system into a text-mode installer that follows the same general sequence as the graphical boot process described in this chapter, but has fewer dependencies on the capabilities of the graphics card in your machine.

FIGURE 1-1

The SUSE Welcome screen

Welcome

Bienvenue

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Benvenuto

Willkommen

Selecting Boot Options

When the boot splash screen has finished, you will be asked to select how you want to install SUSE, as well as some other helpful options for booting your system (see Figure 1-2).

The boot menu offers more than just installation options, although the most common selection is the standard Installation item. We discuss the other six options in detail because at some point in the life of a SUSE user you will likely need to use the others.

■ Boot from Hard Disk: This is the default setting if you do not interact with the boot sequence. This option is automatically chosen after a few seconds if you do nothing; this prevents you from starting an installation accidentally and ensures that during the second stage of the installation (when the system reboots itself) it does not start installing from the beginning all over again.

■ Installation: This is the standard option that most users should select. It will boot from the CD and start the install routine (YaST). We discuss the rest of the process in the remainder of this chapter.

■ Repair Installed System: The YaST setup system includes a feature that can repair a broken system. So, if you have a system already installed that will not boot or has something else wrong with it, you can boot the installation CD and choose this option to try to repair it. The repair system is quite a sophisticated one, with a graphical interface and both automatic and manual options for fixing problems.

■ Rescue System: The Rescue System boots a Linux system running in memory only. You can log in to this system as the root user without a password and carry out expert repairs from the command line (checking filesystems, mounting filesystems, editing configuration files, and so on). The Rescue System is an expert tool, but one that can be very useful if a careless administrative change has stopped your system from booting properly.

■ Check Installation Media: This option is particularly useful if you have downloaded a CD or DVD image yourself and burned it to disk. The media is checked to ensure that you have a perfect copy for installation.

■ Firmware Test: Recent openSUSE versions include this option, which runs an Intel diagnostic tool that queries the BIOS, main board, and processor. Normally you will not need to use this, but it is useful for developers.

■ Memory Test: SUSE has been very kind and integrated a memory test suite in the system boot menu. The memory test will run long and exhaustive tests on your system's memory and warn you of any anomalies that it encounters on the way. We have used this a few times with systems that don't quite seem to be running as we expect, and it has been able to tell us that a DIMM (Dual In-Line Memory Module) has indeed failed.

FIGURE 1-2

Boot options

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Fl Help F2 Language F3 Video Mode F4 Source F5 Kernel F6 Driver Lnqlish (UK) 1024 x /bU DUD Default No

At the foot of the initial installation screen are some other options that you can access through the keys F1, F2, and so on. These are:

■ Help (F1): Pressing F1 brings up a screen displaying some help text about the various menus.

■ Language (F2): Here you can select the language for the installation. You get another chance once the installation has started.

■ Video mode (F3): Here you can select the video mode that you want to use for the installation. The selections include text mode and various possible screen resolutions. Usually the setting that is automatically chosen by default is acceptable. You can see this menu in Figure 1-2.

■ Installation source (F4): If you have booted from the CD or DVD, this is the automatically chosen option. But you can choose a network installation here, via FTP, HTTP, or NFS. You can also choose to find an installation source by SLP (Service Location Protocol), which allows an installation server to announce itself on the network.

■ Kernel (F5): Here, if necessary, you can choose to run the installation with certain special offers such as with ACPI disabled. In general, you only need to change the default here if you have tried to install already and run into serious problems.

■ Driver (F6): It is possible to add an additional driver to the installation process if necessary through this option. Again this is needed only rarely, in the case where you have some very recent or special hardware on your system that prevents you from installing at all without using an external driver.

In this chapter, we select the standard Installation option in the boot menu.

- - r When the installation starts to boot, a graphical splash screen is displayed (see

~ ■ Figure 1-3). While this is fine for first-time users, it is something that will infuriate hard-core Linux users because it hides the system messages that are displayed during the boot process. SUSE is aware this may be a problem for some users, and pressing ESC or F2 while the system boots up will allow you to see the kernel and init messages.

So far, the system has booted a minimal Linux kernel that is sufficient to run the installation process and execute the SUSE installer and the various utilities that it uses to probe and configure your system. SUSE's YaST installer now begins to collect information that it will use to configure your system to match your personal and hardware requirements.

Chapter 4.

The installer uses a very different boot process from that used by a standard SUSE ' Linux system. The standard Linux bootup sequence is discussed in more detail in

Configuring Language Settings

When the system has booted, you will be asked to configure your language settings (see Figure 1-4). SUSE (with help from the openSUSE community) has put a lot of effort into supporting as many languages as possible to accommodate a large audience. Each language choice is displayed in its own language and script. When your language has been selected, the installer will instantly change the system language and allow you to continue the installation process in that language.

FIGURE 1-3

Booting SUSE installation

FIGURE 1-4

Selecting the system language

Welcome

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In this screen, you can choose your language and (if necessary) keyboard layout. As with most software products, you also have to agree to the SUSE license before using the system. Of course, most of the software you will be installing is free, but this is where you are informed of the terms and conditions on which it is supplied. Depending on the exact software selections you make, you may also have to agree to individual license terms for a few specific packages later in the installation (such as Sun Java, Adobe Acrobat reader, and a number of other packages).

During the installation routine, you can control the screen with your keyboard using accelerators. Any option on the screen can be selected by pressing the Alt key (Alt) and the accelerator code, signified by an underlined character in a button or a GUI element. For example, in Figure 1-4, pressing Alt+R will abort the installation while Alt+N will accept the setting you selected and you proceed to the next screen.

The installer then goes through an analysis of the system, probing the hardware and checking for a previously installed system (see Figure 1-5).

FIGURE 1-5

System probing openSUSE 11.0

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Installation Mode

You are now (see Figure 1-6) given a choice of installation modes: "New Installation," "Update" (which allows you to update a previous SUSE installation), and "Other Options." Choosing "Other Options'' gives you the choice of "Repair Installed System,'' which is the same as the "Repair" option on the boot screen, and "Boot Installed System,'' which finds a previously installed system on the hard disk and boots that system.

r ■ rj Booting from the installation media and choosing ''Repair Installed System'' at this point can be a useful option if something has gone wrong that stops the system from booting normally (such as a damaged boot loader or incorrect initial ramdisk).

FIGURE 1-6

Installation mode

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You also have the option to set up network installation sources ("Include Add-On products from Separate Media") at this point; if you do, the installer also has to set up the network card so that it can acquire the necessary information from the package repositories across the network. Once the information about local and remote installation sources has been gathered (this can take a minute or two), the installation continues.

In this screen you are also given the option "Use Automatic Configuration." This will cause most of the network and hardware configuration to be done entirely automatically — a new feature in openSUSE 11.0 that helps make the installation run more quickly. Choosing automatic configuration will usually be fine; you can always make necessary changes after the installation has completed.

Customizing the Installation

For SUSE to operate correctly, the system time must be correct. (You may get quite confused when the system says something happened at 3 a.m. when in fact it happened at noon!) Before partitioning your disks and setting up your system, you will need to select your time zone, and check your date and time and also your location (see Figure 1-7). In openSUSE 11.0, a nice graphical world map allows you to click on your location: Clicking the map zooms in to a smaller region.

FIGURE 1-7

Time zone selection openSUSE 11.0

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You can choose whether to set the hardware clock to local time or to UTC (coordinated universal time, sometimes called GMT). In general, the best choice is UTC, but this can cause problems if Linux is sharing a dual-boot system with another operating system. After the installation is finished, you can set up an NTP (Network Time Protocol) source so that the clock in Linux is always precise.

Selecting Your Desktop Environment

The two most popular desktop systems for Linux are GNOME and KDE. Here you can choose between them (see Figure 1-8). If you are installing openSUSE 11.0, two forms of KDE are available: the tried and tested version 3.5 and the newly released version 4.0.

FIGURE 1-8

Selecting your desktop environment

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Alternatively you can select "Other" and choose a minimal graphical environment or a text-mode-only installation. If you are installing a server system, one of these might be the best choice and can minimize the number of unnecessary packages to be installed.

If you want to install both GNOME and KDE (or both KDE versions) and switch between them at a later stage, that is also possible: Choose one of them here and later in the main package installation screen choose the other environment in full as well. Then when the system is fully installed, you will be able to choose between the different desktop environments when you log in.

The choice of GNOME versus KDE is a matter of personal preference. If you are unfamiliar with Linux desktops, you may want to install them both and decide which you prefer. As with many things in Linux where you have a choice, there are very vocal advocates on both sides of the discussion. One of the authors of this book is a KDE user, and one is a GNOME user.

Recent versions of GNOME have a very clean look and feel, while the KDE desktop can seem a little cluttered. First-time users are often put off by the fact that a single click is used to launch an application from an icon in KDE unlike the double-click in Windows. At the time of this writing, KDE version 4 is still very new, and is not yet as mature as KDE 3.5.x, which is also available as an installation option.

Here I have chosen KDE 3.5 as the desktop selection.

Partitioning Your Disks

YaST initially chooses a partitioning scheme based on your disk layout. It is very likely that the installation default will be fine (see Figure 1-9) for a first-time user if there is no previous operating system on the disk that you want to preserve. For other users, YaST enables you to control the layout of partitions on the disk, the type of filesystems that are used on those partitions, and any options that will be used when mounting them.

FIGURE 1-9

Partitioning openSU5E 11.0

G- Suggested Partitioning

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The proposal that YaST offers you depends on whether it finds any partitions on the disk and what they are. If there is a Windows partition, YaST proposes a change in which the Windows partition is nondestructively resized to make space for Linux and offers to create a sensible layout for the new partitions you need. In that case you can usually safely go along with the proposal.

If there are pre-existing Linux partitions on the disk, YaST's proposal may involve removing one of them and replacing it with the new system. In such a case it is definitely your responsibility to know what the partitions on the disk contain and whether you want to keep or remove them.

But in any case, no changes will actually be made to the disk until you finally go ahead with the installation, so if you make mistakes at this stage, you can still abort the installation and leave the hard disk as it was.

What you do next depends on your requirements.

If you want to accept the default partition layout selected by YaST, select Edit Partition Setup, click Next, and then if you do not wish to make changes to the proposal, skip ahead to the section of this chapter entitled "Selecting Software for Installation."

If you are an experienced Linux user, or you just want to specify your own customized partitioning scheme, select Create Partition Setup and click Next. Then, select the "Custom Partitioning (for experts)'' option, and click Next (see Figure 1-10). This shows you any existing partitions and presents you with the option to create and delete partitions, as well as other advanced options such as software RAID, LVM (logical volume management), and cryptographic filesystems.

FIGURE 1-10

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If you are creating your own partitioning scheme and do not already have an operating system on your computer that you want to preserve, skip to the section "Primary and Extended Partitions."

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