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Putting SUSE Linux 10.0 on a Laptop

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 21 Oct 2005


I recently acquired a new laptop, so I thought I'd see what would happen if I installed SUSE Linux 10.0 on it. So, I put in the CD, and made the appropriate changes to exploit my being at Novell, such as switching from CD-ROM installation to HTTP installation.

Before I continue I must mention that this laptop came with Windows XP pre-installed and, just for the sake of seeing what SUSE Linux would do, I left it on there.

The Installation

After selecting my language, timezone, and desktop window manager, it came up with the following screen, which I thought was pretty neat:

It seems that SUSE Linux 10.0 automatically detected the Windows partition and assumed that I wanted to keep it (which, in most cases I think would be correct).

Since I don't really care what happens to windows on this machine, I went ahead and accepted the default settings.

When I was almost done with the partitioning portion of the installation, this screen popped up which could be a cause of concern for someone who was very interested in keeping their windows partition.

Under most circumstances (and in the case of writing this article) your Windows partition will NOT be formatted and will be completely functional after the SUSE Linux 10.0 installation.

So, I went ahead and clicked on "Install" and away it went!

*sidenote* - This computer has a realtek-based chipset for it's Network Interface Card, so it was accurately detected and I was connected to the network automatically during the installation process .

At this point, it downloaded and intstalled the base system packages for about 20 minutes and rebooted.

Upon booting, I was greeted with a wonderful selection screen presenting me with the options to boot in:
  • SUSE Linux 10.0
  • Windows
  • SUSE Linux 10.0 (Failsafe)
When I booted in to Windows, it still worked perfectly. So, for all you windows users out there who are scared to install Linux. I just tried it, and creating a dual boot system with SUSE Linux 10.0 is as easy as clicking your mouse.

After booting back into SUSE Linux 10.0, it resumed installation by asking me to select a password for the root user.

It then presented me with a nice screen about my network status.

As you can see, it successfully detected both of my Network Interface Cards, my modem, and enabled a firewall for me. I have yet to configure my wireless NIC or modem, but it seems like everything is okay with them for now.

The installation then asked me if I wanted to check my Internet connection, which I did. It then asked me if I wanted to update my system. I answered in the affirmative.

Before continuing, it wanted me to select a server from which to download the updates.

I just let everything go default and pressed "Next".

Shortly thereafter, it received about 100 updates and asked me if I wanted to install them. I accepted the defaults, which included all of the security updates and about half of the recommended ones.

It went on with the system configuration scripts that make everything peachy, continuing with the authentication method. I clicked "Next" to the default "Local (/etc/passwd)" option.

I then entered my personal information for my login and I was set to go.

Continuing on through the release notes was relatively painless, as was the hardware configuration screen.

Before I knew it, I was looking at my brand-new SUSE Linux 10.0 HP Laptop complete with working network, mouse, window managment system, etc...


I started this test with the intention of seeing if SUSE Linux 10.0 was as easy to install as Windows on a Laptop. My conclusion is that it is as easy, if not easier than windows to install.

Here is my reasoning:
  1. My laptop "just works"
  2. My Windows partition is just as beautiful as it was when I got the Laptop. (something for which Microsoft can't say the same about Linux)
  3. My audio works beautifully
  4. My wired network card is auto-configured and my wireless card was easily configurable. (both "just worked")
  5. My video work wonderfully
  6. My USB mouse worked from bootup
  7. It came with all the software a normal computer user would need - pre-installed.
Those are just a few of the points that really struck me as stating "SUSE Linux 10.0 is a serious contender as a Desktop Operating System"

Yes, life is good with Linux.

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