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Building My SUSE Box - Part Two

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 14 Dec 2004

When I finished building my new computer, I needed to get an operating system on there quickly, so I got my new SUSE Linux kit, opened it up and found I had a couple of choices to install it:

  1. I could put in the first of 5 CDs
  2. I could put in the supplied DVD.
Because my system has a DVD-ROM in it, I opted for the DVD.

I turned on my computer, put in the DVD, and watched the magic happen.

*disclaimer* - When I was finished with the initial installation process, the computer rebooted and because all my screenshots were saved on the RAMdisk, when it came back, all my screenshots had been erased. I have all the screenshots for the 2nd part, but during the initial part, sadly, there will be no screenshots.

Before I begin, let me give you the initial hardware configuration of home-built computer:

  • ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe Motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 2200+ CPU (Thoroughbred core)
  • 80 gig Seagate SATA Hard Drive
  • NVidia Geforce-4 MX video card
  • Sony Multiscan Trinitron monitor
  • Yamaha CD-RW Drive
  • Toshiba DVD-ROM drive
To begin with, I was first presented with a nice screen asking me to choose my language. It already had english as the default, so I clicked "Accept" and continued on. So far, so good.

Then, after pausing for a moment to gather information, I was presented with a nice screen telling me what SUSE was planning on doing. It had successfully identified my SATA drive, and told me it was going to partition it for normal use.

After perusing the menu a bit, I noticed it was only going to install KDE. I enjoy using programs from both desktops, so I looked for a way to install both Gnome and KDE. It could be a bit more intutive, but under the radio selections was a "detailed selection" button. That allowed me to select pretty much anything I wanted. I clicked both Gnome and KDE, and some other items such as development and games and such. I was set.

After making that selection, I noticed that my timezone was off, so I easily set it to mountain time, and then I was ready to continue.

It then started to install all the packages I had specified. A total of 3.05 gigabytes were going to be installed, and it said it was going to take about an hour initially. In reality, it only took half that time to install the packages, and then it rebooted.

After the reboot, I forgot to take out the DVD (as the installation did not direct me to do so), but as it was loading, the default on the DVD is to load from the hard drive, so that didn't present any problems.

It loaded up and the first thing it asked me for was something called a "root" password.

I entered my super-secret password, which just happens to be a simple yet not easy-to-guess english word, and pressed enter. Upon doing so, I was presented with this:

If there's any question about security, you should heed this warning and put in a password that is alphanumeric (containing both numbers and letters) with upper and lower case letters.

After that, I wondered what the "Expert Options" were, so I clicked on it, and got the following:

I thought Blowfish encryption was good enough, so I left it as it was.

After clicking next, a screen came up telling me about my hardware configuration.

I noticed YAST had correctly identified my two internal Network Interface Cards, and had configured the one plugged in with DHCP. The other one wasn't plugged in, so YAST didn't try to configure it. Pretty smart, if ya ask me.

Everything looked alright, so I clicked "Next" and went on to the Network Configuration.

I thought it'd be okay to check my Internet connection, so I did and it started to download some release notes and check for available updates.

After a brief pause, a screen telling me there were updates available came up and asked me if I wanted to update my system.

I figured that was a good thing, so I said yes.

The ensuing screen was a bit more complicated than the normal everyday user might want to see.

It's basically asking me where I want to download the updates from. I figured the default configuration is as good as any, so I clicked "Next".

Evidently, I picked a bad time of the day to try that server, so I went clicked OK and tried a server in Germany and clicked "Next".

It worked like a charm. I started receiving new updates quite quickly, and before I knew it, I was installing a bundle of security updates and extra SUSE goodies.

A little bit down the list, I noticed there were some NVIDIA drivers and Microsoft Fonts available, so I checked those too.

After about 15 minutes of installing patches and new updates, I was finally finished.

After the update, it asked me how I wanted to authenticate the users. If you're on a home network, or have a single home computer, the "Local" default selection is sufficient.

Then it asked me to add the users to the computer. In my case, it's just me.

After clicking "Next", it ran a couple of quick automatic scripts, and was on its way.

I read through the SUSE 9.2 release notes which really does shed a bit of light on some of SUSE's configuration. I'd recommend at least browsing through it.

Some last-minute automatic device configuration...

and I was done!

After that, it booted up to a fully functional, connected, full-of-good-sofware, ready-to-use box with SUSE Linux 9.2 Professional on it.

If you have any questions on SUSE installation, feel free to email me, or leave a comment.

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