Chapter 3. YaST in Text Mode (ncurses)

Table of Contents

3.1. Usage
3.2. Restriction of Key Combinations
3.3. Starting the Individual Modules
3.4. YaST Online Update


This chapter is mainly intended for system administrators and experts who do not run an X server on their systems and depend on the text-based installation tool. It provides basic information about starting and operating YaST in text mode (ncurses). It also explains how to update your system online automatically.

3.1. Usage

Basically, the entire program can be controlled with Tab, Alt-Tab, Space, the arrow keys ( and ), Enter, and shortcuts.

3.1.1. The YaST Control Center

When YaST is started in text mode, the YaST Control Center appears first (see Figure 3.1. “Main Window of YaST in Text Mode”).

Figure 3.1. Main Window of YaST in Text Mode

Main Window of YaST in Text Mode

The main window consists of three areas. The left frame, which is surrounded by a thick white border, features the categories to which the various modules belong. The active category is indicated by a colored background. The right frame, which is surrounded by a thin white border, provides an overview of the modules available in the active category. The bottom frame contains the buttons for Help and Exit.

When the YaST Control Center is started, the category Software is selected automatically. Use and to change the category. To start a module from the selected category, press . The module selection now appears with a thick border. Use and to select the desired module. Keep the arrow keys pressed to scroll through the list of available modules. When a module is selected, the module title appears with a colorful background and a brief description is displayed in the bottom frame.

Press Enter to start the desired module. Various buttons or selection fields in the module contain a letter with a different color (yellow by default). Use Alt-yellow_letter to select a button directly instead of navigating there with Tab. Exit the YaST Control Center by pressing the Exit button or by selecting Exit in the category overview and pressing Enter.

3.1.2. The YaST Modules

The following description of the control elements in the YaST modules assumes that all function keys and Alt key combinations work and are not assigned different global functions. Read Section 3.2. “Restriction of Key Combinations” for information on possible exceptions.

Navigation among Buttons and Selection Lists

Use Tab and Alt-Tab or Shift-Tab to navigate among the buttons and the frames containing selection lists.

Navigation in Selection Lists

Use the arrow keys ( and ) to navigate among the individual elements in an active frame containing a selection list (e.g., between the individual modules of a module group in the Control Center). If individual entries within a frame exceed its width, use Shift- or Shift- to scroll horizontally to the right and to the left. Alternatively, use Ctrl-E or Ctrl-A. This combination can also be used if using or would result in changing the active frame or the current selection list, as in the Control Center.

Buttons, Radio Buttons, and Check Boxes

To select buttons with empty square brackets (check boxes) or empty parentheses (radio buttons), press Space or Enter. Alternatively, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected directly with Alt-yellow_letter. In this case, you do not need to confirm with Enter. If you navigate to an item with Tab, press Enter to execute the selected action or activate the respective menu item (see Figure 3.2. “The Software Installation Module”).

Function Keys

The F keys (F1 to F12) enable quick access to the various buttons. Which function keys are actually mapped to which buttons depends on the active YaST module, as the different modules offer different buttons (Details, Info, Add, Delete, etc.). Use F10 for OK, Next, and Finish. Press F1 to access the YaST, help which shows the functions mapped to the individual F keys.

Figure 3.2. The Software Installation Module

The Software Installation Module