Personal OpenSUSE 11 Installation Guide

Mauriat Miranda (

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Published: 29 October 2008 (updated: 29 October 2008)

NOTE: The content of this page may be outdated. Links may not be valid and the steps detailed may no longer work. This page is saved for archival purposes only.

This guide is a short configuration of OpenSUSE 11.0. This page is to provide some notes and tips for installation. The goal is to setup software with minimal steps. This guide was authored testing an AMD64 desktop running i386 (32-bit) OpenSUSE. The DVD installation method was used.

Installation Media

OpenSUSE 11.0 is provided as either a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM image for installation.

The CD-ROM disks are "LiveCD's" which can be booted and will run a basic OpenSUSE 11.0 in memory. The LiveCD options are restricted to either GNOME or KDE4 desktop environments. Both provide an installer however they come with significantly less software than the DVD and will require a significant number of additional software download which do not come on the CD.

The DVD-ROM disk is the full featured installation method that will provide a great deal of software and many useful setup options. It is highly recommended to use the DVD.

Physical Installation

The OpenSUSE installer is filled with many options. Most settings here are highly dependent on indivisual preferences. The following highlights are some recommendations.

Automatic Configuration - Unless you need to specifically set certain parameters for your hardware or network devices, then you should allow Automatic Configuration. See below.

Desktop Selection - The options for desktop selection are GNOME 2.22, KDE 4.0, KDE 3.5, Other (XFCE, Minimal). I highly recommend selecting KDE 3.5. You can still install ALL options later, but leave the Default to KDE3.5.

Create New User - Make sure to create a user account, when doing so, if you select "Use this password for system administrator", then the user account and root will have the same password. This can be convenient. I do not recommend "Automatic Login".

Installation Settings: Software - Some minor recommendation for a better experience. In the Software section of Installation Settings, goto Software Selection and System Tasks and select Details....

With some additional Development software and Server.

Automatic Configuration - By DE-selecting Automatic Configuration earlier in the installation, you will be prompted for certain hardware settings. I required this for setting a manual IP address and some other network specific settings.

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Root Access

If you did not manually set the root password, then it will be the same as the first user created. Most all adminstrative commands require either using YaST tool in the GUI or commands on the shell (command line interface).

Shell commands which need to be run as root, should be prefixed with sudo. When running sudo the first time, you should see some warning.

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Software Repositories

While OpenSUSE includes a great deal of software there are many hardware drivers, updates and multimedia options that will still need to be installed from Software Repositories. There are many software repositories included in OpenSUSE but most of them are Disabled by default.

Navigate from the Menu: Computer > Administrator Settings (YaST). (Enter root password where necessary) Select: Software Repositories, then from the options Add Community Repositories. The following are the repositories I used for:

NOTE: Enabling too many repositories can lead to all sort of conflicts and confusion when installing software. I don't recommend enabling ALL repositories.

All software from the repositories can either be installed using the Administrator Settings (YaST) or by using the command line application: zypper (#). Note: for this guide, zypper will be used. Note: Do NOT use zypper and YaST at the same time to install/configure software.

To see what repositories I use with zypper:

mirandam@charon:~> zypper repos
# | Alias                                                    | Name                  | Enabled | Refresh
1 | repo-debug                                               | openSUSE-11.0-Debug   | No      | No
2 | openSUSE-11.0-Updates                                    | Updates for 11.0      | Yes     | Yes
3 |              | Packman Repository    | Yes     | Yes
4 | repo-non-oss                                             | openSUSE-11.0-Non-Oss | Yes     | No
5 |                 | NVIDIA Repository     | Yes     | Yes
6 | openSUSE-DVD 11.0                                        | openSUSE-DVD 11.0     | No      | No
7 | repo-oss                                                 | openSUSE-11.0-Oss     | Yes     | No
8 | | VideoLan Repository   | Yes     | Yes

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System Update

After selecting my repositories I did a system update using zypper:

mirandam@charon:~> sudo zypper refresh

mirandam@charon:~> sudo zypper update

NOTE: I ran zypper update twice in order to get all updates. The first updated the Update System.

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Install Nvidia Driver

To install the Nvidia Hardware Accelerated 3D driver:

1. Enable the NVIDIA Repository from the Community Repositories in YaST.

2. Install either x11-video-nvidiaG01 for recent/modern Nvidia cards
-OR- x11-video-nvidia for legacy/older Nvidia cards.

mirandam@charon:~> sudo zypper install x11-video-nvidiaG01

Either restart your X-Server or just reboot.

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Multimedia, Codecs, MP3, Audio, Video, DVD

If you enable proper software repositories, you will be able to install multiple software options for playing MP3, audio, video, DVD and multiple other multimedia formats (MPEG4, Divx, Xvid).

NOTE: All of the following zypper commands require you enable certain software repositories from the Community Repositories in YaST.

Some highly recommended/required software libraries and packages:

Some audio applications:

Some video applications:

NOTE: All of the above zypper commands require you enable certain software repositories from the Community Repositories in YaST.

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Remove Beagle

Beagle is a desktop search tool. I found this tool impractical and too disk intensive. I removed it:

mirandam@charon:~> sudo zypper remove kio_beagle kerry-lang kerry \
kdebase3-beagle beagle-index beagle-gui beagle-firefox beagle-evolution beagle

If you wish to delete Beagle's index data:

mirandam@charon:~> rm -rf ~/.beagle

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Setup Samba - Filesharing with Windows

The Samba service allows for a Linux computer to share files with Windows computers on the network.

To install Samba:

mirandam@charon:~> sudo zypper install samba samba-client yast2-samba*

To start configuring Samba, run Administrator Settings (YaST) > Network Services > Samba Server . When prompted, enter your workgroup name (typically WORKGROUP). You will NOT be using a Domain Controller.

In the Samba Configuration Dialog:

After you saved your settings you will need to add any users you want accessing your Samba shares as a Samba user. To do this, I used the shell. Add valid users AND passwords using the smbpasswd command.

This login name WILL be the login name and password you use from Windows to access your Linux computer. The password does NOT need to match your Linux password.

mirandam@charon:~> sudo smbpasswd -a mirandam
root's password:
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user mirandam.

Note: Replace 'mirandam' with a valid account on the Linux machine. The reason you are being asked for root's password is because you are using sudo.

The Samba service should be running after configuring. If you need to start it run:

mirandam@charon:~> sudo /etc/init.d/smb start

... or to restart it, run:

mirandam@charon:~> sudo /etc/init.d/smb restart

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System Services

OpenSUSE does a very good job at leaving minimal unnecessary services running. To modify the System Services. I ran Administrator Settings (YaST) > System > System Services (Runlevel). I switched to "Expert Mode". I disabled the following services:

Typically I disable most services for Runlevel 3 and Runlevel 5, however if I know the service is completely useless, I disable it for ALL runlevels.

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More Information

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Copyright © 2003-2013 by Mauriat Miranda (