Enlightened in OpenSUSE Part 1 – Installation

The Article

In the effort to provide as much useful information as possible to those interested in Linux, I will be working on some projects to test out as many distros as possible with as much depth as possible.  For the next month or so I will be working on OpenSUSE at least part of the day.  This is a distro that many people like for the freedom and privacy commitment from the community developers, but also because the distro contains some package management approaches that allow single source system management (YaST).  I was going to use OpenSUSE for my KDE test but I had issues with the system clock so I installed Linux Mint instead because I was familiar with the distro and I knew that it worked (at least with the Cinnamon desktop environment).  Now that the system clock is is fixed on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed I will be working on the distro to give my impression on the distro.  I will be working on the distro on my main desktop computer using a thumb drive to run my operating system.  This video and article will explain my installation process.

First, I will debunk the commonly echoed statement that OpenSUSE is a good distro for a beginning user.  During the process of creating this computer, I have had to reinstall the system multiple times because the bootloader keeps failing AND manually creating / repairing the bootloader also fails when I attempted a repair.  To get the bootloader to work, I needed to change the default install settings just to get the computer to function correctly.  The error was computer-specific.  The default install would not work on the main computer the distro was meant to run on, but it did properly boot on a different computer I tested.  That does not help because this distro is being built for a specific computer that had difficulty running correctly.

The second factor to consider for those interested in OpenSUSE (any desktop environment) – OpenSUSE downloads about 3 GB of data during the install, which allows the user to download one .iso file and select the desired options during the install, however, if you have slow internet or a metered connection, this method is probably not going to work well for you.  If your Internet is fast and unmetered, OpenSUSE is a great way to explore the various desktop environments because you do not need to download an .iso file for the different environments like you do with other distros.

The setup was not as easy as it should have been.  The default settings placed the boot record in the home directory rather than the Master Boot Record causing failure to boot.  The defaults also used a different file system than I am used to running on Linux, so once I changed a few of the default settings I was able to run the installer and actually boot from the drive on any computer that should have worked.

At this point I was able to start up the computer and run the initial configurations.  The networking did not work out of the box, but that was a quick fix in YaST; I just needed to enable it and change the settings to DHCP so the router could push the correct IP address.  There is also a power state error that loads every time the computer boots.  I found what I need to do to fix that, but I will talk about that error in the next video. I will now save all further comment until next time.

Other items of note: First, I attempted to load the distro on a USB 2.0 device, but the installation failed.  Once I switched to a USB 3.0 device the distro installed quickly even though I needed to download 3 GB of data.



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