1.3. The Boot Screen

The boot screen has a number of menu items from which to select. Boot from Hard Disk boots the system already installed on the host (if any). This item is selected by default, because the CD is often left in the drive. To install the system, select Installation with the arrow keys. This loads YaST and starts the installation.

Figure 1.1. The Boot Screen

The Boot Screen

The menu items in the boot screen provide a number of options for starting from the CD-ROM. They trigger the following actions:

Boot from Hard Disk

Boots the system on the hard disk (the system normally booted when the machine is started). This option is preselected.


The normal installation mode. All modern hardware functions are enabled.

Installation — ACPI Disabled

If the normal installation fails, this may be due to the system hardware not supporting ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface). If this seems to be the case, use this option to install without ACPI support.

Installation — Safe Settings

Boots the system with the DMA mode (for CD-ROM drives) and any interfering power management functions disabled. Experts can also use the command line to enter or change kernel parameters.

Manual Installation

By default, drivers are loaded automatically during the installation. If this appears to cause problems, use this option to load drivers manually. However, this does not work if you use a USB keyboard on your machine.

Rescue System

If you are unable to boot into your installed Linux system for some reason, you can boot the computer from the DVD or CD1 and select this item. This starts a rescue system — a minimal Linux system without a graphical user interface, which allows experts to access disk partitions for troubleshooting and repairing an installed system. Less experienced users can alternatively use the system repair tool supplied with YaST. Refer to Chapter 6. System Repair for details.

Memory Test (only x86 systems)

This tests your system RAM by means of repeated read and write cycles. This is done in an endless loop, because memory corruption often shows up very sporadically and many read and write cycles might be necessary to detect it. If you suspect that your RAM might be defective, start this test and let it run for several hours. If no errors are detected after a longer time period, you can assume that the memory is intact. Terminate the test by rebooting.

Use the function keys, as indicated in the bar at the bottom of the screen, to change a number of installation settings, if needed.


Access context-sensitive help — help for the currently active screen element of the boot screen.


Select different graphical display modes for the installation. Also included is an entry to select the text mode, which is useful if the installation in graphical mode causes problems for some reason.


Choose among different installation media. Normally, install from the inserted installation disk, but in some cases you may want to select another source, such as FTP or NFS. The SLP (service location protocol) entry allows you to access an SLP server in the network, which in turn gives access to a selection of installation media as made available by that server. Details of the SLP protocol are discussed in Section 21.6. “SLP Services in the Network”.


Select the display language for the installation.


By default, diagnostic messages of the Linux kernel are not displayed during system start-up. You only see a progress bar. To display these messages, select Native. For a maximum of information, select Verbose.


Allows you to tell the system that you have an optional disk with a driver update for SUSE LINUX. You will be asked to insert the update disk at the appropriate point in the installation process.

A few seconds after starting the installation, SUSE LINUX loads a minimal Linux system to run the installation procedure. If you enabled Native or Verbose, a number of messages and copyright notices scrolls by and, at the end of the loading process, the YaST installation program starts. After a few more seconds, the screen should display the graphical interface that will guide you through the installation.

This is where the actual installation procedure begins, which is controlled by the YaST installation program. All YaST screens have a common layout. All buttons, entry fields, and lists can be accessed with the mouse or the keyboard. If your mouse pointer cannot move, the mouse has not been autodetected. For the time being, you can use the keyboard for navigation.