1.7. Installation Suggestion

After hardware detection, the suggestion window (shown in Figure 1.7. “Suggestion Window”) displays some information about the hardware recognized and proposes a number of installation and partitioning options. After selecting any of these items and configuring them in the corresponding dialogs, you are always returned to the suggestion window, which is updated accordingly. The individual settings are discussed in the following sections.

Figure 1.7. Suggestion Window

Suggestion Window

1.7.1. Installation Mode

Use this to change the previously selected installation mode. The options are the same as already described in Section 1.6. “Installation Mode”.

1.7.2. Keyboard Layout

[Tip]S/390, zSeries: Keyboard and Mouse Configuration

On IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms, the installation is performed from a remote terminal. The host as such has no keyboard or mouse locally connected to it.

Select the keyboard layout. By default, the layout corresponds to the selected language. After changing the layout, test Y, Z, and special characters to make sure the selection is correct. When finished, select Next to return to the suggestion window.

1.7.3. Mouse

If YaST failed to detect your mouse automatically, press Tab in the suggestion window several times until Mouse is selected. Then use Space to open the dialog in which to set the mouse type. This dialog is shown in Figure 1.8. “Selecting the Mouse Type”.

Figure 1.8. Selecting the Mouse Type

Selecting the Mouse Type

To select the mouse type, use and . Consult your mouse documentation for information about the mouse type. After selecting a mouse type, use Alt-T to test whether the device works correctly without making the selection permanent. If the mouse does not behave as expected, use the keyboard to select another type and test again. Use Tab and Enter to make the current selection permanent.

1.7.4. Partitioning

In most cases, YaST proposes a reasonable partitioning scheme that can be accepted without change. YaST can also be used to customize the partitioning. This section describes the necessary steps. Partition Types

[Tip]S/390, zSeries: Hard Disks

On IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms, SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server supports SCSI hard disks as well as DASDs (direct access storage devices). While SCSI disks can be partitioned as described below, DASDs can have no more than three partition entries in their partition tables.

Every hard disk has a partition table with space for four entries. An entry in the partition table can correspond to a primary partition or an extended partition. Only one extended partition entry is allowed, however.

A primary partition simply consists of a continuous range of cylinders (physical disk areas), assigned to a particular operating system. With primary partitions only, you would be limited to four partitions per hard disk, because more do not fit in the partition table.

This is why extended partitions are used. Extended partitions are also continuous ranges of disk cylinders, but an extended partition may itself be subdivided into logical partitions. Logical partitions do not require entries in the partition table. In other words, an extended partition is a container for logical partitions.

If you need more than four partitions, create an extended partition as soon as the fourth partition (or earlier). This extended partition should span the entire remaining free cylinder range. Then create multiple logical partitions within the extended partition. The maximum number of logical partitions is fifteen on SCSI disks and 63 on (E)IDE disks.

It does not matter which type of partitions are used for Linux. Primary and logical partitions both work fine. Required Disk Space

YaST normally proposes a reasonable partitioning scheme with sufficient disk space. If you want to implement your own partitioning scheme, consider the following recommendations concerning the requirements for different system types.

Minimal System: 500 MB

No graphical interface (X Window System) is installed, which means that only console applications can be used. Also, only a very basic selection of software is installed.

Minimal System with Graphical Interface: 700 MB

This includes the X Window System and some applications.

Default System: 1.5 GB

This includes a modern desktop environment, like KDE™ or GNOME™, and also provides enough space for large application suites like Netscape™ or Mozilla™.

Full Installation: 2.5 GB

All the packages included with SUSE LINUX can be installed.

Depending on the amount of space and how the computer will be used, adjust the distribution of the available disk space. These are some basic guidelines for partitioning:

Up to 4 GB:

One partition for the swap space and one root partition (/). In this case, the root partition must allow for those directories that often reside on their own partitions if more space is available.

4 GB or More:

A swap partition, a root partition (1 GB), and one partition each for the following directories as needed: /usr (4 GB or more), /opt (4 GB or more), and /var (1 GB). The rest of the available space can be used for /home.

Depending on the hardware, it may also be useful to create a boot partition (/boot) to hold the boot mechanism and the Linux kernel. This partition should be located at the start of the disk and should be at least 8 MB or 1  cylinder. As a rule of thumb, always create such a partition if it was included in YaST's original proposal. If you are unsure about this, create a boot partition to be on the safe side.

You should also be aware that some (mostly commercial) programs install their data in /opt. Therefore, you may either want to create a separate partition for /opt or make the root partition large enough. Partitioning with YaST

When you select the partitioning item in the suggestion window for the first time, YaST displays a dialog listing the partition settings as currently proposed. Accept these current settings without change or change them before continuing. Alternatively, discard all the settings and start over from scratch.

Figure 1.9. Editing the Partitioning Setup

Editing the Partitioning Setup

Nothing in the partitioning setup is changed if you select Accept Suggested Partitioning Setup. If you select Change Suggested Partitioning Setup, the Expert Partitioner opens. It allows tweaking the partition setup in every detail. This dialog is explained in Section 1.7.5. “Expert Partitioning with YaST”. The original setup as proposed by YaST is offered there as a starting point.

Selecting Create Custom Partitioning Setup opens the dialog as shown in Figure 1.10. “Selecting the Hard Disk”. Use the list to choose among the existing hard disks on your system. SUSE LINUX will be installed on the disk selected in this dialog.

Figure 1.10. Selecting the Hard Disk

Selecting the Hard Disk

The next step is to determine whether the entire disk should be used (Use Entire Hard Disk) or whether to use any existing partitions (if available) for the installation. If a Windows operating system was found on the disk, you may be asked whether to delete or resize the partition. Before doing so, read Section “Resizing a Windows Partition”. If desired, go to the Expert Partitioner dialog to create a custom partition setup at this point (see Section 1.7.5. “Expert Partitioning with YaST”).

[Warning]Using the Entire Hard Disk for Installation

If you choose Use Entire Hard Disk, all existing data on that disk is completely erased later in the installation process and is then lost.

YaST checks during the installation whether the disk space is sufficient for the software selection made. If not, YaST automatically removes parts from the software selection as needed. The suggestion window then includes a notice to inform you about this. As long as there is sufficient disk space available, YaST simply accepts your settings and partitions the hard disk accordingly.

1.7.5. Expert Partitioning with YaST

With the expert dialog, shown in Figure 1.11. “The YaST Partitioner in Expert Mode”, manually modify the partitioning of your hard disk. Partitions can be added, deleted, or edited.

Figure 1.11. The YaST Partitioner in Expert Mode

The YaST Partitioner in Expert Mode

All existing or suggested partitions on all connected hard disks are displayed in the list of the expert dialog. Entire hard disks are listed as devices without numbers, such as /dev/hda or /dev/sda (or /dev/dasda, respectively). Partitions are listed as parts of these devices, such as /dev/hda1 or /dev/sda1 (or /dev/dasda1, respectively). The size, type, file system, and mount point of the hard disks and their partitions are also displayed. The mount point describes where the partition is mounted in the Linux file system tree.

Any free hard disk space is also listed and automatically selected. To provide more disk space to Linux, free the needed space starting from the bottom toward the top of the list (starting from the last partition of a hard disk toward the first). For example, if you have three partitions, you cannot use the second exclusively for Linux and retain the third and first for other operating systems. Creating a Partition

Select New. If several hard disks are connected, a selection dialog appears in which to select a hard disk for the new partition. Then, specify the partition type (primary or extended). Create up to four primary partitions or up to three primary partitions and one extended partition. Within the extended partition, create several logical partitions (see Section “Partition Types”).

Select the file system to use to format the partition and a mount point, if necessary. YaST suggests a mount point for each partition created. Details of the parameters are provided in the next section.

Select OK to apply your changes. The new partition is then listed in the partition table. If you click Next, the current values are adopted and you are returned to the suggestion screen. Partitioning Parameters

If you create a new partition or modify an existing partition, various parameters can be set in the partitioning tool. For new partitions, suitable parameters are set by YaST and usually do not require any modification. To perform manual settings, proceed as follows:

  1. Select the partition.

  2. Edit the partition and set the parameters:

    File System ID

    Even if you do not want to format the partition at this stage, assign it a file system ID to ensure that the partition is registered correctly. Possible values include Linux, Linux swap, Linux LVM, or Linux RAID. For details on LVM and RAID, refer to Section 3.10. “LVM Configuration” and Section 3.11. “Soft RAID”.

    File System

    To format the partition immediately within the scope of the installation, specify one of the following file systems for the partition: Swap, Ext2, Ext3, ReiserFS, or JFS.

    File System Options

    Set various parameters for the selected file system here.

    Encrypt File System

    If you activate the encryption, all data is written to the hard disk in encrypted form.

    fstab Options

    Here, specify various parameters for the administration file of the file systems (/etc/fstab).

    Mount Point

    This specifies the directory at which the partition should be mounted in the file system tree. Various YaST suggestions can be expanded at the respective entry field. If you accept these suggestions, the default file system structure is implemented. However, you can also specify any other names.

  3. Select Next to activate the partition.

If you partition manually, create a swap partition. The swap partition is used to free the main memory of data that is not used at the present moment. This keeps the main memory free for the most frequently-used important data.

[Tip]S/390, zSeries: Continuing Installation

Additional relevant information for IBM S/390 and zSeries can be found in Section “More Partitioning Tips”. Resizing a Windows Partition

If a hard disk containing a Windows FAT or NTFS partition was selected as the installation target, YaST offers to delete or shrink this partition. In this way, you can install SUSE LINUX even if there is currently not enough space on the hard disk. This functionality is especially useful if the selected hard disk contains only one Windows partition that covers the entire hard disk. This is sometimes the case on computers where Windows comes preinstalled. If YaST sees that there is not enough space on the selected hard disk, but that space could be made available by deleting or shrinking a Windows partion, it presents a dialog in which to choose one of these two options.

Figure 1.12. Possible Options for Windows Partitions

Possible Options for Windows Partitions

If you select Delete Windows Completely, the Windows partition is marked for deletion and the space is used for the installation of SUSE LINUX.

[Warning]Deleting Windows

If you delete Windows, all data will be lost beyond recovery as soon as the formatting starts.

To shrink the Windows partition, interrupt the installation and boot Windows to prepare the partition from there. Although this step is not strictly required for FAT partitions, it speeds up the resizing process and also makes it safer. These steps are vital for NTFS partitions.

FAT File System

In Windows, first run scandisk to make sure the FAT partition is free of lost file fragments and crosslinks. After that, run defrag to move files to the beginning of the partition. This accelerates the resizing procedure in Linux.

If you have optimized virtual memory settings for Windows in such a way that a contiguous swap file is used with the same initial (minimum) and maximum size limit, consider another step. With these Windows settings, the resizing might split the swap file into many small parts scattered all over the FAT partition. Also, the entire swap file would need to be moved during the resizing, which makes the process rather slow. It is therefore useful to unset these Windows optimizations for the time being and reenable them after the resizing has been completed.

NTFS File System

In Windows, run scandisk and defrag to move the files to the beginning of the hard disk. In contrast to the FAT file system, you must perform these steps. Otherwise the NTFS partition cannot be resized.

[Important]Disabling the Windows Swap File

If you operate your system with a permanent swap file on an NTFS file system, this file may be located at the end of the hard disk and remain there despite defrag. Therefore, it may be impossible to shrink the partition sufficiently. In this case, temporarily deactivate the swap file (the virtual memory in Windows). After the partition has been resized, reconfigure the virtual memory.

After these preparations, return to the Linux partitioning setup and select Shrink Windows Partition. After a quick check of the partition, YaST opens a dialog with a suggestion for resizing the Windows partition.

Figure 1.13. Resizing the Windows Partition

Resizing the Windows Partition

The first bar graph shows how much disk space is currently occupied by Windows and how much space is still available. The second bar graph shows how the space would be distributed after the resizing, according to YaST's current proposal (Figure 1.13. “Resizing the Windows Partition”). Accept the proposed settings or use the slider to change the partition sizing (within certain limits).

If you leave this dialog by selecting Next, the settings are stored and you are returned to the previous dialog. The actual resizing takes place later, before the hard disk is formatted.

[Important]Windows Systems Installed on NTFS Partitions

By default, the Windows versions NT, 2000, and XP use the NTFS file system. Unlike FAT file systems, NTFS file systems can (currently) only be read from Linux. Therefore, you can read your Windows files from Linux, but you cannot edit them. If you want write access to your Windows data and do not need the NTFS file system, reinstall Windows on a FAT32 file system. In this case, you will have full access to your Windows data from SUSE LINUX. More Partitioning Tips

If the partitioning is performed by YaST and other partitions are detected in the system, these partitions are also entered in the file /etc/fstab to enable easy access to this data. This file contains all partitions in the system with their properties (parameters), such as the file system, mount point, and user permissions.

Example 1.1. /etc/fstab: Partition Data

/dev/sda1    /data1  auto    noauto,user 0 0 
/dev/sda8    /data2  auto    noauto,user 0 0
/dev/dasda1  /data3  auto    noauto,user 0 0

The partitions, regardless of whether they are Linux or FAT partitions, are specified with the options noauto and user. This allows any user to mount or unmount these partitions as needed. For security reasons, YaST does not automatically enter the exec option here, which is needed for executing programs from the respective location. However, to run programs from there, you can enter this option manually. This measure is necessary if you encounter system messages such as bad interpreter or Permission denied.

Detailed background information and tips for partitioning are provided in Section 3.9. “Partitioning for Experts”.

1.7.6. Software

SUSE LINUX contains a number of software packages for various application purposes. As it would be burdensome to select the needed packages one by one, SUSE LINUX offers three system types with various installation scopes. Depending on the available disk space, YaST selects one of these predefined systems and displays it in the suggestion window.

Minimal System (only recommended for special purposes)

This basically includes the core operating system with various services, but without any graphical user interface. The machine can only be operated using ASCII consoles. This system type is especially suitable for server scenarios that require little direct user interaction.

Minimal Graphical System (without KDE)

If you do not want the KDE desktop or if there is insufficient disk space, install this system type. The installed system includes the X Window System and a basic window manager. You can use all programs that have their own graphical user interface.

Default System (with KDE)

This system type includes the KDE desktop together with most of the KDE programs and the CUPS print server. If possible, YaST selects this system type.

Full Installation

This system type is the largest one and includes all packages coming with SUSE LINUX, except those that would result in dependency conflicts.

Click Software Selection in the suggestion window to open a dialog in which to select one of the predefined systems. To start the software installation module (package manager) and modify the installation scope, click Detailed Selection.See Figure 1.14. “Installing and Removing Software with the YaST Package Manager”.

Figure 1.14. Installing and Removing Software with the YaST Package Manager

Installing and Removing Software with the YaST Package Manager Changing the Installation Scope

If you install the default system, there is usually no need to add or remove individual packages. It consists of a software selection that meets most requirements without any changes. If you have specific needs, modify this selection with the package manager, which greatly eases this task. It offers various filter criteria to simplify selection from the numerous packages in SUSE LINUX.

The filter selection box is located at the top left under the menu bar. After starting, the active filter is Selections. This filter sorts program packages by application purpose, such as multimedia or office applications. These groups are listed under the filter selection box. The packages included in the current system type are preselected. Click the respective check boxes to select or deselect entire selections or groups for installation.

The right part of the window displays a table listing the individual packages included in the current selection. The leftmost table column shows the current status of each package. Two status flags are especially relevant for the installation: Install (the box in front of the package name is checked) and Do Not Install (the box is empty). To select or deselect individual software packages, click the status box until the desired status is displayed.

Alternatively, right-click the package line to access a pop-up menu listing all the possible status settings. However, most of them are not really relevant for the installation. To learn more about them, read the detailed description of this module in Section 2.3.4. “Installing and Removing Software”. Other Filters

Click the filter selection box to view the other possible filters. The selection according to Package Groups can also be used for the installation. This filter sorts the program packages by subjects in a tree structure to the left. The more you expand the branches, the more specific the selection of packages is and the fewer packages are displayed in the list of associated packages to the right.

Use Search to search for a specific package. This is explained in detail in Section 2.3.4. “Installing and Removing Software”. Package Dependencies and Conflicts

As with all operating systems, SUSE LINUX has certain restrictions as to which software combinations are possible and which are not. The different software packages must be compatible. Otherwise they might interfere with each other and cause conflicts that affect the system as a whole. Therefore, you may see alerts about unresolved package dependencies or conflicts after selecting or deselecting software packages in this dialog. If you install SUSE LINUX for the first time or if you do not understand the alerts, read Section 2.3.4. “Installing and Removing Software”, which provides detailed information about the operation of the package manager. Exiting the Software Selection

When satisfied with your software selection and all package dependencies or conflicts are resolved, click Accept to apply your changes and exit the module. If this module is started in the installed system, the changes are applied immediately. During the installation, however, the changes are recorded internally and applied later when the actual installation starts.

1.7.7. Boot Configuration (Boot Loader Installation)

[Tip]S/390, zSeries: Boot Loader Configuration

The module described below cannot be used to configure the boot loader (zipl) on IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms.

During the installation, YaST proposes a boot configuration for your system. Normally, leave these settings unchanged. However, if you need a custom setup, modify the proposal for your system.

One possibility is to configure the boot mechanism to rely on a special boot floppy. Although this has the disadvantage that it requires the floppy to be in the drive when booting, it leaves an existing boot mechanism untouched. Normally this should not be necessary, however, because YaST can configure the boot loader to boot existing operating systems as well. Another possibility with the configuration is to change the location of the boot mechanism on the hard disk.

To change the boot configuration proposed by YaST, select Booting to open a dialog in which to change many details of the boot mechanism. For information, read Section 8.6. “Configuring the Boot Loader with YaST”.

1.7.8. Time Zone

In this dialog, shown in Figure 1.15. “Selecting the Time Zone”, choose between Local Time and UTC under Hardware clock set to. The selection depends on how the hardware (BIOS) clock is set on your machine. If it is set to GMT, which corresponds to UTC, your system can rely on SUSE LINUX to switch from standard time to daylight savings time and back automatically.

Figure 1.15. Selecting the Time Zone

Selecting the Time Zone

1.7.9. Language

The language was already selected at the beginning of the installation (see Section 1.4. “Language Selection”). However, you can change this setting here. Optionally use Details to set the language for the user root. There are three options:


The value of the variable LC_CTYPE in the file /etc/sysconfig/language is adopted for the user root. This sets the localization for language-specific function calls.


The user root has the same language settings as the local user.


The language settings for the user root are not affected by the language selection.

Click OK to complete the configuration or Discard to undo your changes.

1.7.10. Launching the Installation

When satisfied with the installation settings, click Next in the suggestion window to begin the installation. Confirm with Yes in the green dialog that opens. The installation usually takes between fifteen and thirty minutes, depending on the system performance and the software selected. As soon as all packages are installed, YaST boots into the new Linux system, after which you can configure the hardware and set up system services.

1.7.11. S/390, zSeries: IPLing the Installed System

On IBM S/390 and zSeries platforms, another IPL must be performed after installing the selected software packages. However, the procedure varies according to the type of installation:

ESA Native and LPAR Installation

In the S/390 or zSeries HMC, select LOAD, select Clear, then enter the loading address (the device address of the root device). If using a ZFCP disk as boot device, choose LOAD from SCSI and specify both ZFCP WWPN and LUN of the boot device. Now start the loading process.

z/VM Installation

Shut down the installed system with the halt command. Log in at the VM guest, under the account name LINUX1 and proceed to IPL the installed system. If using a ZFCP disk as boot device, specify both ZFCP WWPN and LUN of the boot device prior to initiating the IPL. Note that the parameter length is limited to eight characters. Longer numbers must be separated by spaces:

SET LOADDEV PORT 50050763 00C590A9 LUN 50010000 00000000

Finally, initiate the IPL:


1.7.12. S/390, zSeries: Connecting to the Installed System

After IPLing the installed system, establish a connection with it to complete the installation. The steps involved in this vary depending on the type of connection used at the outset. Using VNC to Connect

A message in the 3270 terminal asks you to connect to the Linux system using a VNC client. This message is easily missed, however, because it is mixed with kernel messages and because the terminal process may quit before you become aware of the message. If nothing happens during five minutes, try to initiate a connection to the Linux system using a VNC viewer.

If connecting using a Java-capable browser, enter the complete URL, consisting of the IP address of the installed system along with the port number, in the following fashion:

http://<IP of installed system>:5801/ Using X to Connect

When IPLing the installed system, make sure the X server used for the first phase of the installation is still available. YaST opens on this X server to finish the installation. Using SSH to Connect

[Important]S/390, zSeries: Connecting from a Linux or UNIX system

Start ssh in an xterm. Other terminal emulators lack complete support for the text-based interface of YaST.

A message in the 3270 terminal asks you to connect to the Linux system with an SSH client. This message is easily missed, however, because it is mixed with kernel messages and because the terminal process may quit before you become aware of the message.

Now perform the following steps to complete the installation:

  • Use SSH to log into the Linux system as root If the connection is denied or times out, wait a few minutes then try again.

  • Execute the following command:


    yast does not suffice in this case.

After that, YaST starts to complete the installation of the remaining packages and to create an initial system configuration.