A SUSE Install
For my SUSE install, I used exactly the same machine and started from the same place. I used SUSE 9.0, which comes with both multiple CDs and a single DVD. The advantage of the DVD is that you do not have to swap disks.
Reboot your system with the CD or DVD in the drive. You now have the option of selecting various install modes. For a fresh installation, simply press <Enter> or wait, and the system will begin the installation.
The next screen you see after this is the Welcome screen, which is also where you select a language. The default is English, but you can certainly choose something else. Click Accept, and the install process begins analyzing your system for peripherals. All of these choices are shown to you on a single page; the keyboard, mouse, partitioning, software install, booting, and time zone information are all there on one screen. Notice the blue underline on each setting, much like on a web page. Check the suggested settings to make sure that things look right. If you need to change something, click the blue link. For instance, to change your time zone from the default of US/Pacific, click Time Zone, select from the list, and click Accept.
Be sure to look at Partitioning and Software. If you do have a Windows partition, you should see it listed as /windows/C. This is its mount point, unless you would like a different name. The software choices are the KDE Desktop Environment, Office Applications (this is OpenOffice.org), Help & Support Documentation, and Graphical Base System (the X window system).
Again, the lure of playing with some leading-edge software might be overwhelming at some point. You can prepare for that here by clicking on the blue Software link. On the screen that follows, click the Detailed Selection button. On the left side of the next screen, you'll see a number of categories for additional software. If you do want to compile your own programs, select C/C++ Compiler and Tools. I'm also pretty sure you'll want the Games and Multimedia packages. If I am right, choose those as well.
Finally, there's the GNOME desktop environment. Even though I am concentrating this book on KDE, it is a good thing to experiment with another desktop environment. In the end, you might like GNOME better than KDE. In the Linux world, you have a choice. Furthermore, it doesn't hurt anything to load it at the same time; you just use up some disk space. When you are done, click Accept to go back to your Installation Settings screen. Have a final look, and click Accept. You'll be given a final warning regarding installation. If you are ready to start, click Yes, Install.
Your drive will be formatted, your Linux system will load, and you'll see a progress bar at the top right. After a little while, the basic installation completes, and you see a message to that effect. Remove the CD, and press <Enter>.
This is where the SUSE installation is different. If you are installing from CD, you are asked for additional CDs to complete the package installation. If, on the other hand, you were using the DVD to install, you immediately jump to final configuration. The first of these steps is account creation, starting with the setting of the root password. The root account is used for such administrative functions as installing software. You do not want to run as root under normal circumstances, because root is essentially all-powerful.
After selecting a root password, click Next and create at least one user login. The SUSE install is interesting here in that it allows you to redirect all of root's mail directly to a user account. Check off the box that says Receive System Mail when you are creating your personal user ID. There's also a check box for Auto Login, which logs in this particular user without a password automatically at boot time. This is probably fine if you are running this system at home and are the only user, but in an office environment or with multiple users, you don't want to check this box. You can choose to create additional users at this time, or simply click Next to continue.
After a brief interlude describing some of the changes in SUSE 9.0, you get to the X window graphical configuration to lock in your video settings. The dialog here may vary depending on what kind of video hardware you have or whether your card is 3D accelerated. Just make sure that you test out the final settings before moving on. Even if the information looks right, click the Change button for an opportunity to test your settings. Video settings work perfectly 99.99% of the time. It's just good to be sure beforehand. When you are done here, click Accept.
The SUSE installer writes these settings to disk, then does some final hardware settings, starting with your printer configuration. Make sure that your printer is plugged in and turned on, then click Yes when asked whether you want YaST (the SUSE system administration tool) to detect your printer.
Figure 3-3 SUSE 9.0 desktop.
After a few seconds, YaST returns you to the Installation Settings screen for your connected peripherals and hardware. This includes Ethernet cards, printers, modems, sound cards, and so on. Make sure that things are as you expect them to be and change them if necessary. For instance, if your network card is connected to a cable modem, the DHCP settings are probably exactly as you want them to be. If you are on an existing network, however, you will probably want to change your interface to reflect your network's addressing scheme.
When you are happy with the changes, click Next. YaST finishes writing all of these settings to disk and finishes bringing the system up. Seconds later, you'll be at your login screen and ready to go. For a sneak peek at a SUSE Linux desktop, check out Figure 3-3.