A Step By Step Guide To Installing openSUSE Linux

Those of you looking for an alternative to Ubuntu may have tried following these guides for installing Fedora Linuxmultimedia codecs and key applications.

It is, of course, possible that Fedora wasn't to your liking and so you have decided that openSUSE might be the way to go.

This guide takes you through all of the steps required to install openSUSE on your computer by replacing the current operating system.

Why would you use openSUSE over Ubuntu, and is it a real alternative? openSUSE is fairly similar to Fedora in that it uses the ​RPM package format and it doesn't include proprietary applications and drivers in the core repositories. openSUSE has a 9-month release cycle however and utilizes the YAST package manager over YUM.

According to this guide on the openSUSE website you would use openSUSE over Ubuntu because it is much more flexible than Ubuntu and is more stable than Fedora.

In order to follow this guide you will need:

  • A bootable openSUSE USB drive
  • At least a Pentium III computer, with 500 MHz or higher processor, 1 GB RAM, 3 GB Hard Drive, 800 x 600 screen resolution (1024 x 768 recommended),
  • About 30 minutes of spare time
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Get Started Installing openSUSE Linux

openSUSE Linux
openSUSE Linux.

If you are ready to begin, insert the openSUSE USB drive and reboot your computer.

If you are using a computer with UEFI you will be able to boot into openSUSE by holding down the shift key and rebooting your computer. A UEFI boot menu will appear with an option to "Use a device". When the sub-menu appears choose the "EFI USB Device".

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How to Run the openSUSE Installer

How To Run The openSUSE Installer
How To Run The openSUSE Installer.

This guide assumes you are using the GNOME live version of openSUSE.

To start the installer press the super key (Windows key) on the keyboard and start typing "Install".

A list of icons will appear. Click on the "live install" icon.

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Accept the openSUSE License Agreement

openSUSE License Agreement
openSUSE License Agreement.

The first installation step is to choose your language from the dropdown provided and a keyboard layout.

You should then read through the license agreement and click "Next" to continue.

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Select a Time Zone to Set Your Clock Correctly Within openSUSE

Select The Timezone In openSUSE
Select The Timezone In openSUSE.

In order to make sure the clock is set correctly within openSUSE you have to select your region and time zone.

It is highly likely that the installer already chose the correct settings but if not you can either click on your location on the map or choose your region from the dropdown list and the time zone.

Click "Next" to continue.

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How to Partition Your Drives When Installing openSUSE

Partitioning Your Drives
Partitioning Your Drives.

Partitioning your drives within openSUSE may seem tricky at first but if you follow these steps you will soon have a clean install which works as you want it to.

The suggested partitioning tells you in a verbose manner what is going to happen to your drive but for the uninitiated it is possibly a bit too much information.

Click the "Create Partition Setup" button to continue.

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Select the Hard Drive Where You Will Install openSUSE

Selecting The Drive To Install To
Selecting The Drive To Install To.

Choose your hard drive from the list of drives that appear.

Note that /dev/sda is generally your hard drive and /dev/sdb is likely to be an external drive. Subsequent drives are likely to be /dev/sdc, /dev/sdd etc.

If you are installing to your hard drive choose the /dev/sda option and click "Next".

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Choosing the Partition to Install openSUSE to

Choosing The Partition
Choosing The Partition.

You can now choose to install openSUSE to one of the partitions of your hard drive but if you want to replace your operating system such as Windows with openSUSE click the "Use Entire Hard Disk" button.

Note that in the screenshot it shows that one of our partitions is an LVM partition which was created when we installed Fedora Linux. This actually caused the openSUSE installer to bomb out on us and the installation failed. We got around the problem by running gParted and deleting the LVM partition. (A guide will be coming shortly showing how to do this, it really is only a problem if you are replacing Fedora with openSUSE).

Click "Next" to continue.

You will now be back at the suggested partitioning screen.

Click "Next" to continue again.

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Set up the Default User within openSUSE

Set Up A Default User
Set Up A Default User.

You will now be required to create a default user.

Enter your full name in the box provided and a username.

Follow this up by entering and confirming the password you wish to be associated with the user.

If you uncheck the checkbox for "use this password for system administrator" you will need to enter a new administrator password otherwise the password you set for the default user will be the same as the administrator password.

If you want the user to have to login every time, uncheck the "Automatic Login" checkbox.

You can if you wish change the password encryption method but for personal use there is no real reason to do so.

Click "Next" to continue.

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Install openSUSE Linux

Install openSUSE Linux
Install openSUSE Linux.

This step is nice and easy.

The list of options that you have selected will be displayed.

To install openSUSE click "Install".

The installer will now copy all of the files across and install the system. If you are using a standard BIOS you will probably receive an error at the point of installing the boot loader.

When the message appears click continue to set up the bootloader. This will be covered in the following steps.

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Setting up the GRUB Bootloader

Set Up The GRUB Bootloader Within openSUSE
Set Up The GRUB Bootloader Within openSUSE.

The bootloader will appear with three tabs:

  • boot code options
  • kernel parameters
  • bootloader options

Within the boot code options screen the bootloader defaults to the GRUB EFI option which is fine for computers running Windows 8.1 but for older machines you will need to change this to GRUB2.

Most users will get away without ever needing to use the kernel parameters tab.

The bootloader options tab lets you determine whether to show a boot menu and how long to show the menu for. You can also set a bootloader password.

When you are ready to continue click "OK".

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Boot into openSUSE


When the installation has finished you will be asked to reboot your computer.

Click the button to restart your computer and as the reboot begins remove the USB drive.

Your computer should now boot into openSUSE Linux.

Now that you have openSUSE installed you will want to learn how to use the system.

To get you started here is a list of the GNOME keyboard shortcuts.

Further guides will be available shortly showing how to connect to the internet, set up multimedia codecs, install Flash and set up commonly used applications.