Open SuSE 10.3 on 64 Bit Systems


Date: 10/6/07

Introduction:


This article describes how to set up SuSE 10.3 on a 64 bit motherboard system.

System Specifications:

Biostar K8M800 Motherboard (includes VIA 8237 with ALC655 onboard sound and VIA VT-6420 sata controller)
Athlon 64 3200+ processor
2 GIG DDR memory
Viewsonic VA902B 19 inch LCD monitor
GeForce MX4000 video card
D-Link DWL-G650 (rev B) wirelesss network card (Atheros)
Western Digital WDC WD3200JD-00K sata hard drive
Seagate ST3120022A IDE drive
HDS724040KLSA80 sata drive
Maxtor 6B250S0 sata hard drive
Sony DVD RW DRU-810A Burner
ZIP 250 drive
HP OfficeJet All-In-One 6210

Installation:

I downloaded the installation CD for SuSE 10.3 and rather than burn it to CD-R media, did an installation from the hard drive using Grub from my previous installation of Fedora Core 5. The instructions for this method can be found in the referenced article below. 1

Because I have a multiple OS system consisting of Windows XP and various Linux distros, at the initial Summary screen, I elected to partition my drive using expert mode. I had previously formatted a partition on one of my sata drives for installing SuSE. After choosing to make my pre-formatted partition the root for SuSE, I also elected not to have a bootloader installed, as I have a complex booting system for my other operating systems. I went on.

Being a Linux junkie, I elected to manually chose packages to install. I knew that I would need the kernel source. Additionally, I chose to install the 32 bit libraries and Gnome development libraries, as I knew that I might need these later on.  I then elected to see what SuSE would provide for me with a normal installation. When all was done, a hefty 4.0 gigs was used on my allocated partition of 21 gigs.

The initial installation screen stated that the installation would take about 45 minutes. The packages all installed in about 1 hour and 35 minutes. This was expected, as I was installing from the 1 CD installation disk and all the correct packages needed to be downloaded from the repositories.

On reboot, SuSE complained that it could not start the graphical interface, either because the monitor and video care were not configured, or packages were missing to start the graphical interface. SuSE then defaults to the non-graphical interface for the remainder of the installation. This problem is a headache for Linux newbies and occurred in all my previous installations of SuSE. I was able to use YaST to configure the monitor and video card and rebooted.

I fudged my way through the rest of the installation. During the hardware configuration phase, my wired onboard network interface was see (via-rhine) but not my wirelesss card.


Navigation:

The default desktop system is Gnome. I used to be a KDE fan, but have become quite comfortable with Gnome. The new Gnome desktop is free from clutter and packs all of the programs and utilities under the taskbar "Computer" tab.


Hardware:

Networking: The first order of business was to get my wireless card working. YaST did not see the card, but it was reported correctly using the lspci command. I installed the Madwifi package using YaST, but had no recognition of the wireless interface. To the rescue, the additional YaST repositories. 2 Once the kernel drivers were installed, I could configure wireless using YaST easily.

Video: The second task, install the NVIDIA graphics drivers. You can use 1-Click-Install in openSUSE 10.3 for this task. See the additional repository link. 2 All the changes are automatically made in the process. NICE!

Printing and Scanning: Setting up printing was a breeze through YaST. SuSE uses the HP hplip package to use the scanner through CUPS.

Scanning was a different story. YaST failed to set up the scanner properly, except for root user. After much fiddling, I was able to set the permissions correctly for the libusb interface, which is located in /dev/bus/usb in SuSE. Most directions that I Googled showed the location at /proc/bus/usb. Once the permissions were set, I set the scanner up as a HP 6100 through YaST and hplio was finally set correctly in sane's /etc/sane.d/dll.conf file. This is a newbie's nightmare.


Software Packages:

Rather than labor over what default packages are in SuSE's new release, take a look at the Sneak preview on openSUSE's News Page. 3

Finally, let's try Wine. Remember the 32 bit libraries during the installation process? Let's not forget the NVU web authoring package to write this article.






References:

1. Install any Linux distro directly from hard disk without burning any DVD

2. Additional YaST Package Repositories

 3. Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 10.3: SUSE-Polished GNOME 2.20