Installing OpenSuSE on my netbook - how I did it

Installing OpenSuSE on my netbook - how I did it

Summary: A step-by-step screenshot walk-through of how I installed Linux on a system with UEFI BIOS and Secure Boot.

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  • The Windows Disk Management Utility

    My first step is to create some free space on the disk drive. Most of the major Linux installers are able to do this automatically if you let them, but I am a bit of a control freak (or a bit paranoid, depending on how you look at it), so I prefer to set up the disk exactly the way I want it in advance.

    The most obvious way to free up some space is to reduce the size of the Windows C: partition. To do that, I could have used either the Windows Disk Management utility, or one of the Linux disk/partition manager programs such as gparted which I will show later as a typical example for Linux.

    The Windows 8 Disk Management program can be reached through Control Panel / System and Security / Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions.

    The display will be as shown above, but with the Windows C: partition filling all of the space between the EFI Boot partition and the Recovery partition.

    I selected the C: partition by clicking on it in the partition list or in the graphic partition display, then went to the menu bar and choose Action / All Tasks / Shrink Volume. The program will take a bit of time to figure out how much it can shrink (this has something to do with "unmoveable files"), and it will then let you either accept the maximum shrink, or select some smaller value.

    It will then take just a few minutes to actually shrink the partition, and the display will end up looking like the one above.

  • The Linux gparted Disk Partitioning Utility

    The Linux gparted utility is one of the common alternatives for disk and partition management. It is included on a lot of Live CD/USB distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, and openSuSE.

    It can be found through the menus, generally under "Administration" or some such, or by typing it in the menu/application search box.

    The display is shown above, with the Windows C: partition already reduced. If I had wanted to reduce the partition, I'd just select it in the list or graphic, and then click the Resize/Move button on the icon bar.

    That will pop up a window where you can enter the new size. Once the disk layout looks like the one shown above, you are ready to install openSuSE (or any of the most popular Linux distributions), as the installer will automatically allocate the necessary partitions for swap, root and home.

    However, as I mentioned previously, I am a bit of a control freak, and I prefer to create the Linux partitions manually. So I take one more step with gparted.

  • gparted display after creating Linux partitions

    Here I have created a linux-swap partition and an empty ext2 partition - the specific file system type is not important at this point, because it will be reformatted when the Linux root is installed to it. Now the disk is laid out the way I want it, and I am ready to boot the openSuSE Live USB.

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Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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48 comments
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  • Its obvious you are not a Windows power user

    Windows key + X
    Disk Management
    Done
    adacosta38
  • Installing OpenSuSE on my netbook - how I did it

    People are still using netbooks? LOL, well it does fit in line with linux being years behind in technology. If it came preloaded with Microsoft Windows 8 there was no reason to install linux on it since Microsoft Windows can do everything you need it to all without extra configuration or compiling.

    Just look at that off green desktop. Staring at that all day would make me sick as well as give me vision problems. But linux was never known for its artistic talents. Linux was never known for a lot of things such as drivers or security. So what you are telling me is that it is possible to install linux on a computer with UEFI despite the one blogger on ZDNet who is convinced its simply not possible.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Obviously you have never used Linux.

      MS windows doesn't come with development code. Doesn't come with full data base support, doesn't come with LOTS of software...

      Linux systems do - even if it is a netbook - if you want it, you got it.

      does anybody actually leave the wallpaper alone on Windows? Everybody I know replaces it with something better.

      And he didn't say it was not possible - just not possible with your own keys. You are forced to use something from MS.
      jessepollard
      • Before I rip your post to shreds

        "MS windows doesn't come with development code"

        Please define "come with".

        "Linux systems do"

        Please define "Linux systems".

        "just not possible with your own keys"

        Wrong.

        http://blog.hansenpartnership.com/owning-your-windows-8-uefi-platform/
        toddbottom3
        • toddbottom3...still using your usual tactic of trying to divert the subject

          toddbottom3...why don't you go get a job and quit hanging around Zdnet all day long.

          Your continually pathetic attempts at posting always lack credibility for any serious discussions
          Over and Out
      • Don't need that

        I don't need database server, full SQL server, or full mail server on my Microsoft Windows install. That's just more bloat code that linux installs by default.
        Loverock-Davidson
        • Mr. Davidson

          This is an FYI. While not a database server, Mozilla Firefox, across all platforms, ships with and uses SQLite (currently at version 3), an open-source database management system. You will find SQLite files (*.sqlite) in your Firefox profile.

          And just to drive the point home, one can download the SQLite Manager add-on for Firefox from here:

          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sqlite-manager/

          and use it as a front-end to create and use your own SQLite personal databases, similar to what many do with Microsoft Access on Windows, although Microsoft Access is much more feature-rich.

          And back on topic, OpenSuse 12.3 and most other Linux distros ship with Mozilla's Firefox web browser.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Loverock-Davidson go check your FAILING Surface RT sales and tell us all

          how Microsoft plans to keep Metro flashing tiles from driving everyone crazy. Actually since Surface is a total FAIL the only ones that have to worry about their eye sight is you, toddbottom3 and Owlelllnet1.

          And while your at it don't to tell us all how to compile something or another.
          Over and Out
      • Oh no

        You mean I couldn't install just about any FOSS IDEs and databases that were available on both Linux and Windows, on Windows?

        Microsoft is evil then. /s
        Samic
    • "But linux was never known for its artistic talents."

      The off green shown is a windows 8 desktop, you clown, a wallpaper that 'windows' chose.
      drwong
      • The off green shown is a windows 8 desktop, you clown

        Poor Loverock, he doesn't even know what windows 8 desktop looks like, I wonder if he'll be switching to Linux now that we know how ugly he thinks windows 8 is.
        guzz46
    • Just look at that off green desktop. Staring at that all day would make me

      "sick as well as give me vision problems"

      You must be referring to the default Acer windows 8 desktop, in which case I agree with you.
      guzz46
    • It came with windows preinstalled.

      that's the biggest (and most important!) reason to put Linux on a computer! Also, they sell full sized computers with Linux on them. The retailers are just few and far between and you have to order them through the internet, like System76 for Ubuntu. Also, my Chromebook is technically a netbook, and I have mentioned this before, but I can do 99% of my productivity and light gaming (java based) on it. But, haters are gonna hate.
      Richard Estes
    • XP is not supported and w7 is to big for my netbook

      I have two desktops and 1 smartphone, 1 Android tablet and a netbook. The netbook has 1 gig memory, 256gig of disk, and a keyboard. The perfect portable device, when XP was supported. But W7 was too big and too power hungry, so it was to Linux that I went 3 years ago, and it is still working fine, no virus attacks, no blue screens of death, and no multitude of nag-windows for more W7 software.

      Performance wise, I have no complaints. Response is fast, and I have good security, being it is Linux and now a Windows platform.

      By the way, one desktop is 4 gigs in memory, the other is 8. One has dual boot, as I do not have a Linux version of remote desktop. Otherwise, why would I need to purchase software such as operating systems when one has a superb choice of free versions. The only thing optional is purchasing paid support. The rest is free as in fresh air.
      lsatenstein@...
  • 3h of arduous work and all you get is ...

    ... an OS that only 1.8% of all PC/laptop users wants to work with despite the fact it is free. Now guess why ?
    Maybe it's because HW recognition is still poor, drivers are full of bugs or simply non existent, the text console still is a necessity (!), each LINUX distribution has its own GUI driving users crazy, ... to name a few reasons.
    Even after years of effort to get it done, Linux is still under construction and burdens way to many hurdles on to the user. Windows Vista and Windows 8, most hated Win versions ever could not lure users towards Linux. Duh ...
    EnticingHavoc
    • This is the state of Suse not linux

      The fedora core 18 system i use at work took me just as much time to build as if i had installed Windows 7 all with a GUI installer for the command line challenged. Frankly Suse is not a Distrobution that is common now and not a disrto i would recommend for any Org to run on their servers or desktops; you can thank Novell for that.
      ammohunt
      • @ammohunt, please elaborate

        ammohunt wrote:
        "Frankly Suse is not a Distrobution that is common now and not a disrto i would recommend for any Org to run on their servers or desktops; you can thank Novell for that."

        As to *why* you would not recommend organizations to run commercial SuSE on their servers and desktops. Both OpenSuSE 12.3, the subject of this article, and SuSE have some very nice features.

        P.S. Nice! A Windows troll followed by a Linux bigot.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Time Required for Installation

      I am searching through the original posting to find where it says that it took three hours, or for that matter that it was "arduous work". I can't find either one. In fact, I have also checked the timestamps on the screen shots, and the actual elapsed time from the "Language and License" screen to the "Installation Complete / Reboot" screen was 15 minutes. As for "arduous work", about 10 minutes of that was spent simply waiting for the file copy to complete. What else... ah, "HW recognition is still poor", I have specifically said that openSuSE recognized and supported every last bit of the six different systems I have installed it on here... "drivers are full of bugs or simply non existent", see previous comment, and the fact that I have documented that it not only recognized everything, it loaded drivers and everything works. "GUI driving users crazy", I see this as an advantage, users can choose a desktop that fits their personal preferences; if you see it differently, and you prefer to accept whatever desktop and/or interface Microsoft sticks you with, and you want to be forced to change whenever Microsoft decrees that it be so, that is your prerogative, no worries.

      Hmmm. *Linux is still under construction". Well, it is under continuous development, if that is what you consider "construction", so for a change you are right about this. The nice part is that Linux users get the benefits on that development continuously, and at no charge, rather than having to wait several years between major releases, and having to pay again and again and again to get the "new developments".

      Finally, "Windows Vista and Windows 8, most hated Win versions ever", another point on which we completely agree.

      If you really insist on comparing with Windows, going back to your original statment, I can install a new Linux system, from scratch, including downloading the ISO image and copying it to USB stick or CD-R, with all updates, patches, optional packages, configuration and customization in about an hour. Installing Windows from scratch, using the original installation/recovery disks, including an infinite number of iterations of "Windows Update - Reboot - Windows Update - Reboot - Windows Update - Reboot" has never taken me less than a half day, and generally is in the range of one to two full days - and THAT, in my opinion, is "arduous work" because you can seldom walk away and just let it run, you have to continually watch for the next input requirement, reboot request, or whatever.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Duh...

      jw

      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      j.a.watson@...
      • Thanks for driving the point home

        Unlike a certain other open source blogger here, Jamie has now confirmed, officially, that installing Linux on a Windows 8 PC is quick and easy.

        Great news.

        Thanks again Jamie.

        PS Sorry to hear about your negative experiences installing Windows. I can only imagine that if you had to go through THAT many update - reboot cycles that you were installing a very old version of Windows and that you didn't bother getting install media that already had the latest service pack. If you can't download this media, you can create it yourself based on RTM media. If this is something you do often, it is worth the upfront time:
        http://www.pcworld.com/article/239634/how_to_speed_up_windows_7_installs_with_slipstreaming_and_usb.html

        I must admit, I haven't installed Windows 7 in a long time because Windows 7 just works. I've also only had to install Windows 8 once and that too just worked and certainly didn't take 1-2 days.

        Hope you find this information useful for the future. This is what ZDNet should be about, sharing useful information.
        toddbottom3
        • Various Windows Versions, Various Linux Versions

          Over the years, I have installed from scratch XP, Vista, 7 and now 8 a couple of times. In fact I did try to get current install media several times, so it wasn't a case of "didn't bother", it was "couldn't get". I was told by both HP and Fujitsu that they could only send me installation media which matched what came on my computer when it was purchased; in both cases when I tried this, the computers had been purchased with the original RTM version of Windows, and I was specifically trying to get installation media with SPwhatever included in order to avoid at least some of the pain of reinstalling.

          I have heard of slipstreaming a few times, but I must say again, I am a VERY average Windows user (comment 1 above is correct, I am obviously not a Windows Power User, thanks for the compliment). I haven't tried slipstreaming, in part because I am lazy, in part because I always manage to convince myself that I'm not really going to install Windows from scratch often enough to justify it, and in part because I have lots of different computers, from different manufacturers, with different Windows installations, drivers, utilities and such, so would I be able to make one slipstream disk for all of them, or would I have to make a different one for each manufacturer, or a different one for each system? See previous comments about being lazy and average to explain why I have not followed up at this point. Of course, the part about not needing to install very often is probably not valid for me, because as I am sure you have discerned, I can be a bit hard on my computers with the frequency with which I install different operating systems on them, from time to time I make a mistake, or something goes wrong, or I don't like the disk partitioning, and I end up wiping the entire disk and reloading everything from scratch, including Windows.

          I do have some recent metrics on installing Windows 8, because I have done it already on both of my Win8/UEFI systems (HP and Acer). The HP was done from a USB stick which was graciously supplied to me for free from HP, and the Acer was done from a USB stick created using the Acer Recovery Manager. Both installed without problem, which impressed me, but both took on the order of a half day (4 hours +/-) by the time they got through Windows Update.

          To be fair, though, and thinking about it in detail as I write this, Linux installation could take that long as well, depending on the distribution and how long it has been since it was released. Fedora 18 has not been out that long, and it is already up to about 500 updates. Downloading and installing all of those updates can take an hour or so. I think the place where Linux wins is that there are new releases periodically, so the number of updates is reset to zero, thus never getting ridiculously long. I suppose that Windows Service Packs should server approximately this purpose, and if it were as easy to get updated installation media with them included as it is to get a new Linux distribution, it would be a different story. But it doesn't seem to me that it is - maybe that's just my own lack of experience or initiative.

          I do find the information you gave useful, and I do absolutely agree that this is what ZDNet should be about.

          Thanks for reading and commenting.

          jw
          j.a.watson@...