Difference between revisions of "Installing SuSE 10.3"

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(Local Software)
(Local Software)
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=== Local Software ===
=== Local Software ===
* Steve / Roger - a wiki page for setting up matlab, comsol, cadence etc would be dead handy linked here
* Steve / Roger - a wiki page for setting up matlab, comsol, cadence etc would be dead handy and here is an attempt linked [[Installing local programs (VPM) | here]]
==== VPM ====
Once suse hack are installed you should have access to partition /eee/vlsi to install software from VPM, to do this in a console type:
*cd /eee/vlsi
*Select software that you want installed by using arrow keys to scroll up/down and [enter] to select
*Once you have selected all the software you want [tab] to "Quit", [enter]
This will install locally all the software you selected. This will take some time so I'd suggest you go make yourself a brew or fix my description of the process.
Once this is completed everything should be installed and accessible from the applications tab under eee in the menu bar.
==== Eagle ====
You can install eagle from the VPM unfortunately its a bit tricky in that the license does not sort itself out automatically (you don't want the freeware license), to fix this once in a console type:
*cd /eee/vlsi/eagle/4.16r1/bin
*sudo touch eagle.key
*sudo chmod a+w eagle.key
* cd ..; eagle &
This will bring up a licensing window. Back in the console type:
*vim install.txt
*Highlight and copy the code displayed
In the licensing window
*Set the key location to: /eee/vlsi/eagle/4.16r1/license.key
*Paste in the installation code from vim
*Click Ok
Eagle should now run as expected.
* c_scan: there is another wiki page which mentions installing c_scan: link is [[Experimental PC | here]]. Once you have installed c_scan, if you type "man c_scan" you will get the root of the c_scan documentation. Look at the "See also" section at the bottom for hints on specific modules... this this normally the name of the module/action, preceded by "c_" (e.g. "man c_agilent_trace_scope")
* c_scan: there is another wiki page which mentions installing c_scan: link is [[Experimental PC | here]]. Once you have installed c_scan, if you type "man c_scan" you will get the root of the c_scan documentation. Look at the "See also" section at the bottom for hints on specific modules... this this normally the name of the module/action, preceded by "c_" (e.g. "man c_agilent_trace_scope")

Revision as of 12:11, 17 April 2008

Back to Linux How-tos

Installing SUSE 10.3 on AO linux computers.

First and most important step:

Be prepare to trash your computer and lose everything stored on it.

So make sure you know what software you installed on it before you decided to update the system, also make sure you know what every other user installed on it. Look in /etc and /local for evidence of non standard software (eg matlab, comsol, cadence, coventor etc and locally produced software such as c_scan, BNS, etc and check in /etc for evidence of configuration files eg /etc/stages /etc/andor etc).

Back up anything you might need - files, programs, data, configurations etc.

However, if you are on the AO linux network your personal files and data are most likely stored of the server (anything in /home is on the server).

  • If in doubt ASK someone in the know *

Second step: Your computer

  • What kind of processor? (arch)
  • What disks / partitions does it have? (df, mount, cat /etc/fstab)
  • what is the hostname? (hostname)
  • What are your network settings? (/sbin/ifconfig - you are looking for the numbers after "inet addr:" in the "eth0" section)
  • What is the root password? (you should know)
  • What cards / screens / gadgets does it have?

Third step:

Get hold of the SUSE 10.3 install DVD for your computer. If the arch is i386/i586/i686 (32 bit machines) you will need the i386 disk. If the arch is x86_64 (64 bit machines) you need the x86_64 disk. If you are unlucky enough to be using a PPC machine you need the PPC disk and a lot of patience.

Fourth step: The install

Stick the DVD in the drive, reboot the computer, follow the instructions:

  • English (UK) keyboard
  • New installation (not upgrade)
  • UK timezone (this should come up automatically. If US timezone came up, then you forgot to select UK keyboard. Abort installation and try again)
  • KDE desktop (unless you specifically want Gnome and are prepared to fix things yourself)


This is probably the most complicated bit, the bit you're most likely to need help with, and the bit that it's important to get correct. If you heeded the warning at the beginning about being prepared to trash your PC (as in wipe all the information stored on the hard drive), then this is the moment that you (probably) will do that.

  • Click "Partitioning"
  • Click "Create custom partition setup"
  • Click "Custom partitioning (for experts)"

Your computer probably has the following partitions on it:

  • A swap partition (roughly twice the size of your RAM)
  • 20-30Gb "root" partition
  • A remainder partition (should be mounted on /eee, may have been mounted on /local_storage or /SCRATCH)
  • You may also have a large data partition and a windows partition.

Assuming a hard disk size of 80GB or more, the ideal setup for partitions should be:

  • SWAP partition, (format: "Linux Swap") twice the size of your RAM
  • 20GB root (" / ") partition (format: "ext3")
  • 20GB spare partition (format: "ext3"), which contains either the root partition from the previous install (mount point: "/old_root_partition"), or spare for the next install (SuSE 10.5 or whatever; mount point: "/spare_for_next_install")
  • (Windows partition, if any)
  • The rest of the hard drive taken up with a partition (format: "ext3") that should be mounted at /eee

If there is the opportunity to change the disk to the above partition setup - e.g. if there is no "local storage" partition or you don't mind if it's wiped - then you should do so.

You should be able to relate the info here to the information about your disks you found during your preparation. Assuming all is well all you need to do is follow the custom partition settings to reformat the 20Gb "root" partition and mount it as "/". You can leave the rest untouched and anything on the other disks will be preserved. You should set the mount points of the other partitions/disks here.

ASSUMING YOUR COMPUTER DOESN'T MATCH THIS: Stop and ask for advice before proceeding. There are very good reasons for switching to a root + other partition scheme.

If you create a new partition, you will be asked if you want to create a primary or extended partition. The rules are simple:

  • If this is anything other than your fourth partition, select primary
  • If this is your fourth partition (sda4 or hda4), select extended then just click "Ok" on the next screen. Then click "create" to create the partition you actually want.

Assuming you have a sensible partition scheme you can proceed and your "/" partition and data on it will be wiped and the new system installed on top of them. This could take the best part of an hour so go and get a cup of tea or fix this page on the wiki...

Have a look at AO linux partitioning for more information.

After you've decided on a partitioning setup, click "Accept"

  • Agree to the various licenses
  • Go to lunch or have a long cup of tea whilst the installer installs the packages from the DVD. This can take anything from 15 minutes for a really fast machine, to 40+ minutes on an old machine with little memory.

Once the package installation is complete, the PC will automatically reboot. From this point on, if the computer reboots, allow it to "Boot from hard disk" after the green multi-language welcome screen.

Step five: Configuring your computer for the AO network

There are a number of steps in the SUSE install to follow and then a number of steps to configure your computer for the local environment:

Root password: You should know this - use the previous one.

Check install: Just reports errors nothing for you to do.

Hostname: This is the name of your computer - use the previous one. The domain is eee.nottingham.ac.uk

Network settings: You usually only have one network card and if you have two either know what you are doing or ask for help.

  • General network settings: leave alone.
  • Network interfaces: Edit this
  1. "Overview" (tab), click "Configure" button, "Address" tab:
    1. Select "Statically assigned IP Address" button
    2. Enter your IP address (from your notes)
    3. Subnet mask
    4. Hostname: (from notes)
    5. Click "Next"
  2. Hostnames/DNS (tab):
    1. Hostname and Domain Name should already be filled in as before
    2. Names servers are,,
  3. Routing (tab):
    1. Default Gateway:
  4. Click "Accept"


  • "Allowed services" (on left): "Add" the following:
  1. SSH
  2. Secure shell server
  3. NIS client
  4. NFS client
  5. IPP client
  6. cups
  • "Logging Level" (on left): select "Do not log any" for:
  1. Accepted Packets
  2. Not Accepted Packets


  1. Click "Enable Proxy"
  2. Set the first box (HTTP Proxy URL) to http://optics.eee.nottingham.ac.uk:62267
  3. "No proxy domains" (comma-separated list): localhost,, .nottingham.ac.uk, .nott.ac.uk

Next the install will try to test the network settings - if there isn't a good reason for this to fail it should work!

  • Registration: just click next and allow it to attempt this - it sets up an update repository if it can (this takes a few minutes)
  • Update: will check for updates (there will be lots), allow it to install them all. At the time of writing, it first installs an update to the updater itself ("yast2-online-update"), which requires clicking "Accept" then "Next" then "Ok" then "Accept", after that it will warn you it's updating the kernel and will have to reboot at some point (allow it to do this by clicking "Accept") but once it's on its way updating the majority of the packages, you can go and make yourself a nice cup of tea/go for lunch, as this part may take anything from 15 minutes to an hour if the network's heavily loaded and/or your machine is slow with little memory. When this is done, click "Next" and allow the computer to reboot.
  • User Authentication Method: select NIS
    1. NIS domain name applied_optics
    2. NIS servers separated by a space
    3. Select start automounter
  • Ignore release notes unless you are interested
  • Hardware config: Mainly gets it right but sometimes selects a lower screen resolution than you want or gets the monitor wrong (you usually want 24bit colour). Ignore Printers - these will get set up later.
  • Machine restarts some services here and if all is well you can now log in as usual!

Post installation configuration and setting up package management

  • Log in as root
  1. cd /home/share/suse_hacks/10.3
  2. Run 'ONE' of the following scripts, most appropriate script for your location, either:
    1. ./std_suse_10.3_hacks_ao
    2. ./std_suse_10.3_hacks_ibios
    3. ./std_suse_10.3_hacks_sios
    4. ./std_suse_10.3_hacks_vlsi
  3. There isn't a huge lot of difference except for local stuff like default printers. The script adds the main online repositories (OSS and non-OSS), disables the DVD respository, deletes some SUSE irritations (eg beagle), sets up some useful stuff (eg locate) and installs dead useful software such as compilers, latex and xfig. In addition, it also sets up some network stuff, like telling the PC to use the hostname list (/etc/hosts) on armchair. Without this, it won't know the IP addresses of AOG PCs like bed, which means (if you're in SiOS) you won't be able to log in. That's why we do this first (as root), before attempting to log in as yourself.
  4. Log out, and reboot the PC.
  • Log in as yourself - if this doesn't work, then seek advice.
  • There are still some configuration things to do, this involves using the YaST configuration suite, you'll find it somewhere in the SuSE menu (or, as root, type "yast2" from a console window). If you run it from the SuSE menu, you will need to provide the root password.
  • Click on "Automatic Online Update" - skip this step unless you are sure!
  1. Deselect "Enable automatic update"
  2. Deselect Update daily (some time in the evening if you leave your PC on overnight). Make sure "Skip interactive patches" is checked (it should be by default) - this prevents SuSE installing things like kernel updates without your knowledge.
  3. Click "Finish"
  • On the "Network Services" submenu, click on "NTP Configuration"
  1. Click on "During Boot"
  2. As the NTP Server Configuration address, use: ntp0.nottingham.ac.uk (it's a zero, not a capital "oh")
  3. Click on "Test", it should respond something like "Server is reachable and responds properly"
  4. Click "Finish"

Install the smart package manager

SMART is a rival package manager and once you have used it a few times you will find the yast method unreasonably slow and rude.

  1. zypper sa -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/smart/openSUSE_10.3/smart.repo
  2. zypper ref smart
  3. zypper install smart smart-gui
  4. smart channel --add http://linux01.gwdg.de/~pbleser/files/smart/opensuse-10.3.txt
  5. smart mirror --add http://linux01.gwdg.de/~pbleser/files/smart/mirrors-eu.txt
  6. smart update

Graphics card

There is a good chance you have an nVIDIA graphics card in your computer. If so you will probably want to install the nVIDIA graphics driver. This is not included in the default installation because of licensing issues but YAST can manage it for most cards.

  • Start YaST (see above)
  • In the "Software" submenu, click on "Community Repositories"
  1. Add "NVIDIA Repository"
  2. Click "Finish" and if it asks you questions about keys, then trust and import them.
  • In the "Software" submenu, click on "Software Management"
  1. Search for nvidia
  2. Select "nvidia-gfxG01-kmp-default"
  3. Click "Accept" It will tell you it's installing some other nvidia-related stuff to satisfy dependencies.
  4. When it's done, quit the Software Management utility.
  • Quit YaST

When you log out, X should restart and you should now be running the nVIDIA graphics driver with 3D acceleration. Try an openGL screen saver or start glxgears.

If this fails (and it is known to fail for very old and very new cards) you will have to use the manual method - ask for advice. Manually installed nVIDIA drivers are not automatically updated by YAST and can be screwed up by certain updates and will require reinstalling - you may wish to turn certain updates off (ask).

SaX2 (the YaST graphics config tool) doesn't really understand nVIDIA cards if it doesn't do what you want then try this tool instead: http://www.sorgonet.com/linux/nv-online/ which worked for me (Matt)

Local Software

  • Steve / Roger - a wiki page for setting up matlab, comsol, cadence etc would be dead handy and here is an attempt linked here
  • c_scan: there is another wiki page which mentions installing c_scan: link is here. Once you have installed c_scan, if you type "man c_scan" you will get the root of the c_scan documentation. Look at the "See also" section at the bottom for hints on specific modules... this this normally the name of the module/action, preceded by "c_" (e.g. "man c_agilent_trace_scope")


You will probably want the multimedia codecs for SUSE. The easiest way to get these is to follow this link http://opensuse-community.org/Multimedia and click on "codecs-kde.ymp". This should get you a full set of multimedia codecs that don't come with SUSE by default because of licensing issues.

64 bit vs 32 bit computers

Annoyingly some software doesn't come in 64 bit flavours and this can cause you significant headaches. In particular a large number of browser plugins only come in 32 bit version (flash, java etc). There is supposed to be a way around this but thus far no one has been able to demonstrate it working properly for me.

My advice: downgrade Firefox to the 32 bit version (in my case I had to remove the 64 bit version and then install the 32 bit version). You can do the same for Java and Java plugin (the rest of the plugins seem to install automatically). To do this use YaST, selct the software you wish to change and selcted i386, i586 or i686 versions in the "Versions" tab.

If someone finds a way to do it 64 bit then feel free to add to this wiki... Matt


These should get set up when you run the appropriate "suse_hack" script. There is a general page of advice regarding the AOG printers here.


You should have a working system now and hopefully you won't suddenly remember that something important was installed on one of the disks you wiped. Please fix errors in this wiki.