There are occassions when an user might want to install OpenSuSE 10.3 directly through one of the online repositories, instead of through the regular installation media. The reasons for performing the aforementioned procedure vary, but suffice it to say that the issue became relevant during our internal evaluation of the newly released version of Novell's OpenSuSE 10.3 distribution.
After downloading the DVD image from the main repository and subsequently burning it to the appropriate media, several packages did not pass the internal integrity check. Accordingly, I downloaded the miminimal network installation iso image from the OpenSuSE org site and burned its approximately 73MB network bootstrap image into a cd media.
Although the procedure was performed into an physical machine, I decided to illustrate the steps for an relatively beginer to follow. Furthermore, the snapshots are taken under one of my OS/2 server machines using VirtualPC for OS/2. Of course, I could have used the excellent virtualization product from XenSource (now a part of Citrix) , after all, us at Metztli Information Technology are a Certified Solutions Provider; I could also have used the alternative Xen based product from VirtualIron and or Innotek's VirtualBox that I have under one of my Debian systems; or I could even have used the proprietary VmWare virtualization solution. But I settled on OS/2 SMP as the host for what follows to show the OS/2 continued viability in modern environments.
The OS/2 VirtualPC 5.1x (originally developed by Connectix but acquired by Microsoft subsequently) performs full software virtualization on the virtual machines it creates. Accordingly, its performance is inferior to Open Source Software (OSS) equivalent offerings as those based on the Xen virtual machine monitor. The latter make use of hardware assistance (for proprietary, closed source operating systems) and paravirtualization to increase proprietary and open source operating systems performance on the "bare metal" to standards that current proprietary alternatives simply can not match --either in performance and/or price.
Considering the recent inclussion into the Linux kernel of the also OSS Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization alternative --that purportedly IBM researchers are working to remove dependencies on hardware (CPU) extensions-- and the conclussion is clear that proprietary software can not compete on the creativity and quality of the world developers of OSS, whose roots are in the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It is no wonder then that the most vociferous of the proprietary software vendors has engaged recently in another of those threat episodes against the organizations that support and promote the use of OSS --as we at Metztli IT do.
With no more ado, here is the illustrated procedure to install your OpenSuSE 10.3 from an FTP source by means of an DHCP server providing the IP address to the client host (where the installation is to proceed). Please modify the prcedure accordingly if you will be using an HTTP repository and/or your client is not getting its IP address from an DHCP server.
Booting from the minimally bootstrap CD that I referenced priorly, we are greeted with an green welcome page in various languages:
We proceed to select the Installation option from the ensuing menu. Pressing F1 on your keyboard will show relevant information help --for example, it will suggest parameters that you may want to pass to the kernel. Please note that if there are parameters that you need to pass to the installation routine, you may simply start typing them and those will appear in the line field below labeled: Boot Options.
Evidently, the installation repository that we select will dictate wheather we use FTP or HTTP. As an instance, the mirror repository that I selected for the OpenSuSE 10.3 is in Colorado and it is advertised as supporting FTP transactions. Additionally, hovering the mouse pointer over the links will show you the path of the SuSE repositories --both OSS (oss) and non OSS (non-oss). Please make a note of those paths because you will need to tell the FTP utility that information.
Hence I press F4 to select the source of the installation (since by default is SLP). A menu appears subsequently, from which I select FTP.
A dialogue appears prompting for the ftp repository name source address and I enter the appropriate information, i.e. mirror.colorado.edu in the first field (if later it is found that the repository was not successfully detected, the user will have to enter an decimal dotted IP address) and /pub/opensuse/distribution/10.3/repo/oss in the field just below --leaving the other fields empty since we are logging in as anonymous.
Upon pressing Enter (OK button), we can see that the Linux kernel starts to be decompressed and loaded:
A green shield reapears with the installation progress bar on the lower right hand side of the viewer:
Nonetheless, if the user presses the ESC key, the shield disappears and the user is shown what is going on behind the scene:
It should be borne in mind that sometimes the installation source repository will not be found and the user will be greeted with the following error:
If that is the case simply press the OK button to proceed. You will need a utility to resolve the FTP server source name into its IP dotted decimal address subsequently. The manual installation screens that follow will ask you to specify your language:
Then to specify your keyboard mapping:
Needless to say, press Ok button when done to advance to the next screen. Subsequently another menu will appear from which the option Select Installation or System should be selected.
Once OK button is pressed, from the ensuing menu select the Start Installation or Update:
From the source medium menu select the option Network:
Select the FTP option from the Nework Protocol menu:
Now select Automatic Configuration via DHCP (or your specific method for your client to obtain an IP address):
After pressing the OK button, the user is prompted for the dotted decimal IP source server address of the FTP server repository. Pleaser remember that these steps will only be necessary if the initial repository was not found. On the other hand, if on the first instance the repository was successfully detected you will not have to reinput what follows.
Reiterating, note that we are being asked for the dotted decimal IP address of the installation source repository server; whereas the initial installation ftp prompt dialogue asked us for the name server.
Here is where the user has to resolve the source server to its dotted decimal IP address either by using an online service and/or using a DNS resolver utility locally.
Since I am using the Odin Win32 libraries to execute some WinXX programs under my OS/2 environment, I downloaded and installed this small but cool and free utility that is called IpDNSresolver and proceeded to feed into it the Colorado ftp installation source server name. Once I got resolved the server name into its IP dotted decimal equivalent, I proceed to enter it into the OpenSuSE 10.3 FTP prompt field:
The subsequent prompt requires us to enter the path to the OpenSuSE 10.3 installation repository:
The path extends beyond the current view of the field, so I advance the the insertion field to the end:
Another pop-up dialogue appears querying us if a username and password are needed to access ther repository. As before, we answer no because we will be using the resources as anonymous guests. Please do not abuse their kindness.
Please respond appropriately if you are using an HTTP proxy to access the Internet. In our specific example, I select the NO button:
The system installation progress appears and will take several minutes to advance fully. Please be patient:
The system installation dialogue will be replaced with the No new Driver Updates found subsequently --provided that your downloaded software is recent :
Then another black screen will reapear, after you press OK button. Again, please be patient. After a short while you will see appear informational messages; continue to let the installation routine proceed:
The graphical front end will reappear and the installation routine will begin probing your hardware, like your mouse pointer:
Once again, you will be prompted for your preferred language:
Possibly taking an strong hint from their proprietary software vendor partner, Novell requires the user to agree to the End User License Agreement (EULA) even for the OpenSuSE. The Linux Debian distribution never requires the user to agree to this sort of nonsense. Possibly Novell forgot that it was granted an grace window of time by the GPLv3 framers so that it could continue to do business with their OSS Linux distribution.
The grace time frame was granted to Novell in spite of the fact that Novell threatened ".. the destruction of the upstream rainforest where your [OSS] goods come from. " when it signed its agreement with its vociferous closed source vendor partner that threatens OSS on a periodic basis with its "Be very afraid tours."
After the user agrees to the above, the installation routine starts probing the hardware devices --finally preparing for the actual OpenSuSE installation:
The user is able to select if s/he desires an New installation or an Update to an existing OpenSuSE installation, please select appropriately. Additionally, the user is encouraged to select the option: Add online repositories before installation.
And the process of pooling the repositories to be used for the installation of OpenSuSE starts:
From now on, the installation of OpenSuSE proceeds as if the user had installed from local media. The partitioning and Grand Unified Bool Loader (GRU location, among other options, is presented to the user to select to her heart's content. Evidently, the user should know or research the proper manner to partition her hard drive, etc., etc.
In this illustrations I merely desired to show the part that some users find tricky when attempting to perform an SuSE 10.3 installation from non-local sources. I hope I was successful in my aim.
...well, a glimpse of the final result might be relevant :
Please do not hold me or Metztli Information Technology responsible if the information provided here does not achieve the desired result. The information is provided "AS IS" and with the hope that it may be useful to the Internet community.
There is no implicit or explicit guarantee that the the information presented here is accurate. Nor should there be the implict or explicit guarantee that the procedure will not leave your machine in an unforseen unusable state. If an user(s) decide to implement the procedure described here she, he, or them, do so at her, his, or their own risk. You have been forewarned.