For my SuSE install, I used exactly the same machine and started from the same place. Note that I was using SuSE Linux Professional 9.3 for this, which comes with both multiple CDs and a single DVD. The advantage of the DVD, assuming you have a DVD drive, is that you do not have to swap disks.
Reboot your system with the CD (or DVD) in the drive. You now have the option of selecting various install modes. For a fresh installation, select Installation and press <Enter>. The screen at this point is all graphical, with status messages letting you know, among other things, that hardware is being initialized. If you would prefer to see the text boot messages, press the <Esc> key and you'll get more details.
The first screen you'll see after this is a license agreement floating above the YaST installation and configuration screen. Once you have read the license, click I Agree to continue. What follows is a nice welcome screen, which also happens to be the language selection screen. The default is English (US), but you can certainly choose something else. Click Accept, and the install process will begin analyzing your system and probing for the various devices and peripherals you have. Once this is done, you'll be provided with some installation choices based on whether your system already has Windows or Linux installed.
At this point, a lot happens in the background as YaST collects all of your installation information. All of these choices are shown to you on a single page; the keyboard, mouse, partitioning, software install, booting, and time zone info are all there on one screen. Notice the blue underline on each setting, much like a Web page. Look at the suggested settings to make sure things look right. If you need to change something, click the blue link. For instance, to change your time zone from the default of USA/Mountain, click Time zone, select from the list, and click Accept.
I would like you to look at Partitioning and Software in particular. If you do have a Windows partition, you should see it listed as /windows/C that will be its mount point unless you would like a different name. The software choices are the KDE Desktop Environment, Office Applications (this is OpenOffice.org), Help & Support Documentation, and Graphical Base System (the X window system).
You might recall that I suggested that the lure of playing with some leading-edge software might be overwhelming at some point. You can prepare for that here by clicking on the blue Software link. On the screen that follows, click the Detailed selection button. On the left-hand side of the next screen, you'll see a number of categories for additional software. If you do want to compile your own programs, you'll want to select the C/C++ Compiler and Tools. I'm also pretty sure you'll want the Games and Multimedia packages. If I am right, choose those as well.
Finally, there's the GNOME desktop environment. Even though I concentrate this book on KDE, you might recall that I said it is a good thing to experiment with another desktop environment. In the end, you might like GNOME better than KDE. In the Linux world, you have a choice. Furthermore, it doesn't hurt anything (other than taking up some disk space) to load it at the same time. When you are done, click Accept to go back to your Installation Settings screen. Have a final look and click Accept. You'll be given a final warning regarding installation. If you are ready to start, click "Install."
Your drive will be formatted, your Linux system will load, and you'll see a progress bar at the top right. After a little while, the basic installation will complete (you'll get a message to that effect), whereupon you remove the CD and press <Enter>.
During the installation, you'll be treated to a slide show telling you about SuSE Linux, your installation, security features, individual software packages, Novell's involvement, and more. Notice that this is a two-tab window, with one labeled Slide Show and the other Details. If you would rather see which file is being installed at what time, click on the Details tab. How long this process takes depends on what you decided to install and how fast your system is.
If you are using multiple CDs (as opposed to the DVD install), the system will reboot on its own after the first CD has finished installing. This is normal. Just let the system boot without interruption. The process will restart, asking for the remaining CDs in order.
Now we jump to final configuration. The first of these steps is account creation, starting with the setting of the root password. The root account is used for administrative functions, such as installing software. Always remember that you do not want to run as root under normal circumstances, since root is essentially all powerful.
After selecting a root password, click Next. The screen that follows is the Network Configuration dialog. Look under Firewall, Network Interfaces, and so on, and make sure you are happy with the settings. By default the firewall is turned on, and, while you may want to make some changes to the policies, you should not turn it off. DSL and cable modem connections are detected automatically. If your system is part of an existing LAN, click on Network Interfaces and enter your settings by clicking the Change button on the selected interface. This process also detects your modem hardware should you have a dial-up network connection. When you are done here, click Next. Your Internet connection will come up and you'll have a chance to download any updates to your system.
When the updates are done, click Next. The YaST installer will take you to the user configuration screen. The first question has to do with your method of authentication, whether local (your password file), LDAP, NIS, or Samba. Home users will want to keep the default of Local. Click Next; then create at least one user login. The SuSE install is interesting here in that it allows you to redirect all of root's mail directly to a user account. Check off the box that says "Receive System Mail" when you are creating your personal user ID. There's also a checkbox for "Auto Login," which logs in this particular user without a password automatically at boot time. This is probably fine if you are running this system at home and are the only user; but in an office environment or with multiple users, you don't want to check this box. You can choose to create additional users at this time (by clicking the User Management button), or simply click Next to continue.
After a brief interlude to tell you about some of the changes in SuSE Linux 9.3 (some of these are interesting, so take a moment to read them), you will get to the Hardware Configuration screen. Hardware in this case includes graphics cards, printers, your sound card, TV tuner cards, and other network interfaces, like Bluetooth.
The first item on the hardware lists is your X window graphical configuration. The auto-detect will likely make the right choices, but do take a look at what has been selected. The dialog here will vary, depending on what kind of video hardware you have or whether your card is 3D accelerated. Just make sure you test out the final settings before moving on. Even if the information looks right, click the Graphics Cards link on the page where you'll have an opportunity to test your settings. Video settings work perfectly 99.99% of the time. It's just good to be sure beforehand.
When you return to the Hardware Configuration screen, take a moment to test your printer (you can always do this later, if you prefer) and test your sound card, and then click Next. The final hardware settings will be written to disk and the installation will complete.
There is no reboot at this point. SuSE wraps up the final configuration changes and immediately takes you to your desktop (Figure B-3). As the folks at SuSE are known to say, "Have a lot of fun."
Figure B-3. SuSE Linux Professional 9.3 desktop.