Howto install SuSE from USB drive

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UPDATE: Please, refer to Install openSUSE 11.3 from your hard drive

The need of installing linux distributions from external sources arose after the laptop global market was flooded with netbooks and mini pc-s - devices without optical drives. I also tried to install my favorite Open SuSE but it did not work at the first time

After some searching and testing i got it work. Followed instructions from Install SuSE from USB drive until 'Installation' part, with the correction made to "mksusebootdisk" by Frans Leerink at Talk:SuSE install from USB drive.

For this installation i used Maxtor OneTouch III 120 GB USB drive where i have 4 partitions used for backups.

All initial preparation made on my laptop Acer Aspire 5002WLMI with Open SuSE 11.1 64 bit version with KDE 3.5.

Here is the exact order:

Download in your home folder:

- Installation DVD iso image

- mksusebootdisk and made the change mentioned above

- Install package 'syslinux' with YAST or your favorite package manager

Plug USB drive which is automatically detected by your system.

I use the first partitions on my usb drive seen as /dev/sdb1 and I am 'root' user on my laptop (note:if you are regular user on your computer you will need to become 'root' for some of the commands below).

Open terminal window and type

# fdisk -l

to check your partitions.

My first partition on the usb drive shows as

/dev/sdb1 * 1 5000 40162468+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

You can use fdisk to partition your USB drive the way you want.

# umount /dev/sdb1

# mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdb1
mkfs.vfat 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)

# fsck.vfat /dev/sdb1
dosfsck 2.11, 12 Mar 2005, FAT32, LFN
/dev/sdb1: 0 files, 1/2508928 clusters

No errors - everything is good.

Now is time to copy iso image to your usb drive

# mkdir /mnt/dvd

# mkdir /mnt/usb

# mount openSUSE-11.1-DVD-x86_64.iso /mnt/dvd -o loop

# mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb

# cp -R -L /mnt/dvd/* /mnt/usb/

# umount /mnt/usb

Make usb drive bootable

# chmod +x mksusebootdisk

# ./mksusebootdisk --64 --partition /dev/sdb1 /mnt/dvd
disk /dev/sdb, partition /dev/sdb1

All preparation done!


At the initial boot press "F2" to enter BIOS setup and make sure your usb drive is visible there - go to "Boot" and click on "Hard Drive"

Change boot order

Change boot order to your usb drive first.

Change boot order to your to your usb drive

Save changes "F10" and exit.

Your machine is now booting from SuSE installation DVD image on the USB drive.

Select "Installation" from the menu and hit "Enter". The following message pops up:

SuSE installation

Select "Back" and hit "Enter"

"Choose your language"

"Choose a keyboard map"

Select "Start Installation"

Start Installation

"Start Installation or Update"

Start Installation of Update

Choose source medium "Hard Disk"

Choose source medium

Select your partition on the USB drive - "sdb1"

Select partition

Enter the source directory - type "/"

Enter the source directory

"No new Driver Updates found"

No new Driver Updates found

hit "Enter" and you are on the way!

Proceed with the normal installation.


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