Notes on installing from a USB

When I recently installed opensuse 12.2 milestone 1 (an early test release), I used the 32 bit DVD image and installed that on a USB.  The directions on using a USB can be found in a page at the opensuse site.  Among the directions to be followed with DVD image on USB are these:

  1. Hit F4, change the installation source to Hard Drive, but leave all fields blank and hit Enter to close the dialog.
  2. Type “namescheme=by-label” into the boot options for “Installation” and start the installation; you should go straight to the installer without a hitch.

I have followed those directions for 12.1, and when installing 12.2M1 32bit on my laptop.  And all has worked fine.

More recently, I tried a second test install in a spare partition on my desktop.  This time, I installed 64bit.  But I was careless with the install startup.  I accidentally skipped both of those listed steps.  Nevertheless, everything went well.

Step 1, as listed above, is supposed to make sure that the installer finds the install repos on the DVD image.  It tells the installer to search all hard disks.  Apparently that was not needed.  Perhaps it is for some hardware, if the installer has problems recognizing what was the boot device.

Step 2 is supposed to tell Yast (or zypper or other software updater) on which disk to find the repos for installing additional software.  Because I omitted that step, the repo list showed the location by disk-id rather than by label.  Presumably, that would protect me if I later wrote the image to a different USB device.  Since I have only ever used the one device for this, I never ran into problems.

My current practice for install from USB:  I have 4 usb memory sticks that I am reserving for this purpose.  Two of those are 8G sticks, which I use for DVD images.  And the other two are 4G sticks which I use for CD images (typically the KDE live CD image).  I have hand written labels on each “64” for the 64 bit images, and “32” for the 32 bit images.  It is unlikely that I would use a different USB for later software installs.  So I am probably safe skipping those steps.

I’ll try to remember to follow the steps anyway, but it is nice to know that it can work without them.

I notice that milestone 2 is due for release next week.  I’ll probably test that (to replace my current test installs) when it is out.


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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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