Installing Tumbleweed, November 2016

It has been a while since I last installed Tumbleweed.  I decided that it was time to again check the installer.

The Tumbleweed system that I already have installed had desktops KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE.  But for recent intstalls (as with Leap 42.2), I have been going with KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXQt, FVWM and MATE.  So it seemed reasonable for the new Tumbleweed install to follow the same path.  I also added Enlightenment for experimenting.


As usual, I downloaded via the command line.  The install was for snapshot 20161128.  I chose to download both the DVD iso and the rescue iso.

Rescue iso

For the rescue iso, the commands that I used were:

gpg --verify openSUSE-Tumbleweed-Rescue-CD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256
aria2c -V -R
sha256sum -c openSUSE-Tumbleweed-Rescue-CD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256

DVD iso

And, for the DVD iso, I similarly used:

gpg --verify openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256
aria2c -V -R
sha256sum -c openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso.sha256

In each case, the first command (“wget”) downloads the sha256 file.  The second command verifies the gpg signature on that file.  The third command uses “aria2c” to download the iso file.  And the final command verifies the integrity of the downloaded iso file.

I’ll note that I do have the opensuse project signing key on my gpg keyring.  This allows validation of the “sha256” file.  The “sha256sum” command in both cases reported that the downloaded iso file was okay.  It also reported 14 lines of badly formatted data (it did not understand the gpg signature).  I ignored that part of the output.

Creating the boot usb

I next “burned” the iso files to USB devices.  On the computer that I used, the first USB drive that I plug in shows as “/dev/sdd”.  So, from the root command line, I used:

# dd_rescue openSUSE-Tumbleweed-Rescue-CD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso /dev/sdd
# dd_rescue openSUSE-Tumbleweed-DVD-x86_64-Snapshot20161128-Media.iso /dev/sdd

I unplugged one USB flash drive, and plugged in the other between the two commands.  I used a 4G flash drive for the “rescue” iso, and an 8G flash drive for the “DVD” iso.


Next, I booted the rescue USB.  My first boot was on a box with UEFI booting.  It loaded very smoothly.  This seems to be an improvement over my previous attempt last summer, where booting was slow, with apparent delays setting up the hybrid partition.

The USB booted into Tumbleweed XFCE (as expected).  The hybrid partition was created, and it looked as if I could use that to save any changes that I made while running from the USB.

I was a little surprised to see an “Install” icon on the desktop, but I suppose I should not have been.  Previously, the rescue iso did not have an install option.  But recently they have changed live media to use the network installer.  So it does make sense to have that there.  I’ll note that it would not install the rescue system.  Rather, it would install Tumbleweed from the online repos using whatever install options I selected.

I later booted the same rescue USB on an older MBR legacy booting machine.  Again, it booted without problems.


To install, I used the USB that I had created from the DVD iso.  This install reminded me of recent installs of Leap 42.2 (including release candidates).  The installer went pretty well.  It seems that the Yast team has done some work on the installer for both Tumbleweed and Leap.

As is my usual practice, I ignored the proposed partitioning, and instead clicked on “create partitioning”.  From there I went to “custom partioning”.  And then I clicked “Import mount points”.  This allowed me to reuse partition selections that I had previously used for other linux installs.  I reused the partitioning that I had last used for kubuntu.

Before the partitioning section, I declined the option to add online repos.  Then I selected KDE as the desktop.  Once the partitioning section was completed, and the initial account setup was entered, I went to the software selection.  There, I selected Gnome, XFCE and FVWM to also be installed.  Since LXQt and MATE were not on the DVD, I added those later (after completing the install).

The install itself went quite quickly.  It seemed faster than the 42.2 install on the same computer.  Perhaps they have fixed some of the repeated builds of the “initrd” to speed things up.  On the other hand, I didn’t actually time it, so perhaps it wasn’t really faster.


All in all, a smooth and successful install.



About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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