SuSE 9.0 installation
on sharp muramasa PC-UM10

The YAST that comes with Suse 8.2 and higher distributions has a bug that doesn't let it see the packet descriptions from several types of installation media. Search for "Paketbeschreibungen nicht gefunden" to find plenty of references to this problem. There are many workarounds, but I haven't seen any explanations or solutions to this.

The following text describes the steps I took to install Suse 9 on my Muramasa, using a vanilla USB floppy drive as boot device and a desktop PC connected over Ethernet as a "network CD drive".

Soundcard and graphics adaptor got recognized automagically. The installation of the ethernet adaptor needed a little help.

  1. prepare 4 formatted diskettes (formatted to at least 1368 KB). Don't use bad diskettes (as I always do). if there is a read error on any of the module disks, you'll have to start the whole boot process over.
  2. get a usb floppy drive and connect it to the muramasa
  3. get desktop PC with ftp server, e.g. WFTPD.EXE (windows) or Linux' ftpd
  4. connect PC and notebook with a 1-to-1 network cable
  5. start ftp server on desktop PC, allow "anonymous" access, define the CD ROM as ftp (document) root directory, e.g., "F:\"
  6. now, you'll have to use ftp to copy the first CD over to the muramasa's hard disk. I kept the "factory default" partitions and made a directory "suse" on the 2nd partition (D:). YOu can use the Windows ftp client to transfer the files, however, this client doesn't support transfer of whole directories (WSFTP does). This means that you have to rebuild the directory structure of Suse's CD yourself on the notebook and transfer the files (bin, prompt, mget *) of each directory separately.
  7. you'll need the other 4 CDs later. If you want to be able to install them from harddisk, too, copy them now like the first one, also into "suse". Theoretically,it should be possible to use ftp as installation source and install directly from the desktop PC's CDROM, but I didn't get that to work.
  8. make Linux Boot disk on the desktop PC: start [CD1]/dosutils/rawwritewin/rawwritewin.exe (from SuSe CD1) (assuming desktop PC running under DOS/Win)
  9. select "[CD1]/boot/bootdisk." and go "Write" (to floppy, requires a disk formatted to at least 1.4 MB)
  10. setup notebook to boot up from floppy AND to "emulate USB keyboard in DOS mode". Also, disable "Plug&Play" and set "large disk access" to "other"
  11. boot linux :-)
  12. select "installation" from SuSe's boot menu
  13. make coffee and have it
  14. the boot loader will ask for "module disk 1". Hmm. get another empty floppy and go [CD1]/dosutils/rawwritewin/rawwritewin.exe with "[CD1]/boot/modules1." on the desktop pc. insert it into the notebook's floppy, "ENTER".
  15. the installer reports "found PCMCIA chipset yenta_socket" and asks for "module disk 4". make that one as you did "mod disk 1".
  16. next, you'll see a warning: "no CD found, starting manual installation". confirm that
  17. answer language questions. now go "Kernel-modules/hardware drivers". Go "load network driver". Make "module disk 3" and insert it.
  18. The installer offers a list of available network drivers. The one to pick is Realtek RTL8139. The system replies "successfully loaded", then asks for options. Leave the line empty and "ENTER". Again, you'll see "successfully loaded".
  19. Go "Back", then "Installation/start system". Select "harddisk" as installation source
  20. The Installer asks for the location of installation CD. Select "hda5" and "suse" (not "suse/").
  21. YAST loads and asks you to repartition your hard drive. Either accept the suggestion or not. Of course, you'll have to keep the old "D:" partition, as it holds the Linux installation CDs. D: is the first logical drive on the extended partition (in DOS speak), this is called "hda5" by Linux. YAST defaults to reducing hda5's size to 3 GB which is just enough to hold the 5 Linux CDs.
  22. Install a basic system that doesn't need data from CDs 2-5 (YAST doesn't see them, even if you copied them over! if you're asking me, YAST is a can of worms!)
  23. Reboot. Now, you can install the software you want. select "ftp" as installation source (didn't work for me), or, if you copied all 5 CDs over to the windows D: partition, select the appropriate path name (if you accepted YAST's defaults, it will be /windows/D/suse).
  24. YAST autoinstalled my screen as being 800 x 600. I easily changed it to 1024 x 768 @ 60Hz with YAST.

That's it. If you found any errors in this description, please let me know:
mura(here goes the at sign) <Johannes>

To the Muramasa PC-UM10 forum