Using openSUSE's YaST on the Raspberry Pi

Chudomir Tsankov, 123RF

Several Servers

The almighty YaST configuration tool makes it much easier to transform your Raspberry Pi running openSUSE into a file server.

There are plenty of good reasons to deploy openSUSE on a Raspberry Pi. Probably the most compelling one is the YaST configuration tool. It acts as a graphical control center that gives you the ability to configure and manage practically all system settings without fiddling with arcane terminal commands. Of course, you might argue that some tasks are easier to accomplish from the command line. Indeed, installing and managing packages with the zypper command-line tool is much faster than going through the required steps in YaST. However, there are situations where you'd prefer to use YaST instead of the terminal. Deploying and configuring various servers is one scenario where YaST can prove its worth. As server deployment is one of the most common uses for the Raspberry Pi, using YaST can save you a lot of time and effort.

GUI vs ncurses

In addition to a regular GUI, YaST also features an ncurses based interface which runs in text mode but offers a rudimentary graphical interface. While its appearance can be charitably described as retro, it does offer several advantages compared to the conventional GUI. First of all, you can navigate the ncurses interface using the keyboard, and there are keyboard shortcuts for practically all interface elements. In addition to this, the ncurses interface is light on resources and runs fast even on modest hardware, which makes it ideal for use on a Raspberry Pi. More importantly, you can run the ncurses based version of YaST via an SSH connection. This can be particularly useful when accessing and configuring a remote or headless Raspberry Pi (i.e. without a screen).

To launch the ncurses based version of YaST, launch the terminal and run the


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