Getting up close and personal with openSUSE 42.2

Nadezhda Riakhovskaia,

Lizards & Pi

openSUSE is a Linux based, free and open source operating system sponsored by SUSE, the oldest Linux company in existence. You can now run openSUSE on your Pi. In this article you’ll learn how.


OpenSUSE [1] comes in two versions: one is Tumbleweed [2], which is a stable and fully tested rolling release distribution. Tumbleweed updates itself automatically, eliminating the need for reinstalls and upgrades seen in other regular Operating Systems. The second version of openSUSE is Leap [3]. It's a very stable distribution that comes with fully tested, albeit a bit older, packages.

openSUSE targets developers and maker communities. The openSUSE community has created many tools and projects that help developers build, package, test and distribute their product to a larger Linux community. Some of those projects included Open Build Service (OBS) [4] which helps developers automatically build packages and OpenQA [5], a fully automated package testing tool.

At this year's SUSECon, SUSE announced SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) for Raspberry Pi 3. On the last day of the event, SUSE gave out Raspberry Pi 3s with a SUSE branded cases. This was due to the fact that openSUSE is also based on SLES, and a lot of work on Raspberry Pi was done by openSUSE community members. openSUSE is also now available for the Raspberry Pi 3. Although the OS cannot currently be installed via NOOBS, users can easily test openSUSE Leap 42.2. Note that only the Raspberry Pi 3, whichthat runs on ARMv8 architecture is currently supported.

What's groundbreaking about this announcement is that this is the first 64-bit operating system for Raspberry Pi. While Raspberry Pi 3 itself is a 64-bit product, there have been no 64-bit operating systems for it until now.

One popular tool on openSUSE is YaST (Yet another settings tool). YaST offers complete control over your Operating System from one place. Whether it is configuring the firewall, networking or software management, you will see how incredible and useful YaST is throughout this article.


Start be installing openSUSE on your Raspberry Pi.

You're going to need the following:

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • 5v 2.mA micro USB power supply
  • MicroSD Card (minimum 16GB)
  • HDMI cable
  • Monitor with HDMI
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • A Linux running laptop to prepare the Micro SD Card
  • The DVD that goes with this magazine

You're going to install openSUSE Leap 42.2. You can use the DVD to copy over the raw image to your hard disk, or you can download the SHA256 checksum file and the image from the official website [6].

If you use Linux, you can copy the image over to your SD card using the instruction shown in Listing 1. You must execute the instruction as root or using sudo.

Listing 1

Copying to the SD card

01 dd bs=4M if=openSUSE-Leap42.2-ARM-XFCE-raspberrypi3.aarch64-2016.11.25-Build1.14.raw of=/dev/mmcblk0 iflag=fullblock oflag=direct; sync;

From Windows, you will a need a special tool, like Win32DiskImager [7] to copy the image over correctly.

Depending on the size of your card, it may take a while for the image to be copied. Once the copy is complete, plug the Micro SD card into the slot of your Raspberry Pi 3, connect a monitor via HDMI cable, as well as the mouse and keyboard then plug in the power supply. The first boot may take up to 3 minutes. Once you are booted into openSUSE, log into your system using these credentials:

Username: root
Password: linux

Congratulations! You have openSUSE Leap running on your Raspberry Pi. But wait! You must do a few things before you start using openSUSE (Figure 1).

Figure 1: openSUSE's desktop right after installation.

Post-install Configuration

First of all, it's not safe to run your system as a root user, so you are going to create a non-privileged user for your system. This is where you meet YaST, the gem of the SUSE/openSUSE world.

Open YaST from Start Menu > Settings > YaST (the Start Menu is located is the button with the openSUSE logo in the bottom left hand corner of your desktop – see Figure 1) and go to User and Group Management settings (Figure 2). You will notice that the User section is empty, as there are no regular users yet.

Figure 2: Start YaST from Start Menu > Settings in the lower left corner of the screen.

Click on the Add button at the bottom of the window and, in the next window, create a username and password for that user. Then click on the OK button, which will take you back to the previous window where you can see the name of the new user, click on OK again and it will take you back to the main YaST window.

Never user default passwords on your systems, always change the password on your IoT devices as soon as you log on. To change the root password in openSUSE, go to User Management settings in YaST and, select System Users from the Set Filter drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the window.

Select root from the list and click on the Edit button at the bottom of the window. Now enter a new password in the next window and then click on OK. It will take you back to the previous windows, click OK again and it will store the changes. Now reboot your system and when it boots up, you can log in with the newly created users.

Figure 3: YaST allows you to configure most aspects of your Pi, including adding users.

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