openSUSE 12.1 installation (dual boot with windows 7)

One of my favorite distro openSUSE, 12.1 is released already and i haven’t tried it out until yesterday. I am amazed as always from the improvement openSUSE implement each time it releases new version. Love the green buttons and green progress bar this time(in installation). Ok, so as the title says, i will guide you step by step with installation beside window 7. I will try to make the things simple as i can specially in partitioning step. Installation medium used will be openSUSE 12.1 64bit KDE live CD. System configuration are:

  • Intel Core i5
  • 4GB Ram
  • Switchable graphics (Intel and AMD Radeon)
  •  DVD drive to boot from.

I assume you already have windows 7 installed and have free space on your disk for openSUSE. If you don’t have yet, and want to create one for openSUSE Gparted can help you in this, i will not go into more details with Gparted here. But its easy to use, just download it, burn its iso file as image and boot your machine from it, partition your disk as you wish. Also make sure you backup your data and files on a external disk or flash before the partition took place through Gparted. Just to be on the safe side. Download openSUSE 12.1, burn the iso file to a CD and also check the md5sum before burning. So let’s start…

1-  Boot from the live CD, which you just burned and go to the live desktop. Now is the time to start installation. Click on the install icon on the desktop.

2-  Select language and keyboard layout as shown in the screen.

3-  Select your location and set the date & time.

4-  Now is the time to setup the partitions on the disk. To create our own partitions click on the button ‘create partition setup‘, and it will bring you here.

5-  I already have my disk partitioned(used Gparted) as shown in above image. Sda3 is my root partition where i will install the OS, Sda7 is used as swap. In the image below you can see that how to setup your partition for use. Choose your drive(for me sda3) and click edit, it will bring the window same as the image below. You can the see the options there, one can keep the options as i did in the image.

6-  If you want to mount your partitions like windows one and other linux drives: for windows just use /windows/c for c drive and /windows/d for d drive and so on… for linux /Backup (you can change that word as to your taste) and so on… don’t forget the swap ya… You can see the mount points in the image below. Also remember for windows partitions you need to choose ntfs in the File system while writing the mount point.

7-  And this is the final partition window you will see, make sure here that every thing is in order…

8-  In this window you will create new user for your system.

9-  And the final stage, where you will see all the changes and stuff you just did, carefully read it and go ahead with the installation if nothing is a show stopper.

10-  Installation progress with the greeny progress bar…

Installation is finished partially. Choose to reboot. After 1st reboot, installation will setup the configuration for the hardware and system, this time it will not show any GRUB MENU for multiple OS. But the next time you reboot, it will show you the nice graphical screen with multiple boot options for Linux and windows.

Note: If something went wrong at the grub menu for multiple OS, follow this tutorial to repair/install the grub again.

I tried to make this guide/article very simple and easy to follow, but if still you think you can’t go ahead with this guide, drop a comment below and i will try to answer at my best.

Enjoy and have fun! 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I need help. I am not much of a tchnical person but i want to install OpenSuSe 12.1 on my laptop as a single OS can you give me a step by step guide to how i can delete the current windows vista and install Fresh Opensuse?

    my laptop: Compaq Presario CQ60
    Genuine CPU T1600 @1.66GHz 1.66GHz
    2.00GB RAM

    Currently running Windows Vista Home Basic – [i want to remove this completely and install Linux OpenSuSe 12.1]

    Please help.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      1st you need to backup your data to an external drive/usb. That is much important step in this deletion process.
      Now, download gparted, burn its iso file as an image, boot your computer from it.
      After booting you can delete any partition(windows,linux) and create new ones(you have to be careful in this process about choosing formats,size etc).
      Partition your hard drive(lets say you have 300GB drive), it will depend on your taste how many drives you want. I will partition it like this:
      sda1 -> 50GB (root) [this is MUST have drive]
      sda2 -> 3GB (swap) [this is good to have bcoz of linux memory management]
      sda3 -> 347GB (Backup) [the rest of your drive as a backup drive to keep your files/docs/movies/songs etc etc]
      After having these drives created, reboot your system, insert openSUSE 12.1 CD in the CD/DVD drive and boot. Install your OS on sda1(root). The rest of the steps you can follow from the above article.

      If you still have problems and need help, feel free to ask.
      Good luck!

      • x

        Good tutorial. But you are missing the important bit.. ie about partitioning.
        Its all about partitioning when it comes to dual boot especially with W7.
        Unfortunately you missing on number of partitions which i can guess, but types or attributes are missing,
        No wonder why linux still a non popular enviroment for people who wanted to go for it. Lack of tutorials and bunch of super geeks…

        • Well, i can write a long and boring lengthy article about partitioning, but i am pretty sure that will make the readers run away. So if they have issues, they can ask. Asking don’t hurt.

          Geeks term is quite subjective in Linux world, so let’s not go there.

  • Fred Walry


    I would like to install OpenSuse 12.1 on a PackardBell laptop with Windows7.
    At the end of the install configurations I have a message wich said that the dualboot may not work because it is not installed under the 128Mb.

    Do you think I really have a problem?
    Grub must be installed on /root or extended partition?

    Thankf for your help.


    • @Fred,
      You can follow the link at the bottom of the article, that how to install/update grub. Don’t worry, it’s a simple issue.
      I would suggest you to install it on /root.

      Good luck!

  • Kush

    in my case installation heads upto 90% and an error saying low disk space occurs. 12 GB of space i have alloted for 11.2 and I want to update it with 12.1 what to do plz help out

  • @Kush,
    You have 12GB for 11.2? and now wana upgrade to 12.1, is it?. If so, then possibly your drive does not have enough space for new installation files. You have to check that, try this command,

    fdisk -l

    I would recommend you to install a fresh copy instead of upgrading, before that don’t forget to BACKUP your data.
    Also check the md5sum of the downloaded iso file.

  • Akash

    I want to install Opensuse on my Laptop. i want to use both windows and opensuse. I had downloaded the opensuse and written to DVD. when am booting my PC its not show boot from DVD option in my PC. Please let me know the solution for this problem. waiting for ur reply.

  • Hi Akash,
    You have to make sure the downloaded ISO is not damaged/corrupted, check it’s md5sum. And burn it with slow speed, burn it as image not data. Also DVD will not be necessary, just download live CD one and that will work. Most of the applications you can download later.

  • Dips

    I recently tried to install Suse 12.1 and I think I messed up the GRUB.
    I had Win 7 and Redhat 6 as dual bootable; tried to replace Redhat with Suse and now my machine just prompts the GRUB message for 10 seconds and then shuts down. I tried to boot from CD and nothing is working.
    Urgently need your suggestions.

    • @Dips,
      There is a link at the end of the post to repair grub. Are you sure, your system 1st boot device is CDROM, try to see in Bois if you did not know. And if you tried to boot from CD, what is not working and what you see.

  • erick

    hi , can i use my windows partition to place the opensuse OS ??

    • No, you can’t. You need other partitions with ext4, ext3 etc to use with Linux not windows NTFS etc.

  • hoang

    Hi, i have installed openSUSE successfully 😀 it is quite tough and fun playing around with installing and partitioning without losing data :))
    Thanks for your help!
    I feel a little disappointed about openSUSE and KDE. It has a lot of visual effects, I feel it is messing up a desktop, and it takes time to turn some of those effects off. anyway, playing around with it is kinda fun and I can gain some experience 😀
    btw, I have a text file in windows partition, and it is not allowed to modify the file, how to fix it??

    • Hi,
      This URL might be of help. Be careful while playing with partitions and data. Always Backup before performing disk actions.

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  • Ansar Raza

    hi i want to install the opensues but i have a problem because the specificaton of my system is like that can i install the old version of opensues.

    my system is intell celeron cpu B800 @1.50 GHs 1.50GHS Ram 2.00GB
    can i install on this system.

    • Hi,

      To me you should be good to install openSUSE 12.1 on your system or openSUSE 12.2. Just desktop choice will matter. If you think you system cannot handle KDE or Gnome with that celeron processor, you can install XFCE. Just download the DVD, and choose it during installation.
      But i will 1st install KDE or Gnome, depend on the taste. Give it a try and if some thing is lagging, try XFCE.
      Good luck!