The documentation of the process to install is well laid out on the openSUSE wiki pages. There is a lot of really good information. For someone new coming to Linux, it might be overwhelming so I am breaking the instructions down to what works very well for me.
My preferred installation method is using the USB flash drive with the install ISO on it. The full instructions are here for your reference.
Here is my version of the steps to INSTALL the openSUSE on your system
Download the current version of Leap ISO or Tumbleweed ISO.
- I personally recommend Leap for the typical user. Tumbleweed may end up requiring a little more effort by its users to ensure it is maintained and knowledge of updating kernel modules upon kernel updates is a must.
Install and Run the SUSE Studio Image Writer program as outlined on this page.
I would recommend you get at least an 8GB USB flash drive for this purpose.
The next trick is getting your computer to boot from the USB drive. This varies from system. You will have to research how to change your boot order on your computer.
Web search (using Google or Yahoo or whatever engine you like best) your computer’s make, model name or number and “boot from USB”. You should hopefully find what information you need from that.
- Now would be a good time to decide if you are going to jump with both feet into the Linux world or if you are going to have a dual boot system into Windows or Mac. That will also change things. A good article to read on newer systems with UEFI booting (Windows), check this article out.
- My recommendation is to give Linux a whirl on a machine that is not your primary system and always back up your data first
Complete the install process.
Not much to write here, go with the defaults and you are likely to have a good experience out of the gate. I do like to keep a larger swap space (sized to be at least the same amount as available RAM memory) but everything else is just fine.
Potential hardware issues.
- Wireless card – It may or may not support Linux out of the box
- Graphics card – Immediately after installation, the graphics card may or may not be optimized for your system. Some newer machines may need a little massaging to get working 100%
Once the installation is complete, you can now enjoy openSUSE Linux.
My cautionary advice
If you are looking to try out openSUSE Linux (or ANY Linux version for that matter) out for the first time is to install it on a secondary machine. Just in case you screw something up, you don’t want to lose your data our be out of commission on your primary computer should you have an unfortunate happenstance. You may not have the best Linux experience but it will much preferred to messing something up on your primary machine and going to the neighborhood computer shop to bail you out.