Thursday, March 13, 2008

Installing openSUSE 10.3 in Virtual PC 2007 - Part 1 of 4

This is a long and drawn-out step-by-step tutorial for installing openSUSE Linux 10.3 on a Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 machine. Before you get started, you'll want to make sure of the following:
  1. You have installed Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. It's available for free at For the purposes of this tutorial, I am running Virtual PC version (x64) on Windows Vista Ultimate (x64). My machine has an Intel Core 2 Duo 6600 processor and 3 GB of RAM.
  2. You have downloaded the openSUSE 10.3 installation DVD from Make sure to download the 32-bit version as Virtual PC 2007 only supports 32-bit client operating systems (even on a 64-bit host). Once downloaded, verify the MD5 checksum to make sure the download was good.
  3. You have burned the openSUSE installation DVD to an actual DVD. For some reason, mounting the ISO file in Virtual PC leads to a media error.
  4. You have an entire afternoon free. If it wasn't bad enough that you had to download a 4.1 GB ISO image, this install is going to take a good 5 hours or more partially due to the above ISO mounting bug.

Now that we're through the prerequisites, just another 38 short and easy steps to completion.
Step 1 - Create Virtual Machine
Using the "New Virtual Machine Wizard", create a new virtual machine. Select "Other" as your operating system. I recommend alotting 512 MB of RAM to the machine. If you are tight on resources, you can probably just as easily get away with 256 MB. Your virtual hard disk should be at least 10 GB. The default OS install is takes up about 4-5 GB. I went with 20 GB just to be safe.

Once you've completed the wizard, you may want to configure some of the settings. I run experimental VMs on a localized network, so under "Networking", I selected "Local Only" for the ethernet adapter. My machine doesn't support hardware-assisted virtualization, but in the past, I've had major issues with Linux machines and hardware-assisted virtualization. You may need to uncheck this box if your VM doesn't properly boot.
Step 2 - Boot the Machine
Put your burned openSUSE 10.3 installation DVD in your DVD drive. Start your VM and quickly select "Use Physical Drive D:" from the "CD" menu. Give it a bit to boot up. Once you see the openSUSE boot screen, push the down arrow to kill the timeout. Take a deep breathe. The easy part is over. If you had trouble up to this point, you may not want to continue. Otherwise, on to part 2.


Ben said...

Thanks for the walkthrough! This was extremely helpful! Just wanted to provide an update/workaround to the following:

"You have burned the openSUSE installation DVD to an actual DVD. For some reason, mounting the ISO file in Virtual PC leads to a media error."

If you map the ISO with MagicISO before starting the virtual, the installation will work without the need for burning to a DVD.

Jesse said...

Thanks for the walkthrough!

I used this plus Ben's directions for the DVD without having to burn it.

Only difference is that I used Daemon Tools.