SUSE Linux: Install on Dell GX520 with USB Keyboard

Installing Linux can take longer than windows, no doubt, but once finished, linux provides a very sound platform for web servers. I use linux for some of my work and I also use Dell computers. Recently I was installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 and I ran into a problem. On a Dell Optiplex GX520 using bios version A11 the USB keyboard does not work on the install. This causes obvious problems! Here is the solution.

Very simply, the booting install is a graphical version which will not recognize the USB connections for the keybaord. This is not a universal problem, but is specific to the Dell Optiplex GX520 running bios version A11. If your machine is different, but exhibiting the same problem, you can try this solution to see if it helps.

After the Dell bios booting screen appears, press the F12 key to enter the boot selection mode. Here is where you choose to boot from the CD Rom. Immediately after choosing the CD Rom and pressing the ENTER key, press and hold the two SHIFT keys on the keyboard. This will cause the linux setup to enter the text mode. Fortunately, this mode recognizes the USB Keyboard and you can continue.

Don’t worry, the text version will begin to use the mouse after a few questions. The text version of the install isn’t bad at all and it works!

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