This section is intended for system administrators and experts who do not run an X server on their systems and depend on the text-based installation tool. It provides basic information about starting and operating YaST in text mode.
YaST in text mode uses the ncurses library to provide an easy pseudo-graphical user interface. The ncurses library is installed by default. The minimum supported size of the terminal emulator in which to run YaST is 80x25 characters.
When you start YaST in text mode, the YaST Control Center appears (see Figure 11.1). The main window consists of three areas. The left frame features the categories to which the various modules belong. This frame is active when YaST is started and therefore it is marked by a bold white border. The active category is highlighted. The right frame provides an overview of the modules available in the active category. The bottom frame contains the buttons for and .
When you start the YaST Control Center, the category ↓ and ↑ to change the category. To select a module from the category, activate the right frame with → and then use ↓ and ↑ to select the module. Keep the arrow keys pressed to scroll through the list of available modules. The selected module is highlighted. Press Enter to start the active module.is selected automatically. Use
Various buttons or selection fields in the module contain a highlighted letter (yellow by default). Use Alt-highlighted_letter to select a button directly instead of navigating there with Tab. Exit the YaST Control Center by pressing Alt-Q or by selecting and pressing Enter.
The following description of the control elements in the YaST modules assumes that all function keys and Alt key combinations work and are not assigned to different global functions. Read Section 11.2, “Restriction of Key Combinations” for information about possible exceptions.
Use Tab to navigate among the buttons and frames containing selection lists. To navigate in reverse order, use Alt-Tab or Shift-Tab combinations.
Use the arrow keys (↑ and ↓) to navigate among the individual elements in an active frame containing a selection list. If individual entries within a frame exceed its width, use Shift-→ or Shift-← to scroll horizontally to the right and left. Alternatively, use Ctrl-E or Ctrl-A. This combination can also be used if using → or ← results in changing the active frame or the current selection list, as in the Control Center.
To select buttons with empty square brackets (check boxes) or empty parentheses (radio buttons), press Space or Enter. Alternatively, radio buttons and check boxes can be selected directly with Alt-highlighted_letter. In this case, you do not need to confirm with Enter. If you navigate to an item with Tab, press Enter to execute the selected action or activate the respective menu item.
The F keys (F1 through F12) enable quick access to the various buttons. Available F key shortcuts are shown in the bottom line of the YaST screen. Which function keys are actually mapped to which buttons depend on the active YaST module, because the different modules offer different buttons (Details, Info, Add, Delete, etc.). Use F10 for , , , and . Press F1 to access the YaST help.
Some YaST modules use a navigation tree in the left part of the window to select configuration dialogs. Use the arrow keys (↑ and ↓) to navigate in the tree. Use Space to open or close tree items. In ncurses mode, Enter must be pressed after a selection in the navigation tree in order to show the selected dialog. This is an intentional behavior to save time consuming redraws when browsing through the navigation tree.
If your window manager uses global Alt combinations, the Alt combinations in YaST might not work. Keys like Alt or Shift can also be occupied by the settings of the terminal.
Alt shortcuts can be executed with Esc instead of Alt. For example, Esc H replaces Alt-H. (First press Esc, then press H.)
If the Alt and Shift combinations are occupied by the window manager or the terminal, use the combinations Ctrl-F (forward) and Ctrl-B (backward) instead.
The F keys are also used for functions. Certain function keys might be occupied by the terminal and may not be available for YaST. However, the Alt key combinations and function keys should always be fully available on a pure text console.
Besides the text mode interface, YaST provides a pure command line interface. To get a list of YaST command line options, enter:
To save time, the individual YaST modules can be started directly. To start a module, enter:
View a list of all module names available on your system with yast -l or yast --list. Start the network module, for example, with yast lan.
If you know a package name and the package is provided by any of your
active installation repositories, you can use the command line option
-i to install the package:
yast -i <package_name>
yast --install <package_name>
package_name can be a single short package
name, for example
is installed with dependency checking, or the full path to an rpm
package, which is installed without dependency checking.
If you need a command-line based software management utility with functionality beyond what YaST provides, consider using zypper. This new utility uses the same software management library that is also the foundation for the YaST package manager. The basic usage of zypper is covered in Section 8.1, “Using Zypper”.
To use YaST functionality in scripts, YaST provides command line support for individual modules. Not all modules have command line support. To display the available options of a module, enter:
yast <module_name> help
If a module does not provide command line support, the module is started in text mode and the following message appears:
This YaST module does not support the command line interface.