2.11. YaST in Text Mode

This section is mainly 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.

When YaST is started in text mode, the YaST Control Center appears first. See Figure 2.6, “Main Window of YaST in Text Mode”. The main window consists of three areas. The left frame, which is surrounded by a thick white border, features the categories to which the various modules belong. The active category is indicated by a colored background. The right frame, which is surrounded by a thin white border, provides an overview of the modules available in the active category. The bottom frame contains the buttons for Help and Exit.

Figure 2.6. Main Window of YaST in Text Mode

Main Window of YaST in Text Mode

When the YaST Control Center is started, the category Software is selected automatically. Use and to change the category. To start a module from the selected category, press . The module selection now appears with a thick border. Use and to select the desired module. Keep the arrow keys pressed to scroll through the list of available modules. When a module is selected, the module title appears with a colored background and a brief description is displayed in the bottom frame.

Press Enter to start the desired module. Various buttons or selection fields in the module contain a letter with a different color (yellow by default). Use Alt-yellow_letter to select a button directly instead of navigating there with Tab. Exit the YaST Control Center by pressing the Exit button or by selecting Exit in the category overview and pressing Enter.

2.11.1. Navigation in Modules

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 different global functions. Read Section 2.11.2, “Restriction of Key Combinations” for information about possible exceptions.

Navigation among Buttons and Selection Lists

Use Tab and Alt-Tab or Shift-Tab to navigate among the buttons and the frames containing selection lists.

Navigation in Selection Lists

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 would result in changing the active frame or the current selection list, as in the Control Center.

Buttons, Radio Buttons, and Check Boxes

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-yellow_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.

Function Keys

The F keys (F1 to F12) enable quick access to the various buttons. Which function keys are actually mapped to which buttons depends on the active YaST module, because the different modules offer different buttons (Details, Info, Add, Delete, etc.). Use F10 for OK, Next, and Finish. Press F1 to access the YaST help, which shows the functions mapped to the individual F keys.

Figure 2.7. The Software Installation Module

The Software Installation Module

2.11.2. Restriction of Key Combinations

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.

Replacing Alt with Esc

Alt shortcuts can be executed with Esc instead of Alt. For example, Esc-H replaces Alt-H.

Backward and Forward Navigation with Ctrl-F and Ctrl-B

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.

Restriction of Function Keys

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.

2.11.3. Starting the Individual Modules

To save time, the individual YaST modules can be started directly. To start a module, enter:

yast <module_name>

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.