A few tweets ago, openSUSE Mauritius mentioned using YaST to configure the timezone on a machine with just a few clicks.

YaST is a system setup & configuration tool. It was developed by SuSE in the mid-90s. YaST is an acronym for Yet another Setup Tool. It is a handy tool for administrators to install software, configure hardware, connect to a network, etc.

It is written in Ruby. It has both a GUI and is available as a command-line utility through a text-based user interface using ncurses.

YaST Graphical User Interface
YaST Graphical User Interface
YaST Text-based User Interface
YaST Text-based User Interface

To run the ncurses-based YaST version, run sudo yast2 using the terminal. Then, use the tab & arrow keys to navigate and press the enter button to select an item. Menu items and buttons can be triggered by using the Alt + Hightlighted Letter. For example, to quit the screen as in the above screenshot, one would press Alt  + Q.

Software Management

YaST can be used to install software packages. Both the GUI & yast2 command can be used to search for packages and install them. YaST uses the Zypp package management engine which is also used by the zypper command-line tool, to manage software.

YaST Modules

Additional modules can be installed to extend YaST's capabilities. For example, installaling the yast2-docker package provides a module that allows YaST to manage Docker containers. The YaST website provides a list of available modules.

Documentation

SUSE has excellent documentation on YaST. The administration section of the Leap documentation refers to using YaST for various configuration tasks.

Contributing

YaST is developed in the open. Its source code is available on GitHub. The YaST Team has made it easy for volunteers to to find their way to contribute code.