Open a console window and type su <enter> and your root password. Now type ifconfig. this is akin to ipconfig for windows. There should be at least two devices listed. 'lo' can be ignored (loopback device, your computer uses it to talk to itself). The real ethernet card in most systems is eth0. Make sure eth0 is listed, and pay attention to the ip address. The first two or three numbers should be the same as anyone elses (in windows start-run-cmd-ipconfig). If eth0 doesn't exist, then your system is not useing your network card, and you need to step back and work on that issue.
If eth0 exists, but the ip address is wrong or non-existant, then you are haveing DHCP problems. Try 'dhcpcd -n', that should tell linux to renew the dhcp lease. Your computer will then try to contact one of the campus dhcp servers and obtain from it an IP address, gateway, other local network junk, etc. On some campuses you need to register your network card's MAC address (it's almost like a serial number) in order to get on.
As far as installing software, I doubt you need it. If you do, though, see if you can obtain a copy of it as a '.rpm' file. That will make your life much simpler (since you have SuSE).
Last edited by gd2shoe; 09-10-2004 at 06:26 PM.