Linked by Alexander Antoniades on Thu 5th Dec 2002 21:58 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews It's easy to grow increasingly cynical the more you follow "innovation" in operating systems and software. New releases often turn out to be nothing more than reinventing, or repackaging, the wheel, with new icons and steeper system requirements. Yet every now and then persistence pays off and that lengthy download or poorly written web site delivers something truly amazing and faith in the future of computing is, albeit temporarily, restored. I experienced such a sensation a couple of months ago when I downloaded the CD-ROM based, Linux distribution known as Knoppix.
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by beeyp on Thu 5th Dec 2002 22:10 UTC

KNOPPIX is excellent but why did you downgrade it from GNOME2 to GNOME1.4?

from the changelog:
* V3.1-07-10-2002
- Downgrade von Gnome auf stabile 1.4-Version

by Anonymous on Thu 5th Dec 2002 22:12 UTC

stability, it's all about stability, like he said

Just one nitpick
by Kasper on Thu 5th Dec 2002 22:26 UTC

First of all: Great interview. Sounds like I have to get me one of dem dar KNOPIXX (sounds like a biscuit to me ^_^)

And then for the small nitpick:
Part I, II, III and V (should be IV)

Difference between KNOPPIX and DemoLinux?
by MTT on Thu 5th Dec 2002 22:37 UTC

I just downloaded something called DemoLinux, and it worked very similar to how KNOPPIX is described here... (My first time using linux. Not too bad.) Does anyone know what the differences between the two are, and if KNOPPIX is a lot better maybe I should be checking that out instead?

RE: Difference between KNOPIXX and DemoLunux?
by Fabio Ribeiro on Thu 5th Dec 2002 23:07 UTC

Mit, from, they have an excellent interview with Klaus Knopper (

" The idea of a complete OS running from a bootable CD is not a new one. Apple used to supply such a disk with its OS prior to MacOS X and Linux has had DemoLinux, SuSE Live-Eval and CoolLinux, just to name a few. What made you create another one and what differentiates Knoppix from other similar products?


I wanted to learn how bootable CDs work and once a base system was running, I added stuff that I needed for my personal use, like hardware auto-detection and automatic start-up of a pre-configured desktop. When you are teaching computer classes, the PCs for students are not always installed in the way you need it. So, having a bootable CD with me with a complete installation, made a lot of things easier. Also, considering the fact that notebooks can get stolen or broken easily, carrying a bootable CD around is way less of an effort.

Knoppix was not planned to be released as another Linux distribution, and I still consider it being more a personal collection of tools that fit my needs rather than a "product", though it can be (and is being) used as base for many other projects now. Hence the name "Knopper's *nix". My friends from LinuxTag e.V. convinced me to make the project open to the public, and provided mailing lists, a forum and an upstream location.

The other bootable CD projects you mentioned are all fine work and perfectly fit the purpose they are designed for. I have good contacts with DemoLinux, and occasionally the two projects may benefit from each other's work.

So being asked about the differences to other products, I don't really know how to answer this. Each one has its specialities. Knoppix may have a good hardware detection (resulting from a lot of email with reports and workarounds for difficult hardware from many people), but (yet) lacks features like hooks to partly-harddisk-installed directories (which DemoLinux has) or extended configuration options or non-free software-components (and proprietary kernel modules) that may be present on other vendors' CDs. The downloadable version of Knoppix should be "freely re-distributable for non-commercial and commercial purpose". That's why some software is not included on Knoppix, which may be present on other CDs. "

Thats it !

by Chemtux on Thu 5th Dec 2002 23:08 UTC

I haven't seen demolinux myself yet, but i do use knoppix and from what i've's the best out there. So just give it a try..

Cool Interview!
by Mario on Fri 6th Dec 2002 00:05 UTC

It got me so interested that I went to and I am downloading Knoppix ;)

Knoppix is great.
by DaCh on Fri 6th Dec 2002 00:06 UTC

Knoppix is really useful as a quick, easy way to install Debian. I am very happy with it, but had just a few very minor problems with the script that installs knoppix onto a hard drive.

I tried installing onto a drive with a bunch of partitions, and it overwrote the bootloader with its own lilo, which didn't work. Instead of a menu, I just got an endless stream of "L 02 02 02 02 ...." So, I booted of the knoppix CD and installed grub by hand, and that worked fine.

The other little catch was that it used ext2 by default (I just assumed it would make a better choice, seeing that the kernel is configured to support ext3, xfs, reiserfs, etc). I only realized when I had a power outage and fsck complained; then I manually converted to ext3, and all is well.

Knoppix is the ultimate rescue disc
by Red on Fri 6th Dec 2002 01:16 UTC

Many people like using knoppix to show people Linux, but to me, Knoppix is simply the ultimate in rescue discs. The second I get my self in trouble fiddling around in the etc/ directory, knoppix is there for me, with all the tools I need. I can even connect to the internet on my adsl line and use mozilla to google for possible solutions.

I highly recommend burning your own copy of Knoppix "just in case.

Knoppix no brainer in its class
by jbolden1517 on Fri 6th Dec 2002 01:17 UTC

Knoppix is absolutely excellent as a CD-rom distribution. 2 gigs worth of Linux software that will boot up on just about anything and allow some productivity. In its class it is truly excellent; not only the best CD Rom Linux but the best CD-Rom OS.

I think the idea of using it instead of an installed Linux on an installable machine isn't a great idea as the tools aren't really configured properly for long term management.

Maybe i'm just dense..
by Bill Dinger on Fri 6th Dec 2002 02:16 UTC

Maybe i'm just not very smart but the iso image to burn the cd is 713mb um I don't think that will fit on a 700mb cd-r.

Maybe I'm just missing something?

RE: Maybe i'm just dense..
by Eugenia on Fri 6th Dec 2002 02:22 UTC

Yes. 700 MB is 716,800,000 bytes. So it will fit.

RE: 700 MB is 716,800,000 bytes.
by ladislav on Fri 6th Dec 2002 02:52 UTC

Not according to my calculations: 700MB = 734,003,200 bytes (700*1024*1024).

by Bill Dinger on Fri 6th Dec 2002 02:57 UTC

Thanks, I figured I had to be just being stupid. =). Time to go play around with it.

KNOPPIX is Great!
by DoctorPepper on Fri 6th Dec 2002 03:15 UTC

I've been using KNOPPIX for about a month now. A friend of mine in Texas (USA) told me about it, so I downloaded the ISO image. I use an iMax (OS X 10.2.2) as my main desktop os at home, but I also have three Linux computers and a FreeBSD machine running on my network. Anyway, I've started passing-out KNOPPIX CD's to friends and aquaintances, instead of Mandrake or RedHat. I keep the ISO image of KNOPPIX on my iMac desktop, and burn-up a few CD-R's when I start running low. I think this make one heck of an intro into Linux!

RE: 700 MB is 716,800,000 bytes.
by Eugenia on Fri 6th Dec 2002 03:15 UTC

Yes, you are of course right. The 716,800 are KBs (I added the 000s manually after my calculator's result ;) .

Re: KNOPPIX is Great!
by DoctorPepper on Fri 6th Dec 2002 03:16 UTC

Sorry about my spelling and grammar, it's late and I'm tired. :-(

Installing Knoppix to ext3 or reiserfs
by Luis Roldan on Fri 6th Dec 2002 04:24 UTC

To install Knoppix to ext3 (or reiserfs). I copied the script to / and edited it for everything that says ext2 to ext3. Add "-j" to the mke2fs command and when the install finishes verify that the root partition is ext3 in /etc/fstab. I didn't look up every instance of "ext2" in the script when I tried using reiserfs (didn't work because of it) but I'm sure it would work. Also, double check that lilo is set up correctly. I installed to my second hard drive and had to edit the /etc/lilo.conf and rerun lilo to get it to write to my first hard drive's MBR.

Note: mkreiserfs asks for a Y/n reply when it's about to format. During the install it will print some messages and pause. To continue you could just hit enter. I typed "y" and then hit enter to be sure.

Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. Exactly as the script says it's still under development and I cannot take responsibility for typos, acts of God, etc...

On the plus side, I'm writing this from the Knoppix CD I installed to an ext3 partition on my second hard drive. :-D

by Bill Dinger on Fri 6th Dec 2002 05:48 UTC

I just downloaded, installed, and am using it now. Knoppix is excellent, detected all my hardware (except my scanner, not a big deal) and works perfectly. Includes a nice set of applications. Really impressed.

Now I can carry around a linux distro in my backpack wherever I go =).

Better hardware detection in Debian would be great.
by jeti on Fri 6th Dec 2002 07:52 UTC

I use Debian on the server, but I utterly failed to
install it on my K7S5A based home machine. First try
(2.2.x kernel) there wasn't any /dev/mouse or similar.
After installing anew with an 2.4.x kernel, the monitor
went to sleep when starting X windows, and it was not
possible to wake it up without a hard reset.

Some improved hardware detection is badly needed for

Sound cards...
by ph on Fri 6th Dec 2002 13:00 UTC

Some boards contain "cheap" chipsets that come in so many different versions and without vendor-side specifications, that the kernel developers simply have no chance of implementing a working kernel module for them.

I have a standar Sound Blaster Live! PCI, and couldn't made it work with Knoppix, and it works fine with other distros.

Knoppix floppyconfig headaches
by rob grave on Fri 6th Dec 2002 21:27 UTC

If only I could get this feature to work, I'd give Knoppix an A+. To save session configurations (and thus not have to reset fonts, KPPP settings, Mozilla bookmarks,
etc., with each new Knoppix session) we are instructed to do the following:

1) Make a floppy, using the Knoppix utility expressly made for the purpose.
When completed, the floppy will contain two files: and configs.tbz

2) Insert floppy at bootup and type 'knoppix floppyconfig' (a cheatcode)
at the prompt, then press 'enter' to begin boot process

3) Knoppix will read the floppy, execute the script ( which
extracts the archived files (configs.tbz), and write them to the ramdisk.

All goes according to plan, including a text message that the script has been executed, and the archived files extracted. But when the X-Window session begins, nothing is saved, and I'm back to default settings. I wish I knew why. Everything else about Knoppix works fine, but I can't save settings, and that's a bummer.

Knoppix is a jewel in the linux world!
by Maudite on Fri 6th Dec 2002 22:40 UTC

Knoppix makes linux painless. I have impressed many people by giving them a copy. On all the machines that I have seen it boot on, not one of them failed to have a working video, sound, and network driver. I installed it on the harddrive of an older machine at home. I find myself using Debian more and more throughout the day. Knoppix is slick.

Good, but..
by Alex on Sat 7th Dec 2002 00:45 UTC

I have some suggestions.

Don't require the suer to press enter to boot, makea graphical boot splash like in SuSE Live and include a KDE with ncie icons and a nice theme. Futhermoe please categorize items in the menu, it needs a lot of worka nd some apps ahve no icons. Moreover include configuration tools from Mandrake and Redhat rebranded. I really need to at least set my refresh rate higher.

OTHERWISE GREAT PRODUCT, fastest boot ever froma cd disitribution. While SuSE LIVE 8.1 is IMO better once you reach the KDE GUI, it is nowhere as fsat to get there. I have to go through liek 8 configuration screens on it. But, i do ahve more control, however I would rather it jsut worked well from the beggining and tha allowed em to change stuff in the end.

Great tool
by dave on Sat 7th Dec 2002 06:50 UTC

I burn knoppix CD's to give away at our linux LUG meetings too. (

Makes a great intro for newbies.

Have used KNOPPIX as a rescue disk for a sick Win2K laptop system. Windoze would not boot, but KNOPPIX could boot, mount the HDD and cp desparate end-loosers vital (not backed up) data files to an NT server share!

I have also used it to figure out optimal settings for unkown hardware with great success.


RE: Difference between KNOPIXX and DemoLunux?
by Doug on Sat 7th Dec 2002 08:22 UTC

I've run both DemoLinux and Knoppix and the main difference, when running, is that DemoLinux allows you a way to add persistance and still keep the system bootable from CD. DemoLinux can add 2 files to an existing filesystem with one for swap and one for both /home and /etc. This lets you play with the bootable CD and keep your configurations and files between boot sessions. Knoppix is all in memory, all the time. And you lose most of your data between boots. You can save your config and desktop files to floppy but that's pretty limited compared to DemoLinux's 9MB and 25MB /home filesystem in a file.

Also, Knoppix is more uptodate since it's using 2.4.18 kernel and DemoLinux is 2.2.x so Knoppix will work better with the latest hardware ( USB, etc ).

I probably missed something but those are the things that came to mind.

luv it
by Arne on Sat 7th Dec 2002 17:31 UTC

Discovered Knoppix yesterday and I looooove it!!!

I'm **AMAZED** that none of the big Linux distros has approached Klaus , asking for his help in the hardware detection area. Knoppix **ROCKS** when it comes to hardware detection, and ALL of the big Linux distros would really benefit if they used Klaus' hardware-detection code.
I have the latest versions of RedHat and Mandrake, and NEITHER detected my hard-drive. I chuck Knoppix in the CD drive, and **KAZAAM !** EVERYTHING detected, no problems!
***COME ON ***, RedHat, Mandrake .... here's a package (Knoppix) that runs rings around anything else when it comes to hardware detection. So **what are you doing???** You should be grabbing this piece of gold NOW!!!
You can BET that M$ would be in like a "rat up a drainpipe" for code like this!

RE: Difference between KNOPIXX and DemoLunux?
by Datschge on Sun 8th Dec 2002 03:14 UTC

Knoppix automatically detects if there's an existing Linux swap file/partition and uses it. You're right about saving config files though.

Knoppix= really an Operating System, a full Debian Distro,
it has 900 software packages, runs great fromcdrom, its fast,
especially when you run knoppix desktop=wmaker. You can also configure your default settings unto a floppy, called floppyconfig and then boot with all your saved settings.
Its secure, then there is not much to hack (who wants to hack an cdr?). To me its my first great Linux Os. even runs my mp3, audio cds, mail, internet, java, Gimp and irc chat. I think its almost perfect! ;)