Linked by Binh Nguyen on Wed 7th Jan 2004 18:08 UTC
Linux When Knoppix was first released it was heralded as revolutionary in the Linux world. Its autodetection and configuration capabilities were unsurpassed. Many of my colleagues remarked that if 'KNOPPIX can't do it, Linux can't do it'. Theoretically, one would be able to get a Knoppix CD, pop it into an arbitrary system, run it, save one's data to a partition, USB stick, etc....), reboot and the existing system would be left completely as it was before the CD was placed in the system.
Order by: Score:
I tried Knoppix yesterday
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 18:42 UTC

I was impressed that it detected my hardware on boot. It did take a while to boot, but that is to be expected with CD-ROM access and its CLOOP decompression scheme. I think some other Linux distributions could take a lesson from the "Install Flash" on the main menu. I have never experienced such a painless install of Linux software (which unfortunately, is not saying much). There were some visual artifacts on GTK progress bars, but I fear that I may have had a slightly corrupt ISO, as I did not have time to do a computationally expensive MD5SUM check. And while the OOBE was quite nice compared to other distros, I feel it still needs a bit of work. What about Java? Where is Mozilla Firebird? etc etc.

Visual artifacts
by SMEAT! on Wed 7th Jan 2004 18:44 UTC

Memory leaks were not the cause of your visual artifacts. The more likely cause was your video card, the Trident 2MB Cyber 9388/9388-1.


RE: Visual artifacts
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 18:46 UTC

I hope you are not trolling sir, but I have a Radeon 9000.

by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 18:51 UTC

I was under the impression that Knoppix did automounting of USB drives and the like. This worked for CDs, but when I inserted my USB key, it was not mounted, no pretty like icon appeared on the desktop. I had to type mount -t msdos /dev/sda1 which seems a bit silly to do in 2004. Also, the index.html that pops up when you start Knoppix, excepts to find the knoppix cd on /cdrom, mine was in /cdrom1, so it locked for about five minutes before recovering.

re: re: Visual artfacts
by blunte on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:14 UTC

Anonymous (IP: 12.242.164.---), perhaps you should read the article.

Smeat was obviously responding to the article when he mentioned the Trident video card. He was not responding to you.

RE: re: re: Visual artfacts
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:19 UTC

I see, there are so many unsavory character around here, I find it best to keep up my guard.

distribution or not distribution?
by pyx on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:19 UTC

To say it one last time:
Knoppix is not a "Linux distribution" in a common sense.
It is mainly debian as a live CD with some patches.
Keeping this in mind, one can easily figure out, why Mr. Knopper doesn't have an own KDE theme, and lots of software isn't included.
Just my 2 cents...

Yes I was referring to the article, not your comment.


by Brainee28 on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:30 UTC

See, I didn't have that problem with my USB flash.
It automounted correctly.

I happened to download Knoppix yesterday, and tested it on my laptop. Here are the specs:

Compaq Presario 1200CA (Yes it's Canadian, I inherited it from someone now living in Calgary)

Celeron 800 mHz
10 Gig HD
Trident CyberBlade i1 8MB AGP
CD/DVD Drive
Linksys WPC11 PC Card

Burned the .iso, booted the CD, and was amazed at how fast it booted, considering it was a Live CD and not HD based.
Not only that, but it detected everything on my system exactly; no alterations needed for config files or anything. Knoppix KDE loaded up quick, and was pleasantly suprised to find how much software was loaded with it.

Plugged my USB flash drive in, auto mounted it and let me transfer a text file from the Knoppix CD to it with no issues.

I've dealt with a lot of distros in the past:
Slackware (still my personal favorite ;)

and out of all of them, this one detected my hardware, setup KDE and was ready to use much faster and more comprehensive than any of the others out of the gate.

Needless to say, I was impressed.

Knoppix hardware autodetection
by greg on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:40 UTC

yes, Knoppix is great, but do keep it mind that it uses kudzu for autodetection, which is from Red Hat.

I've recently installed RH 9.0 on my laptop, and then gave a shot to Knoppix, then checked the logs. They both detected (or had some problems with) exactly the same components. No surprises here.

Intellectual Property
by hmmm on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:44 UTC

Those guys at Knoppix have impressed me thoroughly. I love how they applied the phylosophy behind the Linux and FSF movement to music and other forms of IP. That is what it is all about. Not making a Windows replacement, but making a community that has the right and freedom to share.

I would contribute to their project before any others, but I'm doing my own thing atm.

by Taras on Wed 7th Jan 2004 19:45 UTC

I wish reviewers were less clueless. Normally using virtual desktops doesn't take up more ram. Furthermore explaining the amount of ram used by knoppinx bootup is also non-sensical. It basicly = total amount read in by knoppix(unless you lack ram..then it's less) + memory used by programs + fake memory usage of files that are memory mapped, but not used.

by James on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:04 UTC

The slow times & long bootup is processor & cdrom drive speed dependent. Knoppix boots about a minute faster between my P4 system & my dual P2 system. The Knoppix filesystem is actually a compressed filesystem image that is loopback mounted. This means that in order to load mozilla or the system needs to read the compressed filesystem & then decompress the program and then execute the program.

free command:
see & where the free command is explained by the kernel caching as much as it can. Thus I would gather that the free command does not show us the memory useage like the DOS mem command or the Windows Task Manager.

Intel's Celeron
by Josiah Carlson on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:10 UTC

Intel never made a 233 mhz celeron.

They made 266-1400 and 1700-2800 mhz celerons (as of now).

If it really was a 233 mhz processor, it was a Pentium MMX or PII 233.

clueless indeed
by Quadir on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:17 UTC

i agree with taras that the reviewer is totally clueless about operating systems. he did not bother to research why he is getting black screens when he opened mozilla, its the Trident Video card. i have the same video card on my machine and thus the same problem. regarding the boot time, the reviewer should be aware that linux generally has a longer boot time, and moreover knoppix is running from a CD, needs to decompress on the fly, and the kernel is bloated with all possible configurations. i dont think 5 minutes is so long a boot time for a live-linux CD. its same time windows takes searching for your hardware showing the blue screen when you try to install it.

the reviewer should understand knoppix is supposed to be a live-linux cd and not a system recovery cd, hence it needs all the applications like any other linux distribution, so that linux users have the choice of getting the same work done using their favorite application. how much speed can one expect from a 233MHz processor and a 2MB video card, any GUI OS will take quite some time loading the windows. the reviewer needs to be practical and must perform a relative comparison with other contemporary OS. i strongly believe the reviewer was prejudiced against Knoppix, even before he tried it.

I love the articles at, but I think the guys at should evaluate the articles and the experience and qualifications of the authors before posting them on the website.


The greatest thing about knoppix
by Tyr on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:25 UTC

is something you can't see at all. The 'cloop' compressed filesystem module which allows them to fit twice as much on a normal cd. It's great, much to my chagrin FreeBSD seems to lack something similar.

FALSE: if 'KNOPPIX can't do it, Linux can't do it'
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:36 UTC

I am very unhappy with Knoppix releases for quite some time. On a system where previous incarnations always used to boot, it will hang at detecting at SCSI now (Adaptec 39160). In some forum, I was hinted that this is due to some problem Knoppix-SMP detection in a single CPU-setup + SCSI-scan is having. Knoppix-derivate Morphix is having the same issue and will hang at SCSI detection as well.

Since this was alledgedly a problem in realation to SMP, I was reffered to Kanotix, another Knoppix derivate but with no SMP awareness. I tried it an it works fine.

Apart from that, Knoppix will always lose my graphics on a i815 chip + GF4 4200 after a couple minutes where it previously didn't and will go into sleep no matter what boot-option another couple miutes later. It really didn't evolve carefully if you ask me, I am much happier with its derivates these days, not only on that particular system...

PS: md5-comments unnecessary...

@ Brainee28 (IP:
by RoyBatty on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:43 UTC

Let me guess, you have the Linksys WC411 V. 3 card? Unfortunately, my dumbass got the v.4 card.

Knoppix Rocks
by Paul on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:44 UTC

I've been using Knoppix since approx May'03, and have been loving it. Before I used mostly Mandrake, and would upgrade as soon as a new release came out. Since installing Knoppix 3.2 June ???, I haven't bothered installing a newer release. I think this speaks some about the stability and usefulness of this system.

I have one niggle though, and that is that for someone not steeped in Debian, it doesn't help matters that Knoppix is based on both unstable and testing. It can make upgrading packages using apt-get not as trouble free as it otherwise would be.

Considering that this is an all volunteer effort, I think the results are more than amazing.

Minimum system requirements
by Gallen on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:53 UTC

I hate to sound snotty, but on low end systems you're pretty stupid to expect KDE to be really fast and use no RAM.

KDE can claim those minimum requirements because they have things like fluxbox and XFCE and other lightweight WMs. They are very responsive on systems of that speed (especially fluxbox). Additionally, Knoppix doesn't require X to be used, lowering the system requirements even more. I'd say their system requirements are probably higher than need be.

Think of it like a game. When a game says minimum system requirements, that means on lowest settings not on maximum at 1600x1200 with 4x Antialiasing and 16x Anisotropic filtering with detail on maximum. The latter is what you're trying to do.

That said I did appreciate that this person did things like timing tests. Those are a meaningful thing in a review. Much better than things like "it's too slow."

Was the reviewer fair?
by Mike on Wed 7th Jan 2004 20:53 UTC

I ask if the reviewer was fair for a few reasons:

1> He used an old beta version, 11-19 is out, and NOT beta. Has been available since 11-19-2003

2> 5 min to boot to a KDE screen from a CD on a P233 with a 2mb video card, and he complains? That is an impressive speed - Windows 2000 would not boot any faster from the hard drive.

3> The Trident card and its shortcomings have been mentioned before, so I won't re-hash it.

4> posting the website with a comment about it being for those 'in the know', as if some effort had been made to hide it. Try - works fine. is another knoppix site, with links to the .net one.

5> His comments about memory - that the specs needed to be more conservative because it used all the memory. Ever try it on a machine with 128mb of memory? Same thing. It uses it all because it uses ramdisk and swapping. If there is a LOT of memory, like 1gb+, you may have some physical left, but this is not a performance issue.

6> Claiming that lack of memory caused black icons and artifacts in widgets? Please. Look to the crappy Trident card for that cause.

7> Complaining about having too many virtual desktops, etc. These take virtually no memory unless used. Why not have four?

8> Complaints about security. How would you handle it? It's read-only, after all. It mounts your existing drives read-only as well. You have to manually enable RW in order to affect them, and if you left any other OS sitting around booted and logged in, you could do the same damage far easier.

9> Complaints about office choices. If you don't want OpenOffice on there, then customize the CD. It's easy when you follow the directions. I created a CD without OOo just because it saved enough space on the CD to put a TGZ copy of a vital computer's boot partition on it for recovery purposes.

10> More complaints about artifacts, performance, and the like when running very intensive programs on this system. Run the same level of programs on W2K when installed on this laptop. You need to compare apples to apples, not make observations without comparisons.

Now then - Was the review fair? I think not. The reviewer used an older beta version when a newer version was available. This in itself would lead me to think he was up to something. Then all the railing about speed and video problems when the selected system is ancient and has an extremely temperamental video card. I believe this reviewer started out biased and chose his hardware and software accordingly - to produce the worst experience possible.

I challenge you to run the latest version on a decent machine - one with 1gb of ram and a 2+ghz processor.

Then compare it to an older machine that has a decent video card - a mainstream one, if you please. Perhaps a 400mhz, 128mb panasonic CF28 toughbook? I run it on that quite often, and can play Frozen Bubble or use any of the apps I wish, with no appreciable problems.

I have a P240 MMX system with 128mb EDO ram - I have run it on there with very good response time as well.

RE:clueless indeed
by threefootninja on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:09 UTC

You know, it never ceases to amaze me that someone takes all that time to write a review and you can't even get past the first page of posts before someone is slamming the guy. Now I agree that there are some facts missing and some information can be added. The video card info, for instance, needed to be stated. But why thrash the guy? Making technical corrections or stating your views is what these posts are here for, correct away. But you should really consider how you would feel if you took the time to write a review/article, missed a few pieces of info, and got hacked on for it. Not everyone knows everything, not even you, you, or you <points finger at all> and definitely not me.

2 cents

Debian: The path of least resistance.
by Kick The Donkey on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:13 UTC

Just this morning, I installed Knoppix (yes, that's right, installed) on a PC here at work. Never done it before, so I found some instructions here:

They, for the most part are very accurate. Let me tell you, I was very impressed. Within half an hour, I had (what amounted to) a Debian testing/unstable installation. Man, was I impressed. Easy doesn't begin to describe the process. Apt-get is wonderful.

You want linux, forget about RedHat, SuSe, or Mandrake. Install Knoppix, be happy.

Review of Knoppix
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:14 UTC

Another clueless review.Ripe about speed running a cd based O/S on a 233MHZ.Thank something lighter ,maybe even without KDE would help.How about Morphix light.The test system had a 4 gig hard drive if he,d installed Knoppix could have seen the CD would have used most the drive.Asking a lot to want a fast disto.

Re: Mike
by Darius on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:16 UTC

Complaining about having too many virtual desktops, etc. These take virtually no memory unless used. Why not have four?

Because it takes up more room on the launch bar than it should. Of course, I guess you could turn the virtual desktop panel off, but I personally have no use for 4 of them.

If you don't want OpenOffice on there, then customize the CD. It's easy when you follow the directions. I created a CD without OOo just because it saved enough space on the CD to put a TGZ copy of a vital computer's boot partition on it for recovery purposes.

Is it possible to customize this OS such that you could make your own copy, with Flash, Java, DVD-video etc. plus Wine and a few Windows apps ready out of the box? I realize such things would not be legal to distribute, but I"m talking about for personal use.

Re: Clueless reviews
by Darius on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:19 UTC

I've seen a lot of people recommend Knoppix to newbies, so it only seems natural that reviews may be coming from people who know little-to-nothing about the OS? I mean, how much are you going to learn from a Linux kernel hacker who reviews the distro and knows how to tweak everything, then posts a rave review saying that everything works perfectly? Well, of COURSE it does when you know how to hack 20 config files to get everything working just the way you want it to, but that is not exactly the point, is it?

Knoppix owns
by Microsoft Fan on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:46 UTC

I have to agree with everyone else in that although I do love my Win xp system (And I am certified in it to boot, you haters), knoppix does rule for linux.

This reviewer used a piece of crap machine that I wouldn't use for a doorstop. That's his fault. Knoppix was the only linux distribution that I tried that found and worked with my exotic and useless voodoo 4 pci card.

Its really in the theme of keep it simple while offering a wide range of windows managers.

Three Cheers for Klaus!

- Microsoft Fan

by jefro on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:59 UTC

I may be there but I didn't see it. The CD has Live uses as well as troubleshooting uses too. It is almost a must have for trying to fix any OS.
One of the few Linux's that didn't somehow bork my system too.

Re-Darius - personal use
by James on Wed 7th Jan 2004 22:00 UTC

Is it possible to customize this OS such that you could make your own copy, with Flash, Java, DVD-video etc. plus Wine and a few Windows apps ready out of the box? I realize such things would not be legal to distribute, but I"m talking about for personal use.

I don't see why not but the devil is in the details of the license & actually getting it to work with Wine & whatever programs you want. Back in Oct & Nov of 2002, I spent some time with synaptic & aptitude hacking out German & international support. Then I added a antialiased font support & then added a XFT enabled Mozilla. For my own use I added some mp3s & oggs to listen to if I so desired. Then I used the instructions from & made my own customized ISO. When I did all this the forums at were brand new & I was running on a minimum amount of community support. Now the forums are populated with knowledgeable folk.
You should give it a go.

Mike, you don't read...
by Bryan on Wed 7th Jan 2004 22:19 UTC

You say:

"I challenge you to run the latest version on a decent machine - one with 1gb of ram and a 2+ghz processor. "

The whole point was the challenge the minimum specs. Duh. Go read the article again, even if the reviewer IS an idiot.

KDE on a 222mhz????
by girtherobot on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:06 UTC

dude should have loaded XFCE on startup!!!
Its as easy as typing "desktop=xfce" at the boot prompt

As for customizing Knoppix, go with Morphix, a Knoppix clone ( The point of the project is to make creating customized ISO's easy.

Knoppix saves laptop
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:12 UTC

I got a laptop for xmas that came preloaded with WinXP. Knoppix also has included the ntfsresize and QTParted that allowed me to "save" my laptop from a life doomed to running only winxp!

I can now dual boot it to fedora core on the hard drive thanks to knoppix! And it was as simple as could be. Even a newbie could do it if he knew about the tool.

Pass the word all

Knoppix with 2.6?
by X on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:13 UTC

Anyone knows when Knoppix with kernel 2.6 (or +2.6) is due for release?

re: @ Brainee28 (IP:
by Jeff on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:32 UTC

"Let me guess, you have the Linksys WC411 V. 3 card? Unfortunately, my dumbass got the v.4 card."

Amen, brother. The v.4 card is useless on anything but Win systems. Wish I knew that prior to spending the money...


Knoppix is not the only easy way to install debian
by dr_gonzo on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:34 UTC

i know this maybe a little OT but, on a LUG discussion, i was advising someone not to go for debian because it lacked hardware detection (this person wanted a newbie desktop distro). someone pointed out to me that there was a GUI installer for woody that did hardware detection. with other, easy to install debian based distros, they're usually based on unstable which is not ideal. this installer apparently just installs pure woody! why hasn't this been getting any attention? has anyone here used it? i might try it out some time just to see if it's as good as it sounds.

New Knoppix User
by Scorched Earth on Wed 7th Jan 2004 23:53 UTC

In December, I decided to try Knoppix. I was using RedHat 8.0 and felt that I should try something different. The hard drive install is easy. I am still getting used to the apt-get system.

I have used the Knoppix CD to solve some Win2K problems. I think Live CDs are an excellent way to introduce people to Linux. I am not trying to push Linux on every one just that since Live CDs leave the hard drive intact it is a very good way to let people see what Linux is all about.

I can't wait until Knoppix comes out with a version that includes the new kernel.

Thank you Knoppix people.

by Debian Rules on Thu 8th Jan 2004 00:07 UTC

This worked for CDs, but when I inserted my USB key, it was not mounted, no pretty like icon appeared on the desktop.

Strange. It works just fine on my Compaq laptop. And the pretty icon is there!

by Anonymous on Thu 8th Jan 2004 00:12 UTC

I dunno, but testing a live-cd on such hardware (laptop; Celeron 233 MHz, 256 MB RAM, IBM 4GB HDD, Trident 2MB, Toshiba CD-ROM 24x) and then complaining about the speed is rather unfair. Even a hard disk based linux distro would _crawl_ on a system like that methinks!

223 Mhz with 2MB Video
by John Marranca, Jr on Thu 8th Jan 2004 00:20 UTC

(Just my 2 cents:)

I had a 200 MHz K6 with a 2 MB Trident 9440 PCI video card that was just TERRIBLE. If generic applications were to be done (Windows apps), this setup was fine...but when I tried to play an old game, such as Age of suffered miserably....horrible shadowing, etc.


@ By Anonymous (IP:
by dpi on Thu 8th Jan 2004 01:26 UTC

"I dunno, but testing a live-cd on such hardware (laptop; Celeron 233 MHz, 256 MB RAM, IBM 4GB HDD, Trident 2MB, Toshiba CD-ROM 24x) and then complaining about the speed is rather unfair. Even a hard disk based linux distro would _crawl_ on a system like that methinks!"

A hard disk based Linux distribution with a user using KDE, perhaps. Though it does have quite a lot RAM. Wanna see XFce4 in action with about 25% of that RAM?

User impressions is not a review
by monkymind on Thu 8th Jan 2004 02:49 UTC

This wasn't a knoppix review - it was an inexperienced knoppix user's impressions.

1) KNOPPIX version V3.3-2003-11-14-EN.iso
Please note that this version is a BETA release. Consideration of this fact must be taken into account and some latitude given.

Latest is V3.3-2003-11-19 - Lots of program updates etc.
FYI Knoppix is in constant development and will always be in beta.

2) Hit F2 to display a series of 'cheatcodes' which will allow someone to change the window manager to be loaded, keyboard locale, screen resolution, toggle blind support and toggle whether hardware autodetection, etc

Why mention the cheatcodes and not review them? They are what makes knoppix so useful and flexible. <hint> Did you try desktop=fluxbox on your 233?

Btw F2 displays a partial list of cheatcodes - the full list is here :

3)For example, by running 'free' one sees that there is a total of 256320KB RAM, 248032KB RAM used, 8288KB RAM free and 0KB swapfile usage. The makers of Knoppix should have probably taken this into account and published more realistic minimum specifications.

ermmm .....Knoppix use the ram to create a ramdisk for the live filesystem.

Hint to the author - Post a draft version of your article on or the debian-knoppix mailing list. There are lots of friendly/helpful knoppix contributers and experienced users.

For those wanting more - there is a good V3.3-2003-11-19 knoppix review on Distrowatch.


This "Review"
by Tim Garrison on Thu 8th Jan 2004 03:02 UTC

1) The system it was tested on doesn't really even meet up to the specs of any version of Linux running X
2) It seems to me that the reviewer was looking for a flawless, fast, smooth OS to run. Considering that Knoppix is something like 2GB of compressed data, this is going to be impossible without somewhat high hardware resouces (eg. RAM, CPU, etc.)
3) "KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos." If you want more, install it to your hard drive.

Knoppix Fully Loaded
by Byrl on Thu 8th Jan 2004 04:45 UTC

I did a hd install on my laptop and EVERYTHING works great! give it a shot...set up LILO and you can go from there. Really does it all.

Try Mepis !
by garbage on Thu 8th Jan 2004 05:27 UTC

Excellent Live CD a'la Knoppix but (unlike Knoppix) painlessly & quickly installs a fully configured fully featured OS to HDD in 10 - 15 mins.

All the benefits of debian but without the pain.

Available as a free ISO download to try before you 'erm... donate ;)

Minimum specs
by Louis Guerin on Thu 8th Jan 2004 10:39 UTC

I run linux on my little old Toshiba Tecra 8000 (PII-233, 128mb, 2.5mb NeoMagic video card). Knoppix (or any other liveCD) is damn slow, due to CD access. But from HDD it's perfectly usable. Ehile not blazingly fast, KDE is fine if you turn chrome off, and XFCE is downright speedy, with free physical ram and virtually no swap usage.

It can be done, but let's not have unrealistic expectations, shall we?


by Solar on Thu 8th Jan 2004 11:32 UTC

I really liked the view and touch of Knoppix - autodetection (or the lack thereof) is probably my #1 gripe with Linux.

However, this autodetection has limits. Knoppix just crashes right after displaying the small Tux graphics. I guess it has to do with my graphics card (Prophet 4500, which is Kyro-II powered), but I don't really understand why Knoppix is unable to e.g. do a "safe boot" in VESA mode instead of crashing violently...

@ garbage
by dpi on Thu 8th Jan 2004 13:19 UTC

Mepis. There's also Morphix and Gnoppix. Which are similair. Gnoppix for GNOME lovers i suppose. Info @

A Review of Knoppix
by dJCL on Thu 8th Jan 2004 14:38 UTC

I've run knoppix on a wide range of hardware myself. Usually for testing and diagnosis on the newer stuff, and just for the heck of it on the older stuff.

I've had it boot on a 486(with lots of memory, can't remember the amount) going to a command prompt only and it worked great. My laptops are all 233-266Mhz and it boots and detects all the hardware on all of them perfectly, even my sound card(yamaha opl3) which is hard to get working with any distro. I only have between 64 and 160 meg of ram on these systems and KDE, while slower, will run reasonable.

Even a HD install of debian stable does not run much faster.

I agree that the reviewer probably should have had some knowledgable people review the article before posting, as he might have been able to at least explain the reason for his problems.

Now, on the other end of the scale: Running knoppix on a Dual P4 3Gig system with 4 Gig ram and a top of the line DVD drive(among other things), well it boots real fast there. From nothing to KDE desktop in less then 1:30! And responsive too, that is just plain fun to do(or on a 3.2Gig with hyperthreading, it is slick there too).

Anyway, just my 2c

Free & memory leaks
by Wee-Jin Goh on Thu 8th Jan 2004 15:40 UTC

Do reviewers ever read the comments to articles? There have been quite a number of reviews of Linux here on OSNews in the past where the reviewer looks at the output of free and then concludes that Linux uses a lot of memory!

And the author goes on to blame his display problems on memory leaks. I mean, fair enough. He's a newbie and doesn't know that his video card has issues, but to immediately pin the blame on memory leaks? Does he even know what a memory leak is?

I'm not trying to slam the author. But I've got a problem with people who try to be authoritative but know squat.

Winmodem support?
by Anonymous on Thu 8th Jan 2004 19:12 UTC

All the folks that installed Knoppix on their laptops must not have winmodems. I mean whats the point of having a laptop if you can't take it with you?

RE: Winmodem support?
by Anonymous on Thu 8th Jan 2004 19:57 UTC

Or be interested in suspending, or sleeping, or support for the not-so-new Centrino WiFi. I have never seen anyone using Linux on laptop with everything working as well as Windows.

RE: Winmodem support?
by Sim on Thu 8th Jan 2004 23:46 UTC

winmodem? you asssume laptop users use dialup. We don't.

Reviewer didn't really look too hard....
by Chris on Fri 9th Jan 2004 05:13 UTC

>>What's to stop some novice destroying or corrupting the contents of their entire hard drive when the demonstrator's attention has been captured by some other matter.<<

Uuuhhh....maybe the fact that drives are mounted read-only by default, and you have to specifically tell it that you want to be able to write to the drive to screw it up. The novice who could mess it up accidentally, isn't going to know how to remount read-write, so it's not a problem, unless it's a malicious, knowledgeable user. But there's really no way to stop those, if they're persistent enough.

Amazing to say the least. !
by kmashraf on Fri 9th Jan 2004 07:01 UTC

All I say is that nobody thought of doing such a thing, Knoppix that is, in the propreitory world. What is amazing about all this is that one guy thinks up the idea and soon enough it is reality with unlimited help. And it does not cost the earth as it would have if it had come out the shiiiit filled prop stables. Those of you who are moaning about too much and slow load times try the Slackware-Live CD. Knoppix has started a new chapter in the OS story. I admire that and kudos to Klaus Knopper for doing it.

Memory reporting under linux
by Staf Verhaegen on Fri 9th Jan 2004 09:10 UTC

Although this has been touched before I want to explain the memory reporting on linux more.
Linux uses a disk cache. This means when you load something from disk it will be cached in memory so that the next time you access the same thing it will be in memory and you don't need to go to the disk again. Linux will do that until your memory is full and then it will remove some old cached data and replace that will the newly read data.
As a consequence on most system top will always report free memory around 0. The important thing is to see how much swap is used which indicates if you are using virtual memory or not. The swap memory usage in the original example was reported as 0 which means that the computer had enough memory to run without swapping.
On my system top also reports how much of the used memory is caching data.
Another point made in the article is about virtual desktops and memory. Already other people have said that it does not take extra memory but I want to explain more here why this is the case. Virtual desktops under X are implemented by the window manager by hiding/unhiding and moving windows. So when you switch to another desktop the window manager will hide the current visible windows and unhide the ones from the other desktop. This means that for the same number of applications open for memory it doesn't matter if you have 2 or 4 virtual desktops.

Re: memory reporting under linux
by Roberto on Fri 9th Jan 2004 14:23 UTC

Pretty much right, except that multiple desktops WILL use more memory if you use different image backgrounds on each one.

Also, Knoppix uses more RAM than regular Linux because it uses a ramdisk.

> Also, Knoppix uses more RAM than regular Linux because it uses a ramdisk.

Very good point.

Windows Advanced Server on a Celeron 233?
by Robert Smith on Thu 15th Jan 2004 15:40 UTC

Hmmn, windows XP needs more than a 233mhz processor, so how can the reviewer be running a windows server OS on this configuration?

Overall the review was ok, but focussed too much on what it wasn't and also did not look at the distro in the correct context.

Inaccuracies do occur, but basing a negative opinion on a inaccurate fact is not correct.