This must be the simplest installation in a Linux distribution. Why? Because there is no installation! Knoppix has been made by mister Klaus Knopper. He made the distro to demonstrate Linux to his Windows using friends. Of course, now you must think: "If it isn't being installed, how does it run?".
It's simple. It boots from the CD.
Luckily, mister Klaus made us a huge database of drivers! It pretty much found all hardware I have. It even found my USB smartmedia reader and USB Wireless optical mouse. However, it did not correctly. Which wasn't a too big problem since I always have a spare PS/2 mouse connected.
Also, it didn't find my "Sound Blaster Live" which is probably because I have two sound cards in my machine. If anyone else has the problem with just a single soundcard they might want to report it somewhere.
Hardcore Linux users might find Knoppix somewhat limitated. In example, you can't choose between Gnome, KDE or any other window manager. Also there is no user management. Just a user and a root account. Which can be reached by using special parameters during the startup process.
To go on, there are hardly any possibilities to extend the set of programmes. But ofcourse, you will have to take this all when you're using a CD-booting distribution. It won't matter to most of the users anyway, since if you're using it. It probably won't be your only operating system.
Before I'll go on with the possitive side, I will write down what's all in the package.
-) Linux kernel 2.4.x
-) KDE 3
-)Konqueror, Mozilla, Lynx, etc.
-)Wine, The GIMP, XMMS
-)And lots more
Well, we all know the biggest up. It needs very little time to get running, and runs on very low system requirments.
16MB RAM (128MB Reccomended for running in graphical mode)
Bootable CD-ROM drive
SVGA compatible graphics card
A PS/2, Serial or IMPS/2 compatible mouse
Luckily you have the ability of saving your configuration on a single floppydisk, so you won't have to reset them every single time you reboot. Knoppix also offers (Red-Hat) software to set up your network, modem, DSL or ISDN connection and your soundcard. No root acces needed to do so.
If you'd like to try Linux sometime, but want to save the hassle of re-arranging your whole harddrive Knoppix is your thing! If you want to take Linux with you, try it as well!
Something you should know!
Knoppix uses your RAM memmory a lot! It saves all files in your home directory in there! This means that your files will be gone after a reboot. You will also not be able to save or write anything on your harddrive. So remind to buy a package of floppydisks or CD-R's!
Stan Broné is a 15 year old high school student who has been working with computers for over 7 years. He came to be intrested with other operating systems after reading an article about it at the age of 12.