From LQWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Knoppix is a Debian based Live CD distribution. What this means is that you don't have to install it to your hard disk to use it. It boots straight off the CD.


Shiny Points

Knoppix is very good at detecting your hardware and rarely will you find a piece of hardware that Knoppix could not detect.

Desktop Environments

Knoppix comes with the X Window System and uses KDE as its desktop environment. It also includes window managers such as WindowMaker and Fluxbox. There is no GNOME due to the CD size constraints, but there's a similar distribution (Gnoppix) that offers the GNOME desktop instead of KDE.


Knoppix also includes many tools like XMMS for your entertainment needs, the OpenOffice and KOffice packages for office work, the GIMP for graphics, and complete development and networking tools.

Nifty Uses

Being a live CD, Knoppix is also a tremendously powerful rescue system for Linux and even Windows systems. Even if you use any other Linux distribution, or even no Linux at all, it is a good idea to keep a working Knoppix CD to rescue your data and/or your system if something goes wrong. For example,if you want to save data (e.g. configuration files) from a system partition that became somehow unbootable, Knoppix can save your life very easily : just start Knoppix from the CD drive and burn your data on a CD with K3b or another CD burner program (or copy your data on another partition).

Using it to install other distros


While its primary purpose is as a live CD, a wonderful thing about Knoppix is that it is also a great way to install Debian to your hard drive with a simple gui-installation.

  • Start Knoppix and open a root shell (Crtl-Alt-F1) or select from K-menu KNOPPIX.root shell
  • # cd /usr/local/bin
  • # knx-hdinstall or in the latest versions use the new knoppix-installer.
  • then select your hard disk; setup your swap and other partiions (eg., swap and /); make sure / is marked bootable and type is linux; when you select partition for / select a journaling file system reiserfs or xfs & software installs last
  • setup your [lilo] and make a bootdisk.
  • clean up your /etc/fstab and /etc/lilo.conf (ensure / is pointing to correct partition and, if you require dual booting that the chainloader is setup for your Windows)
  • update your /etc/apt/sources.list for Debian software sites
  • get real familiar with apt-get and aptitude and you can live happily
  • check out for a real nice .bashrc to make your command line life pleasant

Debian (non-knoppix) <2 gig disk

  • format the drives using cfdisk
  • mount those drives to something like /mnt/debian
  • use debootloader
    • su
    • debootloader woody /mnt/debian
    • copy the /etc/apt/sources.list
    • make a lot of cache size in your /mnt/debian/ (search for apt bleats)
    • make a resolv.conf (may have to move an exisiting symlink)
      • remember, nameserver is common
    • chroot /mnt/debian
    • su -
    • base-config
      • I tried these things.. because I forgot to 'su -'
      • apt-get update
      • apt-get install base-config

And this is where I wrote this so I wouldn't forget

      • I had to install quite a few packages, and I had to su - to be able to run some of the commands
      • but I got it to work

Suse FTP


section 3 at covers this

Knoppix CD image on HD

(this is knoppix for a small hd)
780 mb cloop partition
128 min swap
<320 mb /home

You can do knoppix on the hd with 64mb and 1 gig disk, it won't be fun..

Knoppix HDD installaton can be summoned by executing the sudo knoppix-installer command. If executed in console, a console based installer will appear and if in KDE, a graphical installer will appear.

See also

Other live CD distributions include Slax, Gnoppix.

External links