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Thread: Just making sure

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Just making sure

    So this is more to make sure that Knoppix is what I thnk it is. To what my understanding is Knoppix is a version of Linux bootable of a CD so I can keep my old OS (Windows XP) and still screw around with linux without haveing to take up space off my hard drive. right. also is there a place I could find a complete list of the software and installed stuff that comes on the Knoppix cd

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    G'day Jessse5935,

    Yes, Knoppix is one of the better known "live Linux" distros.

    You can play with Knoppix without an installation to your hard drive.

    As for the "stuff" on a Knoppix CD :

  3. #3
    Junior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Nashville TN
    Check out Tom's Hardware description of Knoppix at

    It will give you a brief flavor of what's on Knoppix. Just a scratching but well worth the read.

    For shear gee whiz factor check out Kstars (right click stars/objects for the really cool stuff).


  4. #4
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    It's totally safe to play with Knoppix. In fact, you will soon find that measure of safety to be very frustrating, after coming from a Windows environment. Any change you make will not "stick" unless you learn how to make it stick and do it right.

    From what I've seen here (and in my own experience), most newbies soon get extremely frustrated at this point, and immediately want to do a hard drive dual boot install that won't mess up their Windows installation, try it without backups and other precautions, mess something up, scream and beg for help with incredible urgency (e.g., Windows won't run, spouse is angry, homework is due tomorrow, can't get into TurboTax on April 14th to finish return - you get the idea). It's a humbling experience, and many go back to Windows, never to return. But it doesn't have to be that way - you just need to think a little differently.

    First, load the live CD and look around. Enjoy the tour - nothing bad will happen. If you want to go further, do not assume a hd install to be the next logical step - it isn't. You cannot do anything in MSWindows without installing to HD - not so with Knoppix. There is an option called setting up a "persistent home" directory. Think of it as kind of like "My Documents" and "Program Files", all in one. You set it up to take a portion of whatever storage device you want, to save files and programs. There is also an option to "Save configuration", so that when you set up your printer and change your desktop settings to do what you want, you won't have to do it all over again when you reboot. You will learn that if you enter "cheat codes" at bootup, the Knoppix CD will look for these saved files and configurations at startup, and serve them up to you. The easiest way to install other applications (Knoppix has quite a few built in, though), is to use Klik, and you will find out about that if you look for the "sticky" posts in the various forums. You will eventually realize that running your OS from a CD limits your ability to use your CD reader/burner for other uses, and you may be tempted to do a hd install at this point. Don't. There is another option which some call a "poor man's" install. Basically, you copy the CD to a file on a hard drive, without installing it, and use a cheat code (the "tohd" and "fromhd" cheatcodes) to tell Knoppix to install from that hd copy of the CD, instead of from the CD (you will still use the CD to get the boot prompt).

    Using a combination of the "poor man's" install with persistent home and save configuration, you will have virtually the same capabilities available to you as with a hd install, but without the hassles. Don't feel as if you are "settling" for something less with this - this is the configuration I use now, and a lot of very knowledgable Knoppix users use this setup also (including the guy who invented Klik). As far as I'm concerned, it has all of the advantages of a hd install, and none of the disadvantages. And, when you decide to use Windows, simply reboot without sticking in the Knoppix CD, and you're back in Windows, just as if nothing had happened in Linux, until you're ready to boot back in to Linux and have it all back available to you.

    And, for goodness sake, if you decide to do a hd install anyway, please defrag and backup all your Windows stuff first. As far as I can tell, the most likely consequence of a faulty Linux hdinstall is to mess up your bootloader, so that you can't get back in to Windows, and you might not know about Linux to fix it (or not care). SUre, you might be in the habit of skipping the backup advice when upgrading Windows, confident that nothing bad will happen, but odds are pretty significant that you could make a mistake with your first attempt at a dual boot linux hdinstall.

    So, that's kind of an overview of what to expect. If you want specific details, there are lots of posts and WIKIs to guide you if you use the search box at the top of the page.


  5. #5
    Junior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Interesting thread! There is another intermediate step you can take before installing Knoppix to a hard drive. There are two programs that run on WinXP that have 30-45 day trials that "install" virtual PCs on your system. They are VMware and MS Virtual PC. These programs allow you to create a virtual hard drive on your PC and then partition it and format it and install other OSs on that virtual hard drive. It looks and seems like the real thing, but everything is contained within the virtual PC. I installed Win98 on one such virtual PC and then used the Knoppix installer to resize the partition and install Knoppix for a dual boot system, all within virtual PC, without doing anything to my real hard drive. Very good practice for a later real hard drive installation.

    And if you mess something up, you just delete a file and the whole virtual PC is gone and you can start over from scratch.


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