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Thread: % of PCs where Knoppix "just works"

  1. #1
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    % of PCs where Knoppix "just works"

    I guess there are quite a few people out there now who are remastering Knoppix and distributing it to large numbers of people, so I'd be interested in some estimates:

    What proportion of the laptop and desktop PCs work fine with Knoppix, for non-technical users, doing something useful for them, just by putting the CD in and without entering cheatcodes or doing anything non-obvious?

    (To "do something useful", I'm going to assuming you need a functioning GUI, keyboard and mouse, with internet access. I'm also going to assume that my non-technical user can put in his ISP's username, password, phone number, but can't do any more than that.)

    To start off, here are my estimates from a fairly limited number of tests in Japan:

    Desktops:
    Too little RAM: 30%
    Video problems: 5%
    Keyboard/mouse problems: 0% (Can't be right, but I've never had any...)
    Network card or modem unsupported: 25%
    Total unsupported bearing in mind overlap in the above: 35%

    Laptops:
    Too little RAM: 30%
    Video problems: 25%
    Keyboard/mouse problems: 0% (Can't be right, but I've never had any...)
    Network card or modem unsupported: 30%
    Total unsupported bearing in mind overlap in the above: 50%

    Related to this, is there an easy-to-define set of computers that we can say with 90% confidence will work with Knoppix and derivatives?

    For example, if I distribute a CD and say it works with "desktop PCs with broadband", would that get me close?

  2. #2
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    no, because newer the computer is .. more likely is to fail with knoppix

  3. #3
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    I would agree with Ghandalfar that the latest technology may trip up Knoppix which is the opposite of how likely windows is to work with a new computer.

    Until all major brands make their machines compatible with Linux as well as windows there will be an issue with brand new hardware and the average user who doesn't know how to track down and modify his linux package or kernel.

    Looking on the bright side, IBM have embraced Linux and assemblers such as Dell do at least offer linux on a limited set of their hardware. Let's hope manfacturers expand their linux offerings which should resolve these type isues over time.

    JP

  4. #4
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    Interesting comments, Gandalph and JPWhite. So what would be your guesses about the proportion of installed PCs that are too-new-for-Knoppix, and where do they have problems?

    (My guess would be that 10% of desktops are too new for The Community->Debian->Knoppix to have played around with and adapted to, but half of those 10% work anyway. And what breaks in those cases is almost exclusively video-related.)

    One of the reasons these numbers are important is that testing applications and supporting them on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2K, XP and their various patch-and-service-pack combinations is a serious burden on a lot of organisations. With Knoppix derivatives we could skip the installed software environment altogether and just test and support our products in a single setup.

    But that only works if they run out of the box for a significant proportion of the installed base. My company, like a lot of others, currently ships software that will probably only reach about 80% of the Windows installed base. (No 95, no NT, and 98 only works for Second Edition.) And when a new service pack comes out, there's always a chance that another 40% (all the XPs that install it) will suddenly go south as well. So the bar for a useful Knoppix derivative may not be all that high.

    I take it no-one really knows for sure what proportion of PCs out there Knoppix derivatives can reach. But what are our best guesses?

  5. #5
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    if it has intergrated ethernet is quite likely that it won't work. Same for sound.

  6. #6
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    i have no trouble with integrated sound, five computers tested (all integrated sound) with 3.6 all worked great.
    i have had trouble with knoppix identifying my reiser-disk as swap... anoying (kind of lucky it did not use it brefore i reacted and rebooted).

  7. #7
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    Re: % of PCs where Knoppix "just works"

    Quote Originally Posted by edochan

    What proportion of the laptop and desktop PCs work fine with Knoppix, for non-technical users, doing something useful for them, just by putting the CD in and without entering cheatcodes or doing anything non-obvious?
    You might have better odds using Kanotix. Not only does it have support for more hardware, it also uses GRUB. So what you say? Well, you can simply pick how you want to boot by using the up and down arrows. It defaults to German but hitting the down arrow once gets you Engllish. You usually don't have to enter alot of cheat codes (if any) as they are already there for you. I think you would better understand it if you booted Kanotix once for yourself.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, mzilikazi, that's interesting and I'll take a look.

    But what I'm really after is some numbers...

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