Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Poor Man's Install of Latest Knoppix

  1. #1
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    142

    Poor Man's Install of Latest Knoppix

    A few years ago this forum was a thriving community with many different types of users participating from the beginner to the developer. These days the number of new posts is much smaller and the responses to user questions are coming from very few people mostly developers. It seems in the process we have lost knowledge from the past. I keep seeing the odd post about users having problems installing Knoppix to USB/hard drive with persistence. Recently, utu, a quite knowledgeable user, stated the need to do a flash install but to hard disk and asked whether it was possible. Those few years ago I used to respond regularly to posts pointing out that the 'poor man's' install was possible and gave advice on how to do it. I can tell utu and others who want to listen that yes, it is still possible and persistence is even easier to set up now! I got tired of posting because of arguing about the warnings the more knowledgeable users would keep coming up with notably (a) You should not install Knoppix to hard disk and (b) You shouldn't install/write to an NTFS partition. Well friends, I've been doing it for years and still have not had a problem. First of all I would definitely emphasise that Knoppix is a Live Linux and Klaus Knopper did not intend it to be installed as a full Linux install. You can do it but it will ultimately give you problems and the advice has always been to use Debian if you want to go this way. That being said, Klaus provided all the cheat codes and scripts to do a 'poor man's' install. He intends it to be done to flash drive but it can be done to hard drive you just have to set it up yourself! The 'poor man's' install, also called a frugal install, is just like running the live DVD only the Knoppix files are loaded from the flash drive/hard drive. This has two advantages it is quicker and it frees up the DVD drive for other disks. With a persistence file you have another advantage over the live DVD that any settings changes you make are persistent across sessions so once done they will not have to be redone every time you boot up Knoppix. A 'poor man's' install does not give you the ability to upgrade Knoppix any more than the Live DVD does. You have what Klaus has provided no more but that is pretty good in my opinion! There are three parts to performing a 'poor man's' install. First, the medium which holds the install must be capable of booting Knoppix. This shouldn't be a problem if you already have a linux installation you already have a boot loader capable of booting Knoppix. I run Knoppix as a 'poor man's' install from a hard disk in a multi-boot environment with Windows and Puppy Linux. This means I alter the Windows boot process so that I have the choice of Windows or Linux. To do this I use grldr from the Legacy Grub boot loading system. It is possible to use Grub 2 but it is too complicated for me! I have written instructions for doing this with Windows 9x, Windows XP and Windows 7. You will find the instructions starting here: http://www.icpug.org.uk/national/lin...00-linnwin.htm Please don't ask about Windows 8. Anybody who wants to run Linux should not be buying a computer with Windows 8 installed! The second part of setting up the 'poor man's install' is to copy 4 or 5 files from the Knoppix Live DVD minirt.gz; linux; linux64; KNOPPIX and KNOPPIX1 if it exists. I have these files from the CeBIT 7.3.0 version of Knoppix copied to a directory FrugalLinux\knoppix-730 on an NTFS partition (sda5). You should note that any other files on this partition will NOT be accessible when running Knoppix well I haven't found out how to do it! I view it as a security measure. The third part is to add the instructions for booting this particular Knoppix Linux into your boot loader. The instructions linked to earlier give details of these instructions for Knoppix 4.0.2 well this was written in 2006! The idea is exactly the same for 7.3.0 but there are slight variations. I use the isolinux.cfg file on the Live DVD as a guide and the instructions for loading 32 bit Knoppix on my setup using Legacy Grub are: title Knoppix 7.3.0 CeBIT DVD from NTFS sda5 kernel (hd0,4)/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730/linux knoppix nomce fromhd=/dev/sda5 knoppix_dir=/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730 knoppix_name=KNOPPIX lang=uk libata.force=noncq hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1 loglevel=1 tz=localtime apm=power-off initrd (hd0,4)/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730/minirt.gz boot Your setup will probably be different in minor respects certainly the lang=uk is specific to running with a UK keyboard. Any cheatcodes you need follow the kernel specifier on line 2. Having done that all you need to do is reboot your PC and choose Knoppix! I find that on the first boot I am asked if I want a persistence file and, if so, I can choose its size and whether encrypted. This is MUCH easier than the old versions of Knoppix prior to Knoppix 6. I'm not sure if I get this because I am doing the install to an NTFS partition. One you have set up the boot process once it is very easy to upgrade to a later version of Knoppix when it appears. Simply Copy the 4 or 5 files for the new version to your hard drive and amend the boot instructions this usually is just a change of folder name. I tend to run old and new versions together at first and then delete the old version when I am happy the new one is OK. The process above is just one way of doing a 'poor man's' install. You can copy the iso rather than the individual files to your hard drive but then if you are installing to an NTFS partition you then have to use Rymbeke's modified minirt.gz file in the boot process. I'm only knowledgeable on this specific method of dual booting with Windows. The point I am making is that, yes it IS possible to boot from a hard drive and have persistence. I just thought it was time to remind the community of this fact.

  2. #2
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    142
    I'm sorry for the above post. I created it offline with Libre Office and you can see the new lines did not take effect on this forum when I copied and pasted! I then spent time editing it but exceeded 10 minutes in doing so! This 10 minute limit is crass! Another reason why I stopped posting here!

  3. #3
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG View Post
    A few years ago this forum was a thriving community with many different types of users
    participating from the beginner to the developer. These days the number of new posts is
    much smaller and the responses to user questions are coming from very few people
    – mostly developers. It seems in the process we have lost knowledge from the past.
    I keep seeing the odd post about users having problems installing Knoppix to USB/hard
    drive with persistence. Recently, utu, a quite knowledgeable user, stated the need to
    do a flash install but to hard disk and asked whether it was possible. Those few years
    ago I used to respond regularly to posts pointing out that the 'poor man's' install was
    possible and gave advice on how to do it.

    I can tell utu and others who want to listen that yes, it is still possible and persistence
    is even easier to set up now! I got tired of posting because of arguing about the warnings
    the more knowledgeable users would keep coming up with – notably (a) You should not install
    Knoppix to hard disk and (b) You shouldn't install/write to an NTFS partition. Well friends,
    I've been doing it for years and still have not had a problem. First of all I would
    definitely emphasise that Knoppix is a Live Linux and Klaus Knopper did not intend it to be
    installed as a full Linux install. You can do it but it will ultimately give you problems
    and the advice has always been to use Debian if you want to go this way.

    That being said, Klaus provided all the cheat codes and scripts to do a 'poor man's' install.
    He intends it to be done to flash drive but it can be done to hard drive – you just have to
    set it up yourself! The 'poor man's' install, also called a frugal install, is just like
    running the live DVD only the Knoppix files are loaded from the flash drive/hard drive.
    This has two advantages – it is quicker and it frees up the DVD drive for other disks.

    With a persistence file you have another advantage over the live DVD that any settings
    changes you make are persistent across sessions so once done they will not have to be redone
    every time you boot up Knoppix. A 'poor man's' install does not give you the ability to
    upgrade Knoppix any more than the Live DVD does. You have what Klaus has provided – no more
    – but that is pretty good in my opinion!

    There are three parts to performing a 'poor man's' install. First, the medium which holds
    the install must be capable of booting Knoppix. This shouldn't be a problem if you already
    have a linux installation – you already have a boot loader capable of booting Knoppix.
    I run Knoppix as a 'poor man's' install from a hard disk in a multi-boot environment with
    Windows and Puppy Linux. This means I alter the Windows boot process so that I have the
    choice of Windows or Linux. To do this I use grldr from the Legacy Grub boot loading system.
    It is possible to use Grub 2 but it is too complicated for me! I have written instructions
    for doing this with Windows 9x, Windows XP and Windows 7. You will find the instructions
    starting here:
    http://www.icpug.org.uk/national/lin...00-linnwin.htm
    Please don't ask about Windows 8. Anybody who wants to run Linux should not be buying a
    computer with Windows 8 installed!

    The second part of setting up the 'poor man's install' is to copy 4 or 5 files from the
    Knoppix Live DVD – minirt.gz; linux; linux64; KNOPPIX and KNOPPIX1 if it exists. I have
    these files from the CeBIT 7.3.0 version of Knoppix copied to a directory
    FrugalLinux\knoppix-730 on an NTFS partition (sda5). You should note that any other files
    on this partition will NOT be accessible when running Knoppix – well I haven't found out
    how to do it! I view it as a security measure.

    The third part is to add the instructions for booting this particular Knoppix Linux into
    your boot loader. The instructions linked to earlier give details of these instructions for
    Knoppix 4.0.2 – well this was written in 2006! The idea is exactly the same for 7.3.0 but
    there are slight variations. I use the isolinux.cfg file on the Live DVD as a guide and the
    instructions for loading 32 bit Knoppix on my setup using Legacy Grub are:
    Code:
    title Knoppix 7.3.0 CeBIT DVD from NTFS sda5 
    kernel (hd0,4)/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730/linux knoppix nomce fromhd=/dev/sda5 \
       knoppix_dir=/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730 knoppix_name=KNOPPIX lang=uk libata.force=noncq \
       hpsa.hpsa_allow_any=1 loglevel=1 tz=localtime apm=power-off 
    initrd (hd0,4)/FrugalLinux/knoppix-730/minirt.gz
    boot
    Your setup will probably be different in minor respects – certainly the lang=uk is specific
    to running with a UK keyboard. Any cheatcodes you need follow the kernel specifier on line 2.
    Having done that all you need to do is reboot your PC and choose Knoppix! I find that on the
    first boot I am asked if I want a persistence file and, if so, I can choose its size and
    whether encrypted. This is MUCH easier than the old versions of Knoppix prior to Knoppix 6.

    I'm not sure if I get this because I am doing the install to an NTFS partition. One you have
    set up the boot process once it is very easy to upgrade to a later version of Knoppix when it
    appears. Simply Copy the 4 or 5 files for the new version to your hard drive and amend the
    boot instructions – this usually is just a change of folder name. I tend to run old and new
    versions together at first and then delete the old version when I am happy the new one is OK.
    The process above is just one way of doing a 'poor man's' install. You can copy the iso rather
    than the individual files to your hard drive but then if you are installing to an NTFS
    partition you then have to use Rymbeke's modified minirt.gz file in the boot process. I'm only
    knowledgeable on this specific method of dual booting with Windows.

    The point I am making is that, yes it IS possible to boot from a hard drive and have persistence.
    I just thought it was time to remind the community of this fact.
    Greetings, ICPUG and welcome back to the forum.
    And, thanks for this "Poor Man's Install" treatise. It looks like pure gold to me.
    I've taken the liberty to add some whitespace to make the reading a little easier for
    some senior folks like myself. I hope I haven't poorly chosen some of the breaks,
    or mangled your config file.

    I'll respond to the content in later postings. I'm reasonaby certain this thread of yours
    will be well read and appreciated by many.

    FYI, this forum's editor doesn't like KK's NoScript add-on. One needs to disable it and reload
    IceWeasel to preserve whitespace. I also hate the ten minute limit if that's what it is.
    Last edited by Werner P. Schulz; 05-31-2014 at 07:24 AM. Reason: correction of the link "Lin 'N' Win" and inserted new line in "legacy grub stanza"

  4. #4
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    142
    Thank you, utu, for creating a little whitespace among my words. I was a bit time limited when I uploaded the text so you got to it before I considered what to do about the problem. Your white space is pretty close to the original. Only one point to mention is in the legacy grub stanza. This consists of 4 lines which start with the words:

    title
    kernel
    initrd
    boot

    You had the boot on the same line as the initrd.

    I also thank you for telling me that Iceweasel and noscript was the problem. I'm using Opera as my browser today so perhaps I will have better luck with this!

  5. #5
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Germany/ Dietzenbach
    Posts
    1,124
    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG View Post
    I have these files from the CeBIT 7.3.0 version of Knoppix copied to a directory FrugalLinux\knoppix-730 on an NTFS partition (sda5). You should note that any other files on this partition will NOT be accessible when running Knoppix well I haven't found out how to do it! I view it as a security measure.
    When running your poor man's install, you can see the whole content of this partiton within '/mnt-system/' and not only your '/FrugalLinux\knoppix-730/'. With root privileges you have full access to all these files and folders.

  6. #6
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    142
    Thank you Werner for that useful bit of information regarding /mnt-system/

    We are always learning!

  7. #7
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    801
    Just a couple of comments:
    1. Is it too much to ask people to avoid declaring "facts" about things they have not really checked out?
    First of all I would definitely emphasise that Knoppix is a Live Linux and Klaus Knopper did not intend it to be installed as a full Linux install. You can do it but it will ultimately give you problems and the advice has always been to use Debian if you want to go this way.
    I have said that several times myself in the past, and I don't think it is completely correct anymore. Furthermore, since the time of UNIONFS introduction, the borderline between a "full" Linux installation and a Knoppix Poor Man's Install is rather blurred. For example, I mount and use exactly the same volume with Java development tools in Knoppix as in plain Debian.

    2. I think the best practice is to place the booting stuff in a partition that is normally only mounted during booting. That minimizes the chances for corruption, which should not be underestimated. In particular, I can't see how placing everything in a NTFS partition that is administered by Windows can be guaranteed to be completely safe, things may be changed e.g. with a new Service Pack. For example, on the machine I use right now, I run Knoppix off a FAT32 partition /dev/sda1, while booting is on an ext3 partition /dev/sda2 that is not normally mounted, and ordinary storage is on a large ext3 (or ext4) partition /dev/sda5 mounted on /store.

  8. #8
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    142
    As backup to my 'fact' I refer Capricorny to the question:

    Knoppix is a distribution designed to be booted straight from portable media such as USB devices, CDs and DVDs, is this correct?

    In the interview with Klaus Knopper last September, here:
    http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2013/09/the-klaus-knopper-interview.html

    While it may be true that to install to an NTFS partition is not completely safe because Microsoft may come along and nuke it in a service update I have not had a problem with this. Guess it depends how paranoid you are about Microsoft.

  9. #9
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG View Post
    As backup to my 'fact' I refer Capricorny to the question:

    Knoppix is a distribution designed to be booted straight from portable media such as USB devices, CDs and DVDs, is this correct?

    In the interview with Klaus Knopper last September, here:
    http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2013/09/the-klaus-knopper-interview.html

    While it may be true that to install to an NTFS partition is not completely safe because Microsoft may come along and nuke it in a service update I have not had a problem with this. Guess it depends how paranoid you are about Microsoft.
    Well, if you think Klaus K's answer backs up your stance, I would say you are over- or mis-interpreting quite a lot. In that interview, Klaus K talks very precisely about what Knoppix is optimized for, not what it is capable of. Which is something rather different. (And that he doesn't mention running from harddisk media, "Poor Man's Install", is a pedagogical concern, to avoid confusion.)
    Unlike you, he does not advise against Knoppix installs. On the contrary, he mentions situations where it may come in handy. With changes in hardware and Knoppix moving ever closer to standard Debian, I don't think there is any good reason today for general advice against "alternative" uses of Knoppix. Many of the traditional drawbacks of Knoppix are of little practical relevance today, and what now stands out as the most important limitation for me and many other users, is the lack of a pure 64 bit version. But, again, running a hybrid system with a 64 bits kernel helps enormously.

    I'm not at all paranoid about Microsoft, I have not said anything against Poor Man's Installs on Windows media (using it several times myself). My concern was that best practice is placing alle the booting stuff on a separate (Linux) partition whenever possible. If you disagree to that, please tell us why, instead of misinterpreting me.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •