Category:Hard drive Installation


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The main strength of Knoppix is its ability to be run from memory as a Live Linux CD. To boot the CD/DVD Isolinux is used. The advantage to this is that you can take the CD/DVD with you. However, it is possible to install Knoppix on other mediums.

Warning: Knoppix is a Live Linux DVD

Whichever installation method you'll select, don't forget: basis of each of these methods is the Live Linux DVD!

Knoppix is not a Linux distribution like for example Debian, openSUSE, Ubuntu or others.

Knoppix

  • cannot be upgraded (if you try it, you'll get chaos)
  • offers no updates or security updates
  • has no user management
  • has no password protection
  • is not designed for installation of not Debian packages (compile programs)
  • may cause difficulties while you try to install Debian packages
  • requires experience with aptitude whenever you want to change something
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Customizing Knoppix

  • The simplest, which you can do in all versions, is using → Cheat Codes. At the boot prompt, you can specify a number of parameters like language, keyboard, screen resolution, desktop environment. The cheat codes may differ between the releases; you find them on DVD in the file /KNOPPIX/knoppix-cheatcodes.txt.
  • You can → install Knoppix to a read/write media (like USB sticks, external hard disks or flash cards using "KNOPPIX Install KNOPPIX to flash disk". You may change the default boot parameters, so you don't have to enter them at every boot. For this reinsert the USB stick, open '/boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg' and change the parameters in all APPEND lines as you need.
  • The next step is using → persistent memory, which can be used to install programs and save configuration data and personal settings. During flash disk install Knoppix will ask you if you want to create persistent storage, and how big you want it. The size you specify must be an integer, and the integer signifies the number of megabytes of persistent storage.
  • Another and most difficult option is to → remaster Knoppix which means that you create a new compressed filesystem image instead of the default. You may write it to DVD, but you don't have to.
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Flash disk install

Boot with Knoppix DVD and select "Knoppix => Install KNOPPIX to flash disk". There are two options to choose from:

  • Installation on FAT32 with (optional) overlay file < 4GB
  • Installation on FAT32 with additional overlay partition

In the first case you will get an installation of compressed filesysten Image and the persistent memory all within '/dev/sda1' (FAT32 formatted).

In the other case you will get an installation of compressed filesystem Image to '/dev/sda1' (FAT32 formatted) and the persistent memory in '/dev/sda2' (ReiserFS formatted).

Both these installations uses Syslinux to boot. At the end of the installation you will be asked to encrypted or not the persistent memory.

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Poor man's install

In earlier days there have been many descriptions how to copy the compressed filesystem Image to hard drive, how to boot these installations and they have been called like poor man's install, PMI, poor man's install to HD, basic poor man's install ...

Nowadays you can do it as follows: Boot with the Knoppix DVD using the cheatcode

knoppix tohd=/dev/sda1 mkimage

Knoppix will create a folder called "KNOPPIX" in the partition you've chosen and you will be asked to create persistent memory (overlay file only). The used disk partition can be a Linux format such as EXT3 but can also be FAT32 or NTFS (pre Windows 8). If you failed to create overlay file you can make up it at next boot-time: edit the grub line and append for this session the chatcode "mkimage".

You'll find yourself at the end of the installation within Knoppix on '/dev/sda1' and not within Knoppix from DVD.

Important note: "/dev/sda1" is only as an example; use your own value!

If you want to boot this installation using GRUB legacy or GRUB2, do also as follows:

su
mount /media/sr0
cp /media/sr0/boot/isolinux/linux /media/sr0/boot/isolinux/linux64 \
  /media/sr0/boot/isolinux/minirt.gz /mnt-system/KNOPPIX/

To boot this poor man's install you need again a Knoppix DVD or a boot-only Knoppix-CD with the same Kernel version; at boot prompt type:

knoppix fromhd=/dev/sda1

Otherwise if you are using GRUB legacy as bootloader, start your operating system - for example Knoppix HD install - and append within '/boot/grub/menu.lst'

title KNOPPIX 32 PMI
kernel (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/linux fromhd=/dev/sdb1 lang=en (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/minirt.gz

title KNOPPIX 64 PMI
kernel (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/linux64 fromhd=/dev/sdb1 lang=en(.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/minirt.gz

title KNOPPIX Adriane PMI
kernel (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/linux fromhd=/dev/sdb1 adriane lang=en (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/minirt.gz

Important note: In this example Knoppix has been installed to 2nd device in the 1st partition of it (hd1,0). "(hd0,0)" means 1st device and 1st partition with GRUB legacy.

If you are using GRUB2 as bootloader, start your operating system - for example Debian - and append within '/etc/grub.d/40_custom'

menuentry "Knoppix 32 PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux lang=en (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd /KNOPPIX/minirt.gz
}

menuentry "Knoppix 64 PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux64 lang=en (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd /KNOPPIX/minirt.gz
}

menuentry "Knoppix Adriane PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux adriane lang=en (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd /KNOPPIX/minirt.gz
}

Don't forget "update-grub"!

Important note: In this example Knoppix has been installed to 2nd device in the 1st partition of it (hd1,1). "(hd0,1)" means 1st device and 1st partition with GRUB 2.

Instead of (.. other boot-parameter ..) use the parameters as you need or as you can see in the "APPEND"-lines of '/mnt-system/boot/isolinux/isolinux.cfg' from Knoppix DVD - but without the parameter "initrd=minirt.gz".

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Full HD install

Boot with Knoppix DVD and select "Knoppix => KNOPPIX HD install" in a free partiton you chose. You will get a Debian-style installation in your partiton (ReiserFS formatted) and the option to use GRUB legacy as bootmanager.

Important note: Read "Help" of the installation tool first!

Read more about full HD install → HD based HowTo.

If you decide to do a full HD install of Knoppix, please read → Full HD install - warning

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ISO install to HD

Download the Knoppix ISO to a harddrive (in my example to the 1st partition of an external harddrive to the folder '/ISO/') and rename the Knoppix ISO (insert the real name of the used Knoppix ISO instead of "KNOPPIX.....DE.iso")

mv -f /media/sdb1/ISO/KNOPPIX.....DE.iso /media/sdb1/ISO/KNX.iso

To boot this ISO installation to HD you need again a Knoppix DVD or a boot-only Knoppix-CD with the same Kernel version; at boot prompt type:

knoppix bootfrom=/dev/sdb1/ISO/KNX.iso

Otherwise if you are using GRUB2 as bootloader, start your operating system - for example Debian - and append within '/etc/grub.d/40_custom'

menuentry "Knoppix ISO" {
loopback loop (hd1,1)/ISO/KNX.iso
linux (loop)/boot/isolinux/linux bootfrom=/dev/sdb1/ISO/KNX.iso (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (loop)/boot/isolinux/minirt.gz
}

menuentry "Knoppix 64 ISO" {
loopback loop (hd1,1)/ISO/KNX.iso
linux (loop)/boot/isolinux/linux64 bootfrom=/dev/sdb1/ISO/KNX.iso (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (loop)/boot/isolinux/minirt.gz
}

Don't forget "update-grub"!

Instead of (.. other boot-parameter ..) use the parameters as you need or as you can see in the "APPEND"-lines of '/mnt-system/boot/isolinux/isolinux.cfg' from Knoppix DVD - but without the parameter "initrd=minirt.gz".

Important note: "/sdb1/ISO/" is only as an example; use your own value! Knoppix has been installed to 2nd device in the 1st partition (hd1,1). "(hd0,1)" means 1sr device and 1st partition with GRUB 2.

With ISO install to HD you cannot use Grub legacy.

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Terminal Server install

moved to → Knoppix Terminal Server

Persistent memory

This is one of the most useful features in Knoppix, and together with Unionfs, makes Knoppix very versatile indeed. The entire persistent memory (also called "overlay") can be saved, so that configuration changes, settings, user data, packages which have been downloaded and installed etc can all be saved and will be available at subsequent sessions.

With Flash disk Install and the option overlay file, with Poor man's install or Terminal Server Install you'll get an image file '/KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.img' respectively '/KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.aes' in case of encryption. At the next boot, Knoppix will scan for any image file named knoppix-data.img or knoppix-data.aes. If you use "df -h" you can see the values of the persistent memory at the line "/dev/loop ... ".

With Flash disk Install and the option overlay partition you'll get persistent memory (encrypted or not) in a separate partition and without the limitation of maximum size of 4 GB. At the next boot, Knoppix will scan for the file '/mnt-system/KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.inf', which contains the line

2 KNOPPIX_DATA reiserfs

If you use "df -h" you can see the values of the persistent memory at the line "/dev/sd. ... KNOPPIX_DATA".

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UNIONFS

One of the limitations of a Live CD/DVD is that it is read-only - in particular, '/usr' where most executable programs are kept. Many programs need to change and access components into standard locations like '/lib', '/usr/lib' or '/etc' which are read-only.

Unionfs is another important development introduced into Knoppix from Version 3.8 onwards. Unionfs is a virtual filesystem. It creates a writable system file area in RAM with all the system directories such as '/etc', '/usr' and so on. This is then seamlessly merged with the read-only systemfile image KNOPPIX on the CD. A description of unionfs can be found here: UnionFS.

With Unionfs, it becomes possible to "write" to the system area. Knoppix DVD can then be treated almost like it is installed on a writable media. You can do install programs with apt-get, aptitude or synaptic, edit config files in '/etc' and so on. Of course, you may still download an incompatible package which upsets Knoppix's delicate balance and break Knoppix, just like in a hard disk install. But this is a Live CD/DVD! The problems go away at the next reboot.

But if you have for example a flash disk install with persistent memory, you'll get an union of overlay's writable system file area with the read-only systemfile image KNOPPIX. If you installed something which works well, you will not have to do it again and it is available at the next session.

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Enable "syslog" etc.

Per default syslog etc. is disabled within Knoppix. To get it back especially in a full HD install follow this instruction:

su
mv /etc/syslog-knoppix.conf /etc/syslog-knoppix.conf_orig
aptitude install anacron
ln -s /usr/sbin/rsyslogd /sbin/syslogd
reboot
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Pages in category "Hard drive Installation"

The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total.