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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.

Contents

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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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

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/minirt.gz \
  /mnt-system/KNOPPIX/

Knoppix will create a folder called "KNOPPIX" in the partition you chose and you will be asked to create persistent memory. The used disk partition can be a Linux format such as EXT3 but can also be FAT32 or NTFS (pre Windows 8).

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

title KNOPPIX 64 PMI
kernel (hd1,0)/KNOPPIX/linux64 fromhd=/dev/sdb1 (.. 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 PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd /KNOPPIX/minirt.gz
}

menuentry "Knoppix 64 PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux64 (.. 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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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!

If you decide to do a HD installation of Knoppix, please read HD Install Warning not to do it first.

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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

If you have a computer, who cannot boot from DVD or USB but over network, you can use the Terminal Server install (in former days known as PXE install). This computer will be your TS client. You need another computer connected to your LAN or WLAN as the TS host.

Boot Knoppix on your TS host and select "Knoppix => Start KNOPPIX Terminal Server". When you get the question "Please enter the desired IP-Range ..", you have to change the values to the IP range of your router. For me the values are "192.168.17.10 192.168.17.30". Important: deactivate the "secure" option!

Now boot your TS client with the BIOS option "over network". When you can see the Knoppix screen with the little penguin go on with the cheatcode:

knoppix tohd=/dev/sda4

After a very long time (for me more than an hour) you'll find yourself at the end of the installation within Knoppix on '/dev/sda4' from TS client and not within Knoppix from TS host.

Important note: "/dev/sda4" is only as an example; use your own value!

Reboot the TS client with the BIOS option "over network", but this time without any cheatcode. You'll find yourself within Knoppix from TS host. To be able to boot the Terminal Server install using GRUB legacy or GRUB2, do as follows:

su
mount /media/sda4
cp /mnt-system/boot/syslinux/linux /mnt-system/boot/syslinux/linux64 \
 /mnt-system/boot/syslinux/minirt.gz /media/sda4/KNOPPIX/

Important note: "/dev/sda4" is only as an example; use your own value!

Shutdown the TS client and the TS host.

Start the computer (which has been the TS client) with your standard OS - for example Debian or Knoppix HD install.

If you are using GRUB legacy as bootloader append within '/boot/grub/menu.lst'

title KNOPPIX PMI
kernel (hd0,3)/KNOPPIX/linux fromhd=/dev/sda4 (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (hd0,3)/KNOPPIX/minirt.gz

title KNOPPIX 64 PMI
kernel (hd0,3)/KNOPPIX/linux64 fromhd=/dev/sda4 (.. other boot-parameter ..)
initrd (hd0,3)/KNOPPIX/minirt.gz

Important note: In this example Knoppix has been installed to 1st device in the 4th partition (hd0,3). "(hd0,0)" means 1st device and 1st partition with GRUB legacy.

If you are using GRUB2 as bootloader append within '/etc/grub.d/40_custom'

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

menuentry "Knoppix 64 PMI" {
set root='(hd1,1)'
linux /KNOPPIX/linux64 (.. 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 (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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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 or 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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