Burn Home

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Revision as of 20:00, 19 September 2007 by Harry Kuhman (Talk | contribs)

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Burn Home is an alternative to Persistent Home

After each session the directory /home/knoppix/ is burned onto a CDRW
At boot up the directory is automatically restored from the CDRW
Multiple backups are encouraged, Multiple projects on disk sets are possible.
New versions of KNOPPIX will hopefully work with no instalation needed.
Adding programs to the second CD will make this a 2CD KNOPPIX+ version.

Ususal Warnings

This work is volunteer, experimental, untested, and should not be relied upon.

This work is experimental use and to inspire others.
Each user must determine its usefulness and reliability.

Goals Envisioned

Uses: Provide a very low cost, portable, secure computer environment.

Inexpensive computing with simple startup is suitable for many users.
High security can be obtained by haveing data only in memory, and save to
CDRW only in encripted form. No unencrypted data is ever on a storage media.
A random password can be kept on an USB stick and stored seperately for added

Uses Described

Students, library patron, low use public, high security, legacy preservation, robotics are good matches.

The advantage of this use of KNOPPIX is to provide a low cost, portable, secure computer environment. Students, library patrons, high security, demonstration and development projects, or public computer kiosk may be a good match. KNOPPIX with burn_home may offer an interesting solution to the legacy preservation in computing. It may also be excellent for robotics since the energy use can be minimal with no hard drive and the CD drive that only runs when needed.

A few CDRW disks and a floppy is all a student needs. Such a user may lose or have stolen more expensive media.

Slow shutdown speed and limited installation of new software are among many limitations.

Design Philosophy

The operating system, personal data, and computer are seperated from each other.

The computer, the operating system and data should be kept independent of each other. This can increases secruity, reliability, portability, and ease of use.

A new live CD up date version may be used giving an upgraded operating system. Simply burn the new iso and put it in the CD tray and boot. Unless there are major KNOPPIX changes, the data from the RWCD will continue to work.

Target Computer

500 MB memory, floppy, DVD or CD, second CDRW -- no hard drive needed.

The envisioned target computer for Burn Home has

* one floppy
* CD drive
* Second CDRW drive – may be on USB -- these scripts assume cdrom1 dev=1,0,0 (enter cdrecord –scanbus to find your dev=?,?,?)
* 500 MB memory – less may work but may be limiting
* sound
* internet
* printer

Setup Instructions

KNOPPIX is booted from CD, the KDE desktop customized and several files copied.

1. Start (boot from) the KNOPPIX CD

2. Make a boot floppy from the KNOPPIX CD see Boot FloppyHowTo

3. Edit the file syslinux.cfg on the boot floppy. After the first BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix add --> myconfig=/mnt/cdrom1 and any other cheat codes you wish --> lang=us See Note(3)

4. Click Home --> Desktop Paste or copy the script file burn_home to this directory Right click burn_home --> Properties --> Permissions --> check all of the Exec boxes. See Note(4)

5. Adjust your KDE desktop features like background, clock font, icon size, scanner, printer, and internet. Put in a new empty floppy and: K --> KNOPPIX -->Configure --> Save Knoppix Configuration --> OK --> floppy Now copy configs.tbz and knoppix.sh from the floppy to the /home/knoppix directory. See Note(5)

6. Place a CDRW disk to be overwritten or a blank CDR disk, and click on burn_home on the desktop. Click all of the OK boxes for the usual operation with a CDRW. Wait for the message saying the burn was good. Remove the CD. See Note(6)

7. Normal operation: Reboot with the boot floppy, the KNOPPIX CD in the first CD tray, and the burn_home disk in the second CD tray.

8. Rotate through at least 3 or as many CDRW as you wish so that you will always have backup copies to go back to. At any time you may start a new set of disks. Occasionally, I burn a CDR to keep as a permanent record, when I have reached a point in programming that I want to keep for reference.

Scripts Update

The script burn_home is all you need to save and automatically restore your files and settings.

Here are the latest scripts.

I tried to type the files into this Wiki. What a mess!
The latest script burn-home will be with the FTP downloads at

The original post

If you have comments or question please do not post to that link.
Post a new question under general toppics or to this Wiki.

Adding Programs

With special methods new programs can be added to the second CDRW.

You cannot, of course, add program files to the root directories since these are on the KNOPPIX CD and are therefore read only.

But by adding to the path of the console, the path is extended to the directory /ramdisk/home/knoppix/dist/bin Some programs can be modified to install in this directory.

Kano has written excellent scripts to install some programs to /ramdisk/home/knoppix/dist/bin on the live CD. Try mplayer and realpalyer. Once installed and saved to CD with burn_home the programs a available on boot up -- thus essentially making a new 2 CD KNOPPIX version. [2]

There is also:

- [3] - live-installer on KNOPPIX 3.4

KNOPPIX Adoption

Although this is a simple add on, integration into KNOPPIX would be welcomed.

If that is so, why didn't you contact the official sources? Debian-knoppix Mailinglist is for that. (FF)

Bugs/Wish List

General discussion of limits and new proposals.

Add your bugs here!

Document Translation

Help is welcomed on document development and translation. A Calgary Web Design company that offers over 100 articles on knoppix.

Team Gratitude

I thank all of the KNOPPIX community and all who have give specific support.

Public Comment Guests, please use this Wiki page for comments and suggestions.

This is a work in progress.
The initial information is posted on the KNOPPIX forum. I will keep adding improvements as they become available.
I hope this will be of use to further the KNOPPIX phenomenon.
Best wishes

  • Please do not add subpages for project-specific pages. Use a syntax like: Burn Home/Bugs or similar if you really want to do that.

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