General FAQ

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Q: Why is my favourite software xyz not present on the CD?

A: Even on a 700MB medium, available space is limited. Aside from that, there are certain criteria for software licenses in order to be acceptable for Knoppix, totally independent from price or fees. All licenses must guarantee that the CD can still be downloaded, modified and copied, free of charge. Licenses that don't allow incorporation into such a CD can't be accepted by us, at least not for the freely available/downloadable versions of Knoppix. That also applies to licenses that would force the recipients to sign another agreement before download, or even pay royalty fees, and licenses that do not allow the CD to be distributed commercially (for example, customization, copying and mailing of the CD for an appropriate fee for the work done, is commercial distribution). Almost all programs on the CD fall under the GPL or similar Open Source licenses, which provide a lot of freedom for the recipients of the software (see also The GNU GPL License Page). Exceptions regarding software that may, due to the wish of the vendor, only be distributed in binary form, are still tolerable if they fall under a liberal license that allows non-commercial as well as commercial distribution of the CD without essential restrictions. Please check the license of your software carefully before writing a recommendation for inclusion in future versions of Knoppix to the developer team.

Q: What license does the Knoppix-CD use?

A: If not otherwise specified, the software on the CD is Free Software falls under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Similar to other Open Source licenses, this means that you can copy, modify, redistribute and even resell the CD without restrictions, as long as the recipient receives the same license. The source code of the standard packages on the CD are available from their respective original providers (for example on the FTP servers at Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake). Special components such as the Knoppix kernel or the automatic hardware detection source code can be downloaded from The Main Knoppix Site if not already available in the /usr/src directory on the CD. Individual packages, as specified by the GPL, may fall under another license (for example Netscape). If in doubt, the licenses can be found in the help sections or the DEB-database (dpkg -p package-name) of each software package.

Q: What is the root password?

A: There is none; all passwords are locked/scrambled by default; you set one yourself for those situations which call for it. You can set the root password by going to Knoppix Menu -> Knoppix -> Root Shell and typing "passwd", then entering a root password. You can also go to Knoppix Menu -> Knoppix -> Set password for root. There are several sections you can read dealing with this subject in KNOPPIX/README_Security.txt. You can also type "sudo su" or "sudo -s" in any console window, or use <ctr>-<alt>-F2 to get at the text console with already opened root shell.

Q:From where does KNOPPIX start all the scripts at the bootprocess?

A:The init scripts are located in /etc/init.d and are symlinked to in the /etc/rcX.d directorys in a sysV like fashion.

Q: Where can I find where all the boot-time parameters are interpreted???

A:You can see them in /etc/init.d/knoppix-autoconfig script

Q: How can I watch a DVD?

A: First of all, you have to have Knoppix installed on your hard drive. You won't be able to execute the following proceedure if you are running it from the CD.

I beleve if you used a USB to hold the changes you make on a system couldnt you use that to watch a dvd? 
I imagine that would be more useable.
  • Become root
  • Add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb $(ARCH)/
deb-src sources/
  • Then do:
apt-get update
apt-get install libdvdcss2
  • Play the DVD (e.g. with Xine, Ogle, Videolan, Mplayer etc).
  • If your DVD plays but skips and jumps, then you probably need to enable Direct Memory Access (DMA) for the drive.
  • To see if DMA is enabled, log in as root and type: "/sbin/hdparm -d <device name>" For example: "/sbin/hdparm -d /dev/hdc" It it says "using_dma = 1 (on)" it is already turned on.
  • Otherwise, to enable DMA type: "/sbin/hdparm -d 1 /dev/hdc"
  • If you want DMA to be enabled automatically then add the line "/sbin/hdparm -d 1 /dev/hdc" to any startup script (/etc/init.d/ for example).
  • Enjoy watching DVDs in Linux :-)

Q: How can I see a film with subtitles that of course I have?

A: in a console "xine name_movie.ext#subtitle:name_subtitle.ext" you have to replace .ext with the real extension