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Knoppix Tips and Tricks 496

Posted by michael
from the sweet-debian-goodness dept.
cosog writes "Robert Storey writes in a thorough review about Knoppix: 'Some people even take a Knoppix disk with them when they go shopping for a new computer, a clever way to ensure that the hardware will be Linux compatible before you purchase it.' His article discusses things like: booting, rescuing, installing on HDD, tips'n'tricks, etc... A nice read for everyone interested in Linux (and Knoppix in particular ;)."
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Knoppix Tips and Tricks

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  • Rescue (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vpscolo (737900) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @08:57PM (#7877352) Homepage
    Knoppix comes in very handy when around and about as it will get your out of virtually any hole (short of rm -rf). Unstabled for debian doesn't mean things crash, it just means that they have not been totally tested to be totally stable
  • by bdaehlie (537484) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @08:57PM (#7877353) Homepage
    Knoppix really is amazing. I didn't understand all the hype before, but after a glorious performance recovering files from a horked Windows box, I make sure I always have a Knoppix CD around. Whenever Windows threatens to waste my time, its Knoppix to the rescue. Also - not only is Knoppix really good at what it does, it looks great too! Its a great way to show off Linux.
  • by Pyro226 (715818) <Pyro226&hotmail,com> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @09:24PM (#7877553) Journal
    OK, you're just way off here. First off, Hard Drives do not run at 7200 and 5400 x, they run at 7200 and 5400 revolutions per minute (RPM). CD-ROM speeds, are measured in X's, but these X's don't correspond (directly) to a certain RPM, they refer to the speed of the drive where 1x is the regular play speed of an Audio CD. 1x for data is considered to be 150 Kbps (Kilo BITS per second). Based on this, a 52x CD-ROM would get 7.8 Mbps, or just under 1 Megabyte a second.

    Hard Drives using the the latest IDE can get 133 Megabyters per second BURST transfers, but even good ones usually only get 50 Megs SUSTAINED transfer.

    Despite your screwy numbers, Hard Drives really are much faster for loading operating systems. But the other place you screw up is that you forget what Knoppix is all about - A bootable linux distro would be a lot less convienient if you had to carry it around on a hard drive and open up computers you wanted to use it on.

  • Re:Dangerous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgranade (702534) <cgranade@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @09:26PM (#7877565) Homepage Journal
    Ya know, this isn't just Knoppix. People would bring in Dreamcasts with custom boot CDs, hook them up to the network, and walk away. The DC would blast a hole in the firewall, and let the hacker in.
    Despite of this obvious threat, Dreamcasts were not banned, nor made to implement stronger security measures. Why? Because if any device on a network, w/o a password or any type of authorization other than its physical location can destroy a firewall, then the network itself has larger problems to deal with. To me, this calls into question the assumption of trusted devices. In short, Knoppix cannot forsee it's use, thus placing the burden on those who create and administer networks to do so in a safe and responsible manner.
  • Re:Dangerous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @09:39PM (#7877636)
    Illogical to worry about Knoppix rather than anything else being misused in that fashion. You could use any of 30 operating systems to "take over" most Wintel PCs and do something naughty. Or just run naughty software under the existing installed OS from CD. Better yet just yank out network cable & plug in your own evil network-equipped PDA or laptop and be naughty.
  • Re:Knoppix (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 04, 2004 @09:55PM (#7877739)
    Are you really that fucking stupid? dd does a bit-level copy. If you have two different sized partitions, you're kind of fucked, right? File copying DOES copy at the bit-level, but on a per-file basis, not on a per-partition (or device) basis.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @10:08PM (#7877815)
    FYI a 1X CD will revolve 210 times per minute at the outer edge, whereas it will revolve app. 539 times per minute on the inner edge.
    Hence a 52X speed CD-ROM will revolve 10920 and 28028 times per minute on the outer and inner edge respectively


    Wait. Did you just say that with a straight face, or am I misreading?

    If the inner edge revolves more often than the outer edge, just how are they being held together? How many times a minute is the centre of the disc spinning? :)

    I think you're getting velocity confused with rpms :)
  • by Desult (592617) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @10:17PM (#7877867) Homepage
    Frankly, I can't imagine that anyone fully aware of and capable to use Knoppix would be buying a personal machine off the shelf (business machines are another story). The only reason I would imagine would be to take advantage of the price point or warranty... but even still. In that case I would imagine you'd be buying it online to reduce the CompUSA/Circuit City/etc middleman... and in that case you wouldn't be guaranteed same hardware would ship from Dell/Gateway/whomever as is in the shop. Any information freely available online (from other enthusiasts, perhaps) would seem to be as reliable as an in-store Knoppix boot.

    I haven't bought an off the shelf computer for myself for, gee, 7 years? I quite enjoy putting together the pieces myself, and building a computer that totally meets my own needs, and not the "Smart Business User" or "X-Treme Gamer!" mold. I'm quite capable at building my own computers, I buy and build (usually off the shelf, though) computers for my workplace, and am more computer capable than 99% of the people I know, but I don't use Linux on the desktop. I am slowly but surely acquiring UNIX-like skills by using FreeBSD as a server at home and at work, but I don't have the time nor patience to learn a new desktop OS. It therefore surprises me that users who are confident enough that they will be running a relatively insider-OS (Knoppix as opposed to Redhat/Slackware/whatever) will not be building their own rigs, with full knowledge of the compatibility therein.

    Obviously it is so, but it's weird to me. As a programmer, I would definitely recommend you girls get your hands in some hardware (ground yourselves first, of course ;)!

    -Greg
  • Re:DD != Ghost (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nasarius (593729) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @10:22PM (#7877896)
    You don't need the entire monolithic 700MB Knoppix CD for those few utils. You could get by with a CD that loads a ramdisk of a few megs.
  • by eean (177028) <slashdot@mon r o e.nu> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @10:26PM (#7877919) Homepage
    Or you could just do it anyway. What are they going to do, kick you out of the store? *gasp*

    Anyways, buying computers retail is a bad idea usually. I'm a student worker at the IT dept. of my University and it seems we're always working on student HPs and Compaqs. I'm not sure if thats because its what most people have, or if the people that need help (usually from catching a virus and/or getting loads of spyware) or if its because the machines are crap. Perhaps all of the above.
  • Re:Knoppix (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 04, 2004 @10:49PM (#7878033)
    And just how many of us geeks are backing up our patitions for forensic purposes?
  • by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter&gmail,com> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @11:02PM (#7878102) Homepage
    If you don't suggest HP or Compaq for students, who would you support? HP and Compaq give some of the most end user support for the retail buyer, and can give the help in much better locations than the mom and pop shop down the street that would just prefer you bring the computer in -- especially when you are half a continent away. Which brings ya back to the point of buying something that has national support and probably at least one campus rep within 15 minutes from your location. And if that doesn't help, theres you or the mom and pop shops in town (and these mom and pop shops don't care who you bought your original computer from because they will charge you the same as anyone else that didn't buy from there).

    Non-retail is a gamble...you never know what kind of crap is going to be in there. Its like eMachines, but worse (or at least how the e use to be).

    Personally, I use Apples for most of my serious work...I use my PC for playing games. But the department I manage only uses Compaqs (and some Dells) and they are *GREAT* machines. Ya just can't buy the cheap $300 Entire Package that they aim at the home user because half the price of the business end machines are including the support issues that may arise...if you buy a certain class machine, you get this. If not, ya don't. The higher priced the machine, the more likely you will have more standarized parts. Its not HP or Compaq are bad, its that they sell tiered services in the form of computers and ya get what you pay for. Hell, I almost bought a package deal Compaq was selling to faculty members a few months back that included a flat screen simply for that screen (it ended up the package was only $60 more than the screen itself at retail and I could have given the rest away to a family member including one of my CRTs).

    Anywho, I just got through un-virusing a home built computer for an aquaintence tonight...nothing to do with the brand :-P
  • by image (13487) on Monday January 05, 2004 @02:01AM (#7878985) Homepage
    Wow. Think about what you just said. Your six year old child was able to figure out how to boot from a CD, use the KDE interface, and run and actually use Gimp. In 30 minutes. All without any help from you.

    And some critics say that Linux is too complicated to be used by adult professionals in the workplace.

    You obviously have a very smart son, but the point remains -- Linux is definitely ready for the mainstream, usability-wise.
  • by kwoff (516741) on Monday January 05, 2004 @05:02AM (#7879526)
    Like others, I used Knoppix when I went to buy a new laptop. One problem, which the store-owner was insightful enough to point out, is that because Knoppix is intended to be a general distribution (though it supports a lot of different hardware), it might be somewhat "dumbed down" so that, although you couldn't get an ultra-new system to work immediately by sticking a Knoppix CD into it, you might be able to if you googled a bit to find the problem. In fact, though I went in the store determined not to get an HP laptop (which I had very bad experience with before), that was the only one with my desired specs which would boot immediately from the Knoppix CD (some Sony Vaio and another brand didn't boot). It might be that I saved myself a lot of trouble by avoiding those machines, but then it might just be a simple problem with Knoppix itself not yet supporting the hardware.
  • by TheScienceKid (611371) on Monday January 05, 2004 @05:32AM (#7879607)
    What's really gonna bake your noodle is can you write to anything other than a pre-existing file or change the size of a file? I'm afraid your noodle's cooked.... because it doesn't. To quote linux-2.6.0-test11/fs/Kconfig ....

    config NTFS_RW
    bool "NTFS write support"
    depends on NTFS_FS
    help
    This enables the partial, but safe, write support in the NTFS driver.

    The only supported operation is overwriting existing files, without
    changing the file length. No file or directory creation, deletion or
    renaming is possible. Note only non-resident files can be written to
    so you may find that some very small files (

    It is perfectly safe to say N here.
  • by boneshintai (112283) <`ojacobson' `at' `lionsanctuary.net'> on Monday January 05, 2004 @06:38AM (#7879803) Homepage

    I'm tempted to mark this off as firewall cargo-cultism. Barring bugs in the kernel, a port that is not listening cannot accept packets. Given that iptables runs in the same kernel, I'm inclined to believe that it's equally-likely to have a bug that causes it to accept packets it should drop/reject.

    With a read-only system such as knoppix, it's extremely hard for a trojan to set up a rogue service on a high port for long enough to be useful to an attacker, and next to impossible to arrange for that to come back next time the system is rebooted.

  • by rightgit (730415) on Monday January 05, 2004 @11:36AM (#7881617)
    Actually, yelling at the guy on the phone, while not nice for him, is a form of customer feedback. The guy who gets yelled at then has the responsibility of reporting the customer complaint to his manager, who then should report it to his manager, until someone with the power to change something decides that action should be taken. Not yelling (or otherwise voicing complaints) only perpetuates poor products and poorer product support. Breath in the form of verbalized comunication is rarely wasted... Just my 2

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