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Education Software Linux

Grokking Knoppix 150

chronicon writes "Knowing Knoppix is a beginner-friendly, 134 page freely downloadable book (released under the GNU Free Documentation License in PDF format) designed to familiarize new users with the Knoppix LiveCD distribution, GNU/Linux in general, and (as listed first on the description) Windows disaster recovery using Knoppix."
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Grokking Knoppix

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  • Remastering? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @09:28AM (#11233227)
    It seems quite complete, and it's released under the GNU Free Documentation License. Those are great. But even if it's a "complete beginner's guide", I wish the author had touched a bit on remastering, and the possibility of customizing Knoppix. I know it's not for beginners, but still, if it's explained well, I believe it's accessible to most.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      you can "know" your KNoppix CD-R if ya want, that little hole in the middle might be a rough on your tool though...
    • GFDL as this particularity , you whant to add something you do it ...

      If you know how to write just make the text addition and send it to the autor with a letter of thanks for his book and a note why you think your text is a good addition to his work.

      If you dont but have seen the remastering text somewhere explained in a fantastic simple way , ask the author for a copy and send it to the author of the book.

      I think you have a great idea and I encourage you to see this tru.
  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @09:31AM (#11233234)
    I thought they meant knowing in the biblical sense and I was gonna get some action early this year.
  • Beginners' Knoppix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lachlan76 ( 770870 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @09:33AM (#11233240)
    What would be interesting is a customised knoppix, made for beginners who are trying to learn to use Linux.

    I'm thinking of things like tutorials, instructions, etc, all available on startup, so that people who don't know what to do have an easy way to learn.

    I guess it goes on my to-do list...along with a graphical front-end to portage, untainting my kernel, and recharging my iPod ;)
    • by zogger ( 617870 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @10:26AM (#11233361) Homepage Journal
      roblimos book "point and click linux" is what you want then. You get simply mepis on cd, then a dvd with instructions that you can run simultaneously with booting the live cd if you use your normal dvd player hooked to the TV for that part. Just recently got one for my GF, it fits what you are looking for, linux for beginners.
    • I guess it goes on my to-do list...along with a graphical front-end to portage

      What about Porthole [sourceforge.net], KPortage [nongnu.org], KEmerge [sourceforge.net], or portageMaster [sourceforge.net]?

      Unless, of course, you meant installing one of those. But with Gentoo, I hardly think that would warrant a place on a to-do list.
    • The problem is that ALL CD based distros boot *extremely* slowly. And they are quite limited after you boot them (e.g., you can't install any software that wasn't included on the CD, or upgrage any that was).

      It's a good illustration of Linux, and a useful tool in some situations, but it's not a suitable tool for even occasionally regular use.

      OTOH, used computers are pretty cheap these days... The problem is, if some particular application that's really needed isn't available (neither NoteEdit nor RoseGar
  • by ewanrg ( 446949 ) <ewan.grantham@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @09:39AM (#11233254) Homepage
    This is a nice cover of the basics for Knoppix, and some of the reasons someone new to Linux might want to use it.

    However, if you're looking for something that gives you more detail on how to use Knoppix and extend it, you might want to check out the O'Reilly title Knoppix Hacks [oreilly.com]

    ---

    Blogs [blogspot.com] celebrate the New Year too :-)

  • 350mhz minimum? (Score:5, Informative)

    by BeneathTheVeil ( 305107 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @09:46AM (#11233274) Homepage Journal
    I was using Knoppix on a 333mhz K6-2 for quite a long time, and it was very much usable, and even speedy. Although, to be fair, the machine had 256MB ram.

    Of course, I'm not putting down the author, or the book, I simply wish to point out that one shouldn't underestimate the power of older hardware. Knoppix is still a great tool for those who simply cannot afford a more 'modern' machine, and this fact should not be left out.
    • "...one shouldn't underestimate the power of older hardware."

      While a little OT, I want to emphasize this. Shortly after I put up Gentoo on a 128MiB 350MHz machine, I was impressed at the responsiveness of the Linux 2.6 kernel. I found myself simultaneously emerge-ing OpenOffice, encoding a CD, browsing the 'net, and listening to a compendium of Who oggfiles... and XMMS wasn't missing a beat. That new dispatcher is cherry.

      Yes, it takes 39 hours to emerge OpenOffice on that beater machine, but who car

  • RTFM? Who does that. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2005 @10:14AM (#11233329)
    Buddy: "My XP is trashed and I can't get any of my files."

    Me: "Here's a Knoppix disk. Put it in your CD and hit the reset button. Save the files you need then re-install XP. In the meantime, you can check your files using OpenOffice."

    Buddy gets his files back, uses OO, is too lazy to re-install XP, calls me up to get him back on the web. He never ever reads any manual but we have a new linux user.

    Most people never read manuals. The beauty of Knoppix is that they don't have to. It usually detects everything beautifully even on 'not-quite-up-to-it' machines.

    I, on the other hand, do RTFM but giving a geek a manual is basically preaching to the choir.
    • I, on the other hand, do RTFM but giving a geek a manual is basically sending Jesus to sunday school.
    • by endx7 ( 706884 )
      Something similar happened to a friend of mine.

      The copy WinXP on his machine decided to lose the ability to boot up properly. It would show the XP screen....and right before it would go to the login screen, it would reset itself.

      Okaayyy. Well, he stuck XP on another drive to try to recover his data. XP on the second drive could see the first drive, read any of the data, except for -his- data, because his data was in "My Documents", which apparently windows will only read if it is the copy of windows it
      • "because his data was in "My Documents", which apparently windows will only read if it is the copy of windows it was created with.
        So, can't get to his data, now what?"
        Well, now you learn how to use NFTS file permissions and click that really complicated couple of tabs and buttons that take ownership of all the files, giving you full access to them.
        • It wasn't up to me to think of that. ;P For the most part, I was only around when he first got the problem, and midway through him trying to fix it with a second copy of XP.

          After a few hours of him trying to pound on it, and my non-windows using self not having any idea either, I got my knoppix disk and that solved that, even if it wasn't the "right" way.

          I...hope one of the things he tried was to take ownership. (I seem to remember that existing in WinNT at least, but I don't think I thought of it). Mig
      • Sounds like a fairly common problem. Although MS doesn't acknowledge it, there is a serious flaw in their ability to handle corrupt NTFS volumes (0x00000024 blue screen). If you go to their troubleshooting guide, they say to fix a corrupt NTFS.sys file use the "repair" tool on the Windows XP boot CD. What they obviously don't realize is that the stupid repair CD will try to access the drive before it starts to "repair" anything . . . so you get another blue screen.

        Enter Knoppix.

        Pop in the CD

        >su
        >
      • because his data was in "My Documents", which apparently windows will only read if it is the copy of windows it was created with. So, can't get to his data, now what?

        Unless he was using some wierd assed encryption on his My Documents folder, I call bullshit.
    • What has Knoppix brought into my life as a linux user? More questions from new users. And new users always seem to start with Knoppix, only later to give up on Linux.

      I'm glad to see Linux growing in popularity, but the first thing I tell friends when they ask me a question about a problem with his/her knoppix install is, "Install slackware or a full install of a linux distro." The theory behind Knoppix and cd installs is little effort and less dedication. It's a low risk to throw a cd in and walla have lin
  • Gnoppix (Score:4, Informative)

    by petteri_666 ( 745343 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @10:16AM (#11233336)
    If you like Gnome more than KDE you should really try Gnoppix [gnoppix.org].
    • Ubuntu is another Gnome-centric distribution with a live CD. It also comes with an installer disk, so if you like what you see with the live CD you can install from the installer CD.

      Yes, I know Knoppix and Gnoppix have installer scripts, but this is a real installer. And it's quite easy to run...in the territory of Mandrake and Fedora.

      Free pressed CDs can be had for the asking. This is a good thing, because some old machines have CD-ROMs that don't read CD-Rs so well.
      • Re:Ubuntu (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Ubuntu's live CD IS Ubuntu, they merged, which I'm rather angry about because now Gnoppix is buggier than ever after inheriting lots of bad code from Ubuntu. I'm not trolling Ubuntu here, I'm on Ubuntu (Warty) now, it's a great OS, but the live cd? Shoddy. Now Gnoppix is too, for example, I can only boot it up using Safe Mode, but Ubuntu (install) boots perfectly, what the hell?
    • I always thought that line was, "If you like Gnome more than KDE you should really try therapy".

      cLive ;-)

      (it's a joke dammit. "Some of best friends are Gnome users and they're lovely people." :).

    • I did, and I disagree. Gnoppix may be a good LiveCD in six months, but as of right now it's a bit too fat, slow, and buggy. I would rephrase what you said very slightly:

      If you like Gnome more than KDE, you should really try BeatrIX [watsky.net].

      Like Gnoppix, BeatrIX tracks Ubuntu. Unlike Gnoppix, it uses the Knoppix bootloader for hw detection. Plus, most importantly, "It just works".

  • by aacool ( 700143 ) <aamanlamba2gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 01, 2005 @10:26AM (#11233360) Journal

    Does this book evaluate the various versions out there? I played with the standard knoppix a bit, and as a new year's present have just started a torrent download of the Games Knoppix. I have never seen such a fast torrent dl

    So, what lies ahead for Linux/Knoppix this year? Will it be the year that let the ant finally cross over the elephant's back? Or will it be another slogging inning, cricket as usual?

  • Oh, the irony (Score:2, Interesting)

    by max born ( 739948 )
    released under the GNU Free Documentation License in PDF format.

    Kind of amusing that open source documentation should be released in a proprietary format.
  • by BilliamBlake ( 843780 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @11:19AM (#11233485)
    FYI:
    The last time I used the official Knoppix 3.6 for windows recovery, captive-ntfs, which enables linux to use the native ntfs drivers on the windows system for rock solid reliability, was broken. Although reading is possible, you should never write to an ntfs volume without captive-ntfs.

    fix: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=60253 [knoppix.net]
  • Must be a quick start guide.
  • Ok, I just completed the dnload of the games knoppix, burnt to cd and slipped it into the CD Drive of my Dell Latitude laptop.

    It boots, asks me to select a video mode or press space. I pressed space, it boots the kernel, scans for USB, enables DMA acceleration, then just sits at the next step:

    Looking for CDROM in: /dev/scd0

    Since it is booting from the CDROM, what can be wrong? How do I proceed?

  • Current (Score:2, Funny)

    by JustOK ( 667959 )
    Glad to see it talks about the current 3.3 version of Knoppix
  • That was a Robert Heinlen classic.
  • Using OpenOffice [openoffice.org] is admirable, but for a 134 page document? I stay away from office suites for documents longer than a handful of pages...

    They never heard of LaTeX [latex-project.org]? :)

  • by patelbhavesh ( 735074 ) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @01:49PM (#11234031) Homepage
    In order to reduce the slashdot effect on the author's server please consider downloading via coral links or via p2p networks like edonkey/gnutella.
    Here are the coralized links
    http://www.pjls16812.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.nyud.net :8090/knowing-knoppix/pdf/knowing-knoppix.pdf/ [nyud.net] Main Content
    http://www.pjls16812.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.nyud.net :8090/knowing-knoppix/pdf/cover.pdf/ [nyud.net]
    http://www.pjls16812.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.nyud.net :8090/knowing-knoppix/pdf/back.pdf/ [nyud.net]
    The source of the book cannot be coralized as it is more then 4MB.

    Basically the above URL's are coralized.That means that the content is cached to a nearby location.You can read more about coral's at http://www.scs.cs.nyu.edu/coral/overview// [nyu.edu]

    Here are the edonkey/magnet links to download via p2p networks

    magnet:xturnsha1LNDDBUSI3H5ECNTIUP5RLSEX5GMLV44Edn knowing-knoppixpdf [magnet] Main content via gnutella network.
    ed2k:7Cfile7Cknowing-knoppixpdf7C40002537C349dd9c2 7aef6b60e65b231cecdb140c7C [ed2k] Main content via edonkey network.
  • I'm conflicted about this book. It covers a lot of things which are important for first-time Linux users: "This is KDE", "This is what a superuser is", "Everything is a file". Each chapter has FAQ-type troubleshooting questions that may or may not be helpful to people throwing their hands up in despair about Knoppix. However, I'm a little leery that they put boot time options before use of KDE (advanced topic before beginner's stuff). In general, I think the book bounces back and forth between good "So You
  • I just read it through and it was simple and empowering for an (almost complete) linux and knoppix newb. I'd like to check it out as part of a repair/recovery toolbox. Anyone have a good link?
  • There's no mention in this of klik [atekon.de] which allows you to simply download and run other software with knoppix (and other systems). Klik even gave everyone a christmas present of a 100M download of openoffice2 (well 1.9.65 or something similar) which allows you to try it simply and without installing, no need to upgrade your system and risk impacting anything else.

    A second quick point is that it doesn't seem to provide useful information on encrypted DVDs. It is quite easy to download and extract libdvdcs


  • saw this on a linux magazine just the other day.
    yet another knoppix related distro named
    Kanotix [kanotix.com]. Supposedly to be based on Debian unstable with more updated packages and more frequent releases.
    the packages are supposed to be compiled optimized for the i586 architecture, so the distro wouldnt be suitable for lower-end systems.

    screenshots here [osdir.com]

    current release highlights:

    Kernel 2.6.9 with many patches incl. suspend2

    ACPI and DMA enabled by default (can be disabled with acpi=off respectively nodma)

    i586 opt

  • It seems like the guy had the right idea here, and the writing seems top notch (it's written in just the tone I would try to use to explain Linux to someone) but it seems like the organization could be a bit better. My Aunt and Uncle have constant problems with their PC due to viruses, worms, or just plain windows shitting all over itself. They've recently expressed some interest in Linux, and I've been thinking about burning them off a copy of knoppix so they could try it, and if they like it then go ahe
  • by paj1234 ( 234750 ) on Sunday January 02, 2005 @09:56PM (#11241162)
    Wow, I always wanted to submit a story to Slashdot. Now, here I am *in* a Slashdot story. More than I ever wanted! It certainly had an amazing effect. In two days, an extraordinary 25,327 visitors downloaded, or attempted to download, the PDF. Thank you, all those who took the trouble to post comments. In a few days there will be a new version, dated 2005-something, that will take the comments into account.

    > "The only people plugging in a knoppix cd are nerds who #1: already have a considerable working
    > knowledge of linux & 2: don't read...this."

    Yes, I know, that's pretty true. But everyone has to start somewhere. I hope at least some people might find it useful.

    > "[if it doesn't work]... you've lied to them saying it was plain and simple... he never says anything
    > like "and if THIS doesn't happen, THEN do.."

    Guilty! I have changed certain sections about reading the hard disk accordingly. I have already made some attempts in the "Quick help" sections to address some of the errors I have encountered and mistakes I have made while using Knoppix myself.

    "Kind of amusing that open source documentation should be released in a proprietary format."

    Yes. I plead guilty again. But it is at least an open source format that is built into OpenOffice.org, and GNU Ghostscript, both of which are GPL.

    >"Using OpenOffice... for a 134 page document? I stay away from office suites for documents
    > longer than a handful of pages... They never heard of LaTeX [latex-project.org]?"

    Indeed. Using OpenOffice.org for a 100+ page document is getting kinda horrible... I tried LaTeX but I never figured out how to get the kind of presentation control that I wanted. :-(

    > "I think the book bounces back and forth between good "So You Want To Be A Linux
    > Consultant" material, like the stuff about hda, fd0, boot process, init, and so on, and
    > good "Grandpa Computer User" material, like the stuff about KDE ("click on things
    > to start them", "you can lasso many things at once"). This makes it difficult for either
    > group to use."

    That is an excellent comment. See here the power of peer review. I could never have thought of that myself, yet it seems so obvious now it's been pointed out to me. I have moved the material about "device names" and "user accounts" almost to the back of the book.

    > "wasn't necessary to go into detail about the bootup process... as soon as people see "SCSI" or
    > IDE" or "PCMCIA" they'll go into idiot mode and fail to grok the rest of the paper, and
    > resort to throwing feces at the monitor"

    Good point. I have taken out the detailed description of the startup process. I have replaced it with an one-line explanation and a few examples of how long the auto-detection process takes (between 40 seconds and 2 minutes depending on the speed of the machine).

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.

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