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Knoppix 3.8 at CeBIT w/ Kernel 2.6, FF, and More 283

Posted by timothy
from the slicing-edge dept.
clsc writes "The German tech news site Heise Online reports that Knoppix 3.8 is being presented at CeBIT (Hall 9, Stand C39). Knoppix 3.8 has kernel 2.6 as default, KDE 3.3.2, OpenOffice 1.1.4, as well as... Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 1.0. There's also a really neato new thing involving unionfs . It seems to imply that you can change most anything on the running system, even as it is running from CD - and changes can be stored too (even on NTFS)."
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Knoppix 3.8 at CeBIT w/ Kernel 2.6, FF, and More

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  • cool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xbmodder (805757) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:12AM (#11821422) Homepage
    Nothing to see here... Only the best linux boot CD ever Knoppix has saved me thousands. They should win the Nobel Prize or something.
    • I hope this versin fixes the two biggest problems that I have had with the latest 3.6 (never tried 3.7 but I see it's available) - specifically:

      1 - problem with captive ntfs (doesn't work unless you add the appropriate user and group). It's easier for me to use BartPE or Winternals.

      2 - inadequite x support for flatscreen monitors (yes, I have tried many different cheatcodes for fixing this, even copying what is set on the native os) It seems there is about a 10-20% failure rate.

      Having said that I am look
      • Just gave captive-ntfs a go under Knoppix 3.7. It's still broken. It is necessary to add the captive user and group through KUser before you can mount NTFS partitions. Also, I tend to manually copy in the ntfs.sys and ntoskrnl.exe from floppy, as I had problems with captive under 3.6 if those files weren't from XP-SP1a, and I don't have any computers around that aren't SP2 already.

  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:13AM (#11821431) Journal
    I like to take it with me to the computer store to try out on the various laptops I am considering buying. If Knoppix doesn't have any trouble with the device drivers, I feel comfortable buying the laptop. If it runs into some issues, I can scratch that laptop off my list. And since it doesn't have any longterm effect on the existing OS, it can be loaded on with impunity.

    That's how I decided which fileservers to buy to run my distribution center.
    • yeah. it's also great for people who are new to linux and unsure if they actually want to install it on their machine. i tell all my n00b friends that if knoppix works fine on their box, then, theoretically when they install a distro on their harddisk it should work as well (especially if it is debian-based).
    • I like to take it with me to the computer store to try out on the various laptops I am considering buying.

      "Sir!. I want you to leave the store. Or else I'll have to call the police. Your |\/|4D h4x0R 5k1Lz have no place here."

      But seriously. I believe you have to be prepared to use about 30 minutes to explain to the clerk what you are trying to do. Too many have not heard about Linux (and even fewer have heard about Knoppix) and think you are damaging the setup of the computers.

      • Hm...I should bring one of my LiveCDs into the computer lab here as an experiment. Then again, considering one guy ended up with police on his doorstep because his use of lynx scared a librarian...
        • I should bring one of my LiveCDs into the computer lab here as an experiment. Then again, considering one guy ended up with police on his doorstep because his use of lynx scared a librarian

          Try booting up with Knoppix STD [securetarget.net] and see what kind of reception you get.
      • by ettlz (639203)
        If they won't let you try a Linux bootable CD, then don't bother with them. They can't be a very good store. I bought my notebook at a department store whose staff were more than willing for me to go through display machines seeing which ones booted the Red Hat 9 installer. They made me feel like they wanted me to spend money there.
    • You could always offer to buy the computer outright if it doesn't go back to the way it was before you got there after you have a look at it with Knoppix (which it of course it will). The sales clerk may think they have an easy sale on their hands.
    • by Tomcat666 (210775) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @06:08AM (#11821778) Homepage
      My current laptop (HP/Compaq NX9030) doesn't run any kernel of the current Knoppix version well - driver modprobing crashes, one of them gets the laptop to just hang, the other one won't start X automatically and most stuff doesn't seem to work right. I haven't tried out the many boot options, but that also implies that it doesn't work that well.

      However, the main OS on that laptop is Ubuntu Warty. I've never had a single problem concerning the hardware, everything works like a charm since the installation, the current Hoary LiveCD runs perfectly.

      I agree to using Knoppix to test a laptop at the store, because if it works well it'll be a great Linux machine - but you might miss out on a few deals.

      I guess the conclusion is: Try the LiveCD of the distro you want to install. If you want to install Ubuntu later, don't try Knoppix on the machine, it might make a difference.
    • Note of caution (Score:3, Informative)

      by rwa2 (4391) *
      I've run into at least one laptop that runs KNOPPIX fine, but hangs when loading Linux from disk (under Knoppix, Debian, and Redhat FC3). These distributions all install fine, but they invariably hang up halfway through the boot process, on inane things like starting up the print service (and stuff that has nothing to do with hardware). It's always in the same spot (but on different services between the different distros).

      Really has me frustrated. BTW, the hardware in question is an Alienware Area-51m
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... if they wrote a virus for KDE, would they call it "The Klap?"
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:21AM (#11821465) Homepage Journal
    Back when knoppix came out - it was a curiousity. Mainly because most systems needed hours of configurations to get it working "the way I want it". Small things like hooking up a "fetchmail" before "postfix flush" or putting both into the if-up scripts. Morphix was the first step towards that (eg if you want to browse securely from a cyber-cafe - without any keyloggers peeking).

    Now with lots of machines with 512 Mb and greater RAM, a LiveCD doesn't sound that bad. This unionfs thing clinches it - but the catch is still that if you change your machine, all this is lost. All that said, LiveCDs are here to stay (I think LiveDVDs might be just around the corner ..)

  • coLinux and live CDs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:25AM (#11821479) Homepage Journal
    I was talking to Jeff Waugh from Ubuntu the other week (*cough* blatant name dropping *cough*) who suggested that the next Ubuntu Live CD might have coLinux on it. You'll be able to plug the CD into any Windows XP machine and get Ubuntu running in a window (that you can fullscreen if you like). He said he'd prefer not to use the Cygwin X server, so I think he's going to put up a bounty for a frame buffer -> DirectX driver for coLinux.

    No need to reboot to demo linux, that could well be sweet.

    • by WetCat (558132)
      Why not run TightVNC session against coLinux running in Windows?
      I use it that way and it works very good.
    • I hope he specifies as part of his bounty criteria that it be performant. Such a thing exists already as a proof-of-concept -- it's just that the update rate is measured in seconds-per-frame.
    • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @07:02AM (#11821943)
      While it would be cool to see Colinux working, I seriously doubt it will allow networking. Getting colinux to network is a massive pain involving installing Win32-Tap, reboots, messing around with bridges / NAT, fiddling Linux-side to make it work and generally ripping your hair out. This is definitely one area that requires improvement - both for Colinux and Microsoft who should ship some kind of TAP device by default.

      Once it does work, it works like a charm, but it took me a couple of hours to figure it to work with my setup. I started with a pre3.0 Debian root_fs I grabbed from the net. Once I got the networking going, I changed sources.list and upgraded to Debian 'sarge' dist. Now I have a lovely GNOME 2.8 desktop all running under XP at (my guess) 80-90% of native speed. I've sucessfully gotten both VNC and NX to run under it though performance through NX is more sluggish than I expected.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, we can do Knoppix for Windows [btconnect.com] from CD ... there's a QEMU on the CD which autoruns, and the CD will boot 'real' as well so there's no waste when you have finished learning and want to take the trainer wheels off. Not highly performant under QEMU, but good enough. Treats Windows like a NAT-router-firewall (!), so networking is preconfigured.

      Torrents here [btconnect.com]

      Ubuntu Warty [btconnect.com] is fine, if a little sluggish because HZ is 1000; but that is fixable.

      Last time I tried Hoary [btconnect.com] there were slight problems with not supp

    • so I think he's going to put up a bounty for a frame buffer -> DirectX driver

      Why not use FreeNX Server on the X side, and an NX client on the Windows side? Others have suggested VNC, but NX should be more efficient.

      On a side note, I've been able to use NX to use my work desktop from home (via cable) and it feels almost as fast as if I were sitting there. I hadn't been able to accomplish that before, even with VNC or the various X solutions (forget what they were called now).
  • by xiando (770382) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:27AM (#11821484) Homepage Journal
    There is one way of really supremely impressing people using Knoppix some people are not aware of: IF you have a gigabyte of RAM or more then you can actually load the whole Knoppix CD into memory so you can use the CD drive for all other kinds of things... But this has one obvious bi-effect that I have realized impresses so heavily: When programs are started from RAM, they obviously load faster than from a hard drive. Knoppix loaded into memory is the fastest Linux distribution I have seen so far, almost all programs start instantly. So if you have a machine with lots of ram and want to seriously impress: This is the way to do it! This is kind of cheating as no normal Linux system can perform like this, but it is ideal for demonstrating Linux. On a personal note, I would seriously be happy if something like this could be done with a normal distribution: Say if you have 3 GB RAM, then why not load everything into a portion of it at boot and run programs off memory .. even if you have Linux installed on your hard drive? Obviously this is 'waste of RAM', but hey, if you have lots of money and therefore RAM, why not??
    • by qewl (671495) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:36AM (#11821513)
      Feather is a great distribution for doing this. It only needs 128 to 256 MB to have everything loaded and still plenty of processing ram. Great for somewhat older computers and has all the hardware recognition of Knoppix 3.6
    • I used to do that with the Amiga, you could create a reset resident ramdisk so you could copy your OS into it and reboot from it..
    • by ahfoo (223186) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @05:44AM (#11821723) Journal
      Well, Gigs of RAM isn't really all that cheap, so I think using Damn Small Linux to do the same thing is more impressive for most people because you can use what is available in the here and now. You can easily load DSL into RAM with 256Megs and sometimes it works with 128Megs, but you won't be able to add many other packages once you get it online.
      However, and I'm currently typing on just such a system, it's not as fast as you'd hope. The reason is that LiveCDs use compression on the filesystems so you have that overhead preventing things from being as fast as it could be. But certainly as big RAM goes mainstream there is no doubt in my mind that the idea of running the whole system from RAM is inevitable. Like I say, I'm already there albeit using a compressed filesystem.
      As for this unionfs thing. Is that completely unrelated to klik? That's a pretty cool development on Knoppix that has come a long way in a very short time. You can already install most Debian packages on Knopppix without a hard drive install using Klik. And even better, you can save the packages to hard drive or removeable media. So, you don't lose them at all when you change to another machine.
      This totally rocks. I'm not sure if it's related to the unionfs thing, but it certainly deserves mention because it is hot shit.
      • by frog51 (51816)
        Erm...gigs of RAM really is cheap.

        Really, really cheap.

        Seriously. 4Gb RAM is now at a price most folks can afford. Cheap enough to have a spare machine just for Rainbow Tables:-)
    • This is kind of cheating as no normal Linux system can perform like this

      If you're demonstrating how much faster a Linux machine can be than whatever it is the person is using currently, then there's no "kind of" about it, unless you explain exactly what you've done and what they'd need to do to recreate the speed increase.

      Otherwise, you're in danger of wowing them, persuading them to switch, then having them discover that actually it's not that much faster after all, and possibly just switching back agai
    • Say if you have 3 GB RAM, then why not load everything into a portion of it at boot and run programs off memory

      All other replies suggest copying /usr to a RAM disk, but there's a much easier solution if it's just about loading apps quicker after starting up. First, look into the swappiness kernel parameter [kerneltrap.org]. Then, create a mechanism to read these files into memory.

      Short story: add two lines to /etc/rc.d/rc.local:

      echo 100 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
      for i in `find /opt/OpenOffice`; do cat $i >/dev/nu

    • There's a tradeoff between boot speed and application start speed - Win98 tried to get faster load times by preloading things at boot time but personally I found the slow boot really annoying. I suppose you might be able to get faster load times by using an absurdly large read-ahead disk cache; looks like the read-ahead code is mostly in /usr/src/linux/drivers/block/ll_rw_blk.c if you're interested in digging further. Or you could have a low-priority process that reads executable files, thus dragging them i
  • My luck... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:33AM (#11821504)
    I have finished downloading Knoppix 3.6 with my modem yesterday...
    • I just downloaded and burned 3.7, I feel pretty shafted, the downloading isn't an issue, but I don't have many CDRW's of 700Mb to hand :/
  • by dotslashdot (694478) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:36AM (#11821514)
    Is there a confederatefs located at the bottom of this stack that uses ioslaves to pick fields from a database?
  • Writing to NTFS... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @04:48AM (#11821560) Homepage
    As the summary hints at writing to NTFS, will this version of Knoppix use Captive NTFS [jankratochvil.net] in some manner, or is it just going to write to a loopback file to get around the problems with using the native Linux driver for writing to NTFS?
    • by clsc (730336)
      ... a loopback file methinks. At least TFA states that you have to create an empty file of the desired size in your Windows partition first. It also states that there's a tool that does this for you, so you don't have to boot Windows first.
    • by irgu (673471) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @10:07AM (#11822669)
      Captive NTFS is defunct for a year now: Development Status: Project is no longer developed. [jankratochvil.net] It's very pitty it couldn't achieve reliability.

      Knoppix uses the rewritten NTFS driver which supports loopback read-write mounting a file on NTFS. Nothing new, the now also dead Phat Linux [phatlinux.com] already did the same in 2002 with the same open source kernel driver. Currently the most popular "run Linux from NTFS" distribution is TopologiLinux [sourceforge.net].

      It's very nice to see Knoppix caught up too.

  • by OlivierB (709839) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @05:03AM (#11821597)
    The one last thing that could even more favorise live CD adoptions could be online settings and file storage.
    Sure you can carry around a USB key and store your settings there. But imagine being able to boot a machine anywhere and beinga ble to retrieve your field from something ala Yahoo briefcase.

    Solutions exist out there; think GMailFS
    If they would include this on the KNOPPIX CD with automount and all..
    I am drooling just thinking about the possibilities!

    • by headLITE (171240) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @05:21AM (#11821651)
      Actually, they should include kio_fuse. It's a fuse module enabling the kernel to mount any KDE kio_slave. This combined with the fish:// or webdavs:// kio_slaves...

      You can get 1 GB of webdav accessible space at GMX.net for free if you know enough German to get around the freemail signup.
  • Is this unionfs like the ovlfs that has been used in SLAX for ages? And if so why not just port ovlfs to kernel 2.6?
    • Yes, it's just like ovlfs, but a lot better. Just like translucency, mini_fo and cowloop that Morphix has been using far before Slax was born.

      Unionfs is the future of overlay filesystems, Slax should wake up: it's useless to port ovlfs over when all other livecds (Knoppix, Morphix and Kanotix) are divirging to unionfs.
  • by dohboy (449807) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @05:44AM (#11821721)
    ...but here's where to grab it once it is released:

    http://torrent.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/ [uni-kl.de]

  • by bcmm (768152)
    Firefox seems the obvious choice for a live CD. I was shocked that it still contained Mozilla Suite, given its size compared to Fx ("ff" is not the correct abbreviation for Firefox, according to the Mozilla foundation)

    What are they going to do with all that free space I wonder?

    P.S. run "bb" from the console in Knoppix. Best waste of space ever.
    • does Firefox really make a difference? The download is still 8MB and the browser neither seems faster nor less memory-hungry than plain Mozilla (never compared installed size but Knoppix ships the packages iirc).

      To me the additional features of Mozilla for 4 MB more seem like a good deal. Well Opera provides most of that in a quarter the size but unfortunately their cookie management is so shitty I can't stand it =/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @07:56AM (#11822081)
    You should see how easy it was to install this damn thing - you can either use "sudo knoppix-installer" for a hand held new install or do this to literally get the live cd working on the PC with a persistent home directory -

    * Partition the harddisk to make room for knoppix:
    o ext2 partition /dev/hda1 used to boot the kernel with lilo (30 Meg)
    o ext2 partition /dev/hda2 for the knoppix image (I used 10000 Meg, but 800 Meg should be enough)
    o swap partition /dev/hda3 (I used 1024 Meg)
    o ext2 partition /dev/hda4 for the persistent home (rest of drive
    * Boot the knoppix cd with the cheatcode "tohd=/dev/hda2". This will copy the knoppix image to disk
    * Reboot the knoppix cd with the cheatcode "fromhd=/dev/hda2" and check if it runs without the cd.
    * Make the persistent homedir via the knoppix menu (penguin icon->configuration->make persistent dir, use entire /dev/hda4 and format)
    * Do not save your KNOPPIX configuration via the menu, all changes to the environment will be saved automatically because of the persistent home.
    * Copy the files from /boot to /mnt/hda1. Also copy the file "/mnt/cdrom/boot/isolinux/minirt24.gz" from the cd to /mnt/hda1.

    Note, you will need to mount hda1 and make it read/write. The copying can only be done with sudo, thence the command to copy is "sudo cp /boot/* /mnt/hda1". Or, you can use su. I just found sudo was fine.

    * Copy /etc/lilo.conf to /mnt/hda1 and make the following boot entries (do not forget to uncomment the line with "prompt", or else the lilo boot menu will not appear): (vi /mnt/hda1/lilo.conf)

    Note, learn vi commands first

    image=/mnt/hda1/vmlinuz
    initrd=/mnt/hda1/minirt 24.gz
    append="fromhd=/dev/hda2 home=/dev/hda4 lang=us myconfig=/mnt/hda4"
    root=/dev/hda2
    label=Knoppix
    read-write

    * Mount the /mnt/hda1 partition temporary as /boot so lilo writes its map-file to the right place (sudo mount /dev/hda1 /boot)
    * Let lilo write the boot loader to the master boot record (sudo lilo -C /mnt/hda1/lilo.conf)
    * Remove the knoppix cd-rom and reboot.

    That's it. you can use lilo.conf to set up another OS that exists, like Windows 98. I chose to dedicate the disk, seems easier. 10 minutes and I'm working with a fully functional Knoppix bootable hdd based PC.

    Now THAT fuckign rocks hard.
  • by headLITE (171240) on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @08:08AM (#11822114)
    Just for your information, Mac OS X and other BSDs can mount anything over another directory without hiding its own content. For example, on Mac OS X you'd use the -o union mount option to merge two different filesystems.
  • Did they get rid of that annoying audio file? It turns what's otherwise a class act live cd into something that reminds everyone of trekkies living in their parent's basement.
    • > Did they get rid of that annoying audio file? It turns what's otherwise a class act live cd into something that reminds everyone of trekkies living in their parent's basement.

      I really like the audio 'initiating startup sequence.' It's cool, the audio version of blinkenlights.
      (shuts basement door so audio doesn't disturb mom)

  • Horrible fonts. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is not a troll! I installed 3.7 and the fonts were awful! Isn't there a way to have them look pretty out of the gate? It was very noticeable under the Spe python editor and mozilla. Any suggestions for fixing would be greatly appreciated. Thx Ovapositor (too hurrried to log in)
  • I hope Knoppix developers implement file storage of a modified installation in a sensible way, i.e. without automatic detection and usage of the user file on system startup, and possibly with user/password fingerprinting. Otherwise, Windows malware could be written that creates manipulated Knoppix system files on hard disks and takes over once somebody boots a Knoppix CD on the machine.
  • Captive ntfs has been a pain, and 90% of my knoppix's usage comes from trying to fix some file on some NTFS partition. Even upto 3.7, it was crashing for me.

    Good NTFS writes would be the biggest news for me in 3.8. Not much else room for improvement elsewhere
  • on when 3.8 may become publicly available?? I see nothing on the knopper.net site about 3.8.

    Speculating and debating all these neato features, politics and wish lists is just mental masturbation until folks can actualy get their grubby mits on it and can abuse it, break it and other fun things.

    KNOPPIX 3.8 relaesed for public download HERE!

    Now, that'd be a headline worth clicking on. Who's crystal ball has been recently calibrated? Give us the skinny!!

    (HINT: It'd be stuff that matters)
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday March 02, 2005 @11:44AM (#11823670) Homepage Journal
    Remastering [knoppix.net] your own KNOPPIX is easy and it works.

    I built a custom system maintenance image for work in a couple of hours. Among the changes:

    • Stripped out games, i18n (takes up a lot of space)
    • installed some extra utilities (gkrellm, iftop, etc.)
    • captive-ntfs ntoskrnl and ntfs.sys files already stored in /var/lib/captive
    • installed DOSemu to run Ghost and DriveImage (previous backup standards). This allows me to do backups and restores over the network, or from a USB2.0 / firewire drive (that isn't always detected properly under real DOS). I can even backup and restore to SATA or SCSI/RAID arrays that aren't supported under DOS.
      Unfortunately, DOSemu stripped out wholedisk access, so I have to restore the MBR with dd . :( Anyone know how to hack wholedisk access back into the dosemu source?
    • Custom scripts to automate connecting to our fileservers and detecting/backing up drives with partimage, dd, etc.
    • And of course, custom backgrounds :P

    Pretty damn useful... it's the only system maintenance CD that boots on all of our hardware.

    If only grub could be bootstrapped from CD, we would also use it to boot into existing systems and it'd be perfect!

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