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Operating Systems Software Debian Linux

Knoppix To Split Into 'Light,' 'Maximum' Versions 225

prostoalex writes "Everyone's favorite Knoppix project will be split into light and maximum editions, which should end the argument on whether the Live CD operating system should focus on small footprint, or greater support for external applications." From the linked ZDNet article: "'We will split the mainstream edition of Knoppix into two versions: a 'maximum' DVD edition with a complete Debian installation, and a 'light' edition on CD that contains the most popular desktop and server software only, for older computers or smaller systems that don't have a bootable DVD drive yet,' said Knopper."
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Knoppix To Split Into 'Light,' 'Maximum' Versions

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  • Windows Manager (Score:5, Interesting)

    by goofyheadedpunk ( 807517 ) <goofyheadedpunk@ ... m minus caffeine> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:01AM (#11144421)
    I'm curious, will Fluxbox be on this "light" disk? I ask because the summary says that the most 'popular desktop'. That would be KDE, but light it is not!
    • Re:Windows Manager (Score:2, Informative)

      by nukem996 ( 624036 )
      Knoppix really needs fluxbox. I personally use it on my every day system(an AMD64 gaming machine) but when I am fixing computer at work I find KDE takes forever to load on knoppix, fluxbox would be really nice, and its small.
    • Re:Windows Manager (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jm92956n ( 758515 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:12AM (#11144495) Journal
      I'm curious, will Fluxbox be on this "light" disk? I ask because the summary says that the most 'popular desktop'. That would be KDE, but light it is not!

      Pure conjecture, but I expect the light CD would include KDE. I think the light CD will be quite similar to the latest Knoppix release, except with a variety of package updates. The maximum CD should have everything, including the token "kitchen sink"

      It all depends upon your definition of an "older computer." Theirs, I think, is still in the P-III range (650 mhz - 1.8 ghz). Mine, however, is completely different. My primary computer is a Celeron 500 and I don't expect to upgrade any time soon. KDE is painful on my system, but other lightweight WM's run flawlessly. I beleive they're leave the "really eh'fin old" computer segment to distros like Damn Small Linux [] (which, incidentally, is a heavily stripped down version of Knoppix).
      • Re:Windows Manager (Score:3, Informative)

        by pjt33 ( 739471 )
        KDE runs quite happily on my 400MHz machine. Maybe you're a bit short on RAM?
    • Linux doesn't take much space.

      The lite edition still has 600MB to work with, and if they don't pack it full, it's not as useful as if they did. KDE would certainly be good to have, and they'll still have plenty of space to install it when they're done.

      When I installed everything I might think about using (five window managers, gnome and kde versions of almost everything, etc) on my box compiled with -Os, I got about 3.7GB of programs. I can't wait to see the DVD-DL version of Knoppix. That should be ab
      • "The lite edition still has 600MB to work with"

        700MB, plus a compresed file system, equals about 1.2GB on the CD. The DVD as far as I can tell will likely use the same compressed file system, allowing for easily 6 if not 8GB of file storage. I can't think of any distribution that has that much stuff installed by default.

    • Re:Windows Manager (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MsGeek ( 162936 )
      I think IceWM is an option that can be set at boot.
  • Yes But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:06AM (#11144461)
    Is it digitally signed?
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:07AM (#11144466) Homepage Journal
    I know that Klaus Knopper doesn't see Knoppix as a Debian installer, but I think that he should take a second look at this, especially considering the idea of a "lite" and a "full" version of the Knoppix CD.

    The "lite" version of the CD should allow for a simplified HD install, complete with Knoppix' superior hardware detection facility. Neither the official Debian Sarge installer nor the Ubuntu installer is as good as Knoppix for "figuring out" the hardware it's looking at. I don't know about Mepis because I've never used it.

    Maybe if Herr Knopper won't do it, someone should fork Knoppix and do it for him.
  • A note on bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:10AM (#11144490) Homepage
    Operating systems expand to fill the available boot media.
    • Re:A note on bloat (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) *
      Operating systems expand to fill the available boot media.

      No, they expand far past that. Seen SuSE lately? I remember when Red Hat was just TWO CDs, one of which was source, and SuSE came with SIX. I have no idea what they're up to now.

      Of course, if you threw everything in Gentoo onto DVD, it would take up about 10 DVDs...20, with sources.

      Even Windows isn't immune. Longhorn has outgrown even the 700MB CD, and will ship on DVD.

      • Re:A note on bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bitsy Boffin ( 110334 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:43AM (#11144643) Homepage
        You are confusing "operating system" with "humungous distribution of non-essential software". Parent post too.

        • Re:A note on bloat (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mage Powers ( 607708 )
          A point that comes up on slashdot here and there, is where do you draw the line with linux? Whats really the "linux operating system"? kernel + coreutils isn't exactly a wholly useful setup. With windows its a bit more obvious, they give you a bunch of crap when you install it.

          I just want to see a definition of "Linux operating system" even if its something variable like "a window manager, a calculator, a web browser, a shell, a kernel etc" just to add some clarification to the whole thing

          But yea I agree
          • Re:A note on bloat (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:22AM (#11145253) Journal
            A point that comes up on slashdot here and there, is where do you draw the line with linux?

            I personally draw it at 1 CD. :-)

            I have a broadband connection so I don't need massive amounts of software bundled. I don't care much about exactly what software it is, although I prefer if what they choose is fairly popular software. If we have special demands, I'm fine with downloading (gasp! what's that!?) it from the Internet.
          • I just want to see a definition of "Linux operating system" even if its something variable like "a window manager, a calculator, a web browser, a shell, a kernel etc"

            A definition like that is fine for many computers but I'm pretty sure my dedicated ftp server is running an operating system, yet does not have half of the things on your list. If we're talking about an operating system most people will wan't to use on a desktop workstation I'll go along with you even though that leaves CLI fans in the lurch

      • Bah, 6 pieces of boot media, you kids have it easy! Am I the only one who remembers installing Slackware off ~120 floppy disks?

        And debian sarge is 13 cds and counting.

    • Re:A note on bloat (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > Operating systems expand to fill the available boot media.

      As proven by
      one floppy, with :
      - Pre-emptive multitasking, multithreading, ring-3 protection
      - Responsive GUI with resolutions up to 1280x1024, 16 million colours
      - IDE: Editor/Macro Assembler for building kernel and applications
      - TCP/IP stack with Loopback, PPP & Ethernet drivers
      - Network applications include ftp/http/mp3/smtp servers,
      - irc, http, nntp and tftp clients
      - Free-form, skinnable application windows
      - Hard re
  • Umm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ccharles ( 799761 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:14AM (#11144503)
    which should end the argument on whether the Live CD operating system should focus on small footprint, or greater support for external applications.

    Not likely. It'll just mean that each camp will have a disc that suits them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:20AM (#11144540)
    Microsoft is bitching about how people can't trust code that doesn't belong to them, Homeland security says we can't trust what should be a simple piece of software *by* them...

    meanwhile, Knoppix is a wonderful, portable, safe, stable distribution that can go anywhere you do, and is so easy to use that my 87 year old grandmother who is so frial she can't leave her bed (we've had a hospital bed put in her room for her) can literally boot an old laptop (with DOS 6.2 installed) and use it to email and *even instant message* her grandson (me), who is 300km away.

    And its free.

    If there were *ever* a prime demonstration of what can be accomplished by OSS in action, surely Knoppix is that demonstration.

    P.S. I told my grandmother about the microsoft-flaming-firefox thing... she said (and I quote, verbatim)"Someone should tell those... those... those Microstuff people (shes a little poor of hearing) to smarten up or be quiet."

    Grandma, How I Love You.
  • by caferace ( 442 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:36AM (#11144611) Homepage
    A 'Lite' version that I can download quickly over a slow connection, burn to CD when I'm in "Oh Fuck" mode and don't have my kit with me.

    A 'Behemoth' DVD I can keep in my kit, hopefully along with me excepting those "Oh Fuck" moments.

    • Try DamnSmall for the Lite. Kanotix is rumored to have a DVD soon. You can customize Knoppix to make it as small or as big as you want. Check out the Remastering & Customization forum at
      • Austrumi is a better lite version, it has full versions of quite a lot of software, e.g. Abiword, gnumeric, the GIMP, MPlayer.

        My lite/medium/maximum set is austrumi/slax/stux, personally, for business card, mini and normal cds.

  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:51AM (#11144684) Homepage Journal

    I've played with Knoppix before, and think it's just amazing.

    Just over a year ago, I inhereted an old K6-2 450Mhz box with a dead hard drive. As I had an old monitor kicking around, and as I typically hate having guests use any of my workstations, I decided to remove the hard drive and set the system up as a dedicated Knoppix box.

    I dutifully downloaded the ISO and burned a CD, only to find that the machine in question had an old CD-ROM drive incapable of reading 700MB discs. So I was SOL (and eventually found Gnoppix [], which did fit onto a 650MB disc this machine could boot).

    I can't imagine I've been the only person to run into this issue with Knoppix, so I wonder if this new "lite" version will be designed to work on 650MB discs (although admittedly I had a bit of a rough time even finding such discs to burn that Gnoppix CD oh so long ago).

    (And yes, I suppose I could spend a bit of money and buy a new CD-ROM drive for the machine, but it was a freebie, and is supposed to be a guest machine, so it isn't as if I'm personally hurting by not putting any money into it ;) ).


    • So I too am looking for ISO's that will fit on them.

      Damnsmalllinux ,have not tried.
    • If you really wanted, you could have remastered Knoppix CD removing some stuff and shrinking it.

      Yes, it takes some work, say, half a hour of real work plus two hours of compressing the image.
      • Mmmm, if I'm not mistaken, this "hour of work" (for me it would be more, I have no idea how to do this), must be done on Linux, no?

        Which is a bit cyclic as you need Linux to create a CD to use Linux!
        • Well, yes. On any Linux. Like, say, on Knoppix, LiveCD (recommended actually). You need quite a bit of free diskspace for that, some 4G as you need the Knoppix ISO (may be created from the boot CD that's already in the drive) in uncompressed version, and 2-3 other CD-size files, plus either a lot of RAM (some 1.2GB?) or pretty big swapfile (the compressing program needs that).

          Sure creating the 650M version is not something you do at your grandmother's house when she asked you to fix her PC and her drive su
          • But when you're on Windows and you want to try the new version of KDE you hear about, and that you have old CDs not able to support the very big ISO image, you're stuck..

            I hope like too that the live CD ISO will be 650MB.
            • Get a real CD drive then :) I don't know what were the last drives that didn't run 700M CDs, but I suspect they were like 4x or 8x. I assure you you'll bite your leg off or fall asleep waiting for Knoppix with newest KDE to boot from such a CD.
              • No, I don't think it is a problem with the CD drive which is capable of overburning, but a problem with old CDRW which apparently do not support this size: they are rated for 650MB, will do 680MB alright but not 700MB..
    • This would be my #1 request for the lite version as well, more for the reason that I have lots of 650 MB blanks. And when you find a random disk laying around, who knows what size it is? Yes, I know the computer can tell me, but I'd rather not have to worry. Just scrape off a few packages and we'll all be happy. :-)
  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:00AM (#11144717) Homepage Journal
    Up to 27 gigabytes of compressed Open Source source code and binaries in a live file system.

    Don't worry about distribution - they will just send it to everybody as an email attachment.

  • But.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by dteichman2 ( 841599 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:32AM (#11144846) Homepage
    Will the download have a Verisign sig? If not, how can we trust it?
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:43AM (#11144893) Homepage Journal
    I work with a charity that gives donated computers to schoolchildren.

    Unless there's a canned one out there, it looks like I'm going to have to roll my own "ultralight" CD to give away to people still running mid-90s hardware: 16-64MB RAM, 500MB-1GB HD, 2-4x CD if you are lucky, 14.4-33.6 modem if you are lucky, ISA or early-PCI sound card and video

    Example software:
    Lightweight web browser w/ Java - FF if it's not too heavy
    Lightweight word processor that opens/saves MS-Word 95 files
    Lightweight spreadsheet that opens/saves MS-Excel 95 files
    Lightweight "presentation" program that opens/saves MS-Powerpoint 95 format

    ssh, ftp, etc.
    lightweight games
    easy-to-use modem-dialer
    cd-audio player/mixer
    MS-Windows remote terminal services client

    and of course support for all kinds of older hardware one might find on computers donated to charity.
    Boot CD with a single floppy.

    Anyone know of a canned Linux distro or bootable CD that fits my needs?

    Anyone see any glaring ommissions from my software requirements?
    • by stoborrobots ( 577882 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:01AM (#11145176)
      There are several - I usually go to [] and select the "LiveCD" Category. This suggests a range of options, each with different advantages. I try out a new one every few months, just to get some variety.

      One I tried recently, which is close to your needs is FeatherLinux ( []). I'm not sure about XL/Powerpoint in the default install, but it can install OpenOffice if you wish.

    • Damn Small Linux (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Damn Small Linux [] would run well on a system with those specs, but doesn't include the software you want. Check it out and see if you can modify it to suit your needs... It's worth a spin, and not that large a download. At any rate it has VNC so you could use it as a thin client.
    • I have a PC like that, and I can tell you: the one thing that's not going to work is the web browser. There just aren't any good, graphical web browsers that will run on such hardware.

      The closest two are probably Konqueror and Dillo, with Konqueror being a bit too heavy and Dillo lacking too many features. You can also try Netscape 4, though I have had a hard time finding a stable version.

      For the rest, you can run Linux, X, a light window manager like icewm or windowmaker, xmms, some games (freeciv), abiw
    • Puppy linux or Austrumi might be worth a look. No presentation software though.
    • Myth: FireFox is fast and leightweight

      Fact: FireFox is slow and bloated. It takes about 35 MB of main memory, so don't even think about loading it on systems with less than 64 MB of RAM. Even konqueror doesn't take more memory and renders pages at least twice as fast.

      So I would suggest something like this:

      Task P90 P166 P350
      Webbrowsing Links-gui/ Konqueror/ Konqueror/
      Dillo Dillo Firefox
      Text processing vi KWord OpenOffice
      Spreadsheets sc GNumeric OpenOffice

  • Being one of those unfortunate folks with less than 4GB RAM in their laptop, I won't be able to harness the performance offered by running Knoppix from a ramdisk with the toram cheat code.
  • Morphix, anyone? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ghideon ( 720955 )
    Morphix, [] which is what I've been basically using as "Knoppix-Lite," and it does the trick for me. I use the Light-GUI iso, which is about 200MB. It's basically a modular Knoppix (it is, in fact, based on Knoppix). You can also roll your own. Say, if you don't need the GUI module, you can opt for other modules. Pretty neat.
    • Re:Morphix, anyone? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vo0k ( 760020 )
      Been there, tried that, abandonned in favour of standard Knoppix. The problem with Morphix is the "modules" are pretty rigid structures, not quite easy to customize. Yes, you can "roll your own", like with everything open source. But plain "remastering" of vanilla Knoppix is much easier than building Morphix modules.
  • Remastering Knoppix (Score:4, Informative)

    by irabinovitch ( 614425 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:52AM (#11145133) Homepage
    Remastering Knoppix CDs is doable. If any of the standard Knoppix live cds don't meet your needs you can customize one of your own. Ce cil Watson will giving a talk at the [] Southern California Linux Expo [] (SCALE 3x) in February about how to go about doing this. Cecil is maintainer of KnoppMyth, a Knoppix distribution customized for use as a Linux based PVR with MythTV.
  • Is there any knoppix based distobution that has the vmwware vmtools integrated? To run you knoppix cd in a (faster) vmware box without having to install it, or remaster a cd?
  • by tempest303 ( 259600 ) <jensknutson&yahoo,com> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:07AM (#11145857) Homepage
    Really, Knoppix is everyone's favorite? Give me Ubuntu []'s Live CD any day!
  • by Dr. Derail ( 841112 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @09:41AM (#11146256)
    What? No Menthol?
  • ...But I, for one, do not have a DVD burner. It was a choice I made, as I thought, "When will I ever need to burn a DVD?" I think it will be hard to overcome this problem until a few years down the road, when DVD burners and DVD burning software (is there any for linux?) have become as commonplace as CD burning is today, not to mention a reduction in blank media prices.
  • I don't know if it's me, but I can never seem to find an FTP site that lets me DL a copy of Knoppix at a speed better than 2-5 Kb/s -- this, on a cable modem! Does anyone else have this problem? The only reason I haven't already given up on FTP and switched to BitTorrent is that our home LAN is on a router that from time to time will flake out under load...
  • What about an installer that will give you some choice about what to install on your system?

    If they are going to give you an entire DVD's worth of software taking an "install it all or install none of it" approach is going to seem a bit ridiculous.
  • Being a regular knoppix user I have seen them make some ridiculous decisions to save space on the CD.
    For example...not installing an English dictionary for the spellchecker in mozilla, but including a full suite of games and 4 text editors.

    I wonder with a whole DVD is they will start supporting gnome again?

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker