Knoppix Linux 7.7.1

Discussion in 'Computer Questions' started by HermitJohn, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I ordered the live dvd off ebay. I am on metered wifi so too expensive to download the iso myself.

    Anyway booted it on my ancient desktop as a live dvd. Well I had actually gotten it to try on my netbooks since it has even newer linux kernel than version of Sparky I have. But cant boot from dvd on them. Wanted to see if any further improvement of hardware support on the netbooks. Ok, once booted, tried Chrome browser and Firefox. Chrome actually lot faster than I expected. But its extensions kinda suck compared to Firefox extensions.

    Amazing amount software included. All compressed. Anyway desktop option to install live version to a usb flash drive with further option to include file to save settings and any created files during a session. So they are there next time you boot. Fine. I pop in a 8gb flash drive. And it does its thing. I opt for leftover space to go to the save file.

    Reboot, this time from the flash drive. Faster boot than from dvd by several magnitudes. Boots on my desktop with traditional bios. And boots on the Lenovo netbook with the UEFI-only bios. Thats a truly neat trick. Thats with Secure Boot turned off of course on the UEFI computer. It also has the option to boot with 32bit or 64bit kernel.

    I think you can do traditional full install if you so desire, though Knoppix designed for live boot so not sure what the point would be of a full install.
     
  2. Rectifier

    Rectifier Well-Known Member

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    Linux is so easy to try out these days that anyone who complains about Windows should just give it a go. Nothing to lose with live dvds like Knoppix.

    Knoppix always was a good distro for those who wanted to demo Linux and still is. These days, most any distro will boot as a live DVD and give an option to install, so you can try out a bunch (well less with metered wireless - my satellite gives me 10GB at 10Mbps and then unlimited at 128kbps, so I trickle things like Linux ISOs in over the nights) I'm glad they will still mail out the DVDs to people like us though!

    I personally decided on Ubuntu MATE these days on most of my machines, strikes a good balance between fast/clean/stable/modern in my opinion. I really still like Gnome 2 UI. Otherwise I have a desktop running Debian 7 (jessie) which is very stable, but the software in the repos is a little behind the times. I do too much bleeding edge stuff (drone flying, GIS) that changes every month, so I've gone back to Ubuntu.
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    IF your computer has legacy boot in bios AND you have a dvd drive that you can boot from. But we are moving to UEFI-only and talk of required Secure Boot also. This makes linux difficult to try for those not experienced how to deal with these things. Heck google brings up lot people having trouble doing a fresh install of windows.

    Knoppix and Puppy both let you also have a save file so the "live dvd" or "live usb thumb drive" can actually be used day to day. Many live systems dont have this and are just demo, you want to use it, you have to do a full install.
     
  4. Belfrybat

    Belfrybat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dumb question -- what is a "live" DVD? Does that mean the computer will boot to the DVD without having to change settings in the computer itself?
     
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I will first give you the answer as I would have back in good old days with regular bios and every computer had a cd/dvd rom. This is easiest place to start. You first went into your bios and set boot order to try booting from cd/dvdrom first. If there is a bootable cd/dvd in it, then it will boot. Boot into default linux desktop for that distribution. The windows install cd and various utility dvds traditionally worked same way.

    Most of these were for one time demonstration purposes only unless you did the optional full install as they couldnt save any settings or files. Each time you boot from the cd/dvd, its like the first time. Now on positive side, no virus or malware can change the dvd, nothing can change the dvd. Its set in stone. Any settings are in RAM only and when computer shut down, those go away. But Knoppix and Puppy and maybe some others added feature where settings and files could be saved from session to session. This save file could be on hard drive or removable drive. Thus you could use live cd version as your day to day operating system. Puppy even at one point had version meant for a rewritable cd that acted like its own hard drive.

    Oh and if you really want something to think about. Way back in era of floppy disks. There was something called QNX demo disk that could boot and surf internet with graphical browser. Yep a single 1.44MB floppy disk. Unfortunately it couldnt save settings. No doubt it was the inspiration for the live cd linux distributions and the live dvd linux distributions. It was great way to test used computers with hosed hard drive. Though floppies were lot less stable than cd or dvd or flash drive.

    As I mentioned bios on more modern computers has been locked down with UEFI and Secure Boot at insistance of Microsoft. Most computers so far have a legacy mode option to get around this. But that is going away as is ability to disable Secure Boot. Linux is adapting. Most linux distributions can now be installed on computer with UEFI only bios, though most need Secure Boot disabled. Some however can use Secure Boot, so as always linux catches up to whatever new roadblocks Microsoft demands.

    Also most modern computer no longer have a dvdrom. So you either need to use usb dvdrom if your computer can boot from such, or make/buy a live usb flash version. You can buy flash version already created on thumb drive. Or you can make your own with the downloaded iso and program called Rufus or buy the live dvd and extract iso from it and use Rufus.

    Or this really neat Knoppix option. You boot the live Knoppix dvd on computer with a dvdrom and then run the included script to create a live flash version. This starts to make life simpler again. And as I say the version created can boot on darn near any computer, old bios or UEFI, 32bit or 64bit. You do have to turn off Secure Boot on newer computers.

    Should say Puppy also offers similar live install program, though it has lot more steps and thought required. With the Knoppix flash creator, just plug in the thumb drive, tell it thats flash drive I want to use and tell it whether I wanted save file option on any unused space.

    Personally if you are going to regularly use such a live flash drive, might instead put it on a usb SSD. SSD will be far more stable and longer lasting. But flash thumb drive is practical enough I suppose. Frankly if you shop around a small mSATA 32GB SSD is less than $15. Course you then need a $5 adapter to convert it to USB or regular SATA connection. Live flash Knoppix takes up like 6GB for itself (but includes a boatload of software). So you could have a serious save file in leftover space. Compare that to win10 on a 32GB SSD. If you let it update itself, it quickly grows to where it alone takes up the whole 32GB with nothing left over for user files/software. I just mention this because lot of the netbooks come with only 32GB eMMC soldered into their motherboard. You want more space it has to be external drive.
     
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  6. MeanDean

    MeanDean that geeky admin guy

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    What type of USB port do you have? How old is the machine?

    Wouldn't be hard to 'burninate' a bootable distro of Ubuntu, Puppy, or some similar Linux variant onto a pen/thumb drive. Same goes for Knoppix (see http://knoppix.net/wiki3/index.php?title=Bootable_USB_Key for a $15 deal).

    Most allow you to install the boot image onto the hard drive, giving you the option to create a multi o/s boot loader if you want to (i.e. Windows cohabitating with Linux ... yeah, I know ... scandalous).

    The real problem is updates. All these distros are going to want to access the Internet to keep them safe and up-to-date.
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I noticed some SSL problems with Chrome browser that comes with Knoppix. Annoying on ebay, REALLY annoying on Amazon. Out of curiosity, I found last version of Chromium that will work with my Tahrpup 6.03 version of Puppy. It had same problem. Googling found that there was a bug in linux version of Chromium at one point, newer versions patched to solve it. However to upgrade the Chromium, would have to upgrade to newer version Puppy. not worth it. Up to date Firefox fine for my needs. Since I have Knoppix on thumb drive with a large enough save file, I tried using its package manager to update Chrome. I successfully updated to latest version Chromium. That solved the SSL problem.

    Knoppix 8.0.0 has released to subscribers to certain linux magazine. It will have general public release soon. Knoppix being a "live dvd" distribution doesnt do auto updates. You want newer, you download a newer version. Puppy is same. Seriously you dont need to update that often. You can set Firefox and Chrome browsers to autoupdate themselves. Chromium doesnt, you have to manually update it. But an uptodate browser is important. When software you want can no longer run/update on your version operating system, you then go to newer version operating system.

    But seriously people are brainwashed by Microsoft that they need constant mandatory updates in theory that they are all super important security patches. However they are not really explained to people on the theory people dont care about, nor need to know nitty gritty details. If people actually noticed what is updated, its usually more for marketing purposes than security, in order to serve you more ads or try to steer you harder into using the apps with built in spyware that they want you to use. Most security updates are just to included browser and other included software, not the system itself. If you dont use Microsoft's included apps, unlikely you need updates.
     
  8. Belfrybat

    Belfrybat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MeanDean -- not sure if your question was directed to me, but the laptop I want to put Linux on is old but in good working condition and has a CD/DVD drive as well as USB. It's running Win XP which I no longer need plus Chrome will no longer update for that OP. From what Hermit John and you both have written, it seems Puppy or Knoppix would meet my needs. I'm just playing around really, but hate to end up with a brick which is why I was interested in the live DVD.
    With my luck, I'd download Linux and foul everything up.
     
  9. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    I don't care. Microsoft never sold me anything anyway.

    When I did tech support work I found that it was essential that I keep up with Windows, since subscribers would try to convince me that things aren't they way I assume. For example, I had a lady swear that she didn't have a My Computer icon on her desktop. I wasn't confident in insisting that it was there because I hadn't upgraded yet. Of course it was on her desktop, and in exactly the place I told her to look.

    I guess I just got in the habit of accepting all upgrades and updates. It seems like it helps me stay ahead of vulnerabilities and bugs. Updating seldom causes a problem. I just let automatic Windows updates to their thing. I do the same with updating my Linux servers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  10. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Being an XP computer its too old to worry about having to deal with an UEFI bios, it will have standard traditional bios. And if you have a relatively fast internet connection, you can download the iso file for your favorite linux distribution FOR FREE, and either burn it to cd/dvd (depending on size, most versions Puppy fit on cd, Knoppix comes with LOT software and requires a DVD). Dont burn it as a regular data dvd, you need to use the iso burning option in your burner program. Alternatively if you are doing this on windows computer there is a freeware program called "iso burner" that only burns iso to cd or dvd. With iso burner program, there is only one option so it will do it right even if you are confused. You can alternatively use a program called Rufus run on any windows computer to make a bootable thumb drive from any iso. You can also boot from live cd, and both Puppy and Knoppix have their own scripts to make a bootable thumb drive. I really like the script in Knoppix, it makes a thumb drive then bootable on both old standard bios computers or newer UEFI bios computers. That is a clever trick that I dont think Rufus can manage. There is also a linux program called Unetbootin that does similar to Rufus, should you already be running linux.

    Oh since you have dual core processor but standard bios, you can use either 32bit or 64bit version. With only 2GB RAM it really doesnt matter. oh the live Knoppix dvd has both 32bit and 64bit kernels included. With Puppy you have to download a particular iso that meets your needs. If Knoppix detects multicore processor, it will by default use the 64bit option, though you can force it to use the 32bit should you wish if you have standard bios or running UEFI in legacy boot mode.

    Anyway once you have your bootable dvd or thumb drive prepared, you then set boot order in bios of computer you want to use it on to boot from that drive first. If you dont change boot order it will will try to boot from whatever drive has previously been set to boot first.

    Booting a live dvd or thumb drive wont by itself change anything on the hard drive. In other words you cant mess anything up. And it will either boot or it wont. With Puppy and Knoppix you will have option to create a save file either on hard drive or a removable drive. This is just a data file and you can delete it from windows if you so desire. No black magic, no changes that cant be undone.

    Now if you like live dvd version, there will be option to install to hard drive if you so desire. This can either be on its own partition or it can take over the whole hard drive. It can be in live compressed "frugal" mode like running the live dvd version, or there will be option to do a full uncompressed full install. If you decide to install to hard drive, you might consider making a small linux swap partition at the end of the hard drive. Windows uses swap files when it needs more than installed RAM. Linux uses a dedicated swap partition. Usually suggested you create a swap partition same size as amount RAM installed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well I wanted knoppix on the Acer netbook, you can even just park the Knoppix iso on the partition and use GRUB2 to boot it. However apparently Knoppix doesnt offer GRUB2. Neither does Puppy. Unlike old days with plain GRUB, there is no apparent way to independently install GRUB2 from a floppy or dvd. I went ahead and nuked win10.

    Digging through my cds and dvds, found one for Xubuntu. Ok supposedly it supports UEFI but the dvd doesnt. Nor would Rufus make a bootable thumb drive for UEFI bootable Xubuntu, had to put Acer bios in legacy mode. Then installed it and installer was fast and automagical, it dealt with the goofy eMMC drive and its hidden windows partitions that cant be deleted, ok.

    Booted and its not horrible. Supported most of stuff, has best laptop battery monitor I've seen in linux. Somebody put lot thought into making the trivial kinds of stuff work together. Downside, it takes three steps to actually shut it down, (do you want to, do you really want to, do you really really want to... much like windows which assumes you are a clueless moron) truly annoying though I am sure there is a workaround using a commandline shortcut so I only click once. It also seems to want me to continually enter root password to do anything more than surf. I get root and aministrator accounts in a computer used by many or part of a local network. But super annoying to have to continually enter passwords on computer that only I am ever going to use. Older linux, you at least could log on as root and stay in root, not this here a password, there a password nonsense. Puppy and Knoppix run in root by default, and if you want a user account with limited privileges for extra security, that is an option, not a mandatory requirement from on high. Thats as it should be, my decision, not theirs.

    And once in shutdown mode, it takes forever to actually fully shut down, like two minutes or so. No idea on that one. Obviously some process not ending properly or so I would guess. Though google search said others with same problem in various late Ubuntu distributions, on various types of computers. Puppy and Knoppix sure dont take that long though I used to have XP do that once in a while. Anyway GRUB2 is now installed so I can either nuke Xubuntu and leave GRUB2 so I can install Knoppix or I can have both Xubuntu and Knoppix. Together they are still smaller than a stripped down version of win10 though with the tiny 32GB eMMC, rather have as much free space as possible. If I go Knoppix, gotta figure how to install and use that Xubuntu battery app. Xubuntu also has nice app for setting various screen brightness stuff.
     
  12. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, some tweaking but I have Xubuntu so it reliably boots and shuts down in reasonable fashion on the Acer. It was timing out over something called a modem manager. No idea, but found a command to delete it altogether. Now shuts down fast. And set it so I just quickly push power button for it to quickly go into shutdown mode (just quick push, not holding button down for a hard reset), no three steps, no delay. Looks like Xubuntu it is. I like it much better than regular Ubuntu with the GNOME desktop. Still like Puppy and Knoppix better, but that battery monitor and screen dimmer app make lot difference on this netbook.
     
  13. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    The idea of using an open source operating system as a substitute for Windows is attractive on the surface, but people considering a Linux desktop should be aware that it might not be all that you want it to be. I'd like to share my impressions of Linux desktops I've tried.

    First, I should disclose that I haven't fooled with alternative desktops for a few years. A friend encouraged me to look at Linux desktops a few years ago, telling me that I was really missing the boat. I've been a big fan of Linux as a server environment since the late 1990s so I thought I would give Linux desktops a try as an alternative workstation. After trying a few distributions I formed a few opinions.

    1. The desktops looked good at first glance, but a lot of features I became accustomed to in Windows workstations weren't included. My conclusion was that the operating systems I tried weren't mature products.
    2. Documentation was sparse or non-existent. A lot of the information about how those desktops worked was passed from user to user at various Linux forums. What little documentation existed seemed to be aimed at advanced users who understood computer jargon. My conclusion was that Linux desktops were developed by nerds, for nerds.

    I was already familiar with KDE and Gnome, since those graphical environments are included with Red Hat compatible server products that I use. But it's generally considered to be in bad form to install a large graphical environment on a production server. The huge amount of memory (maybe ~1GB) that those graphical environments occupy introduces a dimension of instability that most server admins can't afford to put up with. I have no objection to using a small environment like webmin to administer a Linux server graphically, but that's a very lightweight application compared to KDE or Gnome.

    If you find a Linux desktop that meets your needs as a workstation environment then fine, but I don't expect Linux popularity as a desktop substitute for Windows to ignite any time soon. The problem is that open source developer resources have been spread thin over perhaps 50 Linux desktop distributions. Until the development community can get behind a small handful of products, none will be as mature of a product as Windows users have become accustomed to having.

    I don't want to discourage anyone from trying or using a Linux desktop. I'm also aware that there are Linux distributions that require less resources than Windows, so older system can be renovated and equipped with Linux to be put back in service. That's a good application for Linux workstations.

    On the upside, the Linux kernel is heavily supported. That's what makes it acceptable as the basis for operating systems like Chrome and Android. The kernel is the part of the operating system that provides an interface between the computer hardware and the rest of the operating system. Kernels need to be supported in order for newer hardware to work with it, and the Linux development community has been very good about doing that. It's the heavily supported kernel, along with the fact that it can be used for free, that makes Linux attractive to developers.
     
  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Unless you are a fan of the metro apps win10 tries to force down everybody's collective throat, not sure whats missing. Frankly Firefox and Thunderbird look same on win10 as they do on most of the linux distributions. Same with Chrome/Chromium. Unless there is some specific windows only software that you need to run, not big difference. And with all the garbage and constantly changing settings included with win10, linux is lot less headache. Just think, you get to decide which updates and when. What a novel concept. And settings stay set.

    By way though I am no big fan of Ubuntu, its frankly better supported online than win10. It was very easy to search for the snags I ran into with Xubuntu on my Acer. Unfortunately after several tries, I am still getting the occasional apic error boot crash. I think its something in Xubuntu as I dont have that problem booting other linux. Tried several noapic kernel modifiers in GRUB, but it just lessened problem a bit, didnt eliminate it. And the bios on these is extremely limited so not much to do in there. I suspect ubuntu will outgrow this problem when they move to newer kernel.
     
  15. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    I don't recall exactly since it's been a few years, but a lot of the right-click Windows features didn't exist.
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Things change over time. Until last year, winXP was latest windows I had used. Win10 was a shock, and not in a good way. Felt like I was in a carnival sideshow and nothing worked like it used to, M$ decided to make it all automagical and hid tools and access. And I wasnt even a fan of XP. I remember having to look up ways to kill gimmicks in it like those stupid nag balloons all over the place. However I will say once I did all the nerdy tweaks, showed win10 could been lot like Xubuntu, small, fast, and efficient. But small fast and efficient isnt apparently as profitable as carnival sideshow with pickpockets lurking in every corner.....
     
  17. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, think the bios legacy mode is fubar on the Acer. After lot gyrations got Xubuntu installed in UEFI mode. Seems the guy I got the dvd from included both 32bit and 64bit versions with his own custom menu setup. This confused Rufus. After digging into the dvd, found the two iso and pointed Rufus at the 64bit one. He made a UEFI bootable flash installer.

    It installed, but then wouldnt boot, got screen no bootable device. Had to go back into bios and remove Secure Boot once again and then OK, that "Ubuntu" is approved for UEFI boot. Jeeze Louise..... Anyway now boots quickly and shuts down quickly. I just have to redo bunch settings.
     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, Xubuntu installed in UEFI mode also became hard to boot up. It could be funky bios, but after giving it some thought, think maybe its some incompatibility of linux with the internal eMMC drive. Next experiment is to install Xubuntu in UEFI mode to an external usb SSD. If it boots reliably, then its some incompatibility with the eMMC drive as win10 works ok with this eMMC.

    Oh interesting, noticed when trying to boot Sparky linux via usb, that Xubuntu had switched on Secure Boot. Apparently Xubuntu like Ubuntu itself now supports Secure Boot. But with Secure Boot on, you cant boot other linux that support UEFI but dont support Secure Boot.
     
  19. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    People get way to hung up the GUI interface. Most people could care less. The GUI is just a way to launch an app. Be it GNU, Gnome, or just raw X. Its really doesn't matter. Click the button and launch a browser, mail program or a office applications.
    My 75 year old mom runs Linux and has no issues and doesn't know there is any other option. Click the red, green, yellow thing and the internet appears., click the blue bird and email shows up. Now if your writing apps or customize crazy it might but the masses its just a place to put app buttons.
     
  20. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    But the fact is that without a GUI interface most people who use computers today never would have taken it up. Back in the mid-1980s all PC users used DOS, and the user base was pretty much limited to hobbyists and people who used them at work. That all changed when Windows 3.1 was introduced. With a point-and-click environment everyone suddenly wanted to use a computer.

    I don't doubt that you could get by without a GUI, but you're not "most people." The Windows interface was (and still is) central to the popularity of computers.