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Knoppix 7.2 Released

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the granpappy-to-a-lot-of-others dept.

Debian 53

hypnosec writes "Knoppix 7.2 has been released for public testing — unlike its predecessor, Knoppix 7.1, which was only made available through the annual Linux Magazine CeBIT edition. Based on Debian "Wheezy", Knoppix 7.2 packs quite a few new features, including newer desktop packages from Debian/testing and Debian/unstable Jessie. The latest version uses the Linux 3.9 kernel and xorg 7.7, and comes loaded with LibreOffice 4.0, GIMP 2.8, Chromium 27 (and Firefox/Iceweasel 21), Wine 1.5, and Virtualbox version 4.2.10. It uses LXDE by default. For users who still want to go for KDE or GNOME, version 4.8.4 and 3.4.2 of the respective desktops are available from the Knoppix DVD."

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53 comments

Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44126905)

I'm unaware of any advancements that have come out of Knoppix other than the live CD technology. Which was eventually replaced by something by someone else.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (4, Insightful)

mackil (668039) | about 10 months ago | (#44126947)

I use it all the time for recovering lost data on crashed windows machines. All my friends think I'm a genius, but no. I just boot into Knoppix and copy their "lost" data onto a thumb drive. Couldn't be easier. Thanks Knoppix!

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44126999)

I do the same thing with the Kubuntu Live DVD version installed on a thumb drive. It tends to have better driver support, especially wifi.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

sapgau (413511) | about 10 months ago | (#44137061)

Assuming your BIOS has the option to boot from USB... yes?

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44126989)

I was going to say, I haven't heard any buzz about Knoppix for about five years or so. But it looks like it's still being actively maintained and enhanced. I might check it out for my Windows PC at home - then I won't have to worry about dual boot hassles.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (3, Informative)

Teun (17872) | about 10 months ago | (#44127335)

In my experience Knoppix is still leader on compatibility.

The software included is specifically useful for recovery, the desktop is non-arcane and reasonably complete yet light, these facts make it very useful.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44127435)

Meanwhile there are alternatives/derivates that cater even more to system recovery and sysadmin use, the best is maybe GRML - http://www.grml.org

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 10 months ago | (#44129219)

For recovery how does Knoppix compare with these:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/ [ubuntu-rescue-remix.org]
http://lifehacker.com/5984707/five-best-system-rescue-discs [lifehacker.com]
Yes knoppix is one of the options listed in the latter article but there's no comparison or review really being made.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44129619)

Well, KNOPPIX is still being actively developed, for one thing.

From the Ubuntu Rescue Remix web site:

I am officially on hiatus and will not be providing support for the Rescue Remix in the future. If you would like to continue the project, please contact me.

On top of that, KNOPPIX has been around for much longer and has been highly influential, it practically made live CDs a reality, and it continues its excellence to this day. Basically, it has an excellent track record.

On the Lifehacker article you linked to, the only one that's even in KNOPPIX's league in terms of usefulness and quality is the generically-named SystemRescueCD. The Ultimate Boot CD can be occasionally be useful to have on hand, but it is really just a CD containing lots of small boot disks. The UBCD contains Parted Magic (an excellent distribution for hard drive partitioning), but you're really better off just getting the official Parted Magic release--it's frequently updated, and the version included in the UBCD tends to be outdated often. The Debian-based Finnix is my favorite "no-bullshit" rescue/utility distribution for when I just want something fast and do not want or need a GUI.

Grml and Plop Linux are also nice, but I don't really use them myself. RIP (Recovery Is Possible) is also a pretty good one based on Slackware AFAIK, but again, I don't tend to use it myself (and it seems to get more infrequent updates). Another Slackware based distribution, somewhat like a Slackware version of KNOPPIX, is Slax; it's great as a fast, lightweight, general-purpose live CD, but it tends to have much less installed than KNOPPIX.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44130189)

Oh, I should mention a few more better general-purpose live distros that would make excellent recovery discs: aptosid and the forked siduction, and the originally heavily KNOPPIX-inspired KANOTIX. All are excellent, and each one has its pros and cons. All three are Debian-based.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#44130239)

it's frequently updated, and the version included in the UBCD tends to be outdated often.

Yeah... for system maintenance purposes; I would generally prefer to have 3 CDs

  • Knoppix!
  • A BartPE "Windows" ultimate boot CD -- for running windows-based maintenance tools
  • Hiren's boot CD -- contains many tools - handy for doing some things that Knoppix cannot do so easily, such as Removing Host Protected Area to fully utilize all the space available on a hard disk.

Removing HPA? W00t! (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 10 months ago | (#44151687)

I probably won't get around to using it, but a couple of years ago I had a disk get its Host Protected Area set (by a maliciously well-intentioned external drive enclosure), and after I couldn't fix it, I went to my friend the late Hugh Daniel, and he and I spent a long evening trying to get the Linux HPA tools to work, rebuilt Linux kernels a couple of times, consumed lots of pizza, and only succeeded in making the HPA bigger, never smaller. The tools just weren't good enough, and the documentation on HPA was deliberately unavailable. Fixing a 500 GB PATA drive is probably not worth it at this point, but it'd be a fun hack to do in memory of Hugh.

For those of you who've never met HPA before, it's a different set of BIOS interrupts for talking to disk drives which let you allocate space that Windows can't touch, so you can do things like hide a system-restore partition on the drive, or turn a 200 GB drive into a 128 GB drive (so an old computer that can't read LBA can at least use the 128 GB it understands), or turn a 250 GB drive with bad blocks into a 200 GB drive without them (so you can sell the stuff that didn't pass quality control.) In my case, I had an old Maxtor 200GB external USB drive that was failing from too many bad blocks, so I replaced the disk with a new 500GB one. The drive enclosure didn't recognize the disk, so it wrote a 300 GB HPA to knock it down to the same 200 GB size of the original one.

Re:Removing HPA? W00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44257253)

It's not realistic to believe that a USB drive enclosure would put a HPA on a disk drive. If a BIOS doesn't understand the drive size, the size is simply truncated to the maximum size the BIOS does understand.

The HPA security feature is part of the ATAPI 4 and above security feature set devised by the T13 committee. The HPA is adjusted by adjusting the MAS (maximum addressable sector) in relation to the MNA (maximum native address) of the drive.

The adjustment is made via the P.A.R.T.I.E.S specification BIOS calls (an ANSI standard) to the B.E.E.R (Boot Extension Engineering Record) sector of the drive. This sector records all the semi-fixed parameters of the drive, and resides adjacent to the MAS.

Unless the 'persistent' flag is specifically set, the HPA has to be reset each drive power cycle. Therefore, and this does work, if you hot-cycle the drive power, the HPA will usually disappear.

There is another ATAPI (also adopted by SATA) feature called freeze-lock, which freezes the security feature set commands. Freeze-lock cannot be made persistent, so power-cycling always necessitates that freeze-lock be rest by the BIOS (or by hdparm).

When a bios sets a HPA, it does so by way of a password hard-coded into the bios. These passwords are 256 bytes, zero-padded to the boundary. There's a little program, BXDR, that can be used to adjust, set and unset certain ATAPI security features.

Here's to you, Hugh! I hope you're in peace.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#44130173)

I don't know, but it's not necessary to choose between them. You can start with Knoppix. If Knoppix cannot recognize a required device; try a few of the others.

In my experience, if Knoppix doesn't have the driver -- none of the common rescue disks have the driver, though.

Last I checked what was sorely lacking was a PVSCSI driver and a VMXNET3 driver For rescuing virtual machines with Knoppix.

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44127413)

I still use Knoppix when I just want to try one of the preinstalled packages. It comes with more software than any other live Linux DVD. Knoppix is still my goto live Linux system because its file structure is much simpler than other live Linux distributions (kernel, initial ramdisk and one or two big filesystem image files).

I believe it's also popular with vision impaired people, because it comes with an accessibility enhanced desktop environment named Adriane (which is also the first name of Klaus Knopper's wife).

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (3, Interesting)

jazzmans (622827) | about 10 months ago | (#44127493)

It's still my go to system on a disk whenever anyone has issues with windows, or (much more rare) linux computers.

I've tried all kinds of 'other' live cd's Knoppix was the first, and is still, imo, the best.

I think my oldest knoppix cd is 3, or maybe earlier.

jaz

Re:Anybody use Knoppix today? Great stuff at one t (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44129507)

I was curious myself and I couldn't take it any more, just had to find out how it runs these days myself so I'm actually typing this up on KNOPPIX 7.2 right now. I've run it plenty of times in virtual machines, but I haven't tried it out on bare hardware in years. I was fascinated with KNOPPIX back when I was still learning Linux, and in fact in was one of the primary ways I learned Linux and its command line. One of the things I was never a fan of in KNOPPIX and which hasn't really changed is its all-or-nothing approach: you either get a CD that might not have all that you need (for example, no KDE-based version), or a DVD that literally has everything--and suffers with some pretty messy menus and unwanted crap (GNOME 3...).

Its boot speed is very fast... even faster than I remember it (by quite a bit). It has that same familiar "initiating startup sequence..." audio clip, though it boots so quickly it's kind of odd; by the time the clip plays, it's already about to load X.org and the desktop! When the system is done booting into LXDE (CD or DVD version) and ready to go, it consumes only 90-95MB RAM, which is incredibly light for a live distribution. KNOPPIX connected properly to a Wi-Fi network using the Broadcom BCM4318 (which, due to nonfree firmware, has proven over time to be a real bitch to get set up in almost every distribution I've ever tried).

Overall... I would say that this is the same great KNOPPIX that I remember; it definitely still has enough to set itself apart from the rest If you want a lightweight (in terms of memory) truly general-purpose distribution that works well as a recovery disc, with a fully-functional and fully-configured graphical environment to top it off, KNOPPIX won't disappoint. I'm impressed.

Which distro news does /. now cover? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 10 months ago | (#44136099)

Okay, I can understand a major release of one of the popular Linux distros being covered here - Debian, Fedora, RedHat, Ubuntu, Mint, Mageia/Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo, Centos, OEL.

But Knoppix? WTF? Then why would any distro not be covered? Normally, the right answer to that one is that there are >600 distros, so it would be ridiculous to cover all or even most of them. But if you're gonna cover Knoppix, then why not other obscure distros, such as Sacix, Hikarunix, Xubuntu, gNewSense, Pentoo, Manjaro, TurboLinux, Qubes, Miracle Linux, Salix, Porteus or Nitrix?

Knoppix? Obscure? (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 10 months ago | (#44151693)

Get off my lawn, punk! I mean, if you're trolling, fine, have fun, and Ubuntu livecds have been good enough to use them instead of Knoppix for the last few years, but it was THE standard save-your-ass repair tool to keep around.

nice little backup (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about 10 months ago | (#44126915)

I don't carry dvd/cd's any more in my bag, but I do carry this one. Contains pretty much all of my utilities to get a broken computer back up, or at least to where you can get some of the important data off the drive.

First post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44126973)

Really?

Crazy that it's still around (3, Insightful)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | about 10 months ago | (#44127245)

I remember using Knoppix for the first time in 2004. I was super excited about finally finding a Linux distro that would work out of the box on one of my PCs. Almost 10 years later, it's impressive that Knoppix still occupies its niche--a portable desktop environment for use in emergencies or when you need such a thing without leaving a footprint.

Re:Crazy that it's still around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44128369)

And when you don't want to just use Live CD mode of distributions like Ubuntu?

Re:Crazy that it's still around (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44129665)

Wake me up when Ubuntu runs in under 512MB RAM and boots in just a few seconds. KNOPPIX, once booted with LXDE fully loaded and ready to go, only uses 90-95MB total.

Re:Crazy that it's still around (1)

jazzmans (622827) | about 10 months ago | (#44133179)

Just because, I went and burned a DVD, booted it, created a flashram usb,(effortless install) booted it, (really really fast boot, in the realm of fifteen seconds start to finish) created another flashram (on an sdcard, no less) booted it,(again, really really fast) booted and checked wifi on three different devices, all of which have given me mucho problems in the past. All three devices wifi was detected, and within seconds I had internet access, with no stress or effort.

I chose to create an additional data partition on each flashram, encrypted. Works a treat! if you don't enter a password at the password prompt, it will instead just boot 'vanilla' knoppix

7.2 is really nice! It even automatically enabled compiz-fusion on the netbook.

jaz

Re:Crazy that it's still around (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44129681)

Yep. KNOPPIX will always be special to me, because not only was it one of the first distributions I tried, it made doing so and learning the basics of Linux a breeze. Burn a disc, reboot. Explore, learn. Reboot again and you're back in your regular OS (for me, Windows at the time). I learned a lot from KNOPPIX, back when virtual machines weren't common or as easily possible. I think some of the oldest versions I tried were 3.3 and 3.4... which corresponds to 2004 on Distrowatch, which is when I first started learning about Linux. Here's hoping it continues to stick around; I'm taking a trip down memory lane right now, only with the latest 7.2 release, and it really is every bit as good as I remembered it.

Re:Crazy that it's still around (1)

Inda (580031) | about 10 months ago | (#44130911)

Must resist... Bugger it... Me too!!!

I think I was running Windows98 at the time and I had a mighty 2x speed CDR with no buffer underrun.

Within a few minutes of booting I had the browser running, my favourite forum open and I'd posted a screengrab of the desktop plus a few windows. I was very impressed.

It's a shame I haven't had the same experience since with teh many laptops I've tried it on, and with other live CDs. I understand WiFi has always been a bugger to get working...

Multiple uses (5, Funny)

andrewa (18630) | about 10 months ago | (#44127331)

I had a Knoppix CD with me several years ago and got stranded in an airport for around 8 hours due to a cancelled flight. At this time free wi-fi was no prevalent, even in the airport lounges. However the carrier decided to let me in to their lounge and enjoy the facilities during the long wait. Inside the lounge were a bank of computers that users could buy internet time on for some exorbitant fee. However, they had no security around them and the CD drive and BIOS were freely accessible. Thank you Knoppix for a few hours of free internet.... :-)

Re:Multiple uses (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 10 months ago | (#44128293)

Hack into a computer at a US airport like this, and in addition to free WiFi they'll include a free trip to Cuba [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Multiple uses (1)

andrewa (18630) | about 10 months ago | (#44128617)

:-) Thank goodness it was at Heathrow then! Though I trust the British government (mine) about as much as I trust the US government....

Re:Multiple uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44128317)

Now if you want to use free internet you have to use the Kali live CD.

long time listener, first time caller... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44127411)

Since I discovered Knoppix so many years ago I lost count now, I've never been without a disc. It's come in useful for such diverse projects as forensic recovery prep to running full-install desktops on a variety of gear. Including the most kickarse Dell Dimension upgrade I've ever done, which was basically a new board, dual quad-Xeon, 16GB of RAM, twelve-head video with 4GB GDDR3 between four cards, and so many flight controllers, pedals and freakish-looking throttle controls I began to wonder if I was building someone a backend for their flight simulator cave...

I was right.

A good bootable EFI (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 10 months ago | (#44127423)

I love Knoppix as my boot to DVD linux. I'm have a Macbook retina which means no internal DVD. I'd like to have Linux that boots. I've tried some of the EFI solutions... Does anyone have a Linux that works well on the retina for USB boot? Is there some variant of Knoppix that's tested to work?

Re:A good bootable EFI (3, Interesting)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 10 months ago | (#44127593)

I think you're in luck. From Knippix's home site: [knopper.net]

Experimental support for UEFI-Boot (DVD: 32 and 64bit, CD: only 32bit) after installation on USB flash disk.

In order to create a bootable USB-medium (memory flashdisk, SD-card, digital camera with USB connector, cellphone with microSD, ...), the program flash-knoppix can be started from a running Knoppix system. This program installs all needed Knoppix files onto the FAT-formatted flashdisk, and creates a boot record for it. If desired, the target medium can be partitioned and fornatted, or left in its inistal state, so that existing files stay intact. The KNOPPIX Live System starts and runs about factor 5 faster from USB flash disk than from CD or DVD!

It looks like you have to get a Knoppix system running first before you create the thumb drive, but with your Mac all that requires is a little time with Virtual Box [virtualbox.org] (or equivalent). Give it a try and post the results!

Re:A good bootable EFI (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44127955)

not even that... you can boot a Macbook Pro from an optical drive (or mounted disc image shared virtual drive) on another computer (I would assume this feature is platform-independent) over ethernet!

Re:A good bootable EFI (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 10 months ago | (#44128527)

I have another Mac with a drive I can use for installation so I can do the DVD test. I'll let you know how it goes.

Re:A good bootable EFI (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 10 months ago | (#44138405)

Well test is complete.

The installation does work. The instructions are a bit sparse but it allows you to both a KNOPPIX image and a linux file system for extra storage. All the space needs to be consumed though I assume afterwards you can adjust that. The EFI did boot an older iMac fine but did not boot my rMBP. When Knoppix booted from USB I had a weird German / English hybrid that was hard to use (some items in English, keyboard was German...) so it doesn't appear to have completely preserved language settings. Moreover the boot sequence doesn't give you boot options like you would have from DVD.

I think this is very close to an ideal solution and it wouldn't shock me if in 6 months this works perfectly.

Re:A good bootable EFI (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 10 months ago | (#44128429)

Ubuntu has been bootable on a Mac from a USB drive for a while. Before 12.04.2 it was harder to then install the system sometimes. See UEFI [ubuntu.com] for comments on what changed. Everything should work at this point on versions after that one. Recent changes in Knoppix should allow this latest version to work too. There are a lot more people working on Mac support in Ubuntu than Knoppix though.

If you have a PC system available, it's helpful to test booting there, so you can be sure the drive is fine before moving on to fighting with whatever EFI issues pop up. It should be possible to make the drive bootable just by holding down the Option key during boot. But there are a few common EFI headaches that get easier if you just install rEFind [rodsbooks.com] on your boot drive, that's what I always do.

Re:A good bootable EFI (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 10 months ago | (#44128543)

I saw all the Ubuntu stuff and tried but I couldn't get it to work. Ubunut worked fine on older Macs but not on the retina. Also tried various rEFI loaders. The problem I had was most of the rEFIs didn't work well with the Linux images so they couldn't boot Linux and the Linux boot loaders couldn't be configured properly. I definite felt like I was close but I'd love a slightly more "all in one" type solution. If it has gotten better good, otherwise I'm SOL as far as Ubuntu solutions.

It is a bit frustrated that Ubuntu doesn't just have instructions for all the models. It ain't there are that many options when we talk Apple.

Amazing (1, Redundant)

The Cat (19816) | about 10 months ago | (#44127779)

It's 2013 and Windows can still shit the bed without any recovery method except reinstalling or (maybe) Linux.

P.S. Microsoft spent $100 billion developing Windows.

Re:Amazing (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 10 months ago | (#44128051)

I've had a Windows 7 laptop since March 2010 and the only time it has ever shit the bed is on four occasions where I've done three things at the same time:
1. clocked the memory (6GB is hard to eat when all you're doing is downsampling video, though I've managed to do it by having well over a hundred Virtualdub sessions going at the same time)
2. overheated the processor (by "overheated" read: software monitor readout said 95+ Celsius. I didn't think an AMD E-350 could get that hot and live!)
3. started World of Tanks while crunching video.

Every time this has happened I've had to do a fallback to Last Known Good Configuration, as a normal restart after one of these pukes results in a brief splash then a BSoD.

I think it's down to a problem with the RAM, to be honest; I just haven't had the funds yet to see if a replace/upgrade will fix the problem.

The same hardware has a regular shit with the AMD port of OSX86, which only happens on shutdown (has some sort of kernel puke, no biggie - just kill the VM thread and the restart is just fine).

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44128175)

What's wrong with the system recovery methods included with Windows? It has always puzzled me how people can be so smart in one thing and so dumb or closed minded or whatever in another. I guess that's the definition of a troll but it's embarrassing in a semi-technical forum.

Re:Amazing (0)

The Cat (19816) | about 10 months ago | (#44128621)

What's wrong with the methods? You mean aside from the fact they don't work?

Aside from the fact I still can't partition a disk with a Windows install DVD? Aside from the fact that Windows can't recognize a disk partitioned with anything else, including its own partition software?

Windows is a gigantic shit-sucking vortex of fuckwhizzy. It always has been and it always will be. Windows is the worst thing that has ever happened to the human race. It is a blasphemous horned blot on the cosmos. It is the anti-christ.

Yeah. I said it. ANTI-CHRIST

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44129319)

Someday you'll have to tell us how you really feel about Windows instead of pussy-footing around.

flash-knoppix (3, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 10 months ago | (#44127933)

...Ok I am really missing something. I used to love knoppix, but now everything is a live CD. I am as likely to quickly get a copy of Ubuntu Live CD running off a stick to get up and running quickly.(although this does have the advantage of having mdadm on the disk). In fact a full installation of Ubuntu onto a pen drive is more useful.

There is not much information about flash-knoppix, and how it is different from say "startup disk creator"...and I noticed this from the text description "In order to create a bootable USB-medium (memory flashdisk, SD-card, digital camera with USB connector, cellphone with microSD, ...)," Okay I have never thought about using the MicroSD in my cell phone that is incredibly cool.

Re:flash-knoppix (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44129711)

I disagree; everything is most definitely not a live CD. And while just about everything *provides* a live CD these days, it tends to be an option and I always levitate toward the more "traditional" installer CD/DVD. I'm not a fan of live CDs as installation discs; never was. As a live CD, KNOPPIX whips Ubuntu in performance and resource usage... it's no comparison.

Responsivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44130323)

Does it use the bfs scheduler?
That would seem to be a no-brainer (no pun intended) for a live cd.

Re:Responsivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44130333)

Oops, a wee case of RAS syndrome there, sorry about that...

Re:Responsivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44130357)

or is mentioning CK verboten?...

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