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Re: Knoppix CD/DVD as Debian installer (next generation)


I have been wondering what the "new generation of Knoppix" (which is
supposedly more like Debian) might mean.  Here are some things I've been
playing with.  Perhaps this is what you had in mind.  Perhaps this will
provide some inspiration to move in a slightly different direction.

I have been playing around with modifying a Knoppix CD at boot time with
some Python scripts I have written.  (These scripts exist on the
ever-so-slightly modified Knoppix CD and updated versions thereof exist
on a Web server.  I have a script check for new versions of the scripts
on the server and thus I avoid having to remaster the CD over and over
to make slight changes.  Optionally, I can even "manually" start these
scripts after downloading them to a pristine Knoppix CD.  I would do
this in case I don't have one of my modified Knoppix CDs around.)  This
is a fun way to make a Knoppix-booted machine behave in a certain way
(due to Mac address detection or something like that). 

This approach allows me to give various Knoppix-booted machines their
own individual personalities as they boot up (without having to have
multiple versions of Knoppix CDs floating around).  This, as I see it,
would allow a programmer to share various knoppix
configurations/applications quite easily.  One application that might
prove to be very popular is to create a network-attached storage (NAS)
machine from a script that starts up apache, samba and ssh.  (I'm still
working on that sort of script.)  This is the sort of thing I've been
thinking of creating for me and my friends, however, this might have
broader appeal, and since all the software already exists in knoppix, it
might be kind of fun to add this kind of functionality.  (Maybe as a
boot option?)

Perhaps even more important to me, however, is that this is also really
handy because I can easily migrate my scripts to the newest Knoppix
images (or knoppix-derivatives) as they come out.  Thus, changes I make
are all done automatically with scripts and very little modification of
these scripts will be needed when, say, Knoppix 4.1 comes out.   I don't
have to commit myself to adding all my changes to a particular binary
image of knoppix that I have been modifying in the past.  Thus, my
efforts don't need to be in creating an entirely new Knoppix distro just
for myself.   That is, as soon as I remaster the latest knoppix to
include all my scripts, I get all the benefits of the latest efforts of
the Knoppix developers!  (Additionally, I have all my favorite python
scripts on the CD, which makes for a mighty fine sysadmin toolbox on a CD.)

This has me thinking:  What if you, Klaus, were to distribute scripts
that could be used to build a Knoppix CD purely from Debian?  That would
really open up some possibilities for some people.  We might have fewer
people making their own knoppix-based distros based on a particular
knoppix image they have choosen.  Rather, we might have people creating
their own knoppix-based distros based on some knoppix scripts:  They
might simply keep up with the newest changes in knoppix quite easily, as
they could enable or disable whichever features they want in the latest
scripts that build a Knoppix CD.  This would mean their distros would
stay more in sync with changes in knoppix.  This might also make it
easier for people to contribute--people could just get the scripts from
CVS or SVN.  Last but not least in the eyes of many:  Knoppix would be
more Debian-like.

I wonder how hard it would be to take the scripts you have now and
create scripts that build knoppix entirely from scratch (ie, from Debian
and maybe a few Knoppix-specific apt repositories).  Is that possibly
what you have in mind for the "next generation" of Knoppix?


> Hello Klaus,
> On Jan 12, 2006, at 12:39 AM, Klaus Knopper wrote:
> > Anyways. Since you asked, indeed, I could need some help.
> Is there a development site for Knoppix, e.g. a SourceForge page, 
> where code is stored, bugs reported, developers can swap ideas, and 
> ISOs can be built/tested?
> Out of personal interest I'd very much like to help with building and 
> testing alpha versions of the next Knoppix, or anything else that can 
> speed up the release of the next version.
> Regards,
> - Robert
> http://www.cwelug.org/downloads
> Help others get OpenSource software.  Distribute FLOSS
> for Windows, Linux, *BSD, and MacOS X with BitTorrent
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Shane Geiger
IT Director
National Council on Economic Education
sgeiger@ncee.net  |  402-438-8958  |  http://www.ncee.net

Leading the Campaign for Economic and Financial Literacy

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