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Re: Will 5.0.1 be more than another live-cd?

Hello Gilles,

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 04:27:35PM -0400, Gilles wrote:
> For two years now, I've been looking for a distro that would be as 
> GPLed, stable, secure and up to date as Slackware, but with more 
> software available, better upgrade and management tools and a better 
> organized community (forum, mailing list, whatever...)
> Of course, Debian tops this list... save for being up to date. Sarge 
> is now almost one year old and there is so much talk about making 
> more timely releases that there is no doubt in my mind the next 
> release should be in two or three years :) I've tried other 
> Debian-based distro, but they don't make the grade on one count or 
> another. Only Knoppix appears to me as a viable alternative.

Why only Knoppix?

> On Jamuary 12th, Klaus wrote:
> "And we may be able to replace some knoppix-patched Debian-packages 
> (like sysvinit) by the original ones using some script-based "evil 
> hacks" instead, in order to make them behave like the earlier live-cd 
> versions."
> So, I'm wondering if KNX 5.0.1 will be this more Debian-compatible 
> release, if it will be more than just a live-cd, that is, a CD 
> certified for a good basic Debian installation.

The Knoppix 5.0 prerelease on Cebit 2006 already contains the genuine
Debian version of sysvinit, this could already make dist-upgrades
(including libc) easier because there are no knoppix-specific packages
that must be recompiled anymore (at least I think so).

Still, in order to have a current KDE while keeping the rest of the
system stable, you should first update KDE from unstable, and then run
an upgrade on the rest from testing and stable. That's of course just a
recommendation, and what I'm doing every now and then.

> This would be 
> wonderful, as it could bring Linux many new users. But then, security 
> updates for testing should be available. Is it the case?

Well, the security updates for testing are rather appearing in unstable,

> I believe I gathered that Klaus does not want to provide support for a 
> Linux distro :)

I simply don't have the resources to do a lot of user support, neither
free nor commercially. If anyone would like to provide a callcenter,
just go on and maybe make a lot of money. :-)

> but Suse doesn't support Opensuse either and Red Hat 
> doesn't support Fedora, so I don't believe this is a problem.

They have a "commercial version" as alternative to the "community
version", which means people can buy a support package for the distro
with a fancy name. It's of course a valid business model, but not
something that I see myself doing personally at this time.

> For years now, there's been big hullabaloo about Linux on the Desktop, 
> but I don't see much happening.

IMHO, this is not a technical problem (and probably has never been one).

> Maybe in ten years from now Debian 
> will be released every year but that's going to be too late for me. 
> If Knoppix, doesn't offer a solution for average Joe, I'm going to 
> switch to OpenSuse, which I would thing fits pretty much all my 
> criteria...

Just go on, everybody should use the distro he/she can work best with.

My primary goal in Knoppix is not to make things easier as they are.
Making things LOOK easy while they are not, and just HIDING the
technology behind, will lead to a huge knowledge gap between users (or
rather "consumers" in this case) and people who actually understand what
they are doing and being able to make their own decisions.

In my thinking, there is a certain minimum of "knowing what you are
doing" that is required for using ANY operating system efficiently, that
everyone should acquire before using software. If you use a phone, you
also need to know what mst of the buttons are doing, and for example,
why you are being charged for it if you dial a number.

So, I'm not trying to make things "easy" in Knoppix, but rather provide
tools that make setting up things quicker, like scripts for setting up a
bootserver, or scripts for saving configuration files.

This is probably not what you have in mind when saying it must be fit
for the average Joe. Maybe average Joe should rather be encouraged to
learn a few things (like security issues and how data is stored
securely) before starting to use a computer, just like you need to
obtain a drivers license (which means you have learned some basic
knowledge) before driving a car.

Short summary: You don't have to be an expert to use GNU/Linux, but the
more you know, the more efficient you can use it. Just like any other
operating system.

> Ar least, when average Joe goes to Mplayer and wants a compiled 
> package, he'll find the rpm instead of a reference to Marillat where 
> there's absolutely no mention of the package.

Maybe average Joe should also be aware that some things, while
technically working fine, are just plain illegal because of changes in
copyright law. You can, technically, with very easy-to-use software,
play ancrypted DVDs on your computer. But it's illegal because,
juristically, you are circumventing a copy protection (due to DMCA as
well as german copyright law for a few years now).

This is also true for other operating systems, just Open Source people
seem to be more aware of these legal problems.

> If he wants to 
> experience with LVM and RAID, he'll even find some interfaces to set 
> this up!

Does average Joe really care about LVM and Raid? Seems I underestimated
him. ;-)

> He certainly won't turn out the most competent system 
> administrator, but whatever he will learn from the confusing Linux 
> documentation (Windows' is even worst), he will have forgotten the 
> next time the same problem comes around. For him, the click-o-drome 
> is a blessing.

Then he should just invest a few bucks and hire someone who sets up the
system in an optimal way for him. That's a business model of Open
Source. You can download the software for free, and save a lot of money
if you have some knowledge. But you can still buy paid work of an expert
in order to get your dream system installed and set up for you without
having to read a lot of books. It's your choice. Or average Joe's. ;-)

> So, here's my question once again. Will Knoppix 5.0.1 be more than 
> another Live-CD?

Knoppix is and will be a Live System based on Debian GNU/Linux, with a
compilation of (hopefully) useful software and rescue tools, designed
for working best as a Live System but with an option to install to
harddisk. What you make out of it, is entirely up to you.

With kind regards
-Klaus Knopper

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