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Re: (Newbie) Knoppix.

Disclaimer: I've never used knoppix, this is basically just what I've
heard from confused newbies on #debian :-)

On Sun, Mar 02, 2003 at 02:28:45PM +0700, Brian Durant wrote:
> I didn't want to butt onto someone else's thread, I hope I did this the 
> right way 8-) I have tried the Knoppix CD to test out some SiS 900 
> driver and DHCP problems on my daughter's computer. Even though it 
> didn't work, I was very impressed by Knoppix. I have some questions:
> 1) I suppose the best route is to try to boot the CD on the box that I 
> would like to install Knoppix on, first?

I'd say so.  You'll want to know if you actually like Knoppix before you
install it :)

> 2) Is Knoppix, Debian? 

Kinda, but not really.  It is far closer than, say, Lindows or Lycoris,

> What I mean is that if I install Knoppix on my 
> hard drive, I could use the Debian 3 rev. 1 CDs that I have burned to 
> install other packages or localization files that I need by using 
> "apt-get" and using the CDs as a source? Is it fully or only partially 
> compatible with Deb?

AFAICT, Knoppix is a composed of a mix of Debian packages from woody,
sid and sarge, all smooshed onto one compressed cd-rom.  You can
certainly use apt to install stuff (at least once you have got it on the
hard disk), but mixing three distros like this kinda voids your warranty

> 3) I have looked at the Knoppix FAQ and it looks like it doesn't support 
> ReiserFS at this time? Howcan that be when Debian does?

It depends.  Debian only supports ReiserFS on it's bf2.4 set of boot
disks; if Knoppix doesn't use these, then I'm not surprised it's not
supported.  Alternatively, perhaps Knoppix just doesn't have the
requisite commands available from the installer?  You could probably boot
into Knoppix (from the CD), create some ReiserFS partitions, then reboot
Knoppix and do a hard disk install thingy.  You might need to manually
mount the partitions; presumably there's some way to access a shell from

> 4) Are disk partition suggestions for Knoppix similar to those for a 
> Debian install, i.e. "/", "/boot", "/dev/shm" (or swap), "/var", "/home"?

I'd say so, these are highly distro-independent.

> 5) I notice that besides the file system and partition issues, there 
> seem to be some issues mentioned in the FAQ that I don't really 
> understand about the fstab, 

/etc/fstab defines how the boot scripts mount your partitions.  It's
fairly simple (at least if you understand about Unix partitions and
devices and stuff), but I'd bet that Knoppix has some automated thingy
to at least handle the basic stuff.  If all else fails, email this list
with the details of what you want to do, and no doubt someone will be
able to explain it to you.

> lilo.conf 

/etc/lilo.conf configures lilo, the LInux LOader, which just boots the
kernel once the BIOS has done the POST and such.  You normally don't
need to touch it, since Debian uses the below-mentioned symlinks to
handle this outside of the config file.

Well, mostly.  You might need to add a single line when you install a
new kernel, but this is easy and you're given very explicit instructions
on how to do it.

> and symlinks in /boot that need to 
> be edited. 

Well, on Debian at least, these symlinks are in /, and the actual kernel
images are in /boot.  But, as above, it doesn't really matter, since
it's mostly an implementation detail, not something you need to worry

> Don't get me wrong. I would rather deal with all of this than 
> deal with the toady Debian install and configure setup 

I dunno about that...For me, the Debian installer is the quickest and
easiest I've ever seen...I've done a few in my day though, so perhaps
I'm just used to it.  I'd agree that it's not the most newbie-friendly
installer around, but it is fairly logical and simple once you know your
way around.

> with tasksel and 
> dselect, but I am not sure that I could do it without help.

Gah, amen.  I hate them both, with a passion :)  Try out aptitude, it's
a thing of beauty...Package management the way it was meant to be.  Of
course, even if you don't like it's full-screen curses interface, it
works almost exactly the same as apt-get does, from the command line.

> 6) USB support for Zip drives and support for printers (mine is a 
> parallel connected Epson C 80) included?

I'm fairly sure these are supported; just make sure you install a
'proper' Debian kernel (like kernel-image-2.4.18-<cpu>) and 'hotplug'
after install, and they should mostly Just Work.  For printing, I'd
recommend installing 'cups' and 'foomatic-db' (or is it cupsomatic-ppd,
I can never remember...).  Once they're installed, visit
http://localhost:631/, and enjoy!

Rob Weir <rweir@ertius.org>				http://ertius.org/

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