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The common PC desktop is a great place to begin experimenting with Knoppix .
For computers purchased in 2000 and after, booting Knoppix is as simple as putting the CD in the CD-ROM drive and restarting the computer. For some computers, however, booting Knoppix might require changing the boot order in the BIOS. The BIOS is the screen that appears when you first boot a machine, and it usually lists the amount of RAM and the hard drives it detects. Older systems that don't support booting from a CD require that you boot from a floppy.
1.2.1 Change the BIOS Boot Order
If your computer supports booting from a CD-ROM, but won't boot the Knoppix CD by default, your problem is probably the system boot order setting in the BIOS. To change the boot order and save it, you must enter the BIOS setup, which you can do at boot time by pressing a special key. Some BIOSes tell you at boot time the key to press to change BIOS settings; the common ones are Esc, F2, and Del.
Once in the BIOS, find the section that changes boot device order. On some BIOSes this setting is changed by selecting a tab along the top labeled Boot, while on others the option may be named "Boot device order" or something similar. Once you have found this setting, move the CD-ROM device so that it is listed before any hard drives. If you can't find or change this option, or you need other information specific to you system, refer to the BIOS manual that should have come with your computer or motherboard. Once you have changed the boot device order, save your settings, which should reboot the computer, and after detecting the Knoppix CD, you should be placed at the Knoppix boot prompt.
1.2.2 Boot Knoppix from a Floppy
Some older computers do not support booting directly from a CD-ROM. For these computers, you must first create a boot floppy that enables the system to boot off of the Knoppix CD-ROM. Fortunately, Knoppix has made this process easy. The boot floppy process has changed between Knoppix 3.3 and 3.4. Knoppix 3.4 uses a new boot process that requires two floppy disks. To create these floppies, first boot Knoppix from a machine with a floppy drive that is capable of booting from a CD-ROM. Once the machine has booted , insert a blank floppy into the drive and click K Menu KNOPPIX Utilities Create boot floppies for Knoppix. This script automates creating boot floppies with a progress bar and a prompt that lets you know when to insert the next disk.
Once the floppies have been created, put the first floppy in the floppy drive, leave the CD in its drive, and reboot. The floppy contains a boot loader and kernel image that your system can use to boot far enough along that the CD-ROM can then be loaded.
1.2.3 The Knoppix Boot Prompt
Once you have booted from either a CD or a floppy, you are presented with the Knoppix boot screen, as shown in Figure 1-1.
Figure 1-1. The Knoppix boot screen
To boot directly into Knoppix, either hit Enter or wait a few seconds, and Knoppix starts the boot process. At this boot prompt, you can enter special Knoppix cheat codes [Hack #3] to control the boot process. Press F2 and F3 at this prompt to display some of the cheat codes.
As Knoppix boots, it displays colorful output while it detects your hardware. Once it has detected and set up your hardware, it automatically launches into the desktop environment and finishes by opening a web browser showing Knoppix documentation. At this point, you can launch programs, browse the Web, and play games . When you log out of the desktop environment, Knoppix shuts down and ejects the CD for you. If you use a floppy to boot Knoppix, remember to eject it, or the next time you start your computer, it will try to boot into Knoppix again.
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