Hack 2 Get Knoppix

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Knoppix can be downloaded from the Knoppix mirrors or purchased from an online site .

This book includes a copy of Knoppix 3.4 from 2004-05-17 (KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN), which was the last release in the 3.4 series. All of the hacks have been tested and written in terms of this release, but most hacks should work fine across the new releases. At the time of this writing, the first version of 3.6 has been released; however, I felt it would be better to keep with 3.4 because it has had time to work out major bugs .

1.3.1 Get the Latest Version

Even though new, major versions of Knoppix are released every year or so, new, incremental releases occur as often as twice a month. These incremental CDs have the latest updates to all the software on the CD, the latest Linux kernels , and sometimes, new features. New software updates offer bug fixes and new-and-improved features. New kernel updates often mean better hardware support; if an older version of Knoppix doesn't boot on your computer, the latest release of Knoppix might give you better results. Sometimes new features are added in incremental releases in the form of improved hardware detection, extra Knoppix configuration tools, or new cheat codes. See [Hack #3] for more information. In general, if you need to address a problem on your Knoppix CD, the latest release might fix it.

1.3.2 Download Knoppix

To obtain the latest version of Knoppix, download the CD image from one of Knoppix's mirrors or send away for a CD. If you have an unmetered broadband Internet connection and a CDR/RW drive, simply download the CD image; it's the best way to get Knoppix. A collection of mirrors listed at http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html provides CD images in ISO form over http, ftp, or rsync. If you use Bittorrent (a peer-to-peer file-sharing application designed for sharing large files), you can use the Knoppix torrent link on this page. When you click on a mirror you are taken to a licensing agreement page. Have your lawyer read through the software license (your lawyer reviews all of your software licenses before you accept, right?), click Accept to proceed, and then choose a file from the list that is presented. In addition to the latest version of Knoppix, most mirrors host a few past CD images with their MD5sum.

When trying to decide which CD to choose, it helps to understand the scheme Knoppix uses for naming CD images. Here is an example ISO filename:


Deciphering the filename isn't tricky and can be quite informative. In the aforementioned example, KNOPPIX is followed by the current version, in this case 3.4. Following the version is a date stamp, which indicates the CD image's release date; in our example, the CD was released on May 17, 2004. These date stamps indicate the incremental version mentioned earlier. After the date stamp, there is a language code, in this case EN for English. Knoppix is a German project, and while the default language can be changed with cheat codes [Hack #4] at boot time, the Knoppix project releases both German and English CDs to save English-speaking users from having to enter a language cheat code at every boot. English-speaking users want to get images with the EN language code, and German-speaking users want to get images with the DE language code. Everyone else can choose either image and use a language cheat code at boot time.

Select the latest version of Knoppix by clicking on the filename. The 700 MB file can take anywhere from a few hours to a day to download, depending on the speed of your Broadband Internet connection and the current load of your mirror.

Once the image is downloaded, you might want to confirm that the full file has been downloaded correctly and is an exact copy of the original file. An MD5sum is a checksum created from a large stream of data using the MD5 algorithm and is often used to verify that large files downloaded correctly. Practically speaking, an MD5sum-generating program takes your Knoppix ISO file and creates a fingerprint that only that one file is capable of making. Changing even a single bit affects the MD5sum; therefore, if any error occurs during the download process, the generated sum is different from the one listed on the mirror. If both MD5sums match, the file you have is exactly like the file on the mirror.

There are a number of utilities to create an MD5sum under Windows. One such tool can be found at http://www.md5summer.org. Once you install this program, run it and navigate to the Knoppix ISO you wish to verify, and click OK. On your Linux machine you will probably find that the md5sum utility is already installed. You'll need to install it if it is not. Once md5sum is installed, make sure the .md5 file from the mirror is in the same directory as the image, and then type:

 greenfly@clover:~$  md5sum -cv  KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso.md5   KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso OK greenfly@clover:~$ 

If the md5sums match, you are dropped back to a prompt; otherwise , you receive the following error:

 greenfly@clover:~$  md5sum -cv  KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso.md5   KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso FAILED md5sum: 1 of 1 file(s) failed MD5 check greenfly@clover:~$ 

You can also generate an MD5sum from the command line by typing:

 greenfly@clover:~$  md5sum  KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso     7ee0382655abf194aa300a98100cacde  KNOPPIX_V3.4-2004-05-17-EN.iso 

Compare the MD5sum you generate to the corresponding .md5 file from the mirror. If both match, you have a complete ISO and are ready to create a CD.

You can burn the Knoppix ISO to a CD using your favorite CD-burning software. It is important that you select the Burn Image or an equivalent option on your CD-burning software. Do not select the option to burn a data CD; you will end up with a CD containing a single ISO file, which will not boot.

1.3.3 Buy a Knoppix CD

If you don't have an unmetered broadband Internet connection, or you don't have a CD writer, or you simply don't want to bother with downloading and burning a CD, you can receive a Knoppix CD through the mail from a number of third-party vendors. There is a list of vendors to choose from at http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-vendors/index-en.html. These vendors are unaffiliated with the Knoppix project itself and also offer other Linux distributions on CD. When ordering, make sure that the version the vendor is offering is the latest version by comparing its release date with the latest release on one of the Knoppix mirrors. You can purchase a Knoppix CD for five dollars plus shipping, which is a small price to pay if you want to avoid the hassle of downloading and burning a CD.

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Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Knoppix Hacks. 100 Tips and Tricks
Year: 2004
Pages: 166

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