I'm using Knoppix

After discovering the wonder of Mozilla FIrefox, I decided to branch out a little more and try a new OS. In case you haven’t heard, Knoppix is a LiveCD that boots a full OS from a CD, no hard drive harm necessary. This is ideal for me because I don’t really know jack squat about kernels and compiling source code.
It is wonderful. I’m reading documents that I haven’t had access to in months. It’s amazingly fast for a CD-based OS. Most of all, it’s new and fun and free.
For those who have tried this thing out before, what do I need to learn before going to a more permanent distribution?

Get familiar with the console (the command-prompt, if you’ve ever experienced pre-Windows 95 systems). Look for ‘Bash’ or similar in the menu. If you start to play around with installing Linux and want to do anything exciting, you’ll end up spending a lot of time typing obscure commands. :wink:

The very obscure are more like incantations.

I agree. Even -xzvf seems to a a deliberate choice of strange letters.

I agree. Knoppix is my current fave live Linux CD.

If I was a Google-zillionaire type, I’d just have a bunch of Knoppix CDs made up and have them distributed for free all over the place like the AOL crud. Let people know There’s Another Universe to enjoy.

Knoppix LiveCD fried one of my laptops.

When I first tried to run it, it would halt during startup and never go beyond the initial stages of the boot process. So I tried it in the “safe mode” or whatever it was called – so that it wouldn’t try to detect any hardware – and it started to boot, finally. It got to the GUI (X, I think?) and then proceeded to load some other stuff. It was very slow, so I went out for a few hours. When I got back, the laptop had kinda died. It wouldn’t turn on, the power switch had somehow partially melted into the laptop, and the glass table below had cracked. Yikes. The system would never turn on again.

Friend of mine told me it might’ve been because the system fans weren’t properly detected and so something overheated. I didn’t think the system would let itself die like that – always thought there would be some sort of thermal shutdown or that the fans were always on and not controlled by software. Stupid me.

I won’t try THAT again.

I’d take a look at Ubuntu if you would like a more permanent installation. It is the most user-friendly flavor of Linux that I have used. All my hardware was detected during the install (unlike Windows, where I had to install drivers for my network card, sound card, and video card), and it’s a Debian based distro, so you can use the apt-get command or the Synaptic Package Manager to easily install software.

It is also free, and they have Live install versions also.


If I weren’t a windows user, I’d be using Ubuntu right now. I keep it on my laptop as a dual boot for when I need to scratch that *nix itch.

I agree, Ubuntu is a nicely set and easy to use distro, though I prefer to use Kubuntu which is basically Ubuntu but using KDE instead of Gnome for the desktop enviroment (personal preference here). AdmiralCrunch you might want to try out the Ubuntu live CD, and see if you prefer KDE or Gnome for your desktop enviroment - and try some other window mangers out too, like Blackbox, Fluxbox or Enlightenment.

I heartily recommend KDE as a desktop for the novice Linux user. And if you want a lighter-weight window manager, there’s icewm. It’s more Windows-like than blackbox or windowmaker, and it has the smallest, most unobtrusive CPU/network monitors I’ve ever seen.

Also, when you do go to a permanent distro, keep the Knoppix CD handy. It’s very useful for emergencies, like if the MBR on your hard drive takes a dump or if you screw up a kernel install and it won’t boot.