2. Running Your System with Knoppix
Knoppix (http://www.knoppix.net) is a free version of the Linux operating system that is prepackaged to run entirely from a CD. It therefore does not need to be installed onto your computer's hard disk. Knoppix has a graphical interface which is similar in style to Microsoft Windows and should be easily useable by anyone who is familiar with Windows XP.
- Go to a Knoppix download site, listed at http://knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html and download
the current English release - the file will have a name such as:
KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso(this is Knoppix version 4.02, released on 23rd September 2005, in ENglish). The
.isoextension signifies a CD ISO image file - this will typically be around 700 Mbytes in size so may take a while to download.
- Use the PC's CD-writing software (e.g. Nero, Roxio etc.) to burn the ISO image to a blank CD. CD-writing software usually has a specific option for doing exactly this.
To boot (i.e. start up) your machine from the Knoppix CD, switch the machine on and
immediately insert the CD into the CD drive. You may see a message on the screen telling
you hold down a key, usually the
If your machine appears not to be starting up from the CD, you may need to change the
"boot priority" settings on the machine's BIOS Setup screen. To access this screen, you
need to press a key (usually
<DEL> depending on the machine's manufacturer and model) - there may an
onscreen message about what to press, or it may be mentioned in the computer's user
guide. On the Setup screen, look for a setting called something like Boot Priority and
use the menu controls to make sure that CD drives have a higher priority than hard-disk
drives. Save the new settings and restart the machine.
The Knoppix interface is similar to Microsoft Windows in many respects. It has a
Desktop on which icons are placed for resources such as programs or disk drives. Your
machine's main hard disk will normally appear as
Hard Disk Partition
[hda1]. If you single-click on the icon it will display the drive's contents in a
window. Any other drives you have connected, e.g. external USB pen drive or hard drive
should also have icons. You can insert additional USB devices at any time and a
corresponding icon should appear a few seconds later. Because Knoppix runs from CD, it
sometimes takes longer to respond than you may be expecting.
- Dragging and dropping
- Cutting and pasting using the Windows-style right-click menu options.
- Using the
[Move to]right-click menu options.
You may find that when you try and write to an external storage device with Knoppix, it
seems not to work. If you look at the status bar at the bottom of the target window, you
may see a message of the form
You cannot drop items in a directory in which you
do not have write permission. If this happens, you probably need to change
the ‘Read/Write Mode’ of the target disk partition. To do this:
The standard Knoppix CD includes a CD/DVD burning utility called K3b - accessed via the
[Multimedia] section from the Knoppix
[K] button. If you have a
CD or DVD writing drive, you could use this as another backup medium.
On the K3b opening screen, click the icon
New Data CD Project - this will
open up a Project pane containing the icon
K3b Data Project into which
folders and files can be placed for burning to CD. Material can be dragged either from
the desktop, or from K3b's upper pane - the hard disk will be located in the file tree
Root/mnt/hda1. The CD you create will have the same layout of
files and folders as you set up within the
K3b Data Project.
If a Knoppix CD is not available, a similar product called Ubuntu could be used instead - you need the "Ubuntu Live" CD. Ubuntu is less attractive than Knoppix in that takes much longer to start up and also requires the PC's hard drive to be explicitly mounted before it can be accessed.
- On the
[Applications]open up the Terminal applications. In the Terminal window type the command:
sudo mount -o uid=1000 /dev/hda1 /mnt
- On the
[Places]menu, look for
File System, and look for
/mntamongst the list of folders. Click on
/mntto open the hard drive.
To write files to CD, insert a blank CD into your CD-writing drive and the
CD Writer utility will automatically launch. Click on
CD and Ubuntu will open a CD/DVD Creator window. Drag the all files to be
copied to the window, then click
Write to Disc.