Using KNOPPIX to Get Started with Linux
So my attempts to get you to use VMware have failed. You don't want to go through the hassle of acquiring the VMware software to run Linux on your Windows machine. You don't want to worry about repartitioning your hard drive or changing your work habits. Still, you'd like to see what Linux can do. In that case, you might be interested in giving a bootable Linux version like KNOPPIX a try.
KNOPPIX is a software project available as an .iso file that you download and burn to a CD. Klaus Knopper developed KNOPPIX as a LinuxTag Project. It contains GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, support for many graphics and sound cards, SCSI and USB devices, and other peripherals.
This 640 MB CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it, which can slow down the machine as the programs take time to decompress. What offsets the slightly slower response time when running KNOPPIX is its ability to try Linux without touching your hard drive. When you're done using it, eject the CD and reboot your system to bring your machine up where you left it.
KNOPPIX is intended for use as a Linux demo, educational CD or rescue system. It can also be adapted and used as a platform for commercial software-product demos. The easiest method for using KNOPPIX is to:
1.Download the knoppix.iso.
2.Burn it to a CD.
3.Make sure your machine is set to boot from the CD
4.Reboot your machine.
The default settings will boot up with the documentation in a browser, making it fairly simple to get started.
If you decide that you like KNOPPIX and want to either customize it or use it permanently, the documentation available at the Web site has information on methods to create persistent settings or install KNOPPIX to your hard drive.
Going into all of KNOPPIX's possibilities is beyond the scope of this article, but Kyle Rankin's book, "KNOPPIX Hacks," is a great starting point. Rankin discusses much of what you can do with KNOPPIX, including running a virus scanner on your Windows disk partition, booting the CD on new laptops to see if Linux will run on them, and cloning hard drives.
Once people get a taste of Linux, they may find that they can't return to that other operating system. Be careful--the same might happen to you.