KNOPPIX 6.0 Boots Twice as Fast

Jan 29, 2009

Klaus Knopper lives up to his reputation as a resourceful tinkerer with the new Knoppix 6.0, a live CD that brings with it a few enhancements, including the ADRIANE talking menu system and an optimized boot process.

When German speaking Windows users mention Linux, it's usually Knoppix a live CD that has rescued its share of Windows systems from complete data loss. The software is now available in version 6.0 (code-named Microknoppix) on a live CD for 32-bit systems. Knopper and his team have completely revamped the distro, bringing it closer again to Debian Lenny and making it compatible with Debian project packages, at least as far as the configuration files.

The complete boot sequence was reworked by running multiple system initialization tasks in parallel, which ends up halving the boot time of its 5.x predecessor. Developers also reduced the installed software on the CD to facilitate remastering. Knoppix clones can now be as little as 256 MBytes, which explains the "Micro" code-name prefix. An additional flash-knoppix boot option allows copying the distro to a bootable memory stick.

A specially configured NetworkManager handles the network configuration for the graphical interface (with help from a CLI in text mode). First time or visually impaired users can also use Adriane (Audio Desktop Reference Implementation and Networking Environment), talking menus to navigate around the desktop, a feature enabled by default at startup. Thanks to an option using Compiz Fusion, sections of the desktop can also be magnified.

Knoppix 6.0 uses the sleek Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) as its standard, and Debian's IceWeasel Firefox clone as the browser. OpenOffice.org 3.0.1 is also part of the distro to enable office rescues. Further details (including on micro-mastering) are at Knopper.net. Downloads of the CD are available from various mirror servers from here.

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