Knoppix 5.3.1

Knoppix 5.3.1

Article from Issue 91/2008


Knoppix is the quintessential Live troubleshooting tool for admins, developers, and desktop Linux users. This Debian-based distro runs directly from the DVD drive on a variety of Intel-based systems. Version 5.3 adds new features, such as VirtualBox virtualization and the Compiz-Fusion window manager. Knoppix offers an impressive collection of GNU/Linux software, as well as automatic hardware detection and support for a variety of graphic cards, sound cards, and USB devices. We are happy to bring you Knoppix 5.3.1 as this month's Linux Magazine DVD.

The phenomenon of the Live distro is sweeping the world of Linux. Just place the DVD in the tray and run the whole operating system from the removable disc – without disturbing the contents of the hard drive. Knoppix creator Klaus Knopper pioneered many of the techniques used today in other Live distros, and Knoppix remains at the forefront of the Live Linux movement.

Knoppix offers a powerful collection of troubleshooting and diagnostic tools for professional sys admins, who use it to test for problems and resurrect downed computers. But Knoppix is also a powerful desktop system, built with ingenious compression features to deliver more business applications and user tools than you would ever expect to find on a bootable DVD.

Version 5.3.1 includes Linux Kernel Knoppix also comes with popular tools such as, Abiword, GIMP, Apache, PHP, and MySQL. Through ntfsprogs and ntfs-3d, Knoppix offers support for viewing and writing to NTFS partitions, making Knoppix an excellent tool for resurrecting broken Windows systems.


Each version of Knoppix brings new and interesting features to the realm of Live Linux. Version 5.3 rolls out the Adriane audio desktop. Adriane is an easy-to-use desktop system for the sight-impaired. The Adriane desktop provides a dialog-based menu with speech output or optional output to a USB or Bluetooth braille device. You'll need to do some tinkering to get Adriane working in English (see the box titled "Adriane,") but if you're ready for a little reconfiguration, boot Knoppix and check out this powerful accessibility tool.

Try It

Is your system broken? Pop in your Knoppix DVD for help with troubleshooting, forensics, and data recovery. Because Knoppix is fully portable and runs from the DVD drive, you can take it with you and access the same familiar system even if you are using a computer configured for Windows.

Use Knoppix as a backup system, or take advantage of its large collection of tools on a daily basis.

We hope you enjoy this month's Knoppix 5.3.1 Linux Magazine DVD.

System Requirements

Processor: Intel-based CPU (486 or later).

RAM: 32MB for test mode; at least 96MB for graphics mode with KDE; 128MB recommended for graphics mode with office applications.

Graphics card: Standard VGA-compatible.

Pointer: Serial, PS/2, or IBM PS/2-compatible USB mouse.

You'll also need a bootable DVD drive. The 3D-accelerated desktop and other advanced features may require additional RAM.

Help & Support

The best source for help on Knoppix is the Knoppix website: You can email your Knoppix questions to:


Linux Kernel 2.6.24 7.3

Gnome 2.20

KDE 4.0.1

GCC 4.2.2

OpenOffice 2.3.1

AbiWord 2.4.6

Iceweasel 2.0.0

Icedove 2.0.0

Kopete 3.5.9

Linphone 2.0.1


Samba 3.0.28

Perl 5.8.8

PHP 5.2.3

Python 2.4.4

Adriane in English

To activate the Adriane audio desktop, use the adriane boot option. Adriane's default language is German. When the Adriane text menu appears, use the arrow key to select the shell option. To switch to English, change the language setting in the /etc/adriane/adriane.conf file. Alternatively, you can just delete the adriane.conf file. Restart Adriane by typing adriane-screenreader at the shell prompt.

Additional Resources

[1] Knoppix contacts page:

[2] Knoppix wiki:

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