Ask Klaus

Keyboard Cheat

Dear Sir,

The Knoppix 7.7 from the Linux Magazine April cover disk certainly looks good as a platform for learning Blender. The processor has plenty of power (3.6GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB disk), and VLC plays video with no trouble at all, not even on the sound.

As an aside: Have you ever tried editing a file on a system with a UK keyboard on an OS that assumes a US keyboard map, and you can't work out how to change that? If all else fails and I still want to run Vi under Knoppix 7.7, then I'll simply have to create a list of corresponding key mappings.

Other than that, the OS is really good (Blender, Gimp, Gwenview, VLC).


This is not well-documented in the Knoppix cheatcodes: Please use

knoppix64 xkeyboard=gb

for the UK keyboard in X. You can as well use the

knoppix64 lang=uk

abbreviation to set the language and console keyboard to "UK" and the X keyboard to "GB."

Changing keyboards while working in Xorg can be done by using:

setxkbmap gb

in the terminal.


How can I modify Debian (and probably others) to allow use of sudo by whoever installed it (Ubuntu does it automatically, but how?)

Sudo does not know who installed or owns the system, but instead looks into the file /etc/sudoers, which is, on most systems, only readable by root.

For Knoppix, /etc/sudoers contains this line:


This means: User "knoppix" may execute all commands with all user IDs (including root) without having to specify a password. This is necessary because there are no "default passwords" in Knoppix that would allow an authenticated login.

For Lubuntu, /etc/sudoers looks like this:


which means that members of the Unix group "sudo" (which includes the user that had been created during installation) may execute any commands as root or another user, but the user still needs to identify himself with a password first (which is the default for sudo).


How do I adjust sorting options to sort file lists in true ASCII order, including hidden files and mixed case, everywhere on the system?

For sorting the output of ls character set-wise, the LC_COLLATE environment variable is responsible.

Depending on your language settings, export LC_COLLATE=de_DE.UTF-8 may include some language-specific umlauts or special characters that would otherwise not be recognized. For including files and directories starting with a dot, use the -a option of ls.

If you want to see directories first in the ls output, use:

ls -a --group-directories-first

For mixed-case (case-independent), ls has no option' you need to pipe through the sort command with the "case-independency" option -f:

ls -a -1 | sort -f

which is probably the closest solution to your question.

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