Knoppix 6.0: Perfect Distro (also for Netbooks)

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Mar 07, 2009 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Knoppix has always been regarded as one of the most versatile Linux distros out there, but the latest version of the venerable Live CD Linux distribution has got yet another trick up its sleeve. Thanks to its excellent hardware detection, blazingly fast boot process, and the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, Knoppix 6.0 makes a perfect distro for netbooks. In fact, it supports all hardware on ASUS Eee PC 701 and 900 as well as Acer Aspire One right out of the box, including the wireless card. That's right, you don't have to fiddle with ndiswrapper or install a custom kernel in order to make your wireless card work. Knoppix 6.0 also detects the graphics card correctly, chooses the proper screen resolution, and enables Compiz Fusion 3D desktop effects. Even with 3D desktop effects enabled, the system feels very snappy.


Compared to previous versions of Knoppix, the new release has lost a lot of weight in terms of bundled software. However, all the essential productivity applications are still there, including the 3.0 productivity suite, the Iceweasel Web browser (which is essentially rebranded Firefox), the Icedove (aka Thunderbird) email client, the Pidgin IM application, and the GIMP image editor. The Sun Java Runtime Environment is installed by default, so all applications are fully functional. Iceweasel doesn't include the Adobe Flash Player plugin, but installing it is a matter of executing the sudo apt-get install flash-nonfree command. Knoppix 6.0 features the flash-knoppix tool (LXDE -> System Tools -> Install KNOPPIX to flash disk) which allows you to install Knoppix on a USB stick. This is a boon for users who want to use Knoppix without installing it on the netbook. Better yet, Knoppix allows you to reserve some space on the stick for saving your preferences and configuration settings. Knoppix also includes a utility that can help you to set up a GPRS or UMTS connection (LXDE -> System Tools -> GPRS/UMTS connection), which can come in particularly handy when you are using your netbook on the move. There is also a handy hard disk installer (LXDE -> System Tools -> KNOPPIX HD Install) which walks you through the process of installing Knoppix on your netbook.

All in all, even though the latest version of Knoppix isn't designed specifically for netbooks, its netbook hardware support is excellent and the system runs smoothly even on the original ASUS Eee PC 701. The distro comes with key applications which can help you to stay productive when you are out and about. So if you are looking for a replacement for the distro that comes with your netbook, or you want to try something different, Knoppix 6.0 is definitely worth a closer look.


  • booting from flash drive

    Hi MaximB,

    I could see that you don't have an option to boot from flash drive since your BIOS doesn't support it. There is a way to get around this.

    You can install something called "Plop boot manager" into your PC. You can google for it to get more information.

    You can also watch a video demo here.

  • In reply to MaximB

    Just use Knoppix 5.0 and tell. Almost all of the KDE apps are there in it. But Knoppix 6.0 is specially designed for visually impaired. And as a recovery tool, there is no gui is necessary at all.
  • RE: LinuxNewbie Sep 09, 2009 1:55pm GMT

    Regarding your question about booting from usb without bios option to do so: I was once able to boot featherlinux using a chain-boot floppy. if you don't have floppy maybe you can do the same with a cd/dvd. google "chain boot linux"

    a little late but hopefully this helps you
  • Knoppix 6.0 installation on hard disk on laptop

    I like to install Knoppix 6.0 on my ink-media lap top is there any simple installation routine
    many thx for Your help
    brgds Sulejman
  • MaximB reply


    According to synaptic, there is 29,420 packages to choose from (everything under the sun). Add "deb lenny main" to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Use this mirror or another of the many debian mirrors.

    My computer's bios doesn't allow booting from flash so I have a problem because knoppix 6.01 doesn't have persistent storage except on flash or hard drive. I store a little script on my hard drive or flash that I run that copies the source.list file, recovers the updated package lists at /var/lib/apt/lists, stores those settings if updated, copies any debs from /var/cache/apt/archives after installing programs, installs most used debs, sets aumix the sound mixer, sets up firefox with a profile that I like, sets up wallpapers and wallpaper screensaver, and a cleanup which runs apt-get clean to clean out those debs after having them copied to my working directory either on my flash or hard drive. It does this very fast, like a normal boot. I like the setup because very easily I can have exactly the installation that I prefer. Even programs like d4x (nt) that have to be run to setup their config files, my script runs the program, kills the program, and then copies the config files that I prefer to /etc. The other reason I like Knoppix is that it bypasses the sysvinit files by using the /etc/inittab file to run /etc/init.d/knoppix-autoconfig. I like to know what's going on, here is one file that runs the whole show. Another reason I like knoppix 6.01 cd is there is plenty of room 1024 MB to play with. I can install all the programs I want and my script stores the debs in either a master deb location or a directory by itself. I install in seperate directories and then if its something I want to keep and is only 1 or 2 debs I put in the main deb directory. Anything in the main deb directory gets loaded with a quick change in script. I never have to worry about getting a messed up system by installing. One neat trick that I learned is if you have the debs in the archive and you have no internet connection you can still install using sudo apt-get --ignore-missing --no-download install packagename. Of course my usual method is to cd "$WORKDIR"\deb and then deb -i package.deb. Anyway, I have 4 different distros on my computer but all I use is knoppix. It's fun to use and its solid.

    Until I can afford a newer computer, If anyone out there knows a way to use a special CD to start a flash drive for knoppix, let me know. Knoppix installs the flash drive but my bios does not boot flash drives.

  • Knoppix 6

    Knoppix is based on debian. It is compatible with the repositories, just add them to your sources. They were already there with 5.3 on dvd. Anything is just a quick apt-get away. You can also use ubuntu repositories.
  • Where's the compiler

    I was hoping to use Knoppix ver 6 on a laptop as an Apache/PHP web dev test bed. The lack of Apache/PHP on this version is not so bad, but there's no compiler support either, which makes building an Apache/PHP presence a LOT harder (I was going to install Apache/PHP on a partition on the harddrive so it would be easy to save state and have persistent config/log files, etc.)

    But, it does load fast, and it's pretty cool otherwise.
  • knoppix 6.0 on eee 700 and 900

    I thouroughly enjoy knoppix 6.0 on both eee700 and 900. only thing i noticed is that on the 900 the headphones do not work. got around this by downloading via synaptic alsa gui where i could enable the headphone jack by clicking on it. may be an easier way but this worked for me on the 900.
  • Knoppix 6. Really unbelievable

    I used it. Knoppix 6.0 with Adriane 1.1. I never used an os specially designed for visually impaired. I had no idea about how people with such disability could use a computer. But knoppix 6.0 is unimaginable. When you use it, you can understand that. And the LXDE is marvellous. Just like the Beryl Desktop, this too have a 3D effect. When you drag a window, you can see a wavy effect. When you close a window, you can see a demolition effect. Simply great. And Knoppix means not only for a recovery cd, it is a complete OS. The only personal worry about the new version is the missing of some useful applications like Gnucash etc.
  • In reply to 'darkstar'

    They've supposedly been working on getting a nice, graphical, 'it just works' monitor and screen setup into X for years. There's also several tools that claim to ask you questions and make an xorg.conf for you that just works. I'm using dual 1280x1024 19" monitors, and every single one, even the one bundled with the drivers for my video card (nVidia) fail miserably. I've taken to saving a copy of my Xorg.conf file so that I know the proper incantations to get everything working again.
  • Knoppix 6 lxde

    It did not detect or set the correct resolution for my 19" widescreen 1440x900 lcd monitor.
    Come to think of it only one distro that you can see on distrowatch did get it right..!!
    Why can't the rest get it right too..?
    What's so exotic about this type of screen..?? Not much I would guess.
    The only one to get it right was Mandriva 2009 Gnome.
    Cheers all you penguins.
  • Knoppix on Eee PC

    Do the hot keys work to turn the wireless on and off?
  • Re: Knoppix6

    These two things are not mutually exclusive: Just because you use Knoppix as a recovery system, doesn't mean that the distro is not suitable for netbooks. I've been using Knoppix 6.0 as the primary system on my Eee PC 701 for a few days now, and I have no complaints whatsoever.
  • Knoppix6

    I'm using Knoppix as a recovery CD.
    The latest Knoppix6 failed to recognize my Video Card on Optiplex 755 PC which was very disappointing.
    But luckily it has a non-gui recovery tools which helped me a lot.
    The Total-Commander clone was very useful in recovering my files but I wouldn't use this distro other then for recovery purposes as one of the major thing about distro is packages.
    Debian/Ubuntu/CentOS/Fedora/SuSe are very popular therefore they also have tons of packages.
    Knoppix on the other hand doesn't have as much packages as some other distro's.

    I am not saying this distro isn't good, I'm just saying that this distro was built for recovery purposes and good at it.
    Also if you want a distro for a netbook I suggest easypeasy which was built for Asus and Acer netbooks.
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