You posted this in another thread. It was the inspiration I needed to go on yet another Linux mission. I've heard Knoppix mentioned a few times in my sordid past but never was motivated to actually try it out. One reason had to do with my investment in Microsoft Windows and other live CD's that did what Knoppix claims to be capable of doing. I have some room for one more Linux OS on the MSI laptop, and since this is not a distribution of Ubuntu I didn't think there would be any conflicts in names such as incurred with Linux Mint. So, off I went on a search for Knoppix.Gary" wrote:Come to think of it, the very first Linux program I installed in that machine was Knoppix.
I've always kept a Knoppix disk handy when I first started working with Linux, but I don't remember why now. Probably to get in after I broke something.
I should have been suspicious from the very start given the obvious origins of Knoppix. It's written by a team of German software engineers who worked with Debian. This is a deadly combination I know about from past Linux experiences with software from Deutschland. All I will say here is that Europeans in general, Germans in particular, have an attitude. They don't do software like us Yanks. And, if you ever want to experience subtle humiliation, ask them for tech support.
Anyway, It turns out that there are several popular versions of Knoppix floating around the Internet. The version most readily available happens to be 7.6.0. It comes in CD, DVD, and USB flavors, and is designed to run portable using their CDFS formatted disk; not Fat32, not ext4, certainly not NTFS, and not anything that the rest of the world uses. But hey, Knoppix is famous and well accepted. They must be onto something. So I downloaded the DVD version .iso file that exceeds 4GB of memory. That's huge compared to most other Linux distros I've tried lately, but then there is a lot on that Knoppix disc. The normal thing to do with a downloaded .iso file is to burn it to DVD and use it to boot into a live session. So I did that. I shoved the DVD into the MSI laptop and rebooted from a cold start. I expected the DVD to click and chatter and then bring up the system. Unfortunately, none of that happened. Windows came up instead suggesting that the DVD was not bootable.
Well sh*t happens, so I decided to put that .iso image on a USB stick instead using the software Knoppix suggests, Etcher. I started the burn and got a warning from Etcher that the .iso I was trying to install on the USB device was not bootable. Do I really want to go ahead? I chose to go ahead and see what happens. Did the burn and rebooted ... into Windows once again. I checked the signature of the download and it matched the md5 signature from Knoppix. This was odd so I put the USB into the desktop tower and tried to boot from there. No bootable device found. WTF? At that point I figured it was time to read the directions. There are no directions for ver 7.6.0 but there are for the latest release 8.5. On the description page they clearly state that their OS is intended to be run from a live CD, and if I want a USB bootable version, I have to create the USB version from a running version of Knoppix. What kind of software developers create an iso that is lacking the boot files? The guys in Germany, that's who! All I can figure is that their CDFS is proprietary and and the regular boot files that the rest of the world uses are useless. Since I was trying to create a running version of Knoppix, their USB conversion was useless too.
Not being daunted by odd ball programmers, I thought I'd try putting the original DVD into the desktop tower. Lo and behold it booted into Knoppix. I was amazed and awestruck by what is in there. It's truly a worthy OS to have as a resource. So, I then burned the USB stick from within the live DVD session of Knoppix. Once that completed I removed the DVD and booted from the USB memory. That worked peachy. At that point I knew it was at least theoretically possible for Knoppix to boot from USB, and that encouraged me to slip it into the MSI laptop ... where it started to boot but stalled in the splash screen. Where have I seen this before? UGH! The Knoppix documentation offers a few kernel commands one could try for what they call a defective graphics card (no, THEIR software would never be defective). It was the same set of nomodeset commands I've used a thousand times already to get around the nVidia card problem. In this case those kernel commands did nothing.
Back to the Knoppix instructions for version 8.5 for some enlightenment. There is a list of improvements in this latest version. One of them is a fix for "modern" graphics cards and the other of interest was introduction of the ability to boot "efi" in the secure mode. Well, if they can do secure boot, then normal boot would be easy peasey. These instructions are actually part of a magazine the Knoppix folks publish. The long and the short of it is that you no longer can download FREE copies of Knoppix. You have to buy their magazine in order to get a copy of the program. So much for the "F" part of FOSS. They changed their policy when they jumped from the 7.x series to the 8.x series, which is when they added EFI capability. This is their clever way of charging for something that is free.
Well, technically, only the Linux kernel is free. I understand that. Plus, Those German dudes with an attitude are actually doing a good job. It's just another example of how Linux developers are behind the times and how FOSS does not really mean free software.