AB9IL.net: Installing Knoppix 6.0 on a Flash Memory Device

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This project is an extension of the bootable USB Linux installation, with an emphasis on the Knoppix 6.0.1 CD. Knoppix 6.0 uses a pleasantly lightweight and fast LXDE desktop environment, and has useful software such as OpenOffice and Iceweasel / Firefox. The CD is a stripped down version of the Knoppix 6.0 DVD, and will run much faster when installed to a flash memory device. Part one entails preparation of a USB flash memory for a Linux installation.

Obtaining the Knoppix 6.0.1 CD Image:

Obtaining the Knoppix 6.0.1 CD image is an easy task. It is available in either English or German language, and is on many download sites. Among the most reliable is the Bit Torrent file: KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.torrent on the Unix-AG tracker. There are plenty of seeders; downloading time is a few hours on a typical DSL connection. When the download is finished, burn the ISO to a CD and give this new Knoppix a test drive on your hardware.

Knoppix 6.0 contains a utility for automatically installing to a USB flash drive. Called the flash-knoppix tool [LXDE --> System Tools --> Install KNOPPIX to flash disk], it can be used to easily make a bootable Knoppix usb flash drive. For a more customized, multi-sytem installation (with Knoppix, SLAX, Backtrack, etc), continue through the manual installation procedure below.

Knoppix 6 LXDE desktop, usb flash memory knoppix, knoppix 5, usb knoppix 6, bootable linux usb,
                   USB flash drive, bootable knoppix 6 memory stick

Manually installing Knoppix 6.0 to a USB flash drive then involves the following steps:

Supplies needed are:

Important: Make sure your computer\'s boot sequence (in BIOS Settings) lists CD/DVD devices prior to USB devices, and then your hard drive.

  1. Download grubfolder.zip, unzip it, and open "menu.lst" in a text editor. Scroll to the bottom of the file and remove (or comment out) the title, kernel, and boot lines for systems you don\'t have. For example, if you are going to use only Knoppix, delete the Backtrack and SLAX entries. Edit the Knoppix section to read as indicated below, then save and close the edited file. The "grub" folder will be used in step 6.

    title     Knoppix 6.0.1
    root     (hd0,0)
    kernel     /boot/isolinux/linux ramdisk_size=100000 lang=us vt.default_utf8=0 apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=minirt.gz nomce quiet loglevel=0 nolapic_timer
    initrd     /boot/isolinux/minirt.gz
  2. Boot the Knoppix disc, and when the system is up, insert the flashdrive into an open USB slot.
  3. Open a console ("Konsole" if you are using the KDE desktop), enter the command "fdisk -l" and read the list of drives and partitions. CAREFULLY IDENTIFY THE FLASH DRIVE! In this example, it is "sdb."

    fdisk output listing drives and partitions, usb flash memory knoppix, knoppix 5, usb knoppix 6, 
                   bootable linux usb,USB flash drive, bootable knoppix 6 memory stick

  4. Use Gparted (or QTParted) to reformat the flashdrive, and make it bootable. Select the FAT32 filesystem as the first or only partition if you want compatability with computers running Windows. A great method is to make another partition to hold the "persistent home" and custom Knoppix configuration files. In any case, write down your intended partition set-up, to avoid confusion later.

    If you want a separate partition for encrypted data, invisibility from Windows, or other features, set it up as a second or third partition after the FAT filesystem.

Next, continue to the installation page for steps to install the system files and bootloader onto your USB stick.

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