Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section

Recipe 13.2. Booting Knoppix

13.2.1 Problem

You want to customize Knoppix's boot process. First, you need to find out what boot-time options Knoppix has.

13.2.2 Solution

To see all boot options, hit F2 at the prompt.

You can just pop Knoppix into the drive and let it boot itself, but there are a large number of boot-time options at your disposal. The default keyboard layout is German, so you might want to change it to your own locale:

knoppix lang=uk

The default desktop is KDE. You can choose a different one:

knoppix desktop=icewm

Or boot to a console, and not run X:

knoppix 2

You can speed up the boot process a bit by disabling hardware detection for things you don't have:

knoppix nopcmcia noscsi

To boot with minimal hardware detection, use:


You can combine as many options as you need:

knoppix lang=uk desktop=icewm nopcmcia noscsi

13.2.3 Discussion

You'll need about 20 MB of RAM to boot console Knoppix, and a minimum of 96 MB to run an X session satisfactorily. To run KDE, you'd better have 256 MB of RAM. Knoppix will find and use the swap partition on the hard drive, if there is one.

The fun thing about Knoppix is that if you don't like how it booted, or you want to try something different, you don't have to bother with a graceful shutdown—just pull the plug and start over. Knoppix glitches

Running programs from a CD can cause some odd troubles, especially on notebooks. It is common for power management to mess up a Knoppix session: when you wake up the machine, Knoppix doesn't respond to commands any more. Try disabling power management, or simply hit the power switch and start over.

Sometimes Knoppix gets stuck during boot-up and hangs partway into KDE (or any X session) startup. Switch to the first virtual console (Ctrl-Alt-F1) to see the live system messages; this should tell you where the problem is. For example, Knoppix might hang on SCSI detection. In this case, reboot and disable SCSI detection:

knoppix noscsi

13.2.4 See Also

  • Documentation on the Knoppix CD

  • (—the best Knoppix resource, with all kinds of tips and howtos

  • (—the official home page of Klaus Knopper, the creator of Knoppix

    Previous Section  < Day Day Up >  Next Section