Introduction to Knoppix

Kyle Rankin

Author of Knoppix Hacks

What is Knoppix?

A complete Linux distribution that runs directly from a bootable CD-ROM, Knoppix has many uses:

Demonstrate Linux

Why Knoppix is great for demos:

Portable Linux Distribution

Take your distro with you:

Cheat Codes

Cheat codes let you tweak boot behavior

Persistent Settings


Persistent Settings


Knoppix the Linux installer

Knoppix the Admin Toolbox

Knoppix the Rescue Disk

The Windows "Recovery" Disk

The Windows "Recovery" Disk

What it can doWhat it can't do
  • View text files
  • Check the disk for errors
  • Fix the MBR and boot.ini with defaults
  • Partition drives and format them
  • Restore system files from CD
  • Edit text files
  • Browse outside of %SYSTEMROOT% and the root folder
  • Copy to floppies or CD
  • Edit registry
  • Much, much more

Knoppix the Windows Recovery Disk

What Knoppix can do

Make Your Own Live CD

  1. Check other Knoppix derivatives
  2. Copy Knoppix structure to a hard drive
  3. chroot
  4. Make changes
  5. Recreate compressed filesystem
  6. Recreate .iso
  7. Test with bootfrom
  8. Burn to CD

Fix Catastrophic Screw-ups

What are catastrophic screw-ups?

Death-(well MBR-)defying Live Demo!

Delete the complete Master Boot Record and restore it and grub using Knoppix

I Like My Laptop

How to Erase Your MBR

root@ttyp0[/]# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

Boot Knoppix

Use console mode (boot with knoppix 2)

Not necessary, but saves time since all the recovery tools are command line based


Run Gpart

First run gpart without the -W option to test

Then use -W to actually write the changes

Tweak the Results

gpart might not correctly find the end of all of your partitions.

Use a tool like fdisk or cfdisk to recreate the partition to fill up its space in this case.

Fix Grub

Other Resources