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How to install Knoppix on your hard disk!

Buddhika Siddhisena <bud@babytux.org>

Motivation - Why?

I bought a new notebook and was spending some time installing / transferring data from the old notebook and wanted to prepare it with a fresh install of Linux before giving it to my brother. Since I wasnt sure what software/packages he would like or whether he was even going to use Linux, I didnt want to spend too much time and effort installing a distro. Within minutes I had a bleeding-edge Debian based linux distro with many popular applications running.

My machine configuration

  1. IBM Thinkpad Celeron 550
  2. 4.5GB Hard disk
  3. 192MB RAM (128 MB should be fine)
DISCLAIMER: The steps outlined in this document come with no guarantee (or warranty) that it will work, and what ever you do to your system is at your own risk! I hold no responsibility. Please back up your data always (or better yet use a different hard disk).If this makes you uncomfortable stop reading any further!

Steps involved

At the time of writing I used Knoppix 3.3 but these steps should work for other versions. Hopefully with future versions there will be a good installer integrated with KNOPPIX.

1. Download the live knoppix ISO image from www.knoppix.net and burn to a CD

2. I created a boot disk since Knoppix cd wasnt bootable on my thinkpad.

cd /mnt/cdrom/KNOPPIX/; dd if=boot.img of=/dev/fd0

3. Booted Knoppix cd and went on to create partitions.

# cfdisk /dev/hda
# fdisk -l /dev/hda

/dev/hda1  *  1      561  4506201  83   Linux
/dev/hda2     561    608  377527+  82   Linux swap

4. Setup file systems and mount

# mkfs -t ext3 /dev/hda1
# mkswap /dev/hda2
# mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/hda1

5. Copy the Knoppix file system over

# hdparm -c1 -d1 /dev/hda  (just to speed up file copying)
# cp -a /KNOPPIX/* /mnt/hda1/

6. Setup config files required for HD boot

# vi /mnt/hda1/etc/fstab
/dev/hda1    /    etx3    defaults    1   1
/dev/hda2   swap  swap    defaults    0   0

# mkdir /mnt/hda1/home/knoppix
# chown knoppix.knoppix /mnt/hda1/home/knoppix

# vi /mnt/hda1/etc/lilo.conf
  • comment the "! Please edit /etc/lilo.conf ....
  • modify image=/vmlinuz section so that root=/dev/hda1.
  • I also removed vga=791 part from the append= section since that gave me an error when installing lilo
  • Make sure you also modify lang=de to lang=us in the append section.
  • I added vga=788 below append section so that I can get fb and a nice tux while kernel boots
  • I wanted to load kdm instead of kde so I added 2 to the append section to say runlevel 2
  • Add other knoppix cheat codes to the append section as necessary

If you want to start kdm instead of kde

# cd /mnt/hda1/etc/rc2.d
# ln -s ../init.d/kdm S99kdm

7. Install lilo and reboot

# chroot /mnt/hda1
# mount -t proc none /proc
# lilo
# umount /proc; exit;
# sync;sync;umount /mnt/hda1;reboot

References and Resources


Buddhika Siddhisena <bud@babytux.org>Updated : November 06, 2003
Created : November 06, 2003
 
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