KNOPPIX 7.0 / ADRIANE 1.4 - Live CD / DVDKnopper.Net Consulting

KNOPPIX 7.0 / ADRIANE 1.4 - Live

General information about Microknoppix

"Microknoppix" is a complete rewrite of the KNOPPIX boot system from version 6.0 and up, with the following features: [Picture of LXDE destop with compiz]

  1. High compatibility with its Debian base: Aside from configuration files, nothing gets changed in Debians standard installation.
  2. Accellerated boot procedure: Independently from the usual SysV bootscripts, multiple tasks of system initialization are run in parallel, so that interactive desktops are reached very fast.
  3. LXDE is used as graphical environment, which is a very slim and fast desktop with extremely short starttime and low resource requirements. Because of its GTK2 base, LXDE works together nicely with screenreader Orca.
  4. Amount of installed software has been greatly reduced in the CD-version, so that custom remasters based on CD are possible again. On the DVD edition, KDE4 and Gnome with many applications originating from these popular desktops are available.
  5. Network configuration is being handled by NetworkManager with nm-applet in graphics mode, and textual GUIs in textmode (compatible to Debians /etc/network/interfaces specification).
  6. A persistent image for saving personal settings and additionally installed programs, KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.img, is supported on the boot device, optionally encrypted with AES/256bit. In general, installation as live system on flash disk is recommended.

New in version 7.0

  • Version 7.0 of Knoppix is based on the usual picks from Debian stable (squeeze) and testing (wheezy), with newer package versions especially for desktop applications. It uses kernel 3.2.4 and xorg 7.6 (core for supporting current computer
    -> complete software list DVD...
  • experimental free Nouveau graphics modules supporting NVidia cards, accelerated graphics via kernel mode settings (KMS),
  • LibreOffice 3.4.5,
  • Chromium 16.0.912.77 and Firefox/Iceweasel 10.0 Web Browser,
  • Optional 64-bit Kernel via boot option "knoppix64", supporting systems with more than 4GB of RAM and chroot to 64-bit installations for system rescue tasks (DVD version only).
  • Boot option "grub", for starting a bootloader shell in system rescue tasks.
  • ADRIANE: Version 1.4 of the audio desktop framework, now using cuneiform as engine for text recognition of scanned texts, enhanced support for several cellphone models via gammu (SMS function).
  • Viacam for controlling the mouse cursor by movement of head or hand using the builtin webcam.
Most of the work has gone into some internal changes that are almost invisible, which justifies the version switch to 7.0:
  • The standard character set has been moved to UTF8 for (almost) all languages, for supporting multilingual parts, umlauts and special characters in texs and applications. Some GTK programs had problems with the language-specific ISO character set and even refused to start, which should be fixed by the switch to UTF8, which almost all Linux distributions recommend. Because of the change, many of Knoppix scripts had to be changed and in many cases, Xdialog was replaced by zenity.
  • The Knoppix-specific boot system was changed in order to first detect and initialize hardware needed for starting the interactive user interface, delaying other initialization tasks. Because of this, the system "feels" like starting mich quicker, and the desktop is reached earlier, especially when starting from flash disk, yet other services like printer and network are just started a little later.
  • In the special edition for Linux Magazine, freely distributable and proprietary software components have been split into separate images, which are assembled only at runtime, so it is easy to remaster a completely free version (see article in Linux Magazine).
  • "restartx" is back, allowing to set and and start your choice of desktop (LXDE, KDE, Gnome) from the running system.

Known bugs in version 7.0

  • The game frozen-bubble doesn't start because of an incompatible library. Fix:
    sudo aptitude update
    sudo apt-get install libsdl-perl/testing
  • Soundcards simulated by virtualbox 4.1.8 don't work with kernel 3.2.4, i.e. Knoppix stays silent in virtualbox. Real soundcards don't seem to be affected.


[Penguin with sunglasses]

A.D.R.I.A.N.E. (Audio Desktop Reference Implementation And Networking Environment) is a talking menu system, which is supposed to make work and internet access easier for computer beginners, even if they have no sight contact to the computers monitor. A graphical environment with also talking programs and arbitrary magnification using compiz-fusion, is another option.

Booting from Flash

[Picture of a SD-flashdisk]

In order to create a bootable USB-medium (memory flashdisk, SD-card, digital camera with USB connector, cellphone with microSD, ...), the program flash-knoppix can be started from a running Knoppix system. This program installs all needed Knoppix files onto the FAT-formatted flashdisk, and creates a boot record for it. If desired, the target medium can be partitioned and fornatted, or left in its inistal state, so that existing files stay intact.

After having copied the system to flash, using the persistent Knoppix image (overlay feature), it is possible to also store files permanently in live mode. That way, personal settings and additionally installed programs survive a reboot.

Boot options and controls

Overview of the most important functions. A complete description and listing of shortcuts can be found in the configurations of sbl, orca and compiz-fusion.

Boot options (can be entered in the startup screen)

adriane     Start ADRIANE with talking text desktop

knoppix     Start KNOPPIX with graphical environment

knoppix64   Same as above, with 64-bit kernel (DVD version only)

knoppix/adriane acpi=off noapic nolapic pci=bios ...
            problem solvers, if computer doesn't start

knoppix testcd  Check CD for errors

knoppix tohd=/dev/hda1    Copy CD content to harddisk
            (hda1 or sda1, 1st partition on 1st IDE/SATA harddisk)
	    and start from there (free CD-rom drive)

knoppix toram             Load CD content to memory and start
            from there (free CD-rom drive)

ADRIANE navigation in text mode

CapsLock + space              read current line
CapsLock + arrow up           read previous line
CapsLock + arrow down         read next line
CapsLock + pageup             read from beginning of page to current position
CapsLock + pagedown           read from here to end of page
CapsLock + arrow left/right   spell charwise

Navigation with compiz and orca in graphics mode

Super + mouse wheel                 Set/scale magnification
Super + l                           Lock or release magnification area
Super + m                           small mouse lens
mouse to upper right corner         window overview
CapsLock + space                    start orca preferences

Super = penguin- or "window"-key left


Boot options like "adriane" can easily be preset by changing syslinux.cfg after having copied the CD to a bootable memorystick using "flash-knoppix":

Change the upper line

DEFAULT knoppix


DEFAULT adriane

for automatically starting ADRIANE on boot. This is already default in all ADRIANE iso files.


KNOPPIX 7.0 / ADRIANE 1.4 is currently included exclusively in Linux Magazine. About 4 weeks after CeBIT, the public edition of CD and DVD will be available for download again from the usual KNOPPIX mirror sites.

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