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  • Knoppix

    Any of you guys run Knoppix?

    I've been looking for a cheap second machine to be used for surfing, checking webmail, etc. and a friend is giving me a 500Mhz machine based on the Intel CA810E motherboard. From what he's told me it has 256MB RAM and a standard CD-ROM. I believe the sound and video are all on-board. It's running Windows 2000 right now. All I'd want to add is a wireless PCI card so we can put it anywhere in the house and not worry about cabling.

    I've never looked much at linux but figure it would probably run much faster on that hardware then Windows. I looked at distrowatch a bit this morning and I'm leaning toward Knoppix. Sounds like it supports lots of older hardware and is fairly easy to learn for a newbie to the linux world. Really, all this machine will be used for is surfing, webmail, etc. when the primary machine is being used by someone else. The kids do have a few older games and I know there is stuff like WINE but don't know if there is even a remote chance those games would run through it.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Knoppix

    Knoppix's key is that it's a live distribution; you stick it in the CD-ROM drive and go to town. It doesn't make any footprint on your hard drive. It CAN be installed like a normal distro, but there might be something else that's not a live distro first and an installed distro second that would fit your needs better.
    [volun2]
    NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
    Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
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    • #3
      Re: Knoppix

      if you wanna just try linux,....download vitrual machine and run a live CD of linux its great...im useing that to learn some things about it...
      that sounds like a good idea trooper.
      -Vulcan

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      • #4
        Re: Knoppix

        Thanks for the quick feedback gentlemen. I was actually thinking Knoppix might be a good first step since I could use the Live CD to see if it will support the hardware PRIOR to actually installing anything on the hard drive.

        If it looks like it will work THEN I could ditch the Windows 2000 entirely and install just Knoppix on the drive.

        Having said that, I'm entirely new to linux so if anyone wants to point me toward a distro that might better fit my needs I'm open to anything. I'm more concerned about find something relatively easy to install that will likely support the hardware listed above then leaning toward any particular distro. It just looked on first glance like Knoppix might be a good candidate from the hardware perspective since I could 'try-before-you-install' to make sure it supports everything.

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        • #5
          Re: Knoppix

          Wireless is going to be the biggest problem. Make sure the wireless card you pick is one that's supported. Pay close attention to the hardware version. Network vendors are notorious for changing the chipset on their cards without changing the model number, and just cutting a new Windows driver to hide it. But it screws those of us using 3rd party drivers, which includes a lot of Linux users.

          The big problem with wireless (as compared to other hardware) is that the FCC doesn't want users to have access to the radio controls that let them goose up the power, and a lot of wireless hardware now puts a lot of the radio in software (to save money), right where Linux users can mess with it. Some distribute a binary-only module that gets invoked from a source "glue" driver that converts Linux kernel API calls into calls into the opaque binary driver. (NVidia does this to hide their licensed 3rd party proprietary video code while still working within the kernel.)
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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          • #6
            Re: Knoppix

            Wow, most of that went right over my head Scratch. :)

            I've been looking at Best Buy and they have a couple of PCI cards for ~ $35. Is there an easy way to verify whether Knoppix for example supports that specific card? I guess I'm asking if there is a 'hardware supported' list easily accessible.

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            • #7
              Re: Knoppix

              If your going for speed, Win2k isnt to bad on a 500mhz pc, faster than most distros using KDE/GNOME. I like Puppy for small and light, been playing around with it for a bit.

              Fits on my thumbdrive with plenty of room to spare!

              Az
              [age-c1][command]

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              • #8
                Re: Knoppix

                Originally posted by DigitalAssassin
                Wow, most of that went right over my head Scratch. :)

                I've been looking at Best Buy and they have a couple of PCI cards for ~ $35. Is there an easy way to verify whether Knoppix for example supports that specific card? I guess I'm asking if there is a 'hardware supported' list easily accessible.
                Google is your friend. Google the brand and "linux" to see if anyone's even talking about it. Then see if those who are can tell you what gotchas to look out for. With any luck, there's a mailing list for the card's driver.

                I bought a cheap USB wireless NIC from TrendNET and immediately found a list supporting a possible driver for it. Alas, Trend changed chipsets and my version was reporting the chipset that doesn't have a driver. (The web page for the chip said it was supported, but I found no actual driver, and the chip company won't talk to end users, only the companies that put the chip in a system like Trend.)

                These days a lot of add-in cards, including network cards, have only a single chip. The card is just the physical connector needed to glue the chip to the PCI slot. The chip company sells the chip to companies that put it on a board, stick it in a pretty package, and sell it as cheap as possible. Everybody does their best to avoid talking to customers because support is expensive.
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Knoppix

                  Originally posted by DigitalAssassin
                  Wow, most of that went right over my head Scratch. :)

                  I've been looking at Best Buy and they have a couple of PCI cards for ~ $35. Is there an easy way to verify whether Knoppix for example supports that specific card? I guess I'm asking if there is a 'hardware supported' list easily accessible.
                  Beware consumer places like Best Buy and CompUSA. They cater to the non-tech consumer and lean towards the Windows crowd. That means equipment that is mostly Windows supported and dont work with Linux. For example, most internal modems on the shelves are winmodems and only work with Windows. So you have to do your homework to make sure a manufacturer's product will work with Linux. Stores like Tiger Direct or Fry's better cater to techies and you will find a wider selection. Or shop online if you are not in a hurry.

                  Best place to start is with the website of the distro. Look in the forums or the support section. They should have a hardware list.
                  -33rd- BaneII
                  Smokers & Jokers

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                  • #10
                    Re: Knoppix

                    And don't go by just the model number. Vendors often make both compatible and incompatible hardware with the same model number. I just bought a Linksys router and had to go find a crib sheet of serial numbers to know which ones had Linux under the hood so that I could flash them with custom firmware. I then dug through the shelf at Best Buy to find one with the older serial number.
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Knoppix

                      what vitrual machine do you recommend?

                      i found loads of google links and im worried if these exe's are really a VM or a virus/crap
                      From Adam Webb

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                      • #12
                        Re: Knoppix

                        download the MS VM...free trial but you can use it for what you wanna use...thats what i have been useing
                        that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                        -Vulcan

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