Problems, problems . . . Before we wrap up here, I should take a moment to look at some of the common problems you may encounter and a few questions you may have.

The CD is amazingly good at automatically booting and running on a huge number of systems, but it isn't perfect. There is only so much software you can pack on one CD, and that includes drivers for hardware. That said, most problems with booting Knoppix can be resolved with the right cheat code.

You might have noticed that when the boot prompt came up it said, "Press F2 for help." Pressing F2 will show you some of the more common cheat codes. Pressing F3 will give you even more. One problem you may run into occurs when some systems return an incorrect amount of memory to Knoppix when it boots. This can cause a kernel panic, among other things. Typing the following will inform Knoppix of the computer's real memory:

knoppix mem=128M

This assumes, of course, that you have 128 megabytes of memory.

Another boot option you might try is the following:

knoppix xkeyboard=us

This will force the graphical X keyboard to use a standard U.S. English layout (assuming you want standard U.S. English).

I started this discussion of cheat codes by showing you how to get around an unknown graphics card. Knoppix tries to figure out the optimal resolution for your monitor, but this may not be what you want. For instance, if your screen came up in 1024x768 mode and you wanted to use 800x600 instead (perhaps the text appears too small), you would enter the following at the "boot:" prompt:

knoppix screen=800x600

Similarly, to get 1024x768 resolution, you would type the following:

knoppix screen=1024x768

A complete list of cheat codes can be found at:

What About the Root Password?

The quick answer is "There isn't one." If you need root access, click on the K menu, go up to the KNOPPIX menu, and select root shell from the menu. By the way, root is the name of the administrator login in the Linux world.

What If My System Can't Boot from the CD-ROM?

There is a diskette boot image included on the WFTL Edition Knoppix CD-ROM should you have a system that won't boot from a CD (this is common with some older BIOS's). If you are currently working from Windows, there's a program called RAWRITE2.EXE on the CD-ROM under the KNOPPIX directory. Get yourself a blank diskette, cd (change directory) to the KNOPPIX directory, and execute RAWRITE2.EXE. You'll be asked for a file name (which is boot.img). Wait a few seconds while the program writes the boot image to your floppy, and then boot from that floppy (you still need the CD <insert appropriate smiley here>).

From Linux, you can change directory (or cd) to the KNOPPIX directory and create a boot diskette with this command:

dd if=boot.img of=/dev/fd0 bs-1440k

Either way, after a few seconds, the diskette will be ready.

Can I Install the WFTL Edition Knoppix on My Hard Disk?

Yes, you can install from the CD to your system. I don't recommend the Knoppix disk as the means by which to install Linux because it is not one of the easiest installs, certainly not as friendly as picking up a copy of Mandrake or SUSE or Fedora. Knoppix is a great distribution to play with and to get used to working with Linux, but not to install.

That said, there is a script on the CD called "knoppix-installer." Wait until the Knoppix CD is fully booted, jump to the root console (either under the KNOPPIX submenu or by jumping out of the graphical system by press ing Ctrl+Alt+F1), and execute the command. The program, which sadly is only so friendly, will walk you through all the steps of installing the Knoppix CD onto your hard drive. Once complete, you can customize your desktop at will and use apt-get (or the graphical Synaptic) to update your system over the Internet.

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