Hardware FAQ

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Q: How can I set up my printer?.

A: Click on "printer configuration" in the "Knoppix" menu, and use the wizard.

Q: How do I get support for my wheelmouse's mousewheel?

A: Type "knoppix wheelmouse" at the boot prompt. Unfortunately, wheelmice cannot be auto-detected, and the wheelmouse protocol is incompatible with the standard ps/2 protocol. Therefore, the "normal" ps/2 protocol (without mousewheel support) is the safe default.

Q: After finishing knx-hdinstall i am searching for a way to make a wheelmous work an a harddisk installation. What shall i do? Booting from CD with "knoppix wheelmouse" works fine.

A: there are two options (NOT TESTED):

  • edit the following file: "/etc/X11/XF86Config-4" (make backup before)
    • add the following lines to the section "Input Device" :
Option    "Protocol"  "IMPS/2"
Option    "ZAxismapping"    "4  5"
Option    "Buttons"     "5"
    • If there is another line with an other protocol, you must delete it. BTW there are 3 sections for mice: serial, PS/2 and usb-Mice. You must find the correct Section.
  • edit the "/etc/lilo.conf" file
    • and add "wheelmouse" in the line with "append" (there is a huge line of parameters).
    • Then run "lilo -v" in a root-shell an hope there's no error message.

Q: I use a Microsoft Wireless Intelli Mouse explorer (Optical, USB) and the mouspointer won't move.

A: Open a Root-Console (Control-Alt-F2) and enter the following:

modprobe -r usbmouse
modprobe hid

Pressing Control-Alt-F5 will bring you back to KDE.

Q: I'm trying to use dialup but I've got a winmodem

A: Sorry. Unfortunately some cheap modems have moved their functionality to almost completely software. Linux doesn't have support for nearly all of these thin modems and the best you can do is get another modem. You just discovered why it might have been worth purchasing a real modem. Infos about GNU/Linux driver for Winmodems, see linmodems.org

Q: My graphics card doesn't work!

A: It may be that very new (or exotic) graphics cards are not in the hardware database yet. These will still usually work under Linux! You can type

knoppix xmodule=vesa


knoppix xmodule=fbdev

at the first boot screen, and the initial un-accelerated XFree86 modes will produce a usable screen. Version 31-01-2002 and later have a frame buffer boot option (especially for older notebooks) fb800x600 (instead of typing in knoppix), which uses a resolution of 800x600 pixels in frame buffer mode. Regardless of whether these workarounds are successful or not, support can be built into the next version of KNOPPIX more quickly if the PCI numbers of the graphics card along with a description can be sent to us via mail ("lspci ; lspci -n").

If you have an onboard chip like: Intel® 82865G some users related that shared memory size should be fixed to 8Mb (look at your mainboard Bios).

Q: Auto configuration doesn't work on my computer, or the computer hangs at boot. What should I do?

A: It might work if portions of the auto configuration are skipped. This can be specified with "knoppix noscsi" or "knoppix nopcmcia". If the problem can be identified -> please send the exact error message and when possible a proposed solution using the web form at http://www.knopper.net/kontakt/ ! Sometimes the output of "lspci ; lspci -n" is very helpful, especially if the problem involves incorrectly identified graphics cards.

Q: My PS/2 mouse doesn't work!

A: If the mouse pointer in the graphical user window is erratically moving around everywhere, the attached mouse is using an exotic protocol. Only booting into "expert" mode and setting the correct protocol for the XFree system will help in this case. However, if the pointer appears in the middle of the screen and doesn't respond to mouse movements at all, you probably have a board with a known BIOS bug (lately this problem has been appearing frequently with notebooks). Try to type in

knoppix pci=irqmask=0x0e98

at the boot screen and see if this helps. Alternatively, you can find a BIOS update for your computer (you may want to do this anyway?).

Q: My system memory is not fully detected, or the computer hangs shortly after starting with the message "Panic: cannot mount root file system"!

A: Some boards apparently report the usable memory size incorrectly to the Linux kernel. Solution: specify the system memory size as an additional "knoppix" boot option. For example, for 128 Megabytes use

knoppix mem=128M

(Note: make certain an upper-case M is typed after the memory size!)

Q: I am able to rotate my monitor. How do i set up Knoppix to use portrait-mode?

A: Edit the file /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 as root: In the section "Device" add the following line:

Option "Rotation" "CW"

CW means Clock Wise. Also possible: CCW Counter Clock Wise).

Q: I'm looking for modules-floppies to load Emulex FC-drivers (just for demonstration purposes...) - which ones should I use, the actual Debian modules fl-images?

Q: I have a RAID controller that doesn't have /dev entries (/dev/cciss/c0d0,/dev/cciss/c0d1, etc.) Can they be added for the next release?

Q: How to update for new graphic card driver and reconfigure it (for hd-install or floppy-config...)

A: The easiest method would probably be to simply power down, install the card, boot the latest Knoppix cd then assuming everything is working as expected, copy your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file from the booted cd into your hard drive install. Rename your existing /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 to something like /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.bak so you'll still have it.

Q:What are the names of the mouse?


  • PS/2 is /dev/psaux
  • Serial : /dev/ttys0 (similar to COM1 in Windows).
  • USB: /dev/input/mice

Q: How do I know hardware I want to buy is Linux compatible:

A: The best way is seeing Tux in the box. You can read too -->> http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/index.html and http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Hardware-HOWTO/incompatible.html

Q: Is it possible to use another CD while running Knoppix?

A: (incomplete: if you know a more complete answer please contribute) This author only knows of a few vague leads on ways to do this. Namely:

  1. have two CD drives
  2. have more than a gig of ram so that you can install knoppix onto a ram disk (apparently this is somehow possible). Use the boot cheat code of "knoppix toram". However, this needs about 1GB of ram.
  3. Preboot eXecution Environment The PXE obsoletes boot roms, for information on how to set this up read the Knoppix PXE FAQ.

In case anyone is interested, for me this question comes up because my only dvd-capable machine's hard drive failed. So I wanted to know if knoppix could somehow bend that way. :] Jesset77 04:07, 11 Jun 2005 (GMT)