Hd Install HowTo

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Some Background information about a Knoppix HD install

You can install Knoppix to a hard drive, if you wish, though installation is not required for productive use. Knoppix is designed & intended to be used as a GNU/Linux LiveCD and not a HD installed Linux distro. A HD installed Knoppix will give you a running GNU/Linux system but it is not easy to support or administrate and add/remove of software is complicated and is best left to GNU/Linux experts. Examples of such issues can be found in the Hdd Install / Debian / Apt forum. If you a new user and not a GNU/Linux expert & want a HD installed system then skip the LiveCDs and go directly to a distro designed to be installed to a HD, for example Debian 3.1r0a (sarge). Feel free to ask about other distros in The Lounge forum.

Once Knoppix is installed on a hard drive, it's no longer a Knoppix LiveCD but a Debian based GNU/Linux system. Something to note is that Debian developers/users/mentors do not consider Knoppix installed to a hard drive to truly be Debian. They will not support Knoppix users & will tell them to go to Knoppix.net for support. You can ask about alternatives to a HD install and get advice on other distros in The Lounge forum.

Beginning a Knoppix HD install


There is ALWAYS some risk of losing data. Please ALWAYS make sure
that you have a working backup of your important data prior to
experimenting with ANY new software, no matter if Windows, Linux or
anything else.

That said, if you want to do the HD install, you should get Knoppix version 3.4 or later, preferably the most recent Knoppix release. You should make sure there is some empty space on your hard drive so you can create at least 2 Linux partitions, one for the System (minimal 3 GB, 5GB recommended) and another partition for for Swap ( minimal 200MB, 500MB recommended) during the installation process. It is VERY important that the swap space partition is of type "Linux Swap space" (or equivelent"). A partitioning program, qtparted, is integrated in the knoppix-installer. It is possible to resize a NTFS partition with qtparted but again there is ALWAYS some risk of losing data.

Boot off the Knoppix disc. At the KDE desktop, type sudo knoppix-installer in the konsole command line window. Have a look here for more info about sudo. In knoppix-installer, arrow keys move focus and space bar selects options. Be sure the root partition is among the first 4 partitions on the drive, formatted with ext2 or ext3, and is set to "active." The swap partition must be formatted with "linux-swap." Installation and subsequent booting will not continue otherwise.

Do not use "knx-hdinstall" anymore. "knx-hdinstall" is no longer maintained, use "knoppix-installer" instead.

See also a Macromedia Flash video for installing Knoppix to the HD made by irongeek.

Blind Installation

It's possible to install Knoppix on a PC's hd without a monitor, see Hd Install Without a Monitor HowTo

Updating HD installation

You can do a

for i in $(COLUMNS=240 dpkg -l | awk '{print $2}')
echo dpkg-repack --root=/KNOPPIX "$i"

(The following worked for me with Knoppix 3.7 2004-12-08: create a bash script and sudo sh bashscriptname)

  echo ""
  for i in $(COLUMNS=240 dpkg -l | awk '{print $2}') ; \
    do  echo dpkg-repack --root=/KNOPPIX "$i" ; \
        dpkg-repack --root=/KNOPPIX "$i" ; \
        mv *.deb /mnt/hdxn ; \
  # where hdxn is your destination partition 
  # for the packages (needs 700 MB free)
  echo ""
  read -p "Finished; press Enter to exit"
  echo ""

to create packages from a running KNOPPIX CD to a writable harddisk partition, and install/update these packages with dpkg -i.


Using the Knoppix repository at http://developer.linuxtag.net/knoppix/ plus the standard debian mirrors is easier, though. See also : http://jaqque.sbih.org/kplug/apt-pinning.html

Installing Gnome

To install Gnome, you have to type apt-get install gnome-bin gdm.
Then execute update-alternatives --config x-window-manager and select gdm.

See also : http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi?DebianGnome