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knoppix is a bootable CD. knoppix is also referred to as a liveCD. The CD contains a collection of GNU/Linux software (Debian Linux with KDE desktop), automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals.

knoppix can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it.

The knoppix distribution with the Gnome desktop, instead of the KDE desktop is called Gnoppix.