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Keywords: GNU/Linux, rescue disk, Knoppix
Title: Knoppix Hacks
Author: Kyle Rankin
Media: Book, CD
Verdict: Our recommended companion to a Knoppix CD
Knoppix is a wonder to behold. It's so much more than just another GNU/Linux live CD demo. It's a heavy-weight toolset that can be used as a mobile GNU/Linux desktop (think hot desking), a recovery disk (for Linux and Windows systems), a teaching tool (think Marcel Gagne) and much, much more.
Knoppix Hacks, assembled by Kyle Rankin, collects in one place a hundred 'industrial-strength' tips and techniques for getting the best out of Knoppix. What's more the book comes with a CD, meaning that you can keep them together as an essential part of your tool-kit. Think of this as a super-strength toolkit and instruction manual in one.
Each of the hacks is fairly self-contained and focuses on performing one task, though of course there are references and pointers to related hacks where they apply. The task-orientation makes the book especially useful in an emergency. It's certainly not the sort of book that needs to be read cover to cover, though you'll learn plenty about operating systems if you do.
Hacks range from variations on how to get the best out of Knoppix in terms of booting, performance and installation. If you've ever wondered how to install Knoppix on a hard disk, or how to dual boot it with Windows then this is the place to learn how.
There are numerous hacks on getting customising settings, installing and configuring devices and so on. One of the attractions of Knoppix is that it comes with a complete range of applications. This is one of the reasons it works so well as a GNU/Linux demo CD, and as Marcel Gagne has shown it's a great example for those people who want to understand what GNU/Linux is about without necessarily wanting to disturb their existing Windows systems. A number of applications get an airing here, from some of the games to OpenOffice.org.
However, the core of the book, at least as far as we're concerned are the hacks on using Knoppix as your single-source rescue CD. Whether you're repairing an existing GNU/Linux system or using it to give life-support to Windows, the hacks detailed here are likely to save you time, energy and angst. They'll save you money too, in some cases. Want to resize partitions? Why fork out money on Partition Magic when you can boot Knoppix and use QTParted?
Need an emergency web server, file server or router? That too is covered. Need to reset passwords, that's covered too - for Windows and GNU/Linux. Want to migrate a hard disk?You get the picture. This is a useful book, which is as it should be considering it's about a fantastic piece of open-source software.