Monsuco's Blog

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 

The ultimate live CD

Sorry I havent posted in a long time.

Earlier this week, I was playing around with Knoppix a useful and powerful linux distro. Knoppix is designed to be used entirely as a "live" CD. All you do is download it, burn it to CD, and then reboot with it in the CD drive. No installation needed. It is a great way to learn linux (it is rather slow though, as it must run from a CD, also, you need about 256 MB of RAM for it to work.) When you reboot and remove the CD, it goes back to using your normal OS. There are two versions of Knoppix. The CD and DVD. The CD has about 2 GB worth of compressed software (it uses on the fly decompression) and the DVD has about 8 GB of software. If you have a large enough swap partion, you can actually design your own knoppix CD. Knoppix comes with lots of FOSS software preinstalled (and if you have a large swap, or a lot of ram, you can temporarily add more). It has multiple desktop environments and the like. It also comes with Fuse installed (previously it used captive) to write to NTFS, the file system normally used by Windows XP and 2000 and NT. It can also write to Fat, Fat 32, Ext 2, Ext 3, and I think Reiser, Reiser 4, and HFS are supported too. It comes with a rootkit checker to remove linux rootkits. It also has ClamAV to allow you to disinfect a windows partion if your system gets infected, so it makes a great recovery CD. It has loads of FOSS stuff installed and is a great learner disk. It can also be used to investigate hackings. It can also assist in the backing up of data if your windows or linux partion is so screwed up that it must be formated or reinstalled or if the boot sector of the HDD is damaged. You can also have it set up swap partions if it needs more RAM. It uses the Union FS to enable it to merge CD data with RAM. It also has several linux games, open office, firefox, konqueror, Wine, winetools, and many other useful programs installed. You can install knoppix to the HDD (it is a debian based distro) but it is probably better to use debian or ubuntu as knoppix is not ment to run from the HDD and it may not work out too well.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

 

Fun with Ubuntu Dapper Drake

Recently Ubuntu has released version 6.06 LTS codenamed "Dapper Drake". Ubuntu is an easy to install and use, but powerful linux distribution. I had installed Ubuntu on my old basement PC, but wanted to try it on modern hardware. So I decided that since I still occasionally seem to need Windows for things like syncing with my MP3 player, I would "multiboot" my upstairs PC. I used a bootable CD called GParted to resize my hard disk. My HDD is 200 GB in size. Previously about 194 of it was for Windows, and 6 was for the recovery partion. Now I resized everything and gave Linux 40 GB and gave 1 GB for use as a Unix swap file (Linux, BSD, and other Unix-Like OS'S use a section of the HDD for swap so that if the RAM is filled, it can use the hard disk, Windows uses a swap file rather than a partion). Then, since I prefere KDE over Gnome (both are desktop environments, each just looks different, but they do the same thing) I chose to use the KDE based Kubuntu version. New users may prefer gnome though. I was impressed. Unlike the old installer CD, the new one is run via a "live" demo CD. The live CD boots from the CD drive into linux, and gives you the option of installing to the HDD. I should mention, that to multiboot, when installing and trying to multiboot, do not just keep hiting next. When you get to the partioner, stop and manually edit things. Ubuntu needs 1 partion formated as ext2 or ext3, and a swap (give about 512 mb for basic use, if you program or do heavy video editing, you may choose to give 1-2 GB of swap. I advise setting this up using GParted). Tell it to set the ext3 (I reccomend 3 over 2) partion to be the active one. Then just let it install.

Once again, when it gets to the partioner, DO NOT TELL IT TO ERASE THE ENTIRE HARD DISK.

If your lucky, linux will detect all hardware and properly set itself up. Laptops tend to be picky, as some Wi-Fi cards are not supported, and sometimes getting suspention to occour when the lid is closed is sometimes hard.

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