Knoppix Topics: An interview with Linux pioneer Klaus Knopper

Klaus Knopper

At this year’s CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany, Christopher von Eitzen sat down with Linux legend Klaus Knopper to discuss his popular Knoppix Linux distribution as well as Linux and accessibility in open source software.

Designed to boot and run directly from a CD, DVD or USB flash drive without needing to be installed on a computer’s hard drive, Knoppix incorporates automatic hardware detection with support for a wide range of video and sound cards, USB devices and other peripherals and uses and on-the-fly decompression to run entirely in a computer’s memory. The CD version carries up to 2GB of executable software, while the single-layer DVD edition stores up to 10GB of data. The operating system can be used, for example, as a rescue system, to demonstrate Linux, as an educational CD, or installed directly to a system.

While many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora are now releasing live CDs or DVDs to allow users to more easily try out and install their operating systems, Knoppix (first released in September 2000) was among the first of the Linux live distributions to find popularity as a rescue system and as a distribution in its own right.

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