Knoppix Linux On USB

Many of us enjoy exercising our electronic toys as much as our minds, but sometimes we lack the software tools necessary to troubleshoot, diagnose, and resolve problems as they arise. This article shows how a simple Knoppix configuration can become an indispensable item in a mobile technical toolkit.

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  1. Since I do work in IT, I think I might have to try this out. We carry around BartPE discs which are slow at boot and operate very clunky. Discs can very easily get damaged also. I like this idea and I like that it's Linux, since that OS is very versitile.

    Awesome Article!
  2. What are the steps when preparing the image from Windows XP ?

  3. I have actually made it work and used it today. It's very simple. You need a USB Flash drive formatted to FAT that is at least 128MB. The directions are on a website and are very easy to follow. They say 64MB minimum, but you won't be able to fit very many utils on it then. I'm using a SanDisk Cruzer Mini 256MB.

    You can view the directions here:
    PenDrive Linux
  4. Well, maybe its just that I'm tired, but I found the following sentance confusing.

    With some unintuitive tooling around this can be corrected, but it's neither easy nor straightforward for the inexperienced to hack their way through the thicket of obstructions one most overcome in that situation.

    unintuituve is correct here ? *yawn*

    Great article, even though I browsed it since I'm running on 3 hours sleep in the last 2 days. However, for those working in the IT arena I would highly reccomend ERD 2003 or ERD 2005. They are both LIVE XP pro licences, and have a better suite for working with windows PCs (including a passwd cracker, just incase). The passwd utility has proved invaluable to us here, such as when a client leaves a PC to be fixed, but doesnt leave the admin passwd, and is set to other than blank.

    Linux distros also have a hard time playing with NTFS, sometimes they can read, but cannot write, or sometimes they dont know what NTFS is alltogether.

    Personally, I would like to see an article on rolling your own USB distro. I've been wanting to use a USB HDD with a custom Debian setup (not knoppix, or anything else). For people like me, size isnt important as much as being familiar with your surroundings. Maybe its even as simple as setting the USB drive up as a boot device, and instaling dirrrectly to it ? I dont know, I havent had much time to play with Linux lately :)
  5. Quote:
    What are the steps when preparing the image from Windows XP ?


    Google knows all . . .
  6. Looks like I'm going to stick with BartPE with ERD Commander. Although, I will toy around with this for awhile.

    Dell Latitude D600 series laptops seem to have problems (reboots almost immediately), hopefully one of the command line switches will help with this.
  7. Maybe old Bart will help out and make a USB line. :idea:
  8. I run BartPE on my USB Key with ERD Commander. There is an article here on Tom's covering that setup.
  9. I made a slightly simpler guide to install SLAX linux on a flash drive on my forums, you can check it out at:
  10. I run Puppy Linux on a 128 MB USB drive and runs great and is so simple, that I also dual boot it with XP on my laptop...check it out!!

    Just download and burn the ISO. Boot the live cd (60MB) and run in a RAM disk so its fast. Click on the desktop and go to the setup menu and select setup on usb drive and away you go...can't get any easier that that and is loaded with tools (Nmap, Superscan, Abiword, Mozilla Seamonkey, Gnumeric...etc).
  11. Quote:
    though there are methods for creating and using Linux-based applications for Windows-specific tasks as well (such as scanning for malware, or looking for signs of intrusion and system compromise).

    Great article, I'd like to ask for some more in-depth information: What are these methods? What Linux distros/utilities are useful for this application? Where do I find them?

    I always end up being tech support for my friends in this regard, it would be very nice to have something like DSL with some of those utilities to make my job a little easier.
  12. If you need something thats a little more customizable than a Knoppix (or other) ISO image, then check out the howtos at:

    That will get a base Debian installed and booting from the USB. You can even encrypt the whole thing to protect the data.
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