On The Fly: Boot Knoppix Linux, Keep Windows Installation


Knoppix is infinitely customizable. You can strip off the applications that you will never use, and replace them with applications that are more useful. This is called remastering the CD, and has resulted in dozens of alternative Knoppix flavors. You can get a list of them here .

Two of the more popular ones are Knoppix-STD (Security Tools Distribution ) and the Penguin Sleuth Kit . Both are open-source and free to download.

Knoppix-STD contains several network security tools for sniffing, intrusion detection and wireless hacking prevention. It is another Knoppix flavor that has full read/write mode to NTFS. Every computer security professional should have this CD in their arsenal, as it's invaluable for network security auditing.

The Penguin Sleuth Kit is used for computer forensics and security auditing. The author, Ernie Baca, is a former Criminal Investigator for the United States Marshals. He has stated that the Penguin Sleuth Kit is like "Knoppix on Steroids," and I agree. Unnecessary programs such as games, editors and language modules have been removed to free up space for forensic and security tools. In fact, 38 computer security tools have been added. I would call this CD, Hacker's Dynamite, and is a must for any serious security person.


From the Linux newbie to the hacker, Knoppix is a great tool. It is easy to use, non-destructive and full of applications. Other than the cost to burn the CD, Knoppix is absolutely free. You can't beat that price. Even if Knoppix were not free, it would still be well worth paying money for it.

Knoppix is truly one of the greatest products that the open-source community has produced.

As a learning tool, Knoppix is invaluable. If you are learning Linux, you can practice without messing up your computer. If you are a hacker, Knoppix provides all sorts of security, and system recovery tools. This CD, in the right hands, can cause a lot of destruction. Remember to always use your powers for good.


  • The whole thing is on one CD;
  • Good hardware detection;
  • Customizable to your needs (you can add applications, or take out applications);
  • Many useful tools (sniffers, security auditing, etc.);
  • It's free!


  • A little slow loading some applications (OpenOffice) since everything is uncompressed from the CD at run-time;
  • Documentation is sparse, however this is prevalent in the Linux community, where emphasis has always been placed in finding out the answer yourself.