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Knoppix Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596007874
ISBN-10: 0596007876
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kyle Rankin is a system administrator who enjoys troubleshooting, problem solving, and system recovery. He is also the author of Knoppix Hacks, Knoppix Pocket Reference, Linux Multimedia Hacks, and Ubuntu Hacks for O'Reilly Media. He has been using Linux in many different forms since 1998, and has used live CDs to demo Linux and troubleshoot machines -- from DemoLinux to the LinuxCare bootable toolbox to Knoppix.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media (November 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007874
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,617,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
OK... I'm impressed! I just finished reading Knoppix Hacks by Kyle Rankin (O'Reilly), and I really didn't have a clue as to the power of Knoppix...

Chapter List: Boot Knoppix; Use Your Knoppix Desktop; Tweak Your Desktop; Install Linux With Knoppix; Put Knoppix In Your Toolbox; Repair Linux; Rescue Windows; Knoppix Reloaded; Knoppix Remastered; Index

I'm going to guess I'm like most non-Linux junkies when I say that I had heard of Knoppix and thought I knew what it was. It's a distribution of Linux that runs from a CD, and allows you to load Linux on a computer without installing anything. Just boot from the CD and five minutes later you're running Linux. Remove the CD and reboot, and you're back to your original configuration. A nice safe way to play with Linux and decide if you want to go any further. End of story.


In Knoppix Hacks, Rankin covers 100 "hacks" that you can do with the Knoppix distribution. Beyond just trying out Linux, I quickly learned that a Knoppix CD is like a Swiss Army knife of tools that you can use to do all sorts of cool things. You learn in the first chapter how you can launch Knoppix to load up in a number of different configurations. Using Hack #8, you can use Knoppix to find out if your laptop is going to work well with Linux before loading it for good. But the further you get into the book, the more Knoppix becomes a safety net the likes of which you may never have realized. Hack #41 covers using Knoppix to build an emergency file server, and #42 is how to build an emergency web server. Chapter 6 goes into how Knoppix can be used to repair existing Linux installs, like #59 where you rescue files from damaged hard drives.
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Format: Paperback
The publishers' blurb on the back cover describes Knoppix as "a veritable Swiss Army knife in CD form". Knoppix Hacks by Kyle Rankin is no less astounding in revealing the hidden versatility and power inherent in this unassuming tool.

Most Linux players will recognize Knoppix even if they've never given it a whirl but this book goes beyond the simple "how to create and boot from a Knoppix Linux Live CD". Rankin displays the raw power that lies beneath the surface of simply running a clean distro of GNU/Linux free from fear of installation issues.

Proper Knoppix volumes are lacking in the wild, with mere chapters in general Linux books dedicated to larger issues for both the novice and the intermediate user. One or two Knoppix books are out there and one by Samuel Hart is in press (Knoppix Komplete) but what sets Knoppix Hacks apart is not the sheer dearth of books available on the subject but Rankin's skill in exposing the underutilized potential in the Knoppix tool set.

This book begins with a forward by Klaus Knopper, creator of Knoppix. It's always entertaining and enlightening to read a first hand account of some clever soul's chance involvement with an "experiment" that turned out so wildly successful and this is no exception. The "Knoppix Story" is engaging and leaves the reader with a sense of awe at the ingenuity of this dedicated and resourceful individual.
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Format: Paperback
Any network or security administrator that has been around for awhile has their personal "toolbox" of go-to utilities and applications that they use for isolating and troubleshooting problems or just for maintenance and upkeep. Knoppix should definitely be in every administrator's bag of tricks.

The compact disc that comes with the book includes a bootable version of Knoppix along with useful tools and utilities to help you perform an array of tasks. Knoppix is as versatile as it is powerful and the "100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools" in this book will help you to understand and apply both the versatility and power of this great tool.

Just by booting a computer using the Knoppix CD you can perform a diverse range of tasks including setting up an emergency router, auditing network security, checking the system for root kits, resizing hard drive partitions, restoring deleted or corruped data and more. For Windows systems in particular, there is a tip to use Knoppix to safely download patches on a vulnerable machine and then reboot into Windows to apply the patch offline.

In the limited space I have, I can't really do the book justice. if you are an administrator, you need this book. Go get it.

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Knoppix Hacks is a well-organized gettting-started guide to using Knoppix in everyday computer work. Whether you want a guide to using Knoppix to have a no-installation-required way to try out Linux on your PC or need a serious troubleshooting and diagnostic tool for everyday use; this book covers it all. The book is well organized; it even has a section on customizing Knoppix for your own use.

The only disappointment is that the CD is for version 3.4; there are much newer versions available online and I recommend you use one of those rather than the CD that comes with the book. All of the things that I have tried from the book work equally well with the newer versions.
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