IN THIS CHAPTER
A computer's operating system usually resides on the hard disk—but it doesn't have to. When a computer boots up, it typically checks first whether a CD, floppy disk, or DVD is in a drive and tries to boot from there (depending on BIOS settings). So, with up to 700MB (CD) or 8.4GB (dual-layer DVD) of space on those media, why not use them to boot whole operating systems?
Well, that's exactly what bootable Linux distributions (also called live CDs) such as KNOPPIX do. In the case of KNOPPIX, one CD holds up to 2GB of compressed software for you to run that uncompresses on-the-fly. Start it up and you can try out all the features of a well-stocked Linux system, without touching the contents of your hard disk.
If you have never used Linux before, KNOPPIX gives you the chance to do so in a very safe way. If you are experienced with Linux, KNOPPIX can be used as a tool to take Linux with you everywhere, troubleshoot a computer, or check whether a computer will run Linux. In any case, you can use this chapter to take a little tour of some great Linux features that you can try out with KNOPPIX.
KNOPPIX has so many ...