[linux-elitists] For the non-elite: a Knoppix for the masses FAQ

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sat Feb 15 17:09:01 PST 2003

In the spirit of bringing GNU/Linux awareness to the masses, I've burned
a spool of 50 CDs with the v3.1 1-2003-20-EN Knoppix release.  I'm
handing these out to the man/woman on the street.  Total cost, about $25
for media and sleeves.  Hand-labling the disks has been the slow
part....  Those 40x burners are nice.

I've handed out about a half-dozen of these to date, though without
additional information (I've usually spent a few minutes describing the
disk instead).

What I'd like to include is a short FAQ covering likly questions, to be
inserted into the disk sleeve (budget conscious, jewelcases are too
steep), form factor is a 4-7/8" x 9-3/4" (12.40cm x 24.75cm for the
metric crowd), folded sleave.  Front should feature some sort of Knoppix
art, inside would have a FAQ, back cover possibly contact information
for the person or organization distributing the material.

I'd *really* appreciate some layout-foo in putting this together.  I'm
also looking for feedback on the FAQ itself.  Note that it's aimed at
the rank newbie (likely), and needs to fit readably in the form factor
described above.  There's *plenty* of information on the disk itself and
elsewhere, so a pointer to this is sufficient.  And the current version
is likely too long, so I'm looking at candidates for removal and
condensation rather than expanding it at all.

A warranty disclaimer clause would also be a good idea....

And yes, this text may be used/modified/copied freely.

   Knoppix Bootable Live Linux Desktop

    1. Q: What is this?
       A: It's *Knoppix*, a *bootable* CD with a *live* running *Linux*
       system configured for *desktop* use, all without modifying your
       computer or writing anything to your hard drive.  This disk is
       Version 3, 1-2003-20-EN. It contains over 1260 software packages
       -- nearly 2 GB -- compressed to fit on a standard 700 MB CDROM.
       The project website is http://www.knoppix.net/

    2. Q: How do I use it?
       A: Put the CD in your system's CD drive and reboot. Knoppix will
       start and automatically configure itself to your hardware in a
       minute or two, starting a desktop and web browser. 

    3. Q: What are the requirements to run this?
       A: An Intel-compatible CPU, 486 or later, at least 16 MB RAM for
       text mode, 96 MB for a full GUI session, and a bootable CD drive.
       Most desktop PCs will be fully configured, laptops are a bit
       trickier, and may not give a full graphical session.

    4. Q: Will this run under Microsoft Windows?
       A: You can't run Knoppix itself, though there are informational
       documents you can read.  Most of the disk is in a compressed
       format not accessible under MS Windows.

    5. Q: Will this work on my Macintosh?
       A: No. An Intel compatible PC is required.

    6. Q: What can I do with it?
       A: You're limited by your imagination: learn Linux, rescue sick
       computers, perform system and network diagnostics, provide an
       emergency or portable desktop, install Linux, make copies and give
       them to friends. Or if you'r short of AOL disks, it makes a handy

    7. Q: Will it change anything on my computer?
       A: No. Not unless you ask it to. The default configuration will
       let you read but not modify your hard drive.  There are utilities
       which *can* modify or damage your system, should you chose to do
       so.  This would require deliberate actions -- you're very
       unlikely to do this by accident.

    8. Q: Where can I get more information?
       A: There are browseable documents on the CD, which will be open
       when Knoppix starts up. You can find more information at
       http://www.knoppix.net/ Live IRC support may be found at at

    9. Q: How can I verify the disk contents?
       A: This CD image was downloaded from
       http://www.knoppix.net/get.php Images and verification checksums
       are recorded at that site.

   10. Q: I can't boot the CD. Now what?
       A: Most likely your system isn't configured to boot from CD. You
       will need to configure your system's BIOS.  Some older CDROM
       drives can't read CDRW media; you should be able to verify this
       by trying to read the disk from your standard OS.  For more
       information, see your system documentation or the support
       references listed above.

   11. Q: What does it cost? What do I have to buy?
       A: Nothing. Really.

   12. Q: Who are you? Why are you doing this?
       A: My name is Karsten M. Self, you can reach me by email at
       kmself@ix.netcom.com (though your support questions should go
       to the resources above). I'm a programmer and systems
       administrator, among other things, and have used GNU/Linux for
       personal and professional purposes for years. I've been using
       Knoppix over the past year or so and think it's a good tool for
       giving risk-free Linux demonstrations to people. 

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   There is no K5 Cabal:  http://www.kuro5hin.org/

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