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Knoppix: the Technology Behind Sn°frix

Given that Linux is free software, why is it not more widely used? Why do people not at least try it?

It is of course true that there are only so many hours in the day, and that not everyone is obsessed by their computers, but these are not the only obstacles. There is also a technical reason why so few people try Linux.

The usual procedure for testing Linux requires you to first install it on the hard disk. Although it is quite possible to install Linux side-by-side with Windows, people who are not accustomed to installing software are often unwilling to do any experiments.

Knoppix to the Rescue

The German programmer Klaus Knopper has become famous in the Linux world for his solution to the problem of Linux installation panic. His solution? Don't install!

Instead of installing Linux, Knopper has created a version of Linux that lives on CD and does not touch the hard disk. The technology is called "live CD" technology because all the programs are run from CD. His special version of Linux is called "Knoppix" and is available on the Internet as free software, meaning that anyone has the right to use it and to modify it as they see fit.

Sn°frix is a modified Knoppix, designed especially for children and young people of all ages. Sn°frix uses the same underlying technology as Knoppix, but it has a different selection of programs. Whereas Knoppix is aimed primarily at programmers and system administrators, Sn°frix has more games, multimedia, and educational software.

To summarize: the advantage of "live CD" technology is that you can try Linux risk-free. The files on your hard disk will remain safely untouched. But remember that if you do not use the hard disk, you will need to find some other method to save your files. Otherwise all the files you created with Sn°frix will disappear when you log out. The disadvantage of live CD technology (yes, there is also a disadvantage) is that everything goes slower than it would if all the programs were installed on the hard disk.

If you like Sn°frix, but find yourself cursing because it starts up so slowly, you should consider installing Sn°frix on the hard disk. If you want to become an expert on Knoppix and Sn°frix, you should spend some time studying the documentation on!