Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Jan. 13 2005,04:05
In order to get a good overview of what is being offered in the way of linux distributions, I am now using a cable modem to download some of them, always livecd types. This gives me a vantage point that I did not have up to now. In the beginning, I either bought books with Redhat CD's in them, or in the case of DSL, ordered a cd from John Andrews.
That is still a good idea, if you don't know how (yet) to burn your own CD. I am really suprised that some of the distributions do not run as well as I expected them to, especially compared to a quality product like Damn Small Linux. I got started using Scite, and Emelfm in DSL, and so when I came across Knoppix 3.4, I had to remaster it to include those applications, and also Firefox and Opera, that I had been used to using. Mostly, it seems that DSL boots up quicker, on more machines, and is generally easier to use. I won't name names, but some of the full-size live cd distros disappoint, especially when compared to Knoppix, which is hard to beat. Secret there is the Cheatcode. Sometimes it is a while before I figure out the magic cheatcode that will allow a particular machine to boot.
The other general observation is that many of these distros take a long while to boot up, almost unacceptable, especially compared to XP, which boots very fast. Of course, it is engineered to run on the hardware that it is sold installed on. Right now, I am using SuSE Linux 9.2, live CD, and find that is did detect my sound card, and a lot of others did not, including Knoppix 3.4, and DSL. I think it uses the shotgun approach, almost everything is in the kernel, and even strange stuff such as bluetooth is checked for in the bootup. SimplyMephis does not, apparently, have a way to save your config, and no one has the setup that DSL has to restore a config once the system is up and running, (and you have forgotten to restore). Not even Knoppix. Some of the Fedora Core live cd distros have a command line backup restore that only works with a floppy or USB stick, and usually it will not work at all.
Nothing like Knoppix or DSL in that regard.
Those of you wanting or getting Broadband, this is something to explore, to see what features are around, and if they work. I found some items in Feather Linux not working right or at all, but I was able to get a nice restoration tarball set up for it that made the distro work better for me. Feather saves the entire /home/knoppix directory, so the thing is at least 800K or so.
Knoppix has two restoration options, only the one that is similar to DSL is worth using. The "persistant home directory" is only useful if you have a spare hard drive partition that can hold this file. Knoppix writes to it constantly, so it can be a pain on a USB stick.
Just some thoughts...
Rapidweather Remaster of DSL:
Rapidweather Remaster of Knoppix Linux: