Frugal Install

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A Frugal install is where you boot off the hard drive, usually via grub or lilo, and load the DSL compressed image (/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX) off of the hard drive or a usb stick.

It essentially consists of loading the linux kernel using a boot loader which in turns loads the initial ramdisk (initrd). The initrd then loads the root file system which, in this case, consists of a linux compressed loop (cloop) file -- /KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX.

There are a few ways to go about a frugal install.

  1. Boot the LiveCD. Choose Frugal Install from the menu.
  2. If your target machine does not have a CD-ROM drive, or you don't want to use a CD, there is the Poor Man's Install.
  3. Manually

To upgrade a frugal install, replace your old KNOPPIX file with the new KNOPPIX file. If you use persistent home, opt, or backup.tar.gz, you might have other, old files saved that will replace new ones on boot, unless you remove them from your backup. These files are usually mentioned in the Release Notes.

There is a step-by-step guide to follow here (, suitable for new users.

As of release 3.1, Frugal is not on the Virtual Machine version ( You will need to download the CD ISO and assign it to the CD-Rom in VMWare (or burn a CD and boot from that).

On some machines frugal install fails with message that Linux partition was not detected. In that case I was able to perform partial dsl-hdinstall (it failed with no space left on disk). Then you have to delete all files from /mnt/hd (except lost+found). If /mnt/hd is still mounted after starting dsl-hdinstall, frugal install works as expected (except mke2fs fails, but this error is ignored).

boot linux livecd from ntfs

Howto install Ndiswrapper on a Frugal DSL