The software produces an iso image with the name knoppix.iso which after burning on a CD produces a live CD which can be used to give presentations using xpdf and play videos and songs on a RAM as low as 45MB.

As can be seen on the previous page the software hsa two major subdirs. One is knoppix which contains the boot dir, which has kernel(linux26), initrd(minirt26.gz) and other boot helping files. It also contains KNOPPIX directory which has KNOPPIX which after boot uncompresses to filesystem. It also contains user_file which is initially empty but later all the files that user add are copied here.

The other major subdir is scripts. It has a ruby file iso_make.rb which has to be run by user as specified in README. When this file is run it produces a GUI which asks the user to do some tasks like adding files and then giving the path where he/she wants to store the final iso file with the name knoppix.iso.


  • PC with linux distribution
  • 1GB ext2 partition
  • 5GB partition
  • KNOPPIX live CD (ver > 3.4)

Step 1:

  • Boot from KNOPPIX CD
  • Mount 5GB partition in directory say /dir1
  • cp -pR /KNOPPIX/*  /dir1/KNOPPIX_original/
  • cp -pR /KNOPPIX/*  /dir1/KNOPPIX_remastered/

Step 2:

  • Boot in existing Linux Distro
  • Login as root user
  • Mount 5GB partition in dir say /cd_knoppix
  • Mount 1GB partition in dir say /knoppix
  • Mount CD and copy all its contents to /knoppix
  • chroot  /cd_knoppix/KNOPPIX_remastered/

Step 3:

Installing & Removing Softwares

  • To use internet: mount -t proc /proc proc
  • To list installed packages by size:
    dpkg-query -W --showformat='${Installed-Size} ${Package}\n' | sort -n
  • To remove softwares use apt-get remove
  • To install softwares use apt-get install

Step 4:

Making compressed image of the modified KNOPPIX CD

  • Logout of the chroot jail.
  • In case your RAM is less than 1GB create a swap space.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=path/of/swapfile bs=1024 count=1000000
    /sbin/mkswap path/of/swapfile
    /sbin/swapon path/of/swapfile

  • cd /cd_knoppix/KNOPPIX_remastered
  • mkisofs -R -U -V "KNOPPIX" -publisher "username" -hide-rr-moved -cache-inodes -no-bak -pad ./ | nice -n 5 ./usr/bin/create_compressed_fs -  65536 > /knoppix/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX
mkisofs Create an iso filesystem
-R generate Rock Ridge extensions
-U be more flexible about allowed filenames
-V "KNOPPIX" the volume ID
-publisher "username" the publisher ID
-hide-rr-moved hide the Rock Ridge RR_MOVED directory
-cache-inodes do not copy hard linked files multiple times (saves space)
-no-bak exclude backup files
-pad pad the end of the fielsystem to avoid read-ahead bugs
./ the location of the remastered root relative to the location of the script
| nice -n 5 pipe the output, nicing the process...
./usr/bin/create_compressed_fs - 65536 the create_compressed_fs script included with KNOPPIX
> /knoppix/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX the location of the large KNOPPIX file in your poor man's installation

Step 5:

Testing your distribution from hard disk

  • Make your 1GB partition (say hda7) bootable by making its entry in your boot loader.
  • Eg: In case of Grub, add the following to your /boot/grub/grub.conf

    title Modified Knoppix
    kernel (hd0,6)/boot/isolinux/linux26 ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init root=/dev/hda7
    initrd (hd0,6)/boot/isolinux/minirt26.gz
  • Now reboot your PC in Modified Knoppix Distro

Step 6:

Creating the ISO image

  • Boot into the existing Linux and give the following command:
    mkisofs -pad -l -r -J -v -V "KNOPPIX-CS296" -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin -c boot/isolinux/ -hide-rr-moved -o /dir2/knoppix.iso /knoppix/
mkisofs Create an iso filesystem
-pad pad the end of the iso to avoid read-ahead bugs
-l allow long filenames
-r set UID and GID to generic values
-J generate Joliet directory records (for use in Windows)
-v verbose mode
-V "KNOPPIX-CS296" name of the CD
-no-emul-boot boot the CD without disk emulation
-boot-load-size 4 no. of sectors in the boot table
-boot-info-table patch the boot image with a table describing the CD layout
-b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin relative path to the poor man's install boot file
-c boot/isolinux/ relative path to the poor man's install boot file
-hide-rr-moved hide the Rock Ridge RR_MOVED directory
-o /dir2/knoppix.iso the location that the .iso file will be written to
/knoppix/ The path to you poor man's installation