1. # download the Knoppix 3.3 iso image from http://www.knoppix.net -> get knoppix -> choose your Knoppix mirror, accept the download agreement, select the most recently issued KNOPPIX*.iso for download, have a cup of tea (or have a nap if you download the stuff over a slow Internet connection), burn the iso image on cd, and boot from it
  2. # enter at the lilo prompt something like the following (refer to http://www.knoppix.nl/3.6/knoppix-cheatcodes.txt for the latest version of the boot options. If your system behaves strangely during the installation procedure, you can try to restart this procedure without specifying `dma'):
    knoppix lang=us dma
    I specify my preferred screen resolution and window manager as follows:
    knoppix lang=us dma desktop=icewm screen=1400x1050
  3. # open a terminal/shell window and start the Knoppix hard disk installation program answering all the questions sensibly (e.g., install Knoppix on a partition of at least 3.5 gigabyte (the partition type should be 0x83, no need to make it bootable; do not make this partition much smaller than 3 gigabyte if you want to have a decent installation. Anything much larger than 5 gigabyte is overkill. Add a swap partition (this partition's type should be 0x82) of any size between 500 megabyte and two gigabyte, depending on the amount of your system's RAM. Do not forget to save the new partition table before quitting cfdisk, fdisk, or any other partition table editor you might be using. It is also wise to have a separate partition for your home directories (partition type 0x83, ext3, size depends on your habits, I use 10 gigabyte):
    sudo su -
    time sudo /usr/local/bin/knx-hdinstall
    and have another cup of tea (a Compaq N800c takes about 10 minutes to complete knx-hdinstall if `dma' is specified at the knoppix boot prompt, or more than 30 minutes if `dma' is omitted)...
  4. # once the knx-hdinstall program has finished copying the files to the hard disk, you can reboot the machine:
    sudo shutdown -r now
  5. # select Linux in the boot loader's menu, and log in as root
  6. # you can now open a terminal/shell window and finalize the main installation step:
  7. lynx -source --dump http://godot.studentenweb.org/site/myHowTos/applications/scripts/knoppix/tune.a.lot > /tmp/tune.a.lot
    echo openoffice-de-en deinstall | sudo dpkg --set-selections
    echo libsasl2-modules-mysql deinstall | sudo dpkg --set-selections
    sudo sh /tmp/tune.a.lot
  8. # log in as root
  9. # create a new user account (it is recommended to create individual accounts for each user rather than using the knoppix user):
    adduser godot
    If you wish to specify a home directory other than the default /home, e.g., /users (make sure to edit /etc/fstab to mount /users automatically, read `man fstab` if necessary), you can use:
    sudo adduser --home /users/gdt gdt
    The user who will maintain the system might be given root privileges through the sudo command (read `man sudo` and `man visudo` if necessary). Specify the accounts which can operate as root using the sudo command with:
  10. # now you can specify which packages you would like to install and which should be deinstalled (it is best to deinstall these packages which Knoppix selects by default, but they cause non-trivial dependency problems for the debian package manager dselect). Execute the script (note that this script is only available after your reboot)
    screen sudo sh /root/finalize.debian.installation.sh
    or you simply paste the following commands (one after the other: you should not paste all commands at once (except if you know what you are doing). Explaining how to paste commands into a terminal/shell window is out of scope of this HowTo, but pressing shift-ins, middle-mouse-button, and/or shift-middle-mouse-button work pretty well for most terminal/shell windows):
    lynx -source http://godot.studentenweb.org/site/myHowTos/applications/configurations/knoppix/etc/apt/selections.smartcard | sudo dpkg --set-selections # useful for smartcard people
    lynx -source http://godot.studentenweb.org/site/myHowTos/applications/configurations/knoppix/etc/apt/selections | sudo dpkg --set-selections # all non-smartcard related stuff
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get -y install -t unstable libxft2 # mandatory to make dselect happy

    sudo dselect
    # mini dselect HowTo (have a look at Debian Reference -- Debian package management for more details on this matter):
    1. # select ``1. [U]pdate'' to synchronize your machine's database which reflects all available debian packages
    2. # select ``2. [S]elect'' to specify which packages you want to install, deinstall, purge, etc. Read the welcome screen as it it informs you on the most important dselect commands. I repeat: Read the welcome screen as it it informs you on the most important dselect commands.
      • # /: enter a part of the package name you wish to manipulate
      • # \: find the next occurrence of your search
      • # +: select the package
      • # -: deselect the package
      • # _: purge the package
      • # =: hold the package in the present state
      • # O: scroll through the package sort order
      • # i: scroll through the package details
      • # Return: commit the changes
      # It is quite likely that you will encounter package dependencies and conflicts. Read the introduction to conflict and dependency resolution. Read the instructions on that screen very carefully. Mistakes are quickly made and require years of dselect experience to resolve.
      # Next to the normal dselect commands, there are also a few dependency/conflict resolution keys:
      • # R: forget about your changes and return to the previous state
      • # U: set all packages based on dselect's suggestions
      • # D: selects only what was requested
      • # X: abandon any changes
      • # Q: commit the changes, ignoring the dselect's suggestions based on common sense (very challenging ;-))
      • # Return: commit the changes
    3. # select ``3. [I]nstall'' to start the installation/deinstallation/purging of the packages you selected. Answer the questions sensibly until you get back to the dselect menu
    4. # select ``6. [Q]uit'' to quit the program
  11. # that's it: you now have a fully operational debian machine. Logout root, reboot if you wish, and enjoy your fully operational debian/Knoppix machine. Check out the excellent user's guide found at http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/users-guide/ch-ctsystem.en.html if you wish to learn more on the configuration of a Debian machine.
  12. # important final security note: if your machine is regularly connected to the Internet, you should keep your machine secure. Installing Knoppix is easy, keeping it secure requires effort. You should certainly have a look at the Securing Debian Manual (cfr. http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-howto/). Do not forget to keep your machine uptodate by executing the following commands on a very regular basis (preferably daily, or subscribe yourself to the Debian Security Announcements mailing list if you wish to receive emails with debian security alerts):
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get -y upgrade