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HD - Installation

Only valid for KANOTIX till 2005-03

For the current version look here

Kanotix can be installed to your harddisk with the following commands:

sudo kanotix-installer

or, if you'rer connected to the internet:

sudo kanotix-installer-latest-web

Please remove USB-Sticks or USB-HD's before booting. Installation to USB-Device needs extra methods and is mentioned elsewhere. You can edit the installer file: .knofig , and thereby use a different filesystem or spread your installation over different partitions.

On PC's with less than 512 mb ram you must have a swap-partition. It's size shouldn't be less than 128 mb (cfdisk-output shouldn't be trusted because it calculates with a 10-base), more than 1 GB swap is seldom reasonable.

Look also in Wiki

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Which startparameter can i use with the LIVE-CD?

CHEATCODEValue Description
acpioffturn ACPI completely off
oldbootneeded ACPI parts to boot remain active, others are turned off
forceforce ACPI on
alsaes1938specify which alsa driver to load
apm offpower-off
BOOT_IMAGEexpertinteractive boot mode
bootfirewireboot from Firewire CD
bootscsi boot from SCSI drive
bootusb2boot from USB drive
desktopkdechoose your desktop
fluxbox(only DVD)
gnome(only DVD)
larswm(only DVD)
xfce(only DVD)
dpiXX bzw. autoset desired Dots Per Inch for your display (e.g. my 15\" 1600x1200 laptop is 1600/(15*(4/5)) = 133 so dpi=133
failsafeminimal auto detection
firewireactivate Firewire (up to 2005-04-RC12)
floppyconfigrun \"knoppix.sh from floppy
fromhd/dev/hda1 (hda2,...)boot from previous copied CD image on the supplied partition (partition should contain a file KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX )
fromisosome/path/KAN*.isolike fromhd, but uses the kanotix iso image. Also does not require a cd to boot from, only requires the correct kernel and initrd/minirt
home/dev/sda1/knoppix.imgmount loopback file as /home/knoppix
scansearch for kanotix home dir
hsync80 (zB)horizontal monitor refresh rate (kHz)
ide20x180 nopcmciaboot from PCMCIA-CD-Rom
irqpolluse IRQ poll
keyboardususe US -keyboard in textconsole
lang???sets your default keyboard, language and timezone. Options are: au (Australia), be (Belgian), bg (Bulgarian), ch (Swiss), cn (Simplified Chinese), cs or cz (Czech), da or dk (Danish), de (German), de-utf8(2005-02 Lite-Version), es (Spanish), fi (Finnish), fr (French), he or il (Hebrew), ie (Irish-English), it (Italian), jp (limited Japanese), nl (Dutch), pl (Polish), ru (Russian), sk (Slovak), sl (Slovenian), tr (Turkish), tw (Traditional Chinese), uk (British), us American). Following UTF-8 cheatcodes can also be used: de-utf8 au-utf8 be-utf8 bg-utf8 br-utf8 ch-utf8 cn-utf8 cs-utf8 cz-utf8 dk-utf8 da-utf8 el-utf8 es-utf8 fi-utf8 fr-utf8 ga-utf8 he-utf8 il-utf8 ie-utf8 it-utf8 ja-utf8 nl-utf8 pl-utf8 pt-utf8 ru-utf8 sk-utf8 sl-utf8 tr-utf8 tw-utf8 uk-utf8 us-utf8
mem128MB (zB)ram size to be used
myconf/dev/sda1load configuration from device
scantry to find \"knoppix.sh\"
noacpidisable acpi
noagpdisable agp
noapicdisable apic
noaudiodisable audio
noautomountdisable automount (2005-02 Lite)
noddcdisable automatic Direct Digital Calibration (attempts to configure your monitor settings)
nodhcpdisable automatic use of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (attempts to automatically setup your ethernet connections).
nodmadisable the use of Direct Memory Access for your drives
nodvbdo not load DVB driver (2005-02 Lite)
noejectdo not prompt to eject the cd on shutdown
nofcskip Fritzcard (ISDN) setup (2005-02 Lite)
nofirewiredisable automatic firewire detection (up to 2005-04-RC12)
nofloppydisable floppy
noisapnpbiosdisable ISA Plug'n Play
nomceno message for an not relevant error
nomldiscards all the modelines provided. asks display about settings to use
nomodemskip Winmodem setup (2005-02 Lite)
nopcmciadisables automatic detection of pcmcia (up to 2005-04-RC12)
nopowernowdo not activate Speedstep/Powernow
noscsido not automatically detect scsi
nosmpdisable Symetric Multi Processor support
nosounddisable sound support
notouchpaddisable touchpad support
nousbdisable automatic usb detection
noudevdisable udev support (from 2005-04-RC12)
nowhellforce PS/2 protokol for PS/2 mouse
pcinoacpido not use ACPI to route PCI interrupts
quietdon't list everything to console
resume/dev/hdaXallow suspend mode
resume2/dev/hdaXallow suspend mode
screen800x600sets you screen resolution, 1024x768, 1600x1200 etc
scsiisaactivate some ISA SCSI driver (2005-02 Lite)
testcdtest integrity of medium
tohdcopy CD to HD Partition and run from there
toramcopy CD to RAM and start from there
union*uses unionfs to merge a second directory/partition. Can be combined (e.g. using unionro and unionrw togther)
unionfsallows you to make changes to the running system by storing changes in ram (05-02)
unionro/media/hda5/unionro.imgallows you to restore changes to the running system from the supplied partition or loopback filesystem. This partition or loopback filesystem will be mounted read only so it will not allow more echanges to it (05-02)
unionrw/media/hda5/allows you to make changes to the running system by storing changes in the supplied partition or loopback filesystem (05-02)
vganormalcodes see table below
vsync60vertical monitor refresh rate (Hz)
xmoduleatiuse given X-module
fbdevuse given X-module
i810use given X-module
mgause given X-module
nvuse given X-module
radeonuse given X-module
savageuse given X-module
vesause given X-module
xhrefresh80horizontal monitor refresh rate (kHz)
xkeyboardusspecify keyboard layout for use in X
xvrefresh60vertical monitor refresh rate

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Which "vga=..." value do I need to set the textconsole resolution at boot?

Here a list of possible VGA-Codes as decimal-, hexadecimal- or vesa-codes.







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How can I install Kanotix to my hard drive?

You can use this Live-CD perfectly for most anything a PC can do. (surfing, playing movies or music, watching tv, writing your dissertation, solving problems with your hard drive ...)
Installation to the hard drive is much more comfortable and lots faster than running a system off CD. So, lets get going!

This How-To is specifically for Kanotix 2005-04 (for older versions refer to: http://wiki.kanotix.net/coma.php?coma="KanotixInstallEN

Before installation please remove all usb-sticks, cameras, etc...

First of all, you need to set your boot order in the Bios to CD-ROM. With most Computers you can get to the Bios-setup by pressing [del] key while booting (with some BIOS-Versions you can simply choose the boot device while booting, with AMI-BIOS, e.g., with F11 or F8).
Kanotix should boot up now in most cases. If that's not the case, you can use Bootoptions, (Cheatcodes) which can be issued in the boot manager.

Using boot parameters (e.g. for screen resolution or language selection like lang=en-utf8 oder lang=ru-utf8 ) can save lots of time with the post-install configuration.

So, now that you are running the live-cd you can verify if all your hardware is fully recognized. The network (Internet connection) can be comfortably set up from the Kanotix menu (the "fishbutton" down to your left).

The Kanotix-Installer

The Installer is started from the "fishbutton" as well.

After reading (and understanding) the warning text we move on to choosing a partition.

Here we can accept the default choice, or (which is more likely) start the partitioner.
More experienced users may use cfdisk oder fdisk here.


With the Partition-Manager (qtparted) hard drives are partitioned and/or formatted. The program has a graphical interface and is self-explanatory. It can also shrink or move partitions. Qtparted is not yet fully developed and labels itself as experimental, but if you move on in an orderly way, you should not encounter any problems.
Changes to ntfs-partitions should be done with a windows-tool (e.g. Partition Magic, Acronis).
Should a partition show up as mounted, we have to close the partition -manager and unmount the device (right click on the mounted device-icon on the desktop->unmount). Should you have a swap partition, unmount it with: "sudo swapoff -a" in a Konsole. That done, we can start the partition manager again. In principle, 3 gb is more than sufficient for a hd-install, but you won't have much fun with this. A reasonable minimum install should have 5 - 8 gb. For the linux noob we suggest only 2 partitions for a start (root und swap), because this simplifies your first install quite a bit. It's better to establish an extra partition for /home.
Advanced users can also have additional partitions for /var, /tmp, ...etc, for special reasons. Going into detail here would take us too far of our path, though. You really should have a swap partition (equivalent to the windows swapfile, but is much more effective). For normal usage, the swap partition should be up to twice your ram. As standard filesystem for linux you should use ReiserFs.
For data-exchange with a Windows installation you must use vfat (fat32). Whoever wants to use XFS for / (root) must create an extra /boot partition (ext2) or use lilo (because grub doesnt work with xfs reliably). The installer at this point supports xfs on / only through editing the file .knofig.

Whoever creates more than 1 partition should write their names down for later!
Having done all this, save the changes (the floppy icon) and close the partition-manager.
Here are some simple examples for different hd-sizes and different types of use, everything rounded off.

Tryout-Config - 60GB
for a pc, where windows takes quite a bit of space

hda530GBFAT32Data for Win and Linux

TV & Video-PC - 200GB no Windows
for big Files (e.g. Video) XFS is best.

Standard-PC with Windows 120GB
to use the best from both worlds.
hda770GBFAT32Data exchange WindowsXP-Linux

Linux Gaming- and MediaPC 160GB

Linux and Windows on 20 GB

hda210GBFAT32Windows-Programs and Data for Windows and Linux

This allocation is advisble when there's little space on the harddisk (e.g. on a Laptop). Windows is installed on a separate 3-5 GB sized partition with nothing else on it. All programs and files are on the second bigger partition. Whoever has more disk space can make this partition bigger or divide windows-programs and data into 2 partitions.

For Kanotix without any special multimedia-applications or games 5 GB is sufficient, for data you have the fat32-partition. There are many ways to partion your harddrive. These examples should be enough for a start.
It makes sense to add a second hard drive to enhance performance, comfort and security. In that case windows always goes on the first harddisk!

Now we choose where the installation is supposed to go to and we establish the mount points. Partitions for which we establish no mount point are mounted by the installer below /media, e.g. as /media/hdb1.

As boot manager we install Grub to MBR! If you make a different choice here, you should know what you are doing. Grub recognizes other installed OS's (e.g. Windows) and adds them to the boot menu.

On we go with user, his/her password and the root-password (remember those!). Please don't choose too easily-guessed passwords.
Whoever wants to add other users can do so after installation with the KDE-Tool (kuser).

Now we finish the configuration.
Nothing has been changed on your hd so far, and you could just save the configuration for later if desired.

The other menu-items are for experienced linux-users, who want to write their special changes to the config-file (~/.knofig) or have a special partioning scheme on their hard drive that would be rejected by the automatic check of the installer.

This query is the last chance to check the adjustments you made. Read through it again carefully!
The whole process takes, depending on your system, from 5 -60 min. (with special bootoptions it can be even faster).

If the progress bar hangs in one place for a while, don't abort, just give it some time.

Reboot. Take the CD out of the tray. Finished.

First Bootup
After booting up for the first time Kanotix has forgotten its netcardconfig. So you have to reconfigure your network (Wlan, Modem, ISDN,...).
Whoever previously had his networkadress automatically (DHCP) by using a DSL-Router must call #netcardconfig now.
The appropriate tools are still to be found in the menu Kanotix-Network.
And now tons of fun with your new system. Welcome to Kanotix!
Thx to Hamstaman

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Can I update my KANOTIX installation with a new version?


Kanotix will, starting with version Kanotix 2005-04, have a completely new feature, which is around for testing in the Release Candidates (from RC8 onward). This new feature enables you to use a Live-CD containing the newer version to update an existing Kanotix-HD-Installation. Hereby the old kernel and packages will be exchanged for newer ones. Newer hardware-modules will also be added.

Unfortunately, every good thing has its backdraws:

Packages not on the Live-CD will be deinstalled.

This effect is induced by principle but can be reversed.

The tool that enables us to do so is the Kanotix-Installer and was written and added by acritox and will be further developed in the future.


Starting point is a functioning Kanotix-HD-Installation on your PC and a safely burned (DAO, not faster than 8x) LiveCD in your hand. The LiveCD is placed in your CD/DVD-Device, and the PC is booted from CD.
That's it for preparation!

Now start the Kanotix-Installer. Normally you do this from the K-Menu -> Kanotix -> Kanotix-Installer, as shown in the picture.

and here is your GUI.


We choose, as seen in the picture, the "Update" button.

and klick the "Next" button.

A window pops up with several choices that can be adjusted if necessary (where the Root-Partition and Bootmanager are to be installed).

More important is the next window:

Here, by default, you find a variety of important directories listed that will not be touched by the update.

Should you have data in folder(s) that are not listed, you must add the correct paths to them, because everything else on the Root-Partition will be deleted!

For example, if you have XAMPP installed in /opt/lampp and /opt is not a mountpoint for another partition (meaning the directory is on the Root-Partition), you will have to add /opt/lampp to the end of the list in order to have it saved.

If you don't do that, your directory will be gone after the update! (A Backup of all your data is always a good thing to have...)

By clicking the "Update" button the actual script is issued in a console, prompting you for confirmation before any changes are made. After your confirmation the process is irreversible.

Before it finishes, the script creates the important old-packages-YYYYMMDD.txt
in the /root directory!

Reboot, and there you go!

Reinstall of Packages Deleted During the Upgrade

With the help of this old-packages file, these packages can be reinstalled

# cd /root
# apt-get install $(<old-packages-yyyymmdd.txt

It is advisable before reinstalling to edit this list, so you can delete packages you don't want re-installed.

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How do I use "fromiso" cheatcode?

With this cheatcode you can start from an iso out of a partition, which is much faster then from a CD (HD installations with "fromiso" only takes a fraction of time, some say less then 4 minutes, but with 6-8 minutes its still fast as lightning).

- a functioning grub (on a floppy, a HD-Installation or from the Live-CD)
- a KANOTIX ISO Image e.g.: KANOTIX-2005-04.iso

First we choose a place for the iso and 2 files we need, so we get shorter names. Therefore we create a base-directory: we choose e.g. /dev/hda5, create the directory "kanotix" and copy the iso into it:

# mkdir /media/hda5/kanotix
# mv KANOTIX-2005-04.iso /media/hda5/kanotix

now we move to that directory and mount the iso image:

# mkdir -p /mnt/test
# mount -t iso9660 -o loop,ro /media/hda5/kanotix/KANOTIX-2005-04.iso /mnt/test

now we copy the files miniroot.gz and vmlinuz from the mounted iso image to our directory:

# cp /mnt/test/boot/vmlinuz /media/hda5/kanotix/
# cp /mnt/test/boot/miniroot.gz /media/hda5/kanotix/

Now we have to customize grub a bit, Therefore we edit the file /boot/grub/menu.lst and add the following lines:

### ISO boot
title Kanotix 32bit from ISO
kernel (hd0,4)/kanotix/vmlinuz ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init fromiso=/kanotix/K*.iso noprompt noeject lang=en apm=power-off nomce quiet
initrd (hd0,4)/kanotix/miniroot.gz

With next boot we have a new menu item in grub to start the iso image.

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How can you install KANOTIX on a USB-HD?

To do an installation of KANOTIX on a USB Harddisk, compared to a normal HD-Install you need to take some extra steps.

We start with a normal installationand choose the partition on the USB disk, where KANOTIX is to be installed.
(we speak of "sda1" here, but this is valid for any other partition on the USB disk).

The following changes then have to be made as root:

# mount /dev/sda1 /media/sda1

# mount --bind /proc /media/sda1/proc

# chroot /media/sda1

# echo ehci-hcd >> /etc/mkinitrd/modules
echo libusual >> /etc/mkinitrd/modules # not for 2005-04
# echo usb-storage >> /etc/mkinitrd/modules

In the file: etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf the value of the variable DELAY has to be set to 10 with the command:

# perl -pi -e 's/^(DELAY)=.*/\1=10/' /etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf

Starting with KANOTIX 2005-04 you also have to do:

# perl -pi -e 's/mkext2fs/mkcramfs/' /etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf

We now create a new initrd image:

# mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd.img-$(uname -r)

(Errors about missing modules can be ignored)

The file /boot/grub/menu.lst must be adapted. Therefore we look at the file:

# cat /boot/grub/device.map

(hd0) /dev/hda
(hd1) /dev/sda

and issue the following commands to make a needed change in menu.lst and add the right harddisk:

# perl -pi -e 's/hd1/hdX/' /boot/grub/menu.lst

# perl -pi -e 's/hd0/hd1/' /boot/grub/menu.lst

# perl -pi -e 's/hdX/hd0/' /boot/grub/menu.lst

Now you can boot from your USB installation.

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How do I set up a persistent home using the Live-CD?

While using the KANOTIX Live-CD you can set up a persistent home-directory to be able to save your config, user-data and additional installed programs.
We can do this by using the cheatcode unionfs.
Basicaly there is two ways to use the Live-CD:
Either you use it from the CD- /DVD-drive or you set up the ISO to boot from the harddisk.
This is of course much faster then from the CD- /DVD-drive and keeps the drive available.
As an alternative you could use VMware as well.

Now we boot from the Live-CD or the previously installed ISO and run the script to create the config-file (config.tbz)
  • KANOTIX-Menu - Configuration - save configuration

  • and save it on your USB-Stick. For testing you may of course use a partition on hd as well if no stick is at hand.
    Next we create the image-file for the home directory:
  • KANOTIX-Menu - Configuration - install permanent KANOTIX home directory

  • Make this big enough to hold software you may want to install in the future.

    Now we create an empty directory named unionfsin the /home of user knoppix (/home/knoppix) with konqueror, konsole or a tool of your choice.

    Then we boot the Live-CD and enter at the Grub-Bootscreen:
  • myconfig=scan home=scan unionrw=/home/knoppix/unionfs

  • Now your PC is ready for installing new software to your new home-dir on your stick.
    This is done in the usual way:

    #apt-get update
    #apt-get install packagename

    Booting up next time by entering myconfig=scan home=scan unionrw=/home/knoppix/unionfs you can use your newly installed software.

    inspired by a post from ockham on the forum

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    Howto use cfdisk to create harddisk partitions

    • IDE-harddisk names

    • IDE harddisks are called hda, hdb, hdc, and so on depending on which controller the harddisk is connected. hda is the master disk on the first controller, hdb is the slave disk on the first controller, hdc is the master disk on the second controller, and so on.

    • SCSI or SATA-harddisk names

    • SATA or SCSI harddisks are named with sdx, where x is a harddisk letter. The disk with the lowest SCSI ID on the first controller will become sda, the next higher sdb, an so on. A SATA harddisk will be identified by the place where it is plugged-in on the controller and is named sda when plugged-in on the first, and so on.

    • Partitions names

    • A harddisk can have up to four primary partitions. If you want more, you have to make one of these an extended partition where you can make several logical partitions. The partitions are named with the disk they belong to, and a number. The first primary partition on the first IDE disk is hda1, the second primary partition is hda2, and so on. The first and second logical partition on an extended partition on the first IDE disk is hda5 and hda6, and so on. Similarly for SATA/SCSI disks.

    • Using cfdisk

    • To start cfdisk one must be root (if you are on the Live-CD you can use sudo to achieve that otherwise you can use sux or su:
      # cfdisk /dev/hda

    • The user interface

    • On the first screen cfdisk lists the current partition table with the names and some data about each partition. On the screen bottom there are some command buttons. To change between partitions, use the up and down arrow keys. To change between commands, use the left and right arrow keys.

    • Delete a partition

    • To delete a partition, highlight it with the up and down keys, select the Delete command with the left and right arrow keys, and press Enter.

    • Create a new partition

    • To create a new partition, use the New command (select it with the left and right arrow keys), and press enter. You must decide between a primary and a logical partition. If you want a logical partition, the program will automatically make an extended partition for you. Then you must choose the size of the partition (in MB). If you can't enter a value in MB, return to the main screen with the Esc key, and select MB with the Units command

    • Type of a partition

    • To set the type of a partition for Linux swap or Linux, highlight the actual partition, and use the Type command. You'll get a list of different types. Press space, and you'll get even more. Find what type you need, and enter the number at the prompt. (Linux swap is Type 82, Linux filesystems should get type 83)

    • Make a partition bootable

    • There is no need to make an bootable partition for Linux but some other OS need that. Highlight the partition and select the Bootable command.

    • Write the result to disk

    • When you are done you can write you changes using the Write command. The partition table will be written to disk. (if you get an error concerning dos , you can ignore it)
      As this will destroy all data on partitions you have deleted or changed, you should therefore be very sure that you want to do this before actually press the Return key.

      To exit the program, select the Quit command.
      After leaving cfdisk and before starting the formatting or the installation, you should reboot your box to reread the new partition table.

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    How to format partitions after using cfdisk?

    • Basics

    • Linux knows different filesystems to use. There is ReiserFs, Ext2, Ext3, and, for experienced users XFS and JFS.
      For the normal user I recommend ReiserFs.

    • Formating

    • After closing down cfdisk we return to console. For formating you need to be root. If using the Live-CD, enter sudo su to become root. From your HD-Installation su (followed by your root password) is sufficient.
      For formating the root- and/or home partition, in this example hdb1, we enter:

      # mkreiserfs /dev/hdb1

      There will be a question, that you answer with yes if you are sure, that you have chosen the right partition.

      When the command is done, you will get notice, that reiserfs was successfully written to disk. If you dont get that, something probably went wrong with partitioning in cfdisk, or hdb1 is not a linux partition. In this case you can check with

      # fdisk -l /dev/hdb

      whats wrong and maybe partition again.

      If formating was a success, do the same procedure for a home partition, if you want a separate one.

      Last we format the swap partition, in this example hdb3:

      # mkswap /dev/hdb3

      after that a:

      # swapon /dev/hdb3

      We then check, if swap is recognized, by entering swapon -s in console; the newly mounted swap should be recognized now, in our case as::
      # swapon -s
      /dev/hdb3 partition995988248632-1

      If swap is recognized correctly, we enter swapoff -a and reboot.
      Now we are ready to start installation.

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