Ive been spending time recently with Knoppix, a Debian-based Linux distribution thats stored on and boots from a single CD. Knoppix, which recently underwent a Version 3.2 release, includes the KDE 3.1.1 desktop environment, the OpenOffice productivity suite and an impressive set of other useful applications, all cleverly compressed on that one disk.
I downloaded Knoppix as an ISO image from one of the mirrors listed at www.knoppix.com and burned it onto a recordable CD, from which I booted into Linux with a couple of laptop and desktop systems. I was impressed with how well Knoppix detected my hardware and got itself running.
Running from the CD, Knoppix was noticeably slower than the operating systems Id installed on hard drives of those machines, but overall, its performance wasnt too bad.
If you try Knoppix and you find youve fallen in love with it, type "sudo/usr/local/bin/knx-hdinstall" at a terminal and step through the wizard that follows. This will guide you through installing Knoppix on your hard drive.
While Knoppix works well for demonstrating Linux and open-source software, it may be more useful as a Debian installer—Ive gotten mixed up installing Debian in the past, and Knoppix made the process easy.