With Version 3.9 of the Live CD Linux Knoppix only recently completed, the next one is already in the offing. In time for the event LinuxTag 2005, which will commence this Wednesday in Karlsruhe, the developer Klaus Knopper will be releasing the Version 4.0 of his Linux system, which can be booted and operated directly from CD. It is based on the recently released Debian 3.1 (Sarge). Knoppix was expanded compared with the state of release of Sarge by the Version 3.4.1 of the Unix/Linux desktop KDE. As a further desktop the Version 2.8 of GNOME is included, with the open-source Office Suite OpenOffice available in the beta version of the 2.0 edition.
Knoppix 4.0 is to appear in a slimmed-down CD and expanded DVD version; at the LinuxTag its first DVD edition will be on sale for 5 euros. According to Mr. Knopper thanks to cloop data compression it has proved possible to pack more than 9 gigabytes of software from the Debian Pool unto a single-layer DVD. All in all more than 2,600 software packages with a total of more than 5,300 applications are to be found on the DVD, he said.
Moreover, in Version 4.0 a number of expansions have been integrated that have flowed back to Knoppix from the Knoppix-based distributions Kanotix, Quantian, Paipix and Freeduc. With, for example, the Kanotix hardware support for ISDN and DSL adapters from AVM, an improved hard disk installer, scientific software from Quantian and Paipix and learning software for children from Freeduc among them.
The DVD edition of Knoppix 4.0 also contains, for example, the software distribution system m23 as well as the books "Knoppix Kompakt" by Rainer Hattenhauer and "Knowing Knoppix" by Phil Jones.
The live operating system that for a long time now has no longer been intended exclusively for testing, schooling or rescue purposes is booted and operated directly from the DVD or CD. Via installation scripts a Debian Linux can also be set up on hard disk. With the help of unionfs, which was introduced with Version 3.8, a RAM disk can be laid transparently across the Knoppix file system on the CD. This allows any file to be changed while the system is running; even installing additional software into the CD Linux system at a later date presents no problem. When the new persistent home directory feature is used not only are the personal files placed in the home directory but all newly created or changed files are stored in an image file. (Robert W. Smith)