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Hello everyone. I am setting up an internet cafe style network and was wondering if Knoppix would be suitable for the task? If not, could anyone recommend a better distrobution? ...
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  1. #1
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    Knoppix for internet cafe


    Hello everyone. I am setting up an internet cafe style network and was wondering if Knoppix would be suitable for the task? If not, could anyone recommend a better distrobution? Essentially, I need to set up a system which allows the computer users to access the internet without mucking up the system from viruses and spyware. And I'd like the system to be as administration friendly as possible because the people running it aren't technical.

    Below I have identified some key concerns and was wondering if anyone here might be able to provide some insight.

    With Knoppix being run from the cd, can I remove the hard drives from the computers and still keep Knoppix running?

    That computers I am planning to run Knoppix on are essentially Pentium 2 systems currently running windows 2000. Should I expect to run into any hardware detection issues?

    Obviously I will be setting up a simple network. The modem will connect to a router (which provides connections and DNS), and the computers and printer will connect to the router. If I set it all up correctly, will Knoppix detect the network and get internet access automatically when the computer boots up? Or will I need something more permanent in place? If I would need to run a configuration every time, could I write some kind of script that will do that automatically when the user logs onto Knoppix?

    Does the Knoppix live cd come with OpenOffice on it?

    Thanks very much. If you have any other ideas about any of this, I would be more than happy to consider those as well.

  2. #2
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    LiveCDs (such as Knoppix) are too slow for everyday use, at least in my own opinion.

    I much prefer a distro that is installed to the hard drive for all the extra speed it delivers. Knoppix is free for the download, so you really should try it yourself and see what you think of it.
    oz

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    My experience of Knoppix

    Hi Hiroki,

    I'm no expert, but I have used three different versions of Knoppix on various PCs.

    Knoppix starts and runs fine with no hard drive. I *think* Knoppix can be started with a hard drive present and continue after the hard drive is removed; I haven't tried this for a while. USB memory sticks all seem fine and can be added and removed whenever; this is also a good way of configuring Knoppix at boot.

    Knoppix hardware detection seems generally pretty good. I've had an infra-red mouse not detected once, but another one (Logitech?) was fine. A minority of sound cards get detected but don't work unless re-configured. "Winmodems" (PCI dial-up modems for Windows) don't work.

    If there's an Ethernet connection to a broadband router, Knoppix always seems to find it and connect itself to the Internet with no configuration.

    Yes, Knoppix has OpenOffice on it.

    Ozar is partly right about speed; Knoppix often has to wait while the CD is being read. A fast CD ROM drive makes a big improvement. OR, if your PCs have 1GByte or more of RAM, you can boot Knoppix with the "toram" option, which reads the whole CD image into RAM. I haven't tried this yet, but if it works OK I bet it's really fast!

    Ozar is also right that you should get a copy of Knoppix and give it a try. Copy it lots and give it away; it's an amazingly useful disc. Give it to people who's Windows XP won't boot; they can use it to recover their documents and save them onto their USB memory stick.

    Knoppix comes with masses of software on it, some of which may give your users the chance to do some odd things, possibly to your network for instance, but I don't know anything about this.

    Good luck setting up your network!
    Clark

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    Another idea would be to install to a thumbdrive, and mount it as user read only, then you wouldn't have to worry about the CD or the drive imploding.
    That would also allow you to tweak the distro as needed via SSH.


    Jason

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    Please clarify hoopy terminology

    Hi Jason,

    sorry to be so square, but what's a thumbdrive? Is it a USB memory device? And CD and drive 'implosure'; is this premature failure due to overuse? I think I've guessed what SSH is; can you provide a link to where I could learn about it please?

    I'm on this thread to learn by sharing knowledge, so I suggest that we explain all jargon as we go along.

    All the Best,
    Clark

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkkillick View Post
    Is it a USB memory device?
    Exactly. Just throw thumbdrive into Google for examples.
    Quote Originally Posted by clarkkillick View Post
    And CD and drive 'implosure'; is this premature failure due to overuse?
    Well, explode would have been more accurate, but implosions are much more cool to watch. =]
    Quote Originally Posted by clarkkillick View Post
    I think I've guessed what SSH is; can you provide a link to where I could learn about it please?
    You will find that wikipedia has a lot of answers, this is a link to a good and secure SSH client. PuTTY - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply!


    Jason

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    Thanks, Jason,

    I expect I come across as pedantic, but I think we'll all learn quicker if we avoid slang, or if we do use it, explain it as we go. I suggest not using slang at all, as there are always new people to whom it will be unfamiliar. After all, the whole point of GNU/Linux was to be 'open', ie understandable, so I suggest that we extend this ideal to the language we use.

    There's a story I heard about when Windows 95 was the most 'successful (ie numerous) product' ever, that a bug it contained cost each user an hour of their time. This led to the waste of over a thousand person-years of effort, making it one of the biggest wastes of time known to humanity!

    If you like implosions, have a look at the 'Z Machine':
    Z machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    There's a big photo here:
    http://zpinch.sandia.gov/Z/Images/z.jpg

    Clark

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    Yes, Linux is still a bit geeky, though it's catching up on Windows.
    I think you can only use an USB Drive if your computer bios allows booting from a USB device, though I think there is a way to make your USB Drive look like a hard drive. Anyone?

    I think Live CD needs a hard drive for temporary storage, which is wiped when you shut down.

    I've tried Live CDs of Knoppix, PCLOS, Slax, Mepis and Ubuntu. The main difference is the desktop - either Gnome or KDE. All of them identified my Speedtouch Ethernet modem and connected automatically. None of them identified my printer an HP D1470, a recent model. Only Slax and PCLOS played mp3s without any problems.

    Just now Knoppix Live CD appears to have crashed my hard drive!

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    Knoppix, versions 4, 5.0.1 and 5.1.1, don't need a hard drive at all; I've run them all with the hard drive completely removed, but with 512 MByte of RAM. It's never crashed my hard drive, either. There is an option for setting up virtual memory on the hard drive, but I've never needed it.

    One problem I have had was when I unplugged the mains power to the PC while Knoppix was running; the DVD drive with the Knoppix disc in it was left "locked", ie the drawer wouldn't open. I had to leave the power unplugged for several minutes before trying again before I could get it to open again.

  10. #10
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    Running straight from the DVD drive is something that will work, but remember that it will mean slower seek times and a noisier environment. I'm thinking 10+ machines seeking from CD/DVD constantly will produce an noticeable background noise and will shorten drive life.

    You might considering running Knoppix straight from the Harddisk in live mode. That is as if it were on the disc, with no settings being saved. That way you are immune to vandalism and have the CD/DVD problem eliminated.

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