Klaus delivers in time for Christmas--Knoppix 3.7 is out
by Kyle Rankin
Related link: http://www.knoppix.org
It's been a few months since the last major Knoppix release (3.6 was released back in August), but Klaus is back just in time for Christmas. Knoppix 3.7 includes lots of updates and a few new features which I will go over below.
Some of you who follow Knoppix development might say "Didn't 3.7 come out a few months ago? I remember downloading the torrent." While labeled "Knoppix 3.7," that release was actually based on a special version of Knoppix that Klaus created for PC-Welt magazine. There are often special releases of Knoppix intended only for conferences such as LinuxTag, or to be released with magazines, but you won't find these versions on any official mirror. Often someone with access to the CD will create and distribute an unofficial .iso for the release. Yesterday's release, however, is the official "download edition" and features upgrades across the board for all of the software on the system. KDE gets a boost to version 3.3.1, the kernel versions are the latest and greatest at 2.4.27 and 2.6.9 (with ACPI support), and even Java has the lastest security update.
These upgrades do seem to make KDE operate smoother, and Klaus has also added a quick link in the KNOPPIX menu for "Samba Network Neighborhood" which opens up Konqueror pointed to "smb:/" and lists any available Windows workgroups on your network. I have previously had to perform some extra steps to get lisa to browse my windows shares, but with 3.7 it found all of the local networks and browsed to them without a hitch. Knoppix 3.7 also includes a new ISDN configuration script, but I don't have an ISDN line to test it with.
The live software installer included on the CD maintains the same software, but over the past few months klik has really taken off. I don't believe I've discussed klik much before, but klik is a nice 3rd-party live software install system for a Knoppix CD. Installation is as simple as going to http://klik.sf.net and running the command they list at the top. After you install klik, you simply need to click on a link on that page to install software directly to your system. After software installs, it will show up in the Kmenu under "Applications (installed by klik)" for easy access.
You might notice that the klik link syntax is
klik://packagename. Once klik is installed, you don't even necessarily have to visit klik.sf.net to install software, you can simply type in
klik://firefoxand the firefox install script will launch. Also, recent versions of klik added support to Mozilla and Firefox in addition to the traditional Konqueror support, so you can execute klik:// links any of these browsers. The list of klik packages continues to grow, so if Knoppix 3.7 doesn't have your favorite software, check klik.
Overall I'm pretty impressed with Knoppix 3.7. If you are using 3.6 you won't notice too much of a difference, but if you are still using 3.3 or 3.4, Knoppix 3.7 might be worth checking out, especially if you are a laptop user who has had some problems with ACPI. Right now most of the Knoppix mirrors are pretty busy, so if you have bittorrent installed, I recommend using the Knoppix torrent link.
Don't have much more to say than that!