Net Manager
Network Managing, Engineering and Administration with an eye toward security.

Best practices meets the real world!

Monday, April 21, 2003  

While reading my email this morning I came across a discussion of bootable linux distributions. I ran across one of them that I wanted to get immediately. Here is the details:

What is KNOPPIX®? KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos.

o Linux-Kernel 2.4.x
o KDE V3.1 as the standard desktop with K Office and the Konqueror WWW-browser konqueror
o X Multimedia System (xmms) an MPEG-video, MP3, Ogg Vorbis Audio player and xine
o Internet connection software kppp,pppoeconf (DSL) and isdn-config
o Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) Version 1.2
o utilities for data recovery and system repairs, even for other operating systems
o network and security analysis tools for network administrators
o OpenOffice(TM), the GPL-developed version of the well-known StarOffice(TM) office suite
o many programming languages, development tools (including kdevelop) and libraries for developers
o in total more than 900 installed software packages with over 2000 executable user programs, utilities, and games

From a purely technical standpoint this is an awsome CD. In testing today I was able to very quickly boot up on several machines and read FAT-32 and NTFS partitions almost as native. With the OpenOffice installed I could read the Microsoft Word documents on these machines natively. An all around slick little package.

From a security perspective, it's kinda new territory. On one hand it looks like it could be very scary in the hands of a hacker, but with the priviso that you need to be physically present this diminishes some of the punch. After all, you can boot up on a RH emergency CD and do quite a bit, plus there are tons of tools for when you are local to the machine.

All in all, this is one CD to get your hands on. Check out the site for .ISO distributions; the latest ones will have the best Hardware and Software support.

posted by David | 4/21/2003 04:53:00 PM


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