CeBIT 2012: Knoppix 7.0 presented
Speaking at this year's CeBIT Open Source Forum, Knoppix creator Klaus Knopper presented version 7.0 of his popular Live Linux distribution. The new release is a special "CeBIT Edition" which is based on Debian "Wheezy" and uses the 3.2.4 Linux kernel. Available as a LiveDVD, it now uses UTF-8 encoding, and can run on both 32- and 64-bit systems.
A majority of the changes, Knopper says, are under the hood. These include changes to the boot sequence that load, for example, the graphics, keyboard and mouse drivers, before those for webcams and other hardware. Other changes are said to improve the distribution's overall performance.
Knoppix 7.0 includes only free and open source graphics drivers; Knopper notes that, prior to the release, he did test some proprietary drivers but they had problems on some hardware. Firefox is used as the default browser because it functions better with accessibility features included within Knoppix than Chromium, which is also bundled.
Accessibility has been improved with the addition of the Simon Listens speech recognition program and the Viacam mouse replacement software which uses a standard PC webcam and facial tracking to move the cursor. Other bundled packages include the OpenShot video editor, LibreOffice 3.4.5 and a development release of WINE.
Speaking to The H, Knopper said that one of his favourite additions to the distribution is the open source Egoboo 3D dungeon crawling adventure game. While it took him "weeks to get it running" correctly, he says that it's a great game for both children and adults alike.
This edition of Knoppix also has some proprietary packages, such as Adobe Reader and the Adobe Flash Player plugin, included at the request of Linux Magazin. However, Knopper says that he plans to issue a maintenance release, likely version 7.0.1, in about four weeks that will address any issues reported by users and remove the proprietary software.
Release notes for version 7.0 are not yet available, but Knopper says they should be online in the next few days. Knoppix 7.0 will be included in the April 2012 German issue of Linux Magazin and in the English version of Linux Pro Magazine. Alternatively, those attending CeBIT can have Knoppix installed to their own USB flash drives in Hall 26 at Booth D26-01. Knoppix is licensed under the GPL. Bootable from a LiveDVD or USB Flash drive, Knoppix incorporates automatic hardware detection and on-the-fly decompression. It can be used, for example, to demonstrate Linux, as an educational CD and as a rescue system.
- CeBIT 2012: Open source and Linux, a report from The H.
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