Linux Live with Knoppix Version 3.7
There are cases when for evaluation, demonstration, recovery or otherwise you don't want to install a new operating system onto a hard drive. It's in those cases that a "non-invasive" CD-based operating system (look ma no hard drive!), in the Linux world usually called Live CDs (or Linux Live) really comes in handy. The "granddaddy" of all Linux Live OSes, Knoppix, recently released its latest version, 3.7.
Knoppix 3.7 updates a significant number of packages from the 3.6 release (which was released in August) and provides an even more stable and robust operating system. Of particular note, is this version's dramatically improved ACPI support, which means it runs even better than its predecessor on a wider array of notebooks.
Based on Debian, Knoppix uses KDE 3.2.3 and runs both 2.4.47 and 2.6.9 versions of the kernel. Through the "magic" of compression, there are over 2GB worth of applications and packages that are jam packed onto the single Knoppix 700 MB CD. Since it's not installed on a hard drive, what Knoppix does is use system RAM to create a RAM drive that decompresses the packages on the fly and gives the "illusion" of a regular hard drive. According to the Knoppix Web site, it will run with a minimum of 128 MB, (which, I can attest, works), though the more RAM you have, the better your performance.
Knoppix was first created and is still actively maintained by German developer Klaus Knopper. Knoppix 3.7 can be obtained via FTP at the Knoppix site, though I'd strongly recommend using the BitTorrent.
The latest Knoppix tracker files can be found at http://torrent.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/, which also give a good indication of how many people have already downloaded the new version. In its first four months of availability, the English version of Knoppix 3.6 transferred over 27 TeraBytes. In the first week that 3.7 was available, almost 6 TB were transferred.