Knowing Knoppix/Networking

Connecting to a network


Knoppix has built-in support for many Ethernet network cards. As a rule, if the computer has a network card, Knoppix will be able to support it (except the very old, or the very new).

Well supported cards include 3Com, Realtek, NE2000 compatible, Intel and many others. However, some Broadcom cards, found in certain Dell PCs made after the year 2000, do not work with this version of Knoppix.

Automatic setup


If you have a supported network card, Knoppix will attempt to configure it automatically during startup. This is for you if you have a server which manages your local area network. To check to see if it worked:

  1. Click the Konsole icon in the Panel (bottom row, 6th from the left).
  2. Type this command and press Enter at the end of the line:
  3. This says the first Ethernet interface (eth0) has been given the Internetworking Protocol (IP) address “”. If the Ethernet card has been given an IP address, it means the card is working.
    To double-check the connection, find out the IP address of another computer on your network. For example, suppose another computer has the address Type this command and press Enter, replacing appropriately:
    ping Press Ctrl + C on the keyboard to cancel pinging.

Manual setup


If there is no server on your network, you will need to configure your network card manually.

  1. Click the Knoppix menu in the bottom left corner.
  2. Point to Network/Internet.
  3. Click Network Card Configuration.
  4. You will be asked if you want to use DHCP broadcast.
  5. Click “No”.
  6. You will be asked to enter the IP address that you want to give to the first Ethernet interface. You need to know an IP address that is free on your network. You can't use an IP address that is already in use, or both computers will not be able to communicate.
  7. Enter the IP address that you want to give to the card.
  8. Click OK. Follow the prompts to complete the setup process.

Quick help


Question: There is no “eth0”, why not?
Check the network cables. If there is a DHCP server on your local area network, make sure it is running. Click the “Knoppix” menu, choose “Root Shell” and enter:

/etc/init.d/network restart
pump -i eth0

Try configuring your network card manually. If it still won't work, it may mean your network card is not supported.

Using a network server


Knoppix can copy files to the following types of network file servers:

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers.
  • Windows Server Message Block (SMB) servers.
  • UNIX Network File System (NFS) servers.

Copying to an FTP server


To copy files onto a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server:

  1. Click the Konqueror icon in the Panel.
  2. The Konqueror file manager will come up.
  3. To log in to the FTP server anonymously, type the following on the address line. Replace “server” with the IP address of the server you want to connect to.
  4. If you need a username and password to log in to the FTP server, type the following on the address line. Replace “username” and “password” with your username and password. Replace “server” with the address of the FTP server you want to connect to.
    This will connect to the FTP server at with the username “phil” and password “mypass”.
  5. The files on the FTP server will appear.
  6. Drag and drop the files you want to copy to that window.
  7. Click “Copy Here”.
  8. The files will be uploaded, as long as you have permission to write files to the server.

Copying to a Windows file server


To copy files onto a Microsoft Windows file server:

  1. Click the Konqueror icon in the Panel.
  2. Wait while Konqueror starts up.
  3. Type the following on the address line. Replace “server” with the hostname or IP address of the Windows file server.
  4. Example:
  5. The public shares on the server with the IP address will be displayed. The workgroup name is detected automatically. If a username and password is required, replace “username” and “password” below with your username and password. Replace “server” with the IP address of the server you want to connect to.
  6. This will connect to the Windows file server at the IP address with the username “phil” and password “mypass”.
  7. Drag and drop the files you want to copy into the server's Konqueror window.
  8. Click “Copy Here”.
  9. The files will be copied, provided you have access permission to the Windows file server.

Copying to an NFS server


To copy files onto a Network File System (NFS) server:

  1. Click the Knoppix menu in the bottom left corner.
  2. Click “Root Shell”.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:
    /etc/init.d/portmap start
  4. The port mapping service will be started. The portmapper is needed to access NFS servers.
  5. Enter the following command, again pressing Enter at the end of the line. Replace “server” with the IP address or hostname of your NFS server. Replace “/export” with the name of the shared directory on the NFS server.
    mount server:/export /home/knoppix/tmp
    For example, to mount the shared directory “/home” to the local directory “/home/knoppix/tmp”:
    mount /home/knoppix/tmp
  6. The NFS export should be mounted.
  7. Click the “Home” icon in the Panel.
  8. The files in the Knoppix home directory will be displayed.
  9. Click the “tmp” folder.
  10. The shared directory on the NFS server should appear.
  11. Drag and drop the files you wish to copy into this window.
  12. Click “Copy Here”.
  13. Given that you have the appropriate file permissions on the NFS server, the files will be copied.

Connecting to the Internet


The main ways to get connected to the Internet are:

  • Through an Ethernet gateway, router or local area network.
  • Through an external serial modem.
  • Through a PCMCIA serial cardbus modem.

Knoppix is designed first and foremost for wired Ethernet networking. This gives you the best chance of success. Meanwhile, the following connection methods may not be so easy with Knoppix:

  • Most internal PCI dial-up modems.
  • Most external USB broadband modems.
  • Most wireless (802.11) PCI and PCMCIA cards.
  • Some PCMCIA modem/network combination cards.
  • AOL and Compuserve.

The above methods tend to rely on proprietary software that requires Microsoft Windows. Even if the proprietary software were available for Linux (which it sometimes is these days) it cannot be distributed with Knoppix due to licence constraints.



A broadband Internet connection lets you download at up to ten times the speed of a conventional modem. It also lets you make and receive voice calls on the same line at the same time. The technical name is Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL). To use ADSL broadband Internet over a conventional phone line with Knoppix, you need:

  • A telephone line which has been “activated” for ADSL.
  • An account with an ADSL-enabled Internet Service Provider. This means any ISP that offers a standard broadband service.
  • A microfilter for each standard analogue device (such as telephones, fax machines, and dialup modems).
  • A supported Ethernet adapter in your PC or laptop (see the section “Connecting to a local area network”).
  • An ADSL router. These popular, inexpensive devices combine a broadband modem with an Ethernet router/gateway, giving “instant Internet”. The single-port variety is for one computer. Multi-port versions let several computers share the same broadband Internet connection.

To make the connection:

  1. Make sure the Ethernet cable from the ADSL router is connected to the computer's Ethernet adapter.
  2. Start Knoppix. It should detect the network card, and then obtain an IP address automatically from the ADSL router.
  3. If you have not already done so, use a web browser to visit the ADSL router's configuration page. To learn about the web browsers included in Knoppix, see the later section, “Browsing the World Wide Web”. Enter the necessary information on the configuration page to make the connection to your ISP.
  4. You're done! As long as the “upstream” connection to the Internet is working, you will be connected to the Internet.
The diagram above shows a typical setup for the UK.
It may vary from country to country depending on regulatory requirements.
What is most important is that filtering must be done correctly.
The ADSL modem must never be subject to filtering, while every other device on the telephone line must be filtered.
The term “broadband” can also mean Internet provided by cable and other high speed Internet connections (including wireless options). These connections may or may not be usable in Knoppix.



Dial-up Internet is the older, slower way to access the Internet. To connect this way, you need an account with any standard Internet Service Provider (not AOL or Compuserve) and one of the following:

  • An external serial modem. This type of modem connects to the computer's serial port (called COM1 or COM2 under DOS). No special driver is needed to operate this type of modem, so compatibility with Knoppix is excellent. For example, the “Sitecom External V92 Serial Modem” works perfectly.
  • A PCMCIA Cardbus modem. A PCMCIA Cardbus modem is effectively an external serial modem. In general, the cheaper the card, the better. For example, the “Sitecom 56Kbps Fax Modem PC Card” works perfectly with Knoppix.
  • An internal ISA modem. Like the external modem, this type of modem needs no special driver to make it work. That is why old ISA modems are useful.

There are two main ways to make a dial-up connection. The recommended way is to use “K Point to Point Protocol” (KPPP). The alternative, in case KPPP doesn't work, is the “Worldvisions Dialer” (WVDial).

Connecting using KPPP

  1. Click the Knoppix menu in the lower left corner.
  2. Point to “Network/Internet”.
  3. Click “Modem Dialer”.
  4. The “KDE Point-To-Point Protocol” (KPPP) program will start.
  5. Click “Setup”.
  6. Click the “Device” tab.
  7. If your modem is plugged into the serial port called “COM1” in Windows, set “Modem device” to /dev/ttyS0. If it is plugged into the port called “COM2” in Windows, select /dev/ttyS1. If you have a PCMCIA Cardbus modem, select /dev/modem. If you have an internal ISA modem, select /dev/ttyS0 first; if that doesn't work, try up to /dev/ttyS3.
  8. Click the “Modem” tab.
  9. Click “Query modem”.
  10. You should see a response from the modem. If not, go back to step 7 and try another modem device setting.
  11. Click the “Accounts” tab.
  12. Click “New”.
  13. Click “Dialog setup”.
  14. In “Connection name” enter a name for the connection e.g. “test”.
  15. Beside “Phone number”, click “Add”.
  16. Enter your Internet Service Provider's dial-up access number. If you don't know, ask your Internet Service Provider. Click OK.
  17. Click OK. This will take you back to the accounts screen.
  18. Click OK again.
  19. Enter your login ID and password. Again, if you don't know what they are, ask your Internet Service Provider.
  20. Click Connect.
  21. You should hear the modem work.
  22. In a few moments, the KPPP window should shrink down to the Taskbar. It should then read “00:00” on the Taskbar. This indicates your time online in hours and minutes. Congratulations, you have connected to the Internet successfully.
  23. To disconnect, click the KPPP button in the Taskbar.
  24. The KPPP window will come back up.
  25. Click Disconnect.
  26. The phone call will be ended.

Quick help


Question: It says “The PPP daemon died unexpectedly!”
Check your username and password.

Question: I know my username and password is correct but it still says “The PPP daemon died unexpectedly”.
Go to /etc/ppp/peers/kppp options.txt and change #noauth to noauth (ie Delete the #).

If that still doesn't help, try another modem.

Question: I tried another modem and I still can't connect.
Sorry, it seems that KPPP doesn't work with all ISPs. Luckily, there is an alternative. The “Worldvisions Dialer” is included with Knoppix. For an example of how to use “wvdial”, see:

Question: Can I use an internal PCI modem?
Not usually. As noted in the “Identifying hardware” section, most internal PCI modem cards need special software not in Knoppix.

Question: I have a PCMCIA combo Ethernet modem card, but the modem function doesn't work.
Sorry, with some combo Ethernet and modem PCMCIA cards, only one part works. Usually the Ethernet works and the modem does not.