Live Knoppix Is Very Nice Desktop Linux
Cheat Knoppix 4 to Improve Performance
Part 2. Knoppix Performance Improvement Cheats
Mike Angelo -- 11 Janaury 2006 (C) -- Page 2
Selecting a USB Key for a Performance Cheat
You likely should have a USB key with at least a 2-GB capacity for this performance cheat. Putting the live CD image on the USB key takes about 700 megabytes.
Additionally, we recommend using the Persistent Knoppix option. That lets you keep all your configuration information, previous session information, and data files in non-volatile memory. It takes about 500-MB to 1-GB of non-volatile memory to do that comfortably. (The Flash memory in a USB key is non-volatile memory.)
Adding the live CD image space (700-MB) to the Persistent Knoppix space (500-MB to1-GB) takes about 1.2-GB to 1.7-GB. Thus, you should use at least a 2-GB USB key to accommodate both the live CD image and the persistent Knoppix files.
We chose the 4-GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite USB Flash drive (USB key) because it provides the 1.2-GB to 1.7-GB for the CD image and the Persistent Knoppix file -- plus it provides an additional 2.3-GB to 2.8-GB of storage capacity for data files, music files, video clips, game files, and so forth.
Figure 3, below, shows how the 4-GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite USB Flash drive (USB key) used for this article is laid out. The live CD image is in the folder labeled Knoppix and contains 691.5 megabytes of data. The Persistent Knoppix data is contained in the 1-GB Knoppix.img file. Thus, in this configuration the data essential for both having the Persistent Knoppix files and the live CD files on the USB key takes about 1.7-GB of the 4-GB USB key. That leaves about 2.3 gigabytes of space on the USB key for other stuff.
Most of that remaining USB key space in our Knoppix test installation is used for 1.9 gigabytes of music files. Adding the 1.9 gigabytes for music to the 1.7 gigabytes for the live CD image and the Persistent Knoppix information takes about 3.6-GB on the 4-GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite USB Flash drive.
That leaves about 400 megabytes of space on the USB key for lots of other stuff -- if you use a 4-GB USB key. Now you can see why we suggest using a 4-GB USB key. With the 4-GB USB key, you have a truly portable Knoppix live CD setup with lots of room for the stuff you use -- data files, music files, video clips, game files, and so forth.
You can use lesser capacity USB Flash drives (USB keys). But lesser capacity USB keys limit what you can do. For example with a 256-MB USB key you can have a limited capacity Persistent Knoppix -- but that is about it. You might be able to squeeze the live CD image and a limited capacity Persistent Knoppix onto a 1-GB USB key, but just that is going to be tight.
A 256-MB USB key runs around $25 and a 1-GB USB key is around $100 or less -- depending on the model you get and where you get it. Thus, you could have a persistent Knoppix and live CD image setup on a USB key for around $100. However, that would be cramped.
If you want to move up to a roomier persistent Knoppix and live CD image setup you could use a 2-GB USB key. The cost there is in the $200 ballpark or less -- depending on the model you get and where you get it. If you want more space for the stuff you use -- data files, music files, video clips, game files, and so forth, you could lay out a 2-GB USB key with only a 500-MB persistent Knoppix. That way the live CD image and persistent knoppix would take only about 1.2-GB of the 2-GB USB key capacity -- leaving you about 800-MB for the stuff you use files.
We recommend the 4-GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite USB Flash drive. The price for it runs from about $300 to $400 depending on the vendor. You just cannot beat the luxury of enough USB key capacity to have the 700-MB for the performance cheat plus 1-GB for the persistent Knoppix files, and still have 2.3-GB left for all that stuff you use -- data files, music files, video clips, game files, and so forth.
How the USB Key Performance Cheat Works
Actually, the USB Key performance cheat takes two cheats. The first cheat copies the Knoppix live CD image to the USB key. You only use this cheat once. Here is how to do the first performance cheat.
If you do not know already what Knoppix is calling your USB key, you have to insert the USB key into your computer and boot the computer with the Knoppix live CD in the CD drive. Once the boot process is completed, open the Partitions panel of the KDE Information Center (click the K Menu icon on the task bar, then System > Kinfo Center > Partitions.) Please see Figure 4.
Your USB key most likely will show up in the Partitions panel as sda1 or uba preceded by /dev/. In Figure 4, it shows up as sda1 preceded by /dev/. If you have two USB keys attached to your computer then the one you are using for this performance cheat might show up as sda1, sda2, uba, or ubb preceded by /dev/.
Don't let partition labels such as /dev/sda1 mystify you. The dev stands for device as in input and/or output (I/O) device. And the sda1 stands for SCSI drive a partition 1. Likewise, the hda3 in dev/hda3, for example, stands for hard drive a partition 3. (Linux sometimes sees a removable USB drive such as the DataTraveler Elite USB flash drive as a SCSI drive.)
There are several clues that help you to locate which device in the Partitions panel is the USB key to which you want to copy the live Linux CD files. Most USB keys come formatted for Microsoft Windows using the FAT32 file system. So, unless you have changed the formatting of your USB key, it still is formatted for the MS Windows, FAT32, file system, which is identified in Linux as vfat. Please notice in Figure 4 that the USB key, sda1 is tagged with the vfat FS Type.
There are other entries on the Partitions panel that also are tagged as vfat. However, they are hard-drive partitions. You can tell that because they have an h in their device identifiers such as /dev/hda1.
Another clue to identifying your USB key is in the Total Size column. In Figure 4 please notice that the size of the /dev/sda1 entry, the USB key, is 4,000 MB (or 4 GB), which is the total size of the 4-GB USB key used in this tutorial.
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