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 3
Let's Do the Performance Cheat
Now let's do the actual cheat. First, turn your computer off if you already have not done so. Then insert the USB key into one of the USB connections on your computer. Make sure you have at least 1-GB of free storage space on the USB key. (You likely can get away with only 700-MB of free space. The one-gigabyte recommended here is very conservative.)
Also you already should have placed the Knoppix, live-Linux CD in the CD drive on your computer. Now hit the computer's on button or switch.
When Knoppix is booted from its live CD, a splash screen appears with the standard, Linux, boot-parameters prompt, boot:. This is where you have the opportunity to insert the performance cheat instructions. At the boot: prompt, first tell Knoppix to use its default Linux kernel by typing knoppix at the boot: prompt.
Please remember that normally, you would not type anything at the splash screen and boot prompt -- other than hitting enter in order to continue the boot process. You only insert boot-prompt parameters if you want to deviate from the default boot parameters. Here we insert boot parameters because we want Knoppix to use the USB Key rather than the CD for the Knoppix image and files.
The cheat code to force Knoppix to copy its live CD image and files to the USB key is tohd=/dev/sda1. So type a space and then tohd=/dev/sda1 following the kernel choice, knoppix, which you already typed in.
Remember that we determined that /dev/sda1 is the identifier Knoppix uses for the USB key to which we want to copy the Knoppix, live-CD image and files. Use whatever you have determined is the identifier Knoppix uses for your USB key.
Now, your boot-parameters string should be knoppix tohd=/dev/sda1. This command string tells the Knoppix boot loader and startup process to use the default, Knoppix, Linux kernel and to copy the Knoppix live-CD image and files to the USB key.
This will take some time to do. But it only takes time once.
After this first cheat, Knoppix will load itself from the USB key rather than the live CD after the boot-prompt splash-screen. And that means Knoppix will load much faster than if it were loading from the CD drive.
The second cheat, fromhd=/dev/sda1, let's you use that USB key when booting Knoppix and when running the Knoppix live Linux CD. By now you likely have the drill down pat, but just in case - - -
When the Knoppix splash screen appears with the standard, Linux, boot-parameters prompt, boot:, first tell Knoppix to use its default Linux kernel by typing knoppix at the boot: prompt.
The cheat code to force Knoppix to read its live CD image and files from the USB key is fromhd=/dev/sda1. So type a space and then fromhd=/dev/sda1 following the kernel choice, knoppix, which you already typed in. Then hit the enter key.
This time when Knoppix continues on in the boot and startup process you will not see the CD-drive light going on and off. It will stay off. That's because Knoppix is reading its files from the USB key rather than from the live CD.
Moreover, once Knoppix is up and running you no longer will see the CD-drive light go on when you start an application. That's because this performance cheat has directed Knoppix to grab the application files from the USB key instead of the CD.
Please keep in mind that even though you have copied the Knoppix live CD image to the USB key, you still need the bootable Knoppix live CD to bootstrap the system to the boot-prompt splash-screen. That's because Knoppix does not know you have placed its image on the USB Flash drive (USB key) until you type-in the fromhd=/dev/sda1 cheat code at the boot prompt,
The performance cheats that let you use RAM or a hard drive for the Knoppix live CD image are listed below. However, they are not further discussed in today's article. They are listed here just for your information.
(There is no fromram cheat. There is only a toram cheat. That's because RAM is volatile memory and you have to push the Knoppix live CD image to RAM every time you run the Knoppix live CD. Thus at boot time, there is no Knoppix live CD image in RAM, yet.)
(The tohd and fromhd cheats work pretty much as the USB key cheats work, except they use the hard drive rather than a USB key.)
Look for Part 3. Advanced Cheating and Part 4. Computer on a Disc and a USB Key, coming soon. You will learn about more Knoppix cheat codes and how to chain several cheat codes together in Part 3. And then in Part 4, you will learn how to put together all the stuff you learned in Parts 1 through 3 to make a very portable Live Knoppix setup. It's really very slick.
We discuss Live Knoppix more fully in our articles Give the Gift of Knoppix Linux and a Book for Less Than $30 -- Knoppix for Dummies. and Santa's 2005 Picks for Linux and Windows Computer Gifts.
If you want to chat about Linux in general try the #LinuxLounge channel on EFNet IRC (Internet Relay Chat).
Flash memory (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools, By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00787-6. $30
Linux Multimedia Hacks (By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, 2005)
Other Knopppix, Debian, and Live CD/DVD Books
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible, B. Harris and Jaldhar Vyas, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-7644-5. $40.
The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques, Martin F. Krafft, ISBN 1-593270-69-0. $44.95
Knoppix For Dummies, Paul G. Sery, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-9779-5. $29.99
Point & Click Linux!, By Robin Miller, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131488724. $30
Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds, David Brickner, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00754-X. $25
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