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19 January, 2006
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Live Knoppix Is Very Nice Desktop Linux

Cheat Knoppix 4 to Improve Performance

Part 4. Computer on a Disc and a USB Key

. . . The Knoppix live CD and live DVD are pretty much load and go operations. If a person can turn on a personal computer and drop a disc into the CD drive, that person can run and use Live Knoppix Linux . . .

Mike Angelo -- 19 January 2006 (C) -- Page 1

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Editor's Note: This article is entirely too long. So, we broke it down into a four-part series. Each of the four parts seems somewhat independent of the other parts. However, the knowledge and skills you pick up in each part are necessary for all, but the advanced reader, to fully understand the other parts.

You might be able to jump into a specific part and understand it completely. If not, you can start at the beginning of the series and read through to the end -- your choice.

Please check the Article Index below to see how the parts are laid out and what is covered in each part. Links will be activated as each part is published. Ed.

Article Index

[Part 1. Cheat Code Basics and the ALSA Cheat Code]

[Part 2. Performance Improvement Cheats]

[Part 3. Advanced Cheating]

[Part 4. Computer on a Disc and a USB Key]

Resources

Knoppix Hacks Note:

Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools (By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, 2004) is recommended several times in this article. It's a good book. However, there are lots of holes (missing information) in it too. In some cases the information that seems to be missing is in another section. And sometimes it is not in the book at all.

For the most part if you are an experienced Linux user and have some familiarity with the Linux command line, you will realize where there is missing information and be able to fill in the holes from your knowledge of Linux, or at least realize you need to look for the missing information.

If you are not a very experienced Linux user or not familiar with the Linux command line, you should read Knoppix Hacks from the beginning rather than jump into a Hack. That way, you will come across information that you need for later Hacks in the book that is missing in the later Hacks.

Today, in Part 4 of our Knoppix cheats article, 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 and it is very handy too.

The Persistent Knoppix trick itself is not a Knoppix cheat. You do the trick using menued procedures, which become available to you after Knoppix is booted and you have the KDE desktop running.

However, we are going to put the Persistent Knoppix image on the same USB key that we put the live Knoppix CD that we used for the performance cheats in Part 2. When we boot our Persistent Knoppix, we are going to use the cheat from Part 1 to force Knoppix to use the ALSA drivers. Moreover, we are going to chain the ALSA cheat and the performance cheat at the same boot: prompt as we learned to do in Part 3.

Thus, today's tutorial builds on what you learned in Part 1. Cheat Code Basics and the ALSA Cheat Code, in Part 2. Performance Improvement Cheats, and in Part 3. Advanced Cheating. If you already have not done so, please read these previous parts of this article series. Doing so will get you up to speed on the basics of using Knoppix cheat codes. And it will prepare you for using today's neat Persistent Knoppix trick.

Persistent Knoppix

A large capacity USB Key was chosen for the performance cheat so that you can use the Knoppix live CD on several different computers -- and have the same configuration and data files on whatever computer is being used with the Knoppix live CD.

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. And it is pretty darn fast, too.

There are several ways to have the same configuration and data files on whatever computer is being used with the Knoppix live CD. However, all but one way are not part of today's tutorial. Some such ways are discussed in Hacks #21, #22, and #23 in Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools (By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, 2004).

However, the discussion there is somewhat complicated, stuffy, and geared more towards heady geeks. Nevertheless, you really ought to read those Hacks in order to better understand how this persistent Knoppix stuff works -- and for lots more options too.

Or, here is a simple, nuts and bolts way to setup a persistent Knoppix. Simply click on the K Menu icon on the task bar and then KNOPPIX > Configure > Create a persistent KNOPPIX disk image. And then follow the prompts.

When prompted to select a partition, select the USB key. As mentioned in Part 2 in the How the USB Key Performance Cheat Works section, that likely will show up as either /dev/sda1 or /dev/uba.

If you do not know already what Knoppix is calling your USB key, please read the How the USB Key Performance Cheat Works section in Part 2 to learn how to find out what Knoppix is calling your USB key.

You have a choice to encrypt your persistent Knoppix. For the sake of simplicity forget the encryption.

Actually, using the encryption is a good idea. But, doing the encrypted persistent Knoppix is beyond the scope of today's tutorial, which is too darn long already. (In other words, we haven't played with an encrypted persistent Knoppix yet -- and do not intend to either.)

You should make your persistent Knoppix file size (knoppix.img in Figure 1, below) at least 256-MB. You might be able to get away with a smaller persistent Knoppix file size. We recommend going larger than 256-MB if you have the space on your USB key to do that.

A nice thing about the 4-GB Kingston DataTraveler Elite Flash drive (USB key) is that it provides plenty of room. It provided enough room for a 1-GB persistent Knoppix file (knoppix.img) with 3-GB of space for other stuff too.

Figure 1. KDE Konqueror File Manager view of how the 4-GB USB Flash drive used for this article is laid out. The persistent Knoppix file is knoppix.img.

After you have created a persistent Knoppix image on your USB key, boot the computer with both the Knoppix live CD or DVD and the USB key plugged in. During the startup process a Knoppix Configuration dialog box will pop up. Please see Figure 2, on Page 2.

  • See How to Boot Persistent Knoppix on Page 2 ----->
  • Article Index

    [Part 1. Cheat Code Basics and the ALSA Cheat Code]

    [Part 2. Performance Improvement Cheats]

    [Part 3. Advanced Cheating]

    [Part 4. Computer on a Disc and a USB Key]

    Resources

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