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11 January, 2006
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Live Knoppix Is Very Nice Desktop Linux

Cheat Knoppix 4 to Improve Performance

Part 2. Knoppix Performance Improvement Cheats

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.

Mike Angelo -- 11 Janaury 2006 (C) -- Page 3

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Article Index

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

[Part 2. Performance Improvement Cheats]

[Part 3. Advanced Cheating]

  • Chaining Cheats
  • More Knoppix Cheat Codes

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

  • Persistent Knoppix
  • Conclusion

Resources

About the Author

Mike Angelo has written hundreds of published newspaper and magazine computer and technology articles. He has more than 40 years experience using solid-state, digital computers.

Mike has written lots of computer programs in assembly, BASIC, FORTRAN, machine, and several other languages -- on a variety of mainframe and desktop machines. He has designed and built some special purpose computers, and does PC upgrading and building. Mike also creates, designs, and maintains Web sites.

In 1993, Mike Angelo started writing a print newspaper computer column, About Computers. He has written articles for top-tier magazines including Byte, Computer Buyer's Guide & Handbook, DOS World, I-Way, Laptop Buyer's Guide & Handbook, Linux Journal, Maximize, MozillaQuest Magazine, PC Novice, and PC Today.

Despite Mike Angelo's extensive computer experience he has a real life and uses computers as tools. Therefore, he approaches his computer writing from the user's interest and point of view.

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.

  • knoppix toram

(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.)

  • knoppix tohd=/dev/hda1
  • knoppix fromhd=/dev/hda1

(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.

If you want to chat about Linux in general try the #LinuxLounge channel on EFNet IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

irc://irc.efnet.net/#LinuxLounge

<---- Back to Page 2


Article Index

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

[Part 2. Performance Improvement Cheats]

[Part 3. Advanced Cheating]

  • Chaining Cheats
  • More Knoppix Cheat Codes

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

  • Persistent Knoppix
  • Conclusion

Resources

Books

The Linux books listed below will help to show you why Linux-based, GNU operating system is a better operating system than MS Windows. And they describe and help you to use much of the free software that comes with most Linux-based distributions.

Most of the book links listed below lead you to Web pages about the books that also, there, have links to things such as Tables of Contents and sample chapters. The sample chapters are free and well worth reading.

  • Some Interesting Linux Books

Acing the LINUX+ Certification Exam, Patrick Regan, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131121553. $88

Beginning Linux Programming, 3rd Edition, Matthew and Stones, (Foreword by Alan Cox), Wiley. ISBN: 0-7645-4497-7. $40

Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base, Linux Standard Base Team, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-145695-4

Building Clustered Linux Systems, By Robert Lucke, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-144853-6. $50


Expanding Choice: Moving to Linux and Open Source with Novell Open Enterprise Server, Jason Williams/Peter Clegg/Emmett Dulaney, Novell Press, ISBN: 0-672-32722-8. $30


Fedora 4 Linux All in One, By Aron Hsiao, Sams, ISBN: 0672327074. $40.

Fedora 4 Unleashed, By Paul Hudson, Andrew Hudson, Bill Ball, Hoyt Duff, Sams, ISBN: 0672327929. $50.


Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools, By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00787-6. $30


Linux Bible, 2005 Edition, Christopher Negus, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-7949-5. $40

Linux Desktop Garage, By Susan Matteson, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-149419-8. $30

Linux Desktop Pocket Guide, David Brickner, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-10104-X. $10


Linux Desktop Hacks - Tips & Tools for Customizing and Optimizing your OS, By Nicholas Petreley, Jono Bacon, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00911-9. $50

Linux in a Nuthsell, 5th Ed., Siever, Figgins, Weber, Love and Robbisn, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00930-5. $45

Linux Kernel Development, 2nd Ed., Robert Love, Novell Press., ISBN: 0672327201. $45

Linux Network Architecture, By Wehrle, Pahlke, Ritter, Muller, and Bechler, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131777203. $50


Linux Programming by Example: The Fundamentals, Arnold Robbins, , Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN: 0131429647. $40

The Linux Process Manager: The internals of scheduling, interrupts and signals, By John O'Gorman, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-84771-9. $35

Linux Quick Fix Notebook, By Peter Harrison, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131861506. $40

Linux Troubleshooting Bible, Christopher Negus, Thomas Weeks, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-6997-X. $30


Mandrakelinux Discovery 10.1 - Your First Linux Desktop, By Mandrakesoft, Mandrakesoft, ISBN: 2-84798-085-7. $64

Mandrakelinux PowerPack 10.1 - The Full Power of Linux Desktop, By Mandrakesoft, Mandrakesoft, ISBN: 2-84798-086-5. $87


Novell Certified Linux Engineer (Novell CLE) Study Guide, Robb Tracy, Novell Press, ISBN: 0789732033. $60

Novell Linux Desktop 9 User's Handbook, Joe Habraken, Novell Press, ISBN: 0672327295. $35


Official Fedora Companion, Nick Petreley, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-5836-6. $20

Operating Systems, 3rd Edition, Deitel, Deitel, and David, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131828274. $103

Optimizing Linux Performance: A Hands-on Guide to Linux Performance Tools, By Phillip Ezolt, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131486829. $50


Point & Click Linux!, By Robin Miller, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0131488724. $30

Principles of Network and System Administration, 2nd Edition, Mark Burgess, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-86807-4. $50


Running Linux, 4th Ed., Welsh, Dalheimer, Dawson, and Kaufman, O'Reilly, ISBN, 0-596-00272-6. $45

SUSE Linux 9 Bible, Justin Davies, Roger Whittaker, William von Hagen, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-7739-5. $40

Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds, David Brickner, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00754-X. $25

Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition, Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00213-0. $50

Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager, Mel Gorman, Prentice Hall PTR, ISBN: 0131453483. $60


UNIX Shells by Example, 4th Edition, By Ellie Quigley, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 013147572X. $50

Resources


Cheat Knoppix 4 to Improve Performance - Part 1. Cheat Code Basics and the ALSA Cheat Code


Knoppix

Knoppix Information

Cheatcodes And Hints For Knoppix V4.0

Cheatcodes


Kingston Data Traveler Elite

DataTraveler Elite Data Sheet

Kingston DataTraveler Family - USB Flash Drives

Kingston USB Keys (flash drives) from $19 MSRP


Flash memory (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA)


Knoppix Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools, By Kyle Rankin, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00787-6. $30

Sample Hacks

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


  • Linux Chat and Help
  • Related Linux and Open Source Software Articles


Give the Gift of Knoppix Linux and a Book for Less Than $30 -- Knoppix for Dummies

Santa's 2005 Picks for Linux and Windows Computer Gifts


A Glimpse of SUSE Linux 10.0 and Other Things Brewing at Novell

A Glimpse of OpenOffice 2.0 -- Now Available for Free Public Downloading

Is It Deja Deja Novell All Over Again, Again? -- Ximian/GNOME v SUSE/KDE at Novell


Good Sound, Easy Listening, and Good Value Lexar LDP-200 Digital Music Player and SD Card Reader for Linux, Mac, and Windows


The Many Faces of Linux


In Pursuit of Good Desktop Linux:


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MandrakeSoft Adds MandrakeClustering to Its Business and Enterprise Products Lineup

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HP to Ship Desktop PCs with Mandrake 9.1 Linux Pre-Installed - Good News for Mandrake Linux and Fans


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Mandrake Linux Shows Profit -- End to Bankruptcy Near


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