Knoppix 9.1 using Busybox Init!

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  • This topic has 12 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated Mar 6-10:29 am by PDP-8.
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  • #55344
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    PDP-8

    So the public release of Knoppix 9.1 is on the mirrors now. I found it interesting that Klaus is now using Busybox init.

    Earlier releases saw Knoppix go through the normal SysV init, to Systemd for a few years, then with 8.6 back to SysV, and now with the 9.x series, Busybox init. I guess it must be easier to maintain for his needs.

    Knoppix is well known as the swiss-army knife, so I won’t go into any major review here.

    A few standard things to keep in mind:
    1) Being larger than 4gb, if you download it, it needs to be on a filesystem that can handle files larger than 4gb! If you do fat32, you’ll truncate it. 🙂

    2) Being a mix of Debian stable, testing, and experimental, to try and boot on the widest majority of machines – along with boot cheatcodes if necessary – means that if you try and do wholesale update/upgrades of the entire system, you are likely to bork it and you get to keep all the pieces.

    The norm is to make small-scale upgrades/additions if necessary. More of a handy tool, rather than a rolling-release distro.

    A new addition to the remastering utility is to make a much smaller version lacking things like Libre-Office and other things if you want a small(er) environment than normal.

    I’m glad Klaus is still doing interesting things with it, like trying the busybox init with the latest. To be sure – this is NOT a comparison with AntiX – that’s apples and oranges.

    #55347
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    andyprough
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    :D

    How interesting! I’m going to have to give it a spin. Of course, Knoppix was the go-to live environment 15 years ago, but I haven’t had much reason to look at it recently. This should be interesting, thanks!

    #55358
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    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    @PDP-8: Thanks for letting us know that a newer version of KNOPPIX is available.

    In the past I always kept a copy of it and I do have a V8.* version but I think that it’s 8.5, hardly recent.

    I’ve been able to use either antiX or MX Linux USB images in recent years to accomplish whatever I need but I do like to see what KNOPPIX offers; it always seems to be something worthwhile, even though it’s no longer a mandatory tool.

    I’ve repaired and/or replaced old software for people using nothing more than a USB to access and clean up messed up systems.

    I inquire to find out what the person actually uses. If they don’t need an office suite then something like antiX works great, especially if I set it up with the Web pages they actually use and quick access to anything else they need.

    Frankly even routine office suite software can be replaced by either Libre Office, Open Office, or Google Docs , Drive, etc. It all depends on what people are willing to use.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.

    Brian Masinick

    #55371
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    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    I found a USB stick from OS Disc that had KNOPPIX 8.2 on it, so I cleared it and downloaded KNOPPIX 9.1. I was very disappointed with the performance, so I was wondering if these little sticks were that much slower so I booted one with SCPup and another with antiX 17.4, both also from OSDisc, both rewritten with a subsequent image.
    antiX 17.4 worked just fine; either I got an image from KNOPPIX that has some errors or the disk has errors, or the latest release has problems.

    Either way, both the Puppy and antiX USB sticks from the same manufacturer (Kingston) and the same model, while not the fastest, newest media, perform adequately from USB.

    I’ll have to try it again with different media and a different download to see if either the media or the download were defective.

    Brian Masinick

    #55386
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    PDP-8
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    :D

    Re: performance if you are booting from flash:

    If you download and burn the release iso to flash yourself, and use it live, remember that you are basically running an iso-hybrid using the CD/DVD iso9660 format (optimized for physical media) on the stick.

    What I normally do is use the “Flash-Knoppix” utility to create *another* master, because this time it lays down a system on flash/usb that may perform better in this instance since it is not using the iso9660 format anymore. So I’ll use the downloaded iso to burn physical dvd’s, but for flash, I boot and then use the flash-util as my working “master” for usb sticks where I have made no changes.

    Typically I’ll just use flash-knoppix to burn something with changes i’ve made, or simply do the “read only like a cd” – yet it’s no longer iso9660 when using that utility.

    I *did* notice a difference on some machines that balked at booting, or booted weirdly/slowly, but once I used the authors flash-knoppix util to create *another* stick, things definitely perked up!

    It makes me wonder how many problems have arisen due to not knowing if the user was using the downloaded release iso as the sole live system, OR actually used the distro’s own on-oard utility to burn a stick with? Ie, maybe there are things where helpful users are simply not on the same page if frustrations/differences that shouldn’t be there set in when one is running a usb stick that looks like an iso-hybrid iso9660 CD rather than a stick flashed and partitioned with ext filesystems (or in this case Reiserfs) etc etc.

    Anyway, the usual caveats apply too if things are running dog-slow on old hardware: Use the cheat codes “no-xxxx” and see if things improve. (see the latest cheatcode text file)

    Some favorites are removing compositing
    nocomposite
    maybe even
    no3d

    All the way to using Xvesa instead of Xorg, that kind of thing.

    Once one finds the magic no-xxx combos for a particular piece of hardware, remaster it again with flash-knoppix as a master for that old 256mb heirloom in the closet. Or obviously quicker – AntiX !

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by PDP-8.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by PDP-8.
    #55389
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    PDP-8
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    :D

    Pointing out a painful “gotcha”, not trying to turn this into a Knoppix support forum!

    If you do use the flash-knoppix utility to burn a proper stick, be aware that after you’ve made choices and it goes to work, the utility window may go away like it crashed!

    NOT So! Let it do it’s thing and *eventually* a window will show up showing success. If you freak out and pull the target stick early – well, no knoppix for you! 🙂

    A remaster is simple HUGE and on slow sticks, or those without activity lights, you might be tempted to pull the stick early – especially if the utility window goes away.

    Grab some cofee, mow the lawn, whatever – eventually it will come back. 🙂

    #55391
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    olsztyn
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    :D

    Typically I’ll just use flash-knoppix to burn something with changes i’ve made,

    Does this mean the same function as Remaster or Live USB Maker from the Knoppix running system, carrying changes and customizations?

    #55392
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    I can try flash-knoppix next time.

    Like Live USB Maker for antiX, perhaps that is the appropriate tool for the 4.4 GB KNOPPIX image.

    Live USB Maker or dd work fine for antiX, with LUM appropriate for a read/write updatable media and dd for read-only media.

    I get it; I simply find it a surprise that the performance difference is so significant since the other USB images I have on cheap media are fine, not as fast as the best USB 3 media but certainly acceptable. This is a strong point of antiX and in fact when I first started using antiX I would often run live from Cd-rom; these days I generally use pocket sized USB devices, especially if traveling.

    Thanks again for the update.

    Brian Masinick

    #55397
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    skidoo
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    :D

    turn this into a Knoppix support forum

    Sure, go ahead and step up to the task. Its other English-language support avenues do not seem to be viable.
    https://lists.debian.org/debian-knoppix/
    http://knoppix.net/forum/
    https://old.reddit.com/r/knoppix/new/

    I simply find it a surprise that the performance difference is so significant since the other USB images I have on cheap media are fine, not as fast as the best USB 3 media but certainly acceptable.

    misterdocktor Klaus is still embracing use of cloop in Knoppix

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloop#Limitations

    The design of the cloop driver requires that compressed blocks be read whole from disk. This makes cloop access inherently slower when there are many scattered reads, which can happen if the system is low on memory or when a large program with many shared libraries is starting. A big issue is the seek time for CD-ROM drives (~80 ms), which exceeds that of hard disks (~10 ms) by a large factor.

    #55407
    Moderator
    Brian Masinick
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    :D

    Unless flash-knoppix overcomes the cloop constraint that skidoo explained, I’m not putting much more time or thought into KNOPPIX; antiX runs so much better and the many tools provided in KNOPPIX really don’t interest me much any more. I did used to like the “Initiating Startup Sequence” voice, but that’s a cute touch that I can live without; if I decide to use KNOPPIX, I’ll use an old DVD.

    Brian Masinick

    #55412
    Moderator
    BobC
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    :D

    It has lots of nice things, so its good for things like games. I wonder where the source is?

    #55421
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    skidoo
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    :D

    I wonder where the source is?

    Wait for someone else to confirm (via pasted content of /etc/apt/sources(.d)list found on a Knoppix system) but I do not recall Knoppix having its own package repository. If all packages are provided from debian repositories, and all the custom “glue” is scripted (bash, python, noncompiled)… then arguably “the code is (already) the source”.

    #55426
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    PDP-8
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    :D

    @olzstyn
    Sorry about my breathy prose. 🙂 I tend to ramble…

    What I did was DD (from AntiX in fact) the 9.1 release iso. Sure it booted ok, but I thought it better to burn another stick using the flash-knoppix tool as my primary master to build upon – since instead of being a iso9660 clone on a stick, the flash tool now using non-cd type filesystem when it created the new one. Make any changes you want and remaster, or don’t make any at all – in my case where I simply wanted to have a read-only master using reiserfs et al rather than iso9660.

    I’m probably confusing things here, heh.

    And for sure, Knoppix is a whole different animal than Antix! Apples and Oranges, so I use both for different use cases, and not replacements. I learn things from other distros and bring those learnings to each – for instance had I not had TinyCore experience prior to AntiX, I’d have been *totally* lost when it came to deciphering the multiple homefs and rootfs options! When I saw how AntiX handled it, I was absolutely blown away!

    Did you know this:
    So Klaus absolutely can’t stand a laptop trackpad getting in the way of typing, and frequently one find that “tapping” doesn’t work at all! Here’s how to fix:

    In a terminal:

    synclient TapButton1=1
    synclient VertEdgeScroll=1
    synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1

    If you want to make that permanent (provided you are running with persistence) add those lines you need to

    /etc/X11/Xsession.d/45knoppix

    Just having fun with it..

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by PDP-8.
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