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Re: [News] Knoppix 6.0 Works Well on Sub-notebooks

Roy Schestowitz wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Knoppix 6.0: Perfect Distro (also for Netbooks)
> ,----[ Quote ]
> | Knoppix has always been regarded as one of the most versatile Linux
> | distros out there, but the latest version of the venerable Live CD Linux
> | distribution has got yet another trick up its sleeve. Thanks to its
> | excellent hardware detection, blazingly fast boot process, and the
> | lightweight LXDE desktop environment, Knoppix 6.0 makes a perfect distro
> | for netbooks. In fact, it supports all hardware on ASUS Eee PC 701 and
> | 900 as well as Acer Aspire One right out of the box, including the
> | wireless card. That's right, you don't have to fiddle with ndiswrapper
> | or install a custom kernel in order to make your wireless card work.
> | Knoppix 6.0 also detects the graphics card correctly, chooses the proper
> | screen resolution, and enables Compiz Fusion 3D desktop effects. Even
> | with 3D desktop effects enabled, the system feels very snappy.
> | 
> | [...]
> | 
> | All in all, even though the latest version of Knoppix isn't designed
> | specifically for netbooks, its netbook hardware support is excellent and
> | the system runs smoothly even on the original ASUS Eee PC 701. The
> | distro comes with key applications which can help you to stay productive
> | when you are out and about. So if you are looking for a replacement for
> | the distro that comes with your netbook, or you want to try something
> | different, Knoppix 6.0 is definitely worth a closer look.
> `----
> http://www.linux-magazine.com/online/blogs

I agree.

I got Knoppix 6. booting off an SD card (how to convert
ISO file to SD Card/USB thumb drive details below).
Then I created a persistent home folder using one of knoppix
menu options.
Then I went into knoppix graphical and noticed compiz
was enabled and working on the EEE.
So I went about upping the screens to 8 virtual screens
had to turn off gears for speed. Made the cube desktop transparent
(as decribed in sections further below for Ubuntu).
And then it all just works 100%. A fast graphical
3D translucent rotating cube desktop with speech enabled.
And it boots off the SD card and retains its 3D desktop settings
because of the persistent home feature.

Because the EEE can boot off SD Cards and it doesn't have an
optical drive, I'm buying 2Gb SD cards in packs of 10 !!
They are lighter than CDs, more compact and robust and about the same price
as CDs a few years back.

Converting distros to boot from SD Cards and USB flash drives

Got me self an EEE but the EEE has no optical drives (no CDROMs).
So I'm having to convert every install CD or liveCD into a
bootable SD card or USB flash drive to boot on the EEE.

Without being able to convert a distro into a bootable USB flash /SD Card,
that distro can't be easily loaded into netbook like EEE
and stand to miss out on users installing it into netbooks.

So I would recommend all distro mainters look at their netbook
boot strategy and offer something to boot their distros
from USB flash and SD cards or miss out on users installing it into

Having done a few conversions, a pattern emerges that works well for 
most syslinux / isolinux based distros.

1. Put your SD card or USB flash drive into your desktop Linux PC and
   then open a console and type dmesg
   You should see some line indicating your flash drive as
   being picked up and allocated with a comment like sdc / sdc1 etc..
   Remember both names - the first is /dev/sdc which is your
   device name, and the second is /dev/sdc1 which is your partition name.
   (Don't get confused between drive /dev/sdc and partition /dev/sdc1
   or your drive could become scrambled eggs later on. Also remember
   it may be called sdg or sdh etc depending what you see when you
   plug in device and type dmesg)

2. Install gparted on your machine using synaptic.
   To run it you can type
     sudo gparted
   in a console window and select on the right side the drive name allocated
   in step 1. Right click on the bar that represents the partition
   and click on manage flags.
   Enable the boot flag and click OK. This makes the SD Card / USB
   stick bootable.

3. Identify that you have syslinux or isolinux in your liveCD by
   opening the .ISO file in archive manager and checking that it has
   isolinux or syslinux directory somewhere in the liveCD.

4. Extract all the files in the .ISO file to the
   root directory of the SD card or USB flash stick.

5. Go to the flash drive and locate the syslinux (or isolinux) directory.
   Copy its entire content to the root directory of the flash drive.
6. If you have a syslinux.cfg file in the root directory of the
   flash drive, then you are OK for step 6.
   Otherwise if you have a isolinux.cfg file, then rename it to syslinux.cfg

7. Get syslinux - this is a boot loader and menu system for FAT based
   file systems. Download the latest version from here...
   Unzip it and go to the linux directory.
   Run the program there by typing this - (note this command is updating
   the partition /dev/sdc1)

   ./syslinux -s /dev/sdc1 

   This puts a new file into your SD card / USB flash disk

8. from the linux directory change to the mbr directory
   cd ../mbr
   and then run this - again note this time its updating the device by
   writing data to the first sector as opposed to the first partition.

   sudo cat mbr.bin > /dev/sdc

   This makes the card bootable and useable in an Asus EEE and many other
   PCs with SD card or USB flash disk boot facility.

A. You can skip steps 2 and 8 if you don't format your card again
   when you want to try out another distro.
B. Step 5 is messy but quick. You can figure out and copy just
   the files needed.
C. In step 6, editing the syslinux.cfg files can allow you to put
   more than 1 distro on the flash drive. But beware, many distros
   use default paths and names that can conflict.

This method tested and works for

1. Ubuntu
2. Slax
3. Knoppix
4. Puppy
5. DSL
6. GParted
7. gOS
8. Dynabolic

Does not work for DVD distros with files greater than 2Gb size inside
the .ISO file -  - need a different install method using grub bootloader
instead of syslinux (not covered here)

Does not work for .ISO files built with grub bootloader - need a different
install method with grub boot loader instead of syslinux.

The latest EEE1000 has fast enough graphics for translucent
3D desktops.

An easy way to do all this:

Install Ubuntu on EEE (compiz itself
appears to be installed by default in the default install),
then install compiz settings manager using Synaptic
which allows compiz to be fully 'exercised'.
And then do the following to get the 3D cube desktop

 Go to General > Display Settings > Lighting and turned it off
 Enable Desktop Cube and then Desktop Cube > Transparent Cube and set the
 two opacity  settings to 30%
 then Desktop Cube > Skydome and check the skydome check mark
 Enable Rotate Cube
 Enable Enhanced Zoom Desktop
 Right click the virtual workspaces panel and increase the number
 of colums to 8.

And hey presto - 100% 3D translucent desktop with 8 screens!!!!!!!!!!

 [Some shortcuts for the 3D screen
  ctrl + alt + left or right arrow to spin cube
  ctrl + alt + down arrow and then left or right arrow for a ring switcher
  super + E for yet another switcher
  super + mouse wheel scroll to zoom in and out of the 3D desktop.


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