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Thread: Re-mastering Proof-of-Principle Effort

  1. #11
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    May be a very useful idea

    Yes, with the present DVD image size, in order to stick to the 4GB limit for cloop KNOPPIX, we have to remove programs to make room for substantial additions. (In my case, R, VMware Workstation and Oracle XE are the most important ones.) Instead of doing this, which is getting harder and harder to achieve while still keeping functionality intact, using the ability to chain cloop files can be very useful. I think that the main reason it has not been exploited more, is that it is kind of "third level" extension: First, the persistent store caters for most needs, second, creating a new primary cloop image suffices for most of the rest. I'm rather doubtful as to the usefulness of implementing version upgrades this way. Even within one release, it quickly becomes an hassle to keep it upgraded, and I guess this will be even worse across versions.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capricorny View Post
    Yes, with the present DVD image size, in order to stick to the 4GB limit for cloop KNOPPIX, we have to remove programs to make room for substantial additions. (In my case, R, VMware Workstation and Oracle XE are the most important ones.) Instead of doing this, which is getting harder and harder to achieve while still keeping functionality intact, using the ability to chain cloop files can be very useful. I think that the main reason it has not been exploited more, is that it is kind of "third level" extension: First, the persistent store caters for most needs, second, creating a new primary cloop image suffices for most of the rest. I'm rather doubtful as to the usefulness of implementing version upgrades this way. Even within one release, it quickly becomes an hassle to keep it upgraded, and I guess this will be even worse across versions.
    I would not refute that DVD 4GB limit is the core essense here, but
    1. How many users/percentage who have downloaded, say 6.7 and regularly use it from DVD? Or is DVD version become more a storage/distribution media?
    2. What percentage of users would want to have distributable version of cloop file for VMware Workstation and Oracle XE (I mean if it free from license hassles)? I would!!
    3. Would I be downloading updatedable cloop for 6.7 even if its 1GB in size, rather than 4 GB DVD?

    If one uses Knoppix on several systems (USB), he would likely use an update method.
    I am more keen on various addon cloop modules that can be build apart from regular DVD.

  3. #13
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    My current two cents worth:

    .
    I use a 2 Gb Knoppix 6.7.1 LiveUSB as my mainstay OS.
    I am not a programmer, but a frequent user.
    My uses include internet browsing, e-mail and maintenance of some
    personally useful spreadsheets with on-line information.

    The CD size of Knoppix with its overlay process suits me very well,
    with one exception: that is, when it comes to upgrading some its
    larger elements like LibreOfffice or IceWeasel. Re-mastering is the
    only really effective way I see to maintain a small end-product. However,
    for my particular end uses, re-mastering requires too much additional
    resource outlay, and frankly, getting it done exceeds
    my short attention span.

    I've tried several virtual system aproaches, and am not really
    comfortable with any I've tried.

    I expect I might be able to pull together an 'in situ' menu-item re-
    mastering from available on-line material, but it would require most
    of a 16 Gb usb. That would seem to be an absurdly wasteful
    use of resources IMO.

    Some other distros are going to minimalist base distributions as one
    way of getting around my sort of problem. More frequent Knoppix upgrades
    would also suffice, but KK has a day job and a family. I suppose he
    might delegate some of his distro maintenance tasks if someone
    competent were to propose something appropriate.

  4. #14
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    Remastering: Can it be made easy?

    1. I think remastering can be made easy "enough", I will post an updated version of the remastering script used here as soon as I have tested and honed it a little more, and checked it for CD version use. I made a complete remastering of 6.7.1 DVD in about 70 minutes with it (running that cloop now), but slow file copying took a lot of the time.

    2. Remastering may be the simplest way to contribute to Knoppix development, and creating and posting ISOs may be useful for that purpose. Wrt bandwidth use, posting scripts may, however, be vastly more effective But I would definitely download a pure 64-bits remastering of 6.7.1 instead of creating one myself. (My 64-bits version of Knoppix is 6.4.4-based and therefore "obsolete"..) Creating further cloops might also be a solution, a cloop with ca 2GB programs would be about CD image size.

    3.
    I expect I might be able to pull together an 'in situ' menu-item re-
    mastering from available on-line material, but it would require most
    of a 16 Gb usb. That would seem to be an absurdly wasteful
    use of resources IMO.
    In principle of course yes - but a 16GB USB3 stick costs me about $40, so these resources can hardly be called very expensive. I also see no reason for using an USB stick for remastering if HD real estate is available, USB or otherwise. The space requirement is only for temporary use, and I use a 20 GB loopfile for full DVD remastering. With 64-bits systems and more RAM, ramdisks may also be used for this - I have 16 GB system RAM in the machine I'm posting from, more than enough for CD remastering to ramdisk.

  5. #15
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    @ Capricorny

    I'm looking forward to whatever you might show us. I'm sure we will
    learn something useful.

    Also, I've seen a few 16 Gb USBs for sale in the $25 range recently.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by utu View Post
    Also, I've seen a few 16 Gb USBs for sale in the $25 range recently.
    Sure - but what are the specs? 80/40 MB/s r/w should be enough to resemble HD performance. And slower sticks do feel slower. And what are the actual speeds obtained? I have just learned that even though a USB3 stick and HD have comparable specifications, the HD was very usable for running things like virtual machines from, but the "random access" stick was not at all. So, SSD disks or ordinary HDs seem like better choices to me. But for ordinary program running, a USB3 stick feels just fine.

  7. #17
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    The $25 units are supposed to be 15 MB/s.
    16000/(15*60)=17.78 minutes.
    And I don't have USB3.
    So?
    I don't expect to re-master often, so 17.78 minutes is no problem.
    Last edited by utu; 01-10-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  8. #18
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    Fast USB3 sticks tend to also run very well with USB2. With your assumptions, USB remastering of CD seems quite OK, maybe even of DVD. I think I will try out this myself too - the high number of files to copy could in fact reduce the time difference between stick and HD.

  9. #19
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    I've just ordered a Transcend 16 GB SDHC Class 10 Flash Memory Card.

    I have in mind the following experiment:

    Use Werner's latest re-mastering idea 'Recombine flash disk Installation with persistent memory',
    with the following adaptations:.

    1. Use an existing 2 Gb Card with Knoppix 6.7.1 and its own well-developed persistent store
    instead of a live CD to prepare a working 16 Gb Knoppix system;
    2. Add Werner's scripts to the 16 Gb system;
    3. Use the 16 GB System to 'recombine' the KNOPPIX and KNOPPIX-DATA files from the 2 Gb card;
    4. Replace the original KNOPPIX file on the 2 Gb card with the 'recombined'; and
    5. Regenerate an 'empty' KNOPPIX-DATA file on the 2 Gb card.

    Notes:
    1. I expect step (1) will initially clone the 2 Gb system, including its small persistent store.
    2. Use cloop in the initial effort, but experiment with squashfs as well for comparison.

    Any comments on this approach?
    Last edited by utu; 01-13-2012 at 09:46 PM.

  10. #20
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    Go ahead and try it!

    That card should have ca 20MB/s r&w, I think that's fine. I would say just go ahead and try - only beware that if the PC identifies it as an mmcblk device with the built-in reader, you have to either use an external card reader, or modify minirt.gz something in the way of marlas' method, http://www.knoppix.net/forum/threads...mmcblk0-device

    As regards the handling of knoppix-data.img, if you don't have soething special rewritable to keep, you might just let Knoppix create a new one. The main reasons I recreate it upon remastering, is to keep my modified /home outside of the remastered image (I might give it to someone), to save space in the new cloop by purging package data that will be rewritten anyway, and to save one step at the first booting of the new version.

    Squashfs vs cloop is really no big deal in our context. Squashfs image is smaller than the quick-compressed cloop, and takes one less step to create. But when we have enough space on our USB devices, and use scripts, that's not very significant. Klaus K clearly has his reasons for sticking with cloop, but I still haven't got exactly what is most important, with the present versions. I have been using about half and half of them, often not knowing which variety I'm running right now - and that's just the way I like it. I might go for more exclusive squashfs, though. It's just that I then have to modify the minirt, which I also try to avoid as much as posssible.

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