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ok, well if this is knoppix, then normally it should request one as it detects devices... i assume that's not working though.
I'm not saying this is necessarily exactly what you should be doing, but you can easily just create a normal /etc/rc.local script, which AFAIK, debian / knoppix doesn't use by default, but most Redhat derviatives do... add you pump command to that file (create if need be) and then symlink it to /etc/init.d/rc5.d/S99local for an X based login, ad ..rc3.d.. for a terminal login boot. this will get executed ONCE and ONCE only when the system boots up. clean and effective. quite why the knoppix network initscript isn't picking up an IP for you i couldn't say... Knoppix always seems like an odd choice of distro to insatll as a desktop. great for a boot cd, but long term.. nah.