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Old 06-03-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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Knoppix live CD file system questions

Hello. I am running Knoppix live CD on a pc with no hard drive and 1GB memory. When the OS loads, I see it is building a small ram drive. I also sometimes uses the "toram" parameter and then Knoppix uses up about 800mb of memory. SO my questions are:

1) What file system is Knoppix using in the ram drive?
2) Is the ram drive ever used for kernel operations or is it just for higher level stuff like reference files and program modules? In other words, is the entire kernel loaded into regular memory, or is some of it loaded onto the ram drive portion of memory?

Many thanks for any feedback!
Old 06-05-2006, 09:52 AM   #2
David the H.
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I know next to nothing about Knoppix actually, but seeing as nobody else has tried answering this, I'll give it my guess.

I would guess that Knoppix uses the ramdrive for its base running filesystem, including all the major files it needs to run as well as whatever files and programs you create during that session. So it probably holds a large part of the root filesystem, at the very least. The kernel is probably held in regular memory, however, like in most systems. The ramdrive probably uses the standard ramfs filesystem as its base.

The ramdrive is then merged with the cd filesystem using unionfs, which makes the two separate drives look as if they were one contiguous file system. The ramdrive part holds the files that can be changed, while the unchangable stuff remains on the cd. The result is a file system that can be mostly held outside of memory, but can still be altered when necessary. If you load everything into memory with toram, however, then the ramdrive will also hold everything that's normally accessed from cd, freeing the drive for other uses.

Remember, this is just my semi-educated guess here. I wouldn't be surprised if I was completely wrong. But I think that's the general idea.


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