The classic Mac OS was easily bootable from read-only media. In fact, the installation media itself could often be used as a Live CD, since the installation process was not automatically invoked. Mac OS X is different since it is based on BSD Unix and normally wants to have write access to certain locations. Also, it's quite large in size, which makes it more difficult to slim down to the size of a CD.
Charles Srstka has developed a program named BootCD to aid in creating bootable CDs for Mac OS X. It collects the needed parts of the OS to a burnable disk image file. As part of the creation process, the user may add whatever third-party applications he/she might want to run from the boot CD, which can allow for advanced maintenance or recovery of a damaged system. DiskWarrior from Alsoft Inc., is an example of such an application.
As of February 2007, BootCD does not support the Tiger series of Mac OS X. The developer has announced that the development is on hold, making Tiger support an unlikely feature.
The term "BootCD" is also used to refer to "boot CD" methods and products to install products and operating systems. Often a boot CD is used to recover critical files and directories in the event of system failures. Companies providing these solutions include, but are not limited to: Portlock SMART; Acronis True Image and Paragon Software's solutions.
- El Torito Bootable CD Specification
- Knoppix - Linux-based Live CD; PPC port required for older Macintoshes before Apple–Intel transition
- BartPE - Similar software for Microsoft Windows XP/2003