List of live CDs
This is a list of live CDs. A live CD or live DVD is a CD or DVD containing a bootable computer operating system. Live CDs are unique in that they have the ability to run a complete, modern operating system on a computer lacking mutable secondary storage, such as a hard disk drive.
- 1 Rescue and repair live CDs
- 2 BSD-based
- 3 DOS-based
- 4 Hurd-based
- 5 Linux kernel-based
- 6 Mac OS X-based
- 7 Microsoft Windows-based
- 8 OpenSolaris-based
- 9 Other operating systems
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Rescue and repair live CDs
- Avira Rescue System - Ubuntu based live CD that scans and repairs malware-infected computers
- Billix – A multiboot distribution and system administration toolkit with the ability to install any of the included Linux distributions
- Boot Repair Disk - One-click repair disk featuring 'Boot-Repair' for Linux and Microsoft Windows Systems
- ESET SysRescue Live - a Linux kernel-based CD that is a malware cleaning tool for disinfecting compromised systems
- F-Secure Rescue CD - A Knoppix based live CD to scan and disinfect a computer
- Inquisitor – Linux kernel-based hardware diagnostics, stress testing and benchmarking Live CD
- Kaspersky Rescue CD - A live CD "to scan, disinfect and restore infected operating systems." by the antivirus editor
- Parted Magic – Entirely based on the 2.6 or newer kernels
- Recovery Is Possible (RIP) – A Linux kernel-based CD with partition tool and network tools (Samba), earlier versions were based on the 2.6.17 kernel
- System Folder of Mac OS on a CD or on a floppy disk – Works on any media readable by 68k or PowerPC Macintosh computers
- SystemRescueCD – A Linux kernel-based CD with tools for Windows and Linux repairs
- Trinity Rescue Kit – Mandriva Linux-based CD for use on a Windows or Linux system
- Hiren's BootCD - A popular recovery Live CD with a mini version of Windows XP.
- DesktopBSD – as of 1.6RC1 FreeBSD and FreeSBIE based
- FreeBSD – has supported use of a "fixit" CD for diagnostics since 1996
- FreeNAS – m0n0wall-based
- FreeSBIE (discontinued) – FreeBSD-based
- GhostBSD – FreeBSD based with gnome GUI, installable to HDD
- Ging – Debian GNU/kFreeBSD-based
- m0n0wall (discontinued) – FreeBSD-based
- PC-BSD – FreeBSD-based
- pfSense – m0n0wall-based
- Anonym.OS (discontinued) – an OpenBSD-based disc for secure and anonymous Web browsing
- jggimi (discontinued) - a OpenBSD 5.0-release LiveCD / LiveDVD for x86 and AMD64 in 6 variant: basic, Firefox, fluxbox, xfce, gnome and kde.
- FuguIta (actively maintained) - lightweight and user customizable live OpenBSD system that is persistence capable, fits on CD, and installable on USB flashdrive or hard drive.
- FreeDOS – the official "Full CD" 1.0 release includes a Live CD portion
- Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD)
- XFDOS - a FreeDOS based distribution with a Nano-X / FLTK GUI and many applications using FLTK
Arch Linux based
- ArchBang – An OpenBox preconfigured Arch Linux Live CD AND distribution
- Archie is a live CD version of Arch Linux.
- DidJiX – A live Linux distribution focused on Mixxx
- FaunOS – a portable, fully integrated Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, which can run from a USB Flash Drive or a DVD
- Manjaro – It is a primarily free software operating system for personal computers aimed at ease of use.
- VBA Rescue - Antivirus Boot CD based on Arch Linux
These are directly based on Debian:
- aptosid based on Debian unstable (Sid), installable Live CD, DVD
- Debian Live – Official live CD version of Debian
- Debox GNU/Linux Live CD  Based on Debian and OpenBox window manager
- Elive – Enlightenment based distro with unique features
- Finnix – A small system administration Live CD, based on Debian testing, and available for x86 and PowerPC architectures
- grml – Installable Live CD for sysadmins and text tool users
- HandyLinux - A French/English Linux distribution derived from Debian designed for inexperienced computer users
- Instant WebKiosk – Live, browser only operating system for use in web kiosks and digital signage deployments
- Kali Linux – The most advanced penetration testing distribution
- Knoppix – The "original" Debian-based Live CD
- LinuxBBQ - installable Live CD based on Debian Unstable (Sid)
- PureOS – Based on Debian testing, installable Live CD/USB
- siduction based on Debian unstable (Sid), installable Live CD, DVD, fork of aptosid
- Tails - An Amnesic OS based on anonymity and Tor
- Webconverger - Kiosk software that boots live in order to turn PC into temporary Web kiosk
A large number of live CDs are based on Knoppix. The list of those is in the derivatives section of the Knoppix article.
These are based at least partially on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian:
- CGAL LiveCD – Live CD containing CGAL with all demos compiled. This enables the user to get an impression of CGAL and create CGAL software without the need to install CGAL.
- Emmabuntüs is a Linux distribution derived from Ubuntu and designed to facilitate the repacking of computers donated to Emmaüs Communities.
- gNewSense – Supported by the Free Software Foundation, includes GNOME
- gOS – A series of lightweight operating systems based on Ubuntu with Ajax-based applications and other Web 2.0 applications, geared to beginning users, installable Live CD
- Linux Mint – Installable Live CD
- Mythbuntu – A self-contained media center suite based on Ubuntu and MythTV
- OpenGEU – Installable Live CD
- PC/OS – An Ubuntu derivative whose interface was made to look like BeOS. a 64 bit version was released in May 2009. In 2010 PC/OS moved to a more unified look to its parent distribution and a GNOME version was released on March 3, 2010.
- Pinguy - An Ubuntu based distribution designed to look and feel simple. Pinguy is designed with the intent of integrating new users to Linux.
- Puredyne – Live CD/DVD/USB for media artists and designers, based on Ubuntu and Debian Live
- Qimo 4 Kids – A fun distro for kids that comes with educational games
- Super OS (formerly Super Ubuntu) – Installable Live DVD, can be converted to a Live USB using the built-in cd2usb or usb-creator
- Trisquel – Supported by the Free Software Foundation, includes GNOME
- TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library – Family of installable Live CD appliances optimized for ease of use in server-type usage scenarios
- Ubuntu and Lubuntu – Bootable live CDs.
- Security Onion - is a Linux distro for IDS (Intrusion Detection) and NSM (Network Security Monitoring).
- AVLinux – AVLinux is a Linux for multimedia content creators.
- CrunchBang Linux – Installable Live CD, using Openbox as window manager
- Damn Small Linux – Very light and small with JWM and Fluxbox, installable Live CD
- DemoLinux (versions 2 and 3) – One of the very first Live CDs
- Dreamlinux – Installable Live CD to hard drives or flash media * This distribution has ceased support *
- Freeduc-cd – An educational live CD using Xfce realized with the help of UNESCO
- gnuLinEx – Includes GNOME
- Kanotix – Installable Live CD
- MEPIS – Installable Live CD
- Calculate Linux
- Dr.Web Anti-Virus Boot CD - Was based on Gentoo before August 2014
- FireballISO – VMware virtual machine that generates a customized security-hardened IPv4 and IPv6 firewall Live CD.
- Incognito – includes anonymity and security tools such as Tor by default
- DemoLinux (version 1)
- Mageia - installable Live CD
- Mandriva Linux – installable Live CD, GNOME and KDE editions available
- MCNLive – mid-sized (300 MB) and for multimedia
Red Hat Linux/Fedora-based
- Berry Linux
- CentOS – installable Live CD
- Fedora – installable Live CD, GNOME or KDE
- Korora – installable Live USB (recommended over DVD); Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, MATE, or Xfce
- Network Security Toolkit – installable Live CD/DVD, GNOME or Fluxbox
- AUSTRUMI – 50 MB Mini distro
- BioSLAX – a bioinformatics live CD with over 300 bioinformatics applications
- NimbleX – under 200 MB
- Porteus (operating system) – under 300 MB
- Slax – modular and very easy to remaster
- Vector Linux (Standard and SOHO Editions)
Other (Linux kernel-based)
- Acronis Rescue Media – to make disk images from hard disk drives
- CHAOS – small (6 MB) and designed for creating ad hoc computer clusters
- Devil-Linux – for services such as firewall/router (and many others), no graphical interface, can run from CD or USB
- dyne:bolic – for multimedia production (especially for media activists, artists and creatives)
- EnGarde Secure Linux – a highly secure Linux based on SE Linux
- GeeXboX – a self-contained media center suite based on Linux and MPlayer
- GoboLinux – an alternative Linux distribution. Its most salient feature is its reorganization of the filesystem hierarchy. Under GoboLinux, each program has its own subdirectory tree.
- Granular – installable Live CD based on PCLinuxOS, featuring KDE and Enlightenment
- Lightweight Portable Security – developed and publicly distributed by the United States Department of Defense’s Software Protection Initiative to serve as a secure end node
- Linux From Scratch Live CD (Live CD inactive) – used as a starting point for a Linux From Scratch installation
- Nanolinux – 14 MB distro on an installable Live CD with BusyBox and Fltk, for desktop computing
- paldo GNU/Linux - independently developed, rolling release distribution on installable live CD
- PCLinuxOS – installable Live CD for desktop computing use
- Plop Linux - Live CD designed to rescue data, can use as server and as desktop Linux.
- Puppy Linux – installable Live CD, very small
- SliTaz GNU/Linux – installable Live CD, one of the smallest available with good feature set
- Tiny Core Linux – based on Linux 2.6 kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Flwm, begins at 10 MB
- XBMC Live – a self-contained media center suite based on Embedded Linux and XBMC Media Center
Mac OS X-based
- BootCD from Charlessoft for Mac OS X up to 10.3 (including PowerPC Macintosh)
- DasBoot by SubRosaSoft.com
- OSx86 (x86 only)
Microsoft representatives have described third-party efforts at producing Windows-based Live CDs as “improperly licensed” uses of Windows, unless you use it solely to rescue your own, properly licensed Installation. However, Nu2 Productions believes the use of BartPE is legal provided that one Windows license is purchased for each BartPE CD, and the Windows license is used for nothing else.
- BartPE (Windows XP/2003) – allows the creation of a bootable CD from Windows-install files
- Microsoft Windows Preinstallation Environment
- VistaPE – a Live CD version for Windows Vista
- WinBuilder (Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista) – allows the creation of a bootable CD from Windows-install files
Systems based on the former open source "OS/net Nevada" or ONNV open source project by Sun Microsystems.
- BeleniX – full LiveCD and LiveUSB distribution (moving to Illumos?)
- MilaX small opensolaris based LiveCD and LiveUSB
- OpenSolaris – the former official distribution supported by Sun Microsystems based on ONNV and some closed source parts
- SchilliX started as the first OpenSolaris Live CD distribution.
Illumos is a fork of the former OpenSolaris ONNV aiming to further develop the ONNV and replacing the closed source parts while remaining binary compatible. The following products are based upon Illumos:
- Nexenta OS – combines the GNU userland with the OpenSolaris kernel.
- OpenIndiana – since OpenIndiana 151a based on Illumos
Other operating systems
- AmigaOS 4 – Installable Live CD
- AROS – Offers Live CD for download on the project page
- BeOS – All BeOS discs can be run in Live CD mode, although PowerPC versions need to be kickstarted from Mac OS 8 when run on Apple or clone hardware
- Haiku – Haiku is a free and open source operating system compatible with BeOS running on Intel x86 platforms instead of PowerPC.
- Hiren's BootCD
- MorphOS – Installable Live CD
- OpenVMS – Installable Live CD
- OS/2 Ecomstation Demo
- Plan 9 from Bell Labs – Plan 9 has a Live CD, which is also its install CD (and the installer is a shell script).
- Syllable Desktop Live CD
- aptosid.com :: debian based live CD development
- Debox Live CD home page
- siduction.org :: debian based live CD development
- "CGAL LiveCD". ACG lab, Tel-Aviv University. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- "Security Onion is a Linux distro for IDS (Intrusion Detection) and NSM (Network Security Monitoring).".
- AVLinux - Install...Create
- plop.at, Plop Linux
- "Licensing issues". Nu2 Productions. Retrieved 2006-12-31.