Talk:Live CD

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Computing (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Linux (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Linux, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Linux on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


I've created an article, GoBack, which refers to this article, regarding accessing non-Microsoft partitions while still keeping GoBack enabled. --Rebroad 16:37, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorted from most to least recent ...

Gentoo 2004.3 brings gcc make vi X etc. to PPC ... but then Gentoo 2005.0 drops X, best as I can tell. Whether Gentoo really means to offer a live Linux CD for PPC or not, I'm not sure

> let's create more up-to-date PPC livecd

Gentoo is live now, I think. Within a month they've responded with interest & fixes to my bug reports, costing me nothing but an e-mail registration at Their version 2004.2 is current, in their 2004.3 by now we can hope to see a more automagic launch of the (KDE) desktop, gcc and make, fsck for HFS+, etc.

> how to write livecd

Yah I hate that term.

Yes I agree Live CD is a better way to write it. I personally find the phrase Boot and Run CD more immediately illuminating to the newbie, but I see Iomega has trademarked that phrase. I wonder if the shortest way to explain this idea is to say Linux boot CD and then add that these require no HDD to run Open Office etc.

> any interest in wikipedia livecd

I'm interested, for one. I think live CD are demo discs nonpareil. We can demo Linux itself, but also peripheral hardware of every kind, without risking unrecoverable changes to the boot HDD. For example, I see there is a live CD out there dedicating to demoing how to reprogram Lego robots. [Pat LaVarre, 25th September 2004]

Mail me for a link to a working wikipedia livecd. JureCuhalev -


I think we need to decide how to write livecd .. is it LiveCD or 'Live CD' or 'live cd' or 'livecd' so it's consistent throught the article

The easiest but maybe not the best way would be to use the article name Honta 22:31, 2004 Aug 22 (UTC)


from head -- I meant to say that I heard it somewhere once. While writing that paragraph for talk page I didn't research each claim. I have to find this person that gave me this piece of information and research some more. About emulation. In contrast to qemu-i386 you have qemu-ppc which emulates big endian so you can emulate PPC on PC. Another such product is PearPC that allows you to run OSX and MandrakePPC on i386. Well since each great project starts this way .. let's create more up-to-date PPC livecd. I'm also wondering if there is any interest in wikipedia livecd or should I stop developing it?


> yellowdog linux from head

Help I do not understand this English. What does "from head" mean?

> yellowdog linux from is from Terra Soft.

> yellowdog linux

I notice the string "yellow" does not yet appear in the live CD article.

> About Qemu

Clear now, thank you. I like how the live CD article distinguishes "Emulation" from "List of LiveCDs". What interests Me are live CD in particular, specifically I often want to connect Linux to devices I'm developing, but without having to begin by sacrificing a boot drive. Mac live CD's interest Me because the host is big-endian, which sometimes confuses the kernel and apps. Emulation would interest me more if I believed it emulated a big-endian Mac rather than emulating a little-endian PC.

> Gentoo

Yesterday I saw "A administrator" tell me Gentoo by design doesn't do more than install itself. Myself, I find Gentoo plus small patches gives me X on any Mac and KDE on new Mac's and less, which is more than I get from the Knoppix live CD ... but as yet I have no gcc and no make in any PPC/ Mac live CD.

> "another nice list of ppc livecds"

Google had found that page for me too, but the showonly tag is new to me, thanks.

Should we mention that page in the article?

Its undated, and its link to SystemRescue has rotted away. Otherwise, it shows only the PPC choices we've been discussing, specifically: Gentoo LiveCD, Knoppix PPC, Knoppix-MiB. I haven't yet tried the -MiB.


Well, I was talking about yellowdog linux from head. This is another nice list of ppc livecds: [1] About Qemu: if you have linux installed on your powerpc you can do: qemu-i386 -cdrom knoppix.iso -m 128 and it will boot into i386 livecd. Not very helpful since it's not livecd but still usable if you want to show it to someone but don't have i386 handy.


Thank you. For the query of Mac/ PPC live CD that gives us Knoppix and Gentoo, leaving only the Yellow Dog live CD not found (and the Qemu alternative unelaborated).

But ouch, I don't see how I managed to lose track of the research:

19th August 2004, 16:35 GMT

"" thus "Knoppix Customizations" thus

A 2003-07-13 port to PPC:

A 2003-05-22 port with privacy tweaks to PPC:


Here you have Knoppix PPC image:


I meant that on a PC platform you may find lots and lots of interesting developments while there are only handfull of livecds for PPC. To give more specific example of this. I made wikipedia livecd for i386 platfrom. Flash demo can be found Link here. Yet there will be no PPC version for some time even though I also own a PPC because I don't have enough knowledge and morphix isn't yet ported to PPC. - JC


> About mac livecds. There are ... PPC Knoppix, and YellowDog Livecds and Gentoo also.

Ouch, for PPC I find only Gentoo. Delightfully up-to-date: 2.6.7 today, close to the stable of

> But development in that field isn't as powerful as PC version.

Aye, no gcc, no make, no X, for me here by default.


1) Should I now fold your clear answer back into the article? Seems to me anyone visiting the page will want to know which answers apply to their hardware, so we should keep x86, PPC, etc. distinguished?

2) Thanks for moving my question where it belongs, this is only my third day of Wiki.

3) Only "install" CD's, no plainly live CD's, appear on offer at "" for:

(PPC livecd not yet found) no mention at "YD mirror README"

  • Qemu (no install either)

Google says this is a virtual PC inside of which I might run Linux. I'm not sure that would help me. Me, I want to modprobe kernel code and i/o tools that I've patched.

(PPC livecd not yet found) no hits at "PPC"

Doesn't look real. 2.6.7 uname -msr encouraged me, but no gcc, no make, no X. X is theoretically present, but X itself and Xautoconfig ; X doesn't work for me here (Itanium Powerbook). I'd have said something to Gentoo, but their forums require registration to talk.

4) plavarre "big-endian Linux" is my blog of where I searched fruitlessly before here.


Yes, the listed ones all work on x86. Qemu also works on PowerPC platform. About mac livecds. There are PPC Knoppix, and YellowDog Livecds and Gentoo also. But development in that field isn't as powerful as PC version.


Do all of these work only on x86 PC? Where are the LiveCD for Mac? -

Linux Bias[edit]

Why is this article so heavily Linux based and biased? Linux is not the only and far from the first OS to do LiveCD.

This article basically reads like an advert for Live Linuces.

Kiand 21:23, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

- Well, I haven't seen many for other operating systems. To be fair, the article does include reference to Windows, BSD, and others. If you know of any others, add them! That's what Wikipedia is about. Andrewferrier 15:13, 2004 Nov 10 (UTC)
The article should be moved to Linx LiveCD's and a new one written though. This one is 95% Linux advertising.
FFS, theres a listing of "RPM Based" and "Debian Based" and so on...
First three paragraphs of the Intro are fine, the fourth is advertising, the fifth is OK, the sixth is advertising, and most of the sections are again all Linux advertising.
Linux is not the be-all and end-all of Operating Systems. Just because Wikipedia uses a GNU licence doesn't mean it must forever champion other GNU licenced products.
Kiand 15:42, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Moving an article on LiveCDs to "Linux LiveCDs" makes very little sense. If the article is focusing disproptionately on Linux LiveCDs, that can be corrected -- but given that this is what you think is "advertising":
The syslinux utility is used to boot most LiveCDs as well as Linux floppies. On a PC a bootable CD generally conforms to the El Torito specification which treats a special file on the disc (possibly hidden) as a floppy diskette image. Many Linux LiveCDs use a compressed filesystem image (often with the cloop compressed loopback driver).
I'm sorry, I see a paragraph that looks at the infrastructure that is most commonly to create the most common kind of LiveCDs -- Linux LiveCDs. I don't see "advertising". If you think the proportions are wrong -- for instance, if you have more BSD-based LiveCDs to add to our current list of four -- then by all means, expand our knowledge of what the article currently fails to address. But your assumption that 'this article talks more about Linux LiveCDs than the other kinds because Wikipedians are prejudiced towards other GNU licensed products' is insulting and illogical, and your suggestion that the solution is not to broaden the overview taken by the article but to exile "Linux LiveCDs" into a separate article of its own is illogical and arrogant. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:14, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I see you make the automatic assumption I'm a BSD user. Which has less basis than my assumption that a lot of Wikipedians are Linux loving Stallman idolising GNU admirers. Yes, I've got BSD installed on 2 of my boxen, I've got MacOS Classic on more of them, and I don't even touch Apple with a 50 foot bargepole.
This article, no matter how you look at it, is written as if only Linux does LiveCD's well. MacOS Classic CD's were all live. BeOS CD's are all live. Neither of them even touch syslinux or cloop. Neither of them use RPM or Debian package management.
Cut the actual stuff about LiveCD's out of this for a new article and fire the rest into a list of Linux Live CD's. It doesn't need to be here.
Kiand 16:44, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I didn't assume anything about you. I mentioned one example of some information that you might have that, if you could be persuaded to share it instead of whining that it wasn't there and the fact that it wasn't there proved our GNU bias, would improve the article. And you generalized from that one example to an "automatic assumption" on my part.
What I'm saying, and yes I do shrug my shoulders helplessly at the incredibly low chances that you'll get the huge chip off your shoulder and read correctly this time, is that the article has more detail on Linux-based LiveCDs than on other kinds, because a lot of people use Linux LiveCDs, they are enthusiastic about what they use, and they write about what they know. The answer to that is for people who know and can write about the stuff that is currently being left out to stop whining about it being left out and start addressing the imbalance by writing.
Your solution makes about as much sense as a chaperone at a school dance announcing "Well, some of you are out on the floor dancing, while others are just hanging on the sides watching. Obviously, you people out on the floor are doing something unfair to the people on the sides, so we're going to exile you to a different dance, and then this dance will be fair and balanced because everyone will be hanging out on the sides staring at the floor equally." -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:15, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Representative samples: basis and purpose?[edit]

I agree with most of [2] these changes, and I agree with the idea of splitting off a List of LiveCDs from the main article. Looking at the shortened list left in the main article, though, it occurs to me that what is most interesting about LiveCDs is the purposes they have been specialized for. What do people think of having two small lists in the main article: one listing LiveCDs that are of note because they're the most popular LiveCD versions of that OS, the other listing LiveCDs that are of note because of their specialized focus? -- Antaeus Feldspar 19:20, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

A Suggestion[edit]

How about a new entry for LiveDVD? These are starting to be released now. Although there is a 2 GB limit on the primary partition of a bootable DVD on x86 computers, there should be a way to mount the rest of the disk for file storage.

IFAICT the live dvds use standard cd filesystems, and are treated by the system as just extremely large capacity cds. The Booting is therfore done by El Torito floppy emmulation. THus there is no actual limit on the boot partition, just the boot image, which is limited to the size of a floppy image, just like it is on CDs.

Merge with LiveDistro?[edit]

I'm kind of surprised that the original poster who suggested a merge didn't post anything on either page, but I think that's a good idea. Please voice your opinions about the merge. --Bash 04:44, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

LiveDistro should be merged here, not the other way around. LiveDistro implies Linux, whereas LiveCD is more generic.
Darrien 20:42, August 17, 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry, I meant LiveDistro was going to be merged into LiveCD, not LiveCD merged into LiveDistro. I'm willing to go ahead with the merge. Anyone object? --Bash 00:03, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

From the Talk:LiveDistro page:

"Both are good and valid Wikipedia pages.
A LiveCD is a LiveDistro on a CD. There are also LiveDVDs LiveUSBs."

I don't see how the term LiveDistro implies Linux. It seems to imply a live operating system distribution. There are LiveDistros based on kernels such as Hurd, BSD, Solaris, etc. Thus either LiveCD should be merged into LiveDistro, or it should focus on distributions that are distributed strictly on a CD, similar as the page about bootable business card LiveDistros focused particularly on LiveDistros distributed on business card CDs. Personally, I think a merge is not necessary since they are distinct phenomena. What would others think about these ideas?

Something has to be done about LiveDistro. The article it's in a sore state and there are only couple of pages that link to it. I think it should either be merged with LiveCD or it should be made a kind of disambiguation page that directs to LiveCDs, LiveDVDs, LiveUSBs etc. Any opinions. -- AdrianTM 05:35, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
A LiveDistro is a Live Operating System Distribution, regardless of flavor (Linux, BSD, Mac, etc.), and it can be distributed in many different formats: a LiveCD, a LiveDVD, LiveUSB, etc. A LiveCD just happens to be one media format. LiveCD is more ambiguous than LiveDistro. Additionally, a live cd has more conventional meanings already well in use, such as a musical live cd (though that would also seem to lend towards the term "live (musical) show" in similar respect as LiveCD does to LiveDistro, the specific to the general. If what the content of this article pertains to is software, it seems clear LiveDistro is the more universal term for an operating system distribution packaged on a variety of media formats which don't require installation to a hard drive. What do others think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Im not sure who oversees and makes effective changes on this section of Wikipedia, but its benn clearly stated below for years that a LiveCD is a type of LiveDistro, or Live Operating System Distribution and that LiveDistro should not redirect to LiveCD, if anything, the other way around. I think LiveCD should stay as it is, but not try to drift into covering LiveDVDs, because a LiveCD is not a LiveDVD, nor is a LiveUSB a LiveCD. We need a generic name for describing these Live Distros. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


anyway we can boot a live cd with virtual server (say, qemu or bochs or UML or xen?) then, after that livecd boot, we can boot another (multiple) livecd from it, each under its own virtual server.

the idea is to boot a system with qemu, then boot a firewall (like devil-linux or sentry firewall) then boot a server (like lamppix) then boot desktop (like damnsmalllinux or austrumi or slax) all running in the same machine at the same time.

how this be done?

-- DennyHalim

Adding more and more Linux LiveCDs to list[edit]

When I read the page, I missed on the list PuppyLinux. I believe it should be there althrough the wish of not adding there more (especially not very widespread) LiveCDs. It has rather unique feature of writing on LiveCD itself. That's why I added PuppyLinux into the list.


right, thats notable enough; but Mandrake (nothing notable), Rock (PPC only) and that kiosk mode one didn't seem different -enough- to be mentioned individually, so they're gone for the moment. List was getting too big. --Kiand 21:55, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Clean Up Entire Article[edit]

I don't mean to be a jerk but this is a terrible article. Terrible!

"A LiveCD is an operating system..."

It's not an OS, it's a CD with an OS ON IT.

The original term was LiveDistro and that referred to a live operating system distribution, regardless of media type. It was the software bundle itself that was "the operating system" I think the author referred to, not the physical media, a LiveCD. Thus, the LiveDistro (as it was) *is* an operating system which is stored on many different media types. The phenomenon described on this page has little to do with a CD-ROM or any physical media whatsoever. It's about the distribution of software, that which comprises an operating system with the characteristic of being "live" - executed upon boot. Am I off on this?

"stored on a bootable CD-ROM or DVD-ROM that can be executed from it,"

Does this sentence even make any sense to you at all? It shouldn't! Break it down a little bit. An Object is an Object stored on an Object or Object that can be executed from it. I mean, really, do you guys see how vague that is? Whoever wrote that should be extremely embarassed.

"without installation into permanent memory, such as a hard drive."

Referring to a HDD as memory is taking a pretty huge liberty. This is a technical article, it should be more percise.

"It does this by placing the files..."

Ok the "this" being referred to is the act of rebooting to the old OS after the cd is ejected. Does the LiveCD actually do that? NO. Come on now. Maybe you could say "This is accomplished by..." You guys should know better. This article is a huge embarrassment. Why is there a discussion on emulation? This should be a simple short article. LiveCD's are pretty simple things and I can't see how this article got so screwed up. It's disjointed and incoherent. It's extremely difficult to understand what the heck it's talking about even for someone with ample computer experience. The friend I sent here just got even more confused and the article didn't explain anything useful at all.

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was move. —Nightstallion (?) 09:14, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Requested Move (Un-Bicapitalisation)[edit]

Although I am very familiar with the term, "Live CD", I hadn't seen it bicapitalised (aka StudlyCaps) before. However, checking Google, it seems both are quite common. Nonetheless, a search for "live CD" gives 3 260 000 resultsas opposed to 1 760 000 for "liveCD". Also, most of the results for "LiveCD" are from the names of distributions (whose name is officially "foo LiveCD") as opposed to generic usage, from places where spaces are often not used (e.g.: domain names, file names) or from copies of this article.

I, therefore, propose moving this article to Live CD.

--Joe Llywelyn Griffith Blakesley talk contrib 19:30, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to see a bit of discussion on that first. Noone wants to comment on this? If there's no further reply, I will move it. —Nightstallion (?) 08:30, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Non-OS Live CDs[edit]

There are non-bootable live CDs (without operating systems on) which allow you to run (non-OS) software from the CD on your own OS without installing it first (e.g.: TeX Live). Should the definition be expanded to include these?

--Joe Llywelyn Griffith Blakesley talk contrib 19:30, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

There is heaps of software you can run from a CD, an example isn't needed. You can pick a random program and just burn it to CD and then run it. That doesn't make it anything special. Live CDs are bootable. Rav0 08:07, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
I think bootable is part of the definition of "Live". Also see Life. Put the non-bootable ones under "See also"? - Samsara contrib talk 16:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
I cannot find a definition for live CD or any specifically software-related definition of live in dead-tree or WWW dictionaries, but non-bootable CDs are sometimes referred to as live, so maybe we should at least mention this fact in the article.
I was assuming that live meant executable here. What exactly is your opinion of what live means in relation to software or CDs? Regarding your reference to life, IMO, any analogy to biological life seems very weak, but I cannot think of anything analogous to booting in biologcal life that is a neccesary component to be considered life, so if you could indulge me...
--Joe Llywelyn Griffith Blakesley talk contrib 04:09, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

The first sentence of the article says this: "A live CD (or liveCD) is an operating system (usually containing other software as well) stored on a bootable CD or DVD that can be run directly from the CD or DVD drive, without installing into permanent memory, such as a hard drive." Maybe you should should create an article that lists applications that can be run from single files and don't need to be installed. --Mutley 09:40, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

In terms of non-OS software, the software is installed to be run off the cdrom, as opposed to be installed in it. An other term for this is 'ready to run', eg "ready to run Hobbes". --Wendy.krieger (talk) 07:40, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


When was the first use of an operating system that ran entirely off a CD? I can see that operating system installation CDs would have been among the first to be bootable, but I think the relevant one here would be, which one ran entirely off CD first? - Samsara contrib talk 16:26, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

First version of MacOS to come on CD would have been the first OS to run fully off CD. 7.5 or so, I believe this would be. On x86, it was BeOS R3, 1998. --Kiand 17:33, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
How can we pin this down to a source? - Samsara contrib talk 00:53, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Recent section on Puppy[edit]

Hi, just somewhat copyedited this section:

Another distro called Puppy Linux makes liveCDs in the size range of 39 MB to 90 MB and Puppy boots very fast.

Can anyone confirm that Puppy boots faster than DSL? - Samsara contrib talk 10:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

"True" Live CD[edit]

dyne:II is not going to be the first "true" LiveCD, as SLAX and Morphix have had modular ISOs for years. Also, the line about LiveCDs not being modifiable is wrong. Many current popular distros use UnionFS and similar filesystems, allowing them to be modified when they are running. Knoppix, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, SLAX, DSL, Puppy, MEPIS, and Kanotix are some which can be modified. Saying that "most of them are nothing more than a demo" is just plain wrong and an insult to they many developers who work on them. I am going to delete this section for these reasons. -Nick58b 02:36, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Tool CDs[edit]

What about "stand-alone single-purpose tool CDs" like stress-test suites (e.g. Memtest86) or virus scanners or "firewall-on-a-CD"s or similar? Do these count as LiveCDs? — Tobias Bergemann 09:13, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Nope --SkyWalker 22:06, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


If I wanna boot ubuntu as a CD, how can I save my settings? I have a USB HD, is there a way I got run my profile off that? RealG187 15:51, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


Does Windows have a liveCD or liveDistro? I have never heard of it, and I can't see a reference. ( 04:18, 15 March 2007 (UTC))

Yes see bartpe and winpe--Mutley 09:04, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
There is also live XP makers at --Wendy.krieger (talk) 11:03, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Merging issue[edit]

I think we either need to merge List of LiveCDs to this article or move the list from this article to the List of LiveCDs article.

  • Perhaps we create an article called List of LiveDistros? A list is a useful article, distinct from a summary article. There are a lot of list articles on Wikipedia. The list would just list the livedistros, whereas the LiveDistro page would summarize the phenomenon of a LiveDistro. Thoughts?

Vote for Merging "List of LiveCDs" to this article[edit]

  • I agree. The List of LiveCDs should be merged with the LiveDistro section. --Mark Alfred 01:54, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I vote for. -- AdrianTM 02:04, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I also vote for. It would be better to concatinate the two lists of LiveCDs into one article, that way it won't be possible for the LiveDistro article to somehow end up with more list entries than List of Live CDs. --Theslash 01:56, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree. LiveDistro is a more accurate term as both lists should include OS's that can be loaded from DVD, or USB memory sticks. LiveCD should be redirected to the LiveDistro page JColeson 13:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

My oppinion never matters.... ever take a look at meta-reference ever take a look at the 'uses in popular culture' section? The list is out of control... never merge lists as it only creates complications.

"Meta [...] is an abstraction from another concept" Meta - If we do not have enough manpowerto keep every veritable and worthy term/knowing at this time, we should not default to removing what cannot and has not yet truly been refuted and deserving unmention. We're honoring what is, what merits, whether it comes to be termed yesterday or 100 years ago. Everything has beginning, and should at least undergo unbiased, un-overwhelmed determination. All has value and beginning. We note what becomes noteworthy and convention. Shan't we not leave the world as open and diverse as it really is? alive and creating? truth in form and display, only fore it is deemed so by multiple and growing re-iterations and use? LiveCD is history and placed. LiveDistro is universal, alive, and with clear meaning. Both deserve recognition. One encapsulates the other, can we say otherwise? If not, it clear, regardless of temporal order, that one is of the other, LiveCD is a type of LiveDistro. LiveDistro is not a type of LiveCD, that seems final and irrefutable, regardless of numbers, so long as both continue as true and real. All we do is redefine, make clearer and more understood that which we encounter as certain and real. One before the other, chicken or the egg? Scrambled or over-easy? Hard-boiled? Eggubuntu! We all give way to offspring and latter definition. Say we not? Does it matter? Yes, but not for personal choice or whim. Reason is not un/friendly. It simply stands. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

What is "Live"?[edit]

The real question is how is 'Live' defined. The LiveCD page seems to define 'live' as: "that can be executed from it, without installation into permanent memory" - I guess a cd is not memory, rather media? But if it runs in ram, isn't that memory?

RAM is memory but is not permanent -- AdrianTM 06:57, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Should be marged. Both articles complete each other.

history from french wiki[edit]

Le concept de Live CD Linux a été utilisé en premier par Slackware dès 1995, puis fut développé de 1999 à 2002 par DemoLinux. Ce n'est cependant qu'avec la Knoppix (réalisée à partir de Debian) que ce type de système a pris son essor, aux alentours de l'année 2003. D'autres distributions Live CD ont rapidement suivi.


Shouldn't Yggdrasil Linux get a mention here? It was the first distro released on CD and claimed to be able to run live.

My first exposure to a really eye-opening live CD was demolinux, long before knoppix was out. Their FAQ page was last updated in Nov 2000 (as I check it Mar 13,2007). It helped a lot with my Linux advocacy.


Are there any side effects of using a LiveDistro? Since it uses the ram, isn't there some sort of footprint left after using a livedistro? And what if you don't exit the livedistro properly? wouldn't that mess up your computer?

also, can't you install things from the internet as well as other things online, thus modify your HD? \

Any of these things should be included in the article. -- 22:12, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Distribution ?[edit]

Is it really distribution? Distribution is Linuxism and there are BSD's and Solaris' LiveCDs which represent preinstalled on CD operation system. There should be some other word describing it. --Tigga en 08:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

"Distribution" comes indeed from "Linux distributions", but I think it can be very well used (and it is) to mean "OS distribution". -- AdrianTM 14:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with this question, out of all the LiveCD and Knoppix books and websites available, the only time I have seen the term "LiveDistro" is on and here. Even a google search shows these two sites as the only ones perpetuating the new term. I'm not against an all-encompassing new term for LiveCD/DVD/USB etc, but if we're going to create one, I agree that the Linux "distro" slant will be confusing, especially with Windows, OS X, DOS, Darwin, BSD, Solaris, Zeta, and ReactOS LiveCDs currently available. LiveCD (or live CD) is the most encompassing term used today for both OS and media type, and would be the term I would have expected to find on Wikipedia. Some examples are:

  • Christopher Negus' Live Linux CDs, the most comprehensive book on LiveCDs, also covers LiveDVDs and LiveUSB, but does not mention the term "LiveDistro"
  • Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Mandriva, and Debian all have LiveCDs, LiveDVDs and LiveUSB, not the term "LiveDistros"

--NicholasBrand 20:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

WTF? Using the term "LiveDistro" for everything LiveCD and LiveDVD related sounds like advertising for Is there a procedure to ask for cites on the naming of a page? Sorry, forgot my password. -- 19:03, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

LiveDistribution - LiveCD, LiveDVD, LiveUSB are all types of LiveDistributions, yes? Distribution is what most generally and accurately describes the phenomena, yes? Distro and Distribution are not Linux*-only terms. Distribute is to move location, a LiveDistro/bution describes the movement - a distribution of software that is 'live'. Most every term.whatever on wikipedia is registered? That seems beside the point of documenting phenomena. What most accurately and generally describes? Is this not the default way to classify? Distro > any software > free/not/etc/no? Moving software that is alive > that which activates and executes when given life. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16 August 2008
The term software distribution, according to wikipdedia, describes a bundle of a specific software (or a collection of multiple, even an entire operating system). Since a live CD must be bootable, with an operating system, the term distro does not apply here. Putting a software distro on a CD, such as Novell ZENworks, gives you Novell ZENworks on a CD, _not_ a live CD. Live CDs and live DVDs can also be fundamentally different than live USBs, which is why there are two different Wikipedia pages, one for CD/DVDs, and one for USBs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Puppy linux multisession CD[edit]

I am not a heavy Linux user but what I think is worth mentioning in the article is the Puppy Linux multisession LiveCD or DVD. With this you are able to store data on the CD or DVD (whatever you use) so that you can use it later on. I don't think other LiveCD's have this same possibility. But since I am not an expert, I leave it to others to write about it. Wereldburger758 16:14, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Confusing statement[edit]

From the "Emulation" section of the article:

"Both but VMware are free software under GPL license."

What exactly does that mean? If it said "All but VMware..." I would understand it, but I've never seen a sentence worded "Both but VMware...". It doesn't make grammatical sense to me. ::Travis Evans 01:51, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Move to LiveCD (to match the category name, and it's somewhat more frequently spelled conjoined) per the WP:COMMONNAME argument. Duja 12:47, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

LiveDistroLive CD — Google test - "livedistro" gets 57,700 hits on Google, "linux live cd" gets 495,000. Live CD is the most popular name, used by books such as "Live Linux CDs: Building and Customizing Bootables" by Christopher Negus and published by Prentice Hall. ZDNet[3], CNet[4] and O'Reilly[5] amongst others all use the name. LiveDistro is clearly the less popular of the two names.—Halo 15:49, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • OK, let me start with some background: initially there was a LiveCD and a LiveDistro one, things were largly duplicated and there was a big mess, I managed to merge all the LiveCD stuff into LiveDistro and delete LiveCD article -- was the the best decision, probably not, but otherwise I felt like we can't control duplications since all LiveCDs are LiveDistros. However, we could not move all the content from LiveDistro to LiveCD because many are not CDs: LiveDVD, LiveUSB, etc. therefore we decided to simply redirect LiveCD to LiveDistro not because we want to promote LiveDistro name over LiveCD name but because of practical considerations. If you find other solution that avoids duplication you have my support. -- AdrianTM 18:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
    • I think the main issue is that the term "LiveDistro" isn't a word that is actively used, with only 370 Google Hits[6], which implies it is a fairly uncommon neologism, and is quite strongly associated with Perhaps "Live linux distributions" would be a better term? I still prefer "Live CD", simply because it's the most oft-used term - it's worth adding that there's a Live USB article still. -Halo 20:16, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
      • "it's worth adding that there's a Live USB article still." - Would that mean that OS distributions in Live_CD, Live_USB, Live_etc., format should fall under LiveDistro or Category:LiveDistro as Live_USB certainly wouldn't seem to fall under the category of CD?


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Language note - "LiveCD" or "live CD"?[edit]

IMHO the name should be Live CD, and in the text live CD should be used. This is both per WP:COMMONNAME, and per English capitalization rules. This article is not about some concrete LiveCD but about various types of live CDs. Compare with Sun and suns; God and gods.

However, because of a merge of previously existing Live CD to LiveDistro, which in turn has been ranamed to LiveCD, such move is not a trivial operation. How to perform it, while preserving edit histories of Live CD and LiveCD? --Kubanczyk 14:24, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Never Heard of LIVE FLOPPY. Why I am deleting it.[edit]

I'd like to delete the reference to "live floppy". It might be replaced by "boot floppy," but it should probably be deleted altogether. The reason they weren't called "live" is because from the earliest days of the consumer market, 5.25 and 3.5 floppies contained, and were used to boot operating systems. (can someone provide a reference for "live floppy?") In fact DOS stands for Disk Operating System. Before IBM PCs, Apple IIs and Commodore 64s needed to boot from specially designated 5.25 "boot disks" in order to load any software at all. Hard Drives became available for PCs and were affordable before CD drives, and so Operating Systems were installed directly onto hard drives. Even though some Operating Systems came on on Bootable CDs, the CD Drives were generally much too slow for running major applications. The first bootable Linux CD I ever encountered was a Debian 2.1.9 distro labelled "Slink and a half" in 1999, and it was not "live." It would boot specifically and only in order to install the system on a hard drive. Even though MS-DOS with utilities, a stripped-down barebones Macintosh OS, and other OSes could be run directly from CDs, this was mainly done to run diagnostic and repair utilities. There was little reason not to install directly on a hard drive. However, in the case of Linux, the OS was meeting resistance in the consumer market because of the difficulty and effort and risk involved with installing an additional partition on the hard drive, particularly the ext2 filesystem. The term "Live CD" was coined because after typical PC RAM was large enough and 52X speed CD drives and CD burners were widespread among PC owners, it finally became convenient and practical to boot the kernel, run X11, a window manager and GUI applications directly from a CD without disturbing the OS (generally Windows on FAT32 or NTFS) n the hard drive. This was a new and different situation for Linux than other OSes, because the updates/upgrades were being released so quickly, different distributions and versions were being offered online, and especially because users were burning their own CDs. Copying Linux from the installation media was also encouraged instead of actively hindered and discouraged with such things as requiring the input of long and elaborate serial numbers and lengthy and complicated installation procedures. Hopefully I've answered some questions, or at least provided some hints for researching the etymology of "Live CD", and went beyond justifying the deletion of a couple of words in the article. It seems likely in the future, the specific term "Live CD" is going into disuse as "boot floppy" has, so the point may be moot! ;) Cuvtixo 04:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Root cause of most problems with any article (and especially with this one), is a poor definition. There is a reason why WP:MOS requires an article to start with a precise definition, preferably in the first sentence of the lead section. It creates a common ground for everybody to contribute. Another thing, it should be backed by reliable sources, otherwise there is no point whatsoever in including it in Wikipedia. Then let's see how this one starts:
"LiveDistro or Live CD is a generic term for an operating system distribution that is executed upon boot, without installation on a hard drive."
So... Every OS, that isn't installed on HDD is a LiveXXX... Nice one. Historically insightful. Oh, somebody should inform people of 1960s that they used LiveTapes back then. And modern embedded systems? They obviously use LiveEEPROMs, hmm? --Kubanczyk 17:04, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Grammar with the word “Data”[edit]

A recent edit changed “On computers, optical discs were originally intended for storing data, was mostly installation files...” to “On computers, optical discs were originally intended for storing data,...those were mostly installation files...” with the rationale that “data” is plural. Although I know “data” is plural, referring to “data” as “those” sounds strange to me (and I'm a native English speaker). Can anyone shed some light on this? ::Travis Evans 23:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not native English speaker but I think you are right: "data is good", "time is money", etc. -- AdrianTM 01:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, as a non-native speaker I checked this in the Wiktionary. "(1) Colloquially, this word is often used as an uncountable noun with a singular verb. (2) In formal or scientific writing, this word is usually a plural noun, with singular datum." --Kubanczyk 06:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Data, as plural, is plural of 'datum', or things given in a problem. Data, in singular, is a mass, like 'water', refers to the bulk that might contain information. For example, the character count of text is data, but gives no clue to the information contained therein. --Wendy.krieger (talk) 11:07, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Is the Ubuntu screenshot really appropriate?[edit]

There seems to be a slight misunderstanding between me and someone else in this page. Perhaps it is better to clear this up.

The thing is that there is a wide Ubuntu screenshot, not necessarily appropriate for a page about a LiveCD.

The reasons for this screenshot to be appropriate is that it is not bringing anything to the LiveCD article, but is only showing that Ubuntu can run as a LiveCD.

One argument given by a user who restored the screenshot was that Ubuntu is supposedly the most popular Linux distribution. While sources are missing, most popular distribution or not, Ubuntu is certainly not the only popular distribution in the world. There are other distributions existing and sticking Ubuntu everywhere can be either frustrating for other distributions, and some form of advertisement.

Someone who wants to know what a LiveCD is wil read the article and find out very easily as it is well written. However this screenshot does not explain on its own what a liveCD is, making this image completely useless.

That fact that Ubuntu is the most popular distro has not yet been proven and is certainly not an argument for exposing a distribution screenshot on a LiveCD article.

This discussion is supposed to clear this up. There is nothing aggressive in my speech, but I am quite frustrated that ubuntu is stuck without justification everywhere while Fedora has the same capacities for example.

I have solved the issue in the Linux distribution article by adding screenshots and the bottom. The situation is now equal there.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I have to agree with you that Fedora, for example, is as good, or even better than ubuntu, but I also think some images to ilustrate the article do no harm, so I have already done like you suggested and I added some screenshots to the bottom... SF007 (talk) 15:15, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Hello, I shall soon add a few LiveCD screenshot, at least of Mandriva (since it is the distro I run). Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

LiveCD -> LiveNetwork[edit]

Could I use a very small bootstrap image on USB, CDROM, or ISO image for virtual machine to launch the live system, but keep most of the distribution part on network? I simple call it LiveNetwork?

If you know such solution, please kindly tell me.

Answer is here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Windows live CD confusion[edit]

The paragraph on Windows Live CDs starts off with: Although Mac OS and various Microsoft Windows releases can function as "live CDs" they are not referred to as such., and then links to BartPE, which Wikipedia refers to as a a Live CD/ Live USB version of the Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 32bit operating systems.. The title on BartPE's website is even Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD, so I believe this section should be fixed, as BartPE is based on Microsoft Windows, and is referred to as a live CD. --Nick58b (talk) 07:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

FM Towns OS - Live CD from 1989[edit]

According to the FM Towns page, the GUI OS booted from a CD back in 1989. Surely if this constitutes a live cd that is a full four years before Yggdrasil, then it should be included in the history?--Darrelljon (talk) 18:49, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Debian Screenshot[edit]

The screenshot for debian shows GNUstep, but the debian liveCD uses a (nicer looking) KDE, GNOME or XFCE by default. We should change to reflect the actual debian liveCD in common use. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree, I changed it. SF007 (talk) 18:50, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Much older than the Live CD is...[edit]

minicomputers and mainframes booting from tape into single-user mode. This allows them to, firstly and obviously, install the OS, and also to repair the system if someone/something stomped over the system files.

CDs have superceded tapes for that purpose, though. (talk) 07:24, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

CD + compression = slowdown ???[edit]

Many Linux based live CDs use a compressed filesystem image, often with the cloop compressed loopback driver, or squashfs compressed filesystem, generally doubling effective storage capacity, although slowing application start up.

Any measurements?

These seem to contradict this statement. Although, I do realize that an inappropriately large block size and readahead could decrease "signal to noise ratio", thus taxing bandwidth. bkil (talk) 00:35, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

OS/2 (eComStation) and Windows.[edit]

OS/2 boots from a cdrom, using a different 'memdisk' (not the syslinux one!), from which one might run setup or open a desktop in ram. eComstation makes available a 'demo' cdrom, which is a full version of OS/2 that runs from the cdrom and ramdisk. Article updated to reflect this.

Of windows: XP (FLP) and later install from a WinPE session, usually by installing a boot cdrom and prehaps, an Enhanced Write Filter into memory. Basically, Windows looks at the EWF cache before looking at the cdrom.--Wendy.krieger (talk) 11:33, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Questions about e-mail settings with a bootable / partitioned live linux USB thumb drive...[edit]

I like the idea of using a live Linux USB drive.

Is it possible to save my e-mail settings on the USB drive so that the e-mail can be checked without having to put the e-mail settings into the program every time the live OS is re-launched? That is, can I save my e-mail program on the USB drive, along with a Linux live OS, and then launch the e-mail program without having to re-enter the e-mail settings every time the OS is launched?

Does a bootable USB drive with Linux live launch faster than a live CD?

Which version of Linux live is best for a bootable USB drive? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brewser (talkcontribs) 20:53, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! Mike: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brewser (talkcontribs) 20:57, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello, first of all, you should have asked this at the Reference Desk... anyway:
  • Is it possible to save my e-mail settings on the USB drive so that the e-mail can be checked without having to put the e-mail settings into the program every time the live OS is re-launched?
    • Yes, some linux distros can just be installed into a USB flash drive and they work perfectly OK from there.
  • Does a bootable USB drive with Linux live launch faster than a live CD?
    • Usually yes.
  • Which version of Linux live is best for a bootable USB drive?
  • I don't know... I know Ubuntu and the Ubuntu-based Super OS can be installed to USB drives. Fedora is also a good distro, and can be placed on a USB drive with fedora live usb creator. Cheers --SF007 (talk) 17:54, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Merge with PCjacking[edit]

It has been proposed on PCjacking that article be merged with this one. What are people's thoughts on the matter? RedRabbit (talk) 00:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

-- Hey, PCjacking page is gone now and redirects here to Live CD, but there's nothing on it here. That's a fail, isn't it? If you want to learn about PCjacking? (talk) 04:14, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

The entire article is one big pile of WTF.[edit]

I believe this article should be scrapped until someone more knowledgeable about this topic and how to word this article comes up. I have been using Ubuntu for some time, I don't need to be lectured on how it works in terms of Linux or what it is. Also, the article shouldn't be as big as it is, and saying live CDs are used for hacking and cracking passwords, while true, should not be in here at all, considering this brings Linux and other free OSs into a negative light and instantly tells people this is the software thieves and hackers use.

I say no to this article, and it must go. At best, this should be a stub article to be merged into the general definition of Linux. Period. And all it needs to do is explain that a live CD/Live boot is a means of running and trying out an operating system before a permanent install takes place. That's all it should explain, in summary.

Take the damn thing down until a less confusing, less biased and more meaningful rewrite it available for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I know this is an oldish post but I can't let it stand without some criticism. I believe that this article shouldn't be scrapped because your arguments are bad and horribly self-centric. I don't get at all what you mean with that Ubuntu stuff, but if we were to apply your "I don't need to be lectured" -attitude all across Wikipedia, bam, loss of valuable information ensues. Wikipedia has a neutral point of view, and hiding away information about the malicious uses of Live CDs because of that bringing them into negative light is no different from, for example, removing the holocaust from the history of Germany. I'm a big fan on Linux (and Germany too, btw) myself but I consider censoring articles in order to portray it (or any other subject) in positive light an extremely disgusting and hypocritical way of promotion. You like free software? Then learn to embrace free information as well. Also, merger with Linux is not feasible, because there are non-Linux liveCDs as well, and that "all it needs to do..." stuff you're selling is plainly bollocks, as there are other uses of LiveCDs as well - neatly explained in the article. Zakhalesh (talk) 16:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Clarify live SD vs USB/CD/DVD please? Link to SD wiki page?[edit]

Live SD red/dud link -- by googling, I have figured out that SD = secure digital, which there is a wiki page for. (I recognize those, it's in my camera, why didn't you say so? except mine says Patriot.) If someone wants to link there. And explain to me whether live USB flash drive like Puppy Linux is not as secure as live CD/DVD or live SD card because of persistence. Which matters to me ("I dunno"), because I turn to wikipedia for simple explanations and because I run live cd to go online because I don't want a virus. Thanks everyone, I'm here to learn :-) (talk) 01:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

If you use a read-only medium you are guaranteed that no attacks during use can result in an infection persisting to the next time of use. Although your operating system should be in control over the computer, it is theoretically possible to attack it through e.g. the BIOS of the computer.
The practical risk eliminated by read-only medium is that risky behaviour, such as running software from unreliable sources, will not have lasting consequences (unless you use a password, log in somewhere etc., or by uncommon attacks such as infecting the BIOS).
--LPfi (talk) 10:31, 14 November 2011 (UTC)