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Giant List Of Linux-based Live CDs 339

Posted by timothy
from the good-bookmark dept.
nick58b writes "After searching the Internet and not being able to find a list of all available Linux Live CDs, I decided to create one. In its current form, it attempts to makes finding a Live CD easy. There are nearly 100 Live CD distributions listed so far, with functions ranging from clustering to home entertainment, and ISO image sizes from 5 to 702 Megabytes."
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Giant List Of Linux-based Live CDs

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  • Hmmm. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ziviyr (95582) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:04AM (#8313960) Homepage
    I guess distrowatch.com is chopped liver.
  • Cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:04AM (#8313965) Homepage Journal
    Thanks.

    Now to go load these guys on all the computers at Best Buy!
  • Growing Distros (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mork29 (682855) <keith.yelnick@noSPam.us.army.mil> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:06AM (#8313977) Journal
    Well, I know that some distro's can have installs of up to 2 or 3GB (ok, alot of that is source-code), but why aren't there any live DVD's? People really haven't explored this medium for distributing data. Many programs and games have still refused to switch over to DVD, despite it's wide usage in most new computers. Why is this?
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sbennett (448295) <spbNO@SPAMgentoo.org> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:09AM (#8313996)
      I'd guess it's partly because a lot of the stuff on the second and thirds CDs is less frequently used. If all most people want is KDE, OpenOffice, and Mozilla, and Knoppix can fit them all on one CD, why bother with a DVD at all?
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ziviyr (95582) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:11AM (#8314001) Homepage
      My wild guess is that CDs fit alot as is, and are much cheaper, which pays off with all the revisions. And DVD burners aren't as hugely common as CD burners. (also, compressed loopback was buggy at large sizes last time I heard it was tried)

      A DVD would provide a stretched-limo kind of Live CD experience though. :-)
      • (also, compressed loopback was buggy at large sizes last time I heard it was tried)

        A Live DVD wouldn't need a compressed filesystem - 4.7GB should be enough for any Live distro. :-)
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:5, Informative)

      by ryanw (131814) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:11AM (#8314007)
      Cost. DVDs cost more and also bandwidth isn't free. So whether they're letting you download it off their site or they're giving them away at their booth... I believe just about everything you need should be able to fit on a 800mb disk. I think the ones that push over a few hundred megs just have stuff "because they can".
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      One reason: there's no bootable DVD format/support.

      While CD booting is now common in many Mobo BIOS, I've yet to see one that will support DVD booting. Sure, there may be some out there already that I've missed (I'll probably find out from replies that there are), but as far as I know, booting from DVD is a different kettle of fish from booting a CD...
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:3, Interesting)

      by The One KEA (707661)
      I've often wondered about this as well. Considering the elevated requirements of most software packages and games written for the current top OS, you'd think that the person buying it would have a DVD drive. It sounds like a reasonable assumption for the companies to make.
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:2, Insightful)

      by segment (695309)
      cost factors... Think about that. A 7.99 DVD just to burn something you can BZIP into two .49 cd's. When you're free you're going to look to cut costs. *Nix distros unlike say VxWorks, Windows, Solaris (don't be a troll and answer with *its free to download*... I'm talking on a commercial level), QNX, etc, are making money SELLING as opposed to distros which charge to cover running costs.

      Pretty nice list havent used Linux for a while though. Maybe I'll find a PPC version to play with for my laptop.

      • Re:Growing Distros (Score:3, Insightful)

        by byolinux (535260)
        You're right, but what's to stop a GNU/Linux vendor from selling such a DVD?

        It's easy for everyone to play the bandwidth argument, but the parent never suggested it was for download, just that it was available.
      • Re:Growing Distros (Score:5, Informative)

        by W2k (540424) <wilhelm.svenseli ... 15926om minus pi> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:33AM (#8314124) Homepage Journal
        $7.99 is really expensive for a DVD. Over here, even with out gross taxes on writeable media, one DVD-R sets you back about $2, much less if you buy them in bulk. CD's are about $.8, again, much less if you buy them in bulk. A typical CD stores 700 MB, a DVD-R stores 4.7GB. Any compression you can think of that could be applied to squeeze more data into a CD could be applied to the data on a DVD just the same. Just imagine how much you could fit on a single DVD if everything was heavily compressed! Any way you look at it, unless DVD media costs a lot more where you live for some reason, the cost argument is irrelevant after 1.5GB or so.
        • Oopsie. I put "with out" where I meant "with our". Please don't think that I meant "without". :)
        • $7.99 is really expensive for a DVD.

          No kidding.

          I can get 5-packs of JVC made in Japan DVD-Rs at Fred Meyer for less than $15. DVD+Rs are usually a few dollars cheaper.
          • Interesting, it's the other way around here in Sweden. DVD+R's are usually a tad more expensive as far as I've been able to tell, and I found it hard to find places that had DVD+R's in really big bulk packages (50+ discs). I own a multi-format burner (Nec ND-1300A) but I use DVD-R's exclusively for the above reasons.
    • Re:Growing Distros (Score:5, Interesting)

      by otter42 (190544) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:41AM (#8314328) Homepage Journal
      What I think would be really interesting would be multiple LiveCD distros on one CD! Imagine, you use the boot loader to choose between Gnoppix or Knoppix, bioinformatic or educational, vanilla or chocolate.

      And, honestly, DVDs aren't at all expensive. On rebate, I bought a whole slew of DVD-R from OfficeMax (Depot?) for $5 per 25. Yeah, they're low quality, but for linux distros, the junkable ones are what you want to use.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:06AM (#8313980)
    I remember a friend going up to a girl in a bar, opening his wallet, pulling out a business card CD and saying "Get a load of my distro". Let's just say she wasn't interested.
  • only 702 MB??? (Score:4, Informative)

    by m303 (633824) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:07AM (#8313983) Journal
    The famous Knoppix is also available as DVD version with even more software and stuff. Dunno if it's already on the net.
    • Re:only 702 MB??? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by axxackall (579006) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:42AM (#8314151) Homepage Journal
      The size of DVD images can be too big: many sites would hesitate to publish it afraiding too many people would download it and crash their sites, while many users would hesitate to download it as it's too big for their DSL lines. Ironic, isn't it?

      What would be a really a help for us, DVD-/+R/RW users is to have some sort sort of "LiveDVD HOWTO" describing how to build your own LiveDVD.

      It could be useful for Gentoo users to burn it with all packages required and later use on the computer without a network (yes, sill there are such sometimes). Other Linux distros can benefit as well.

      Also it could be useful to create a backup LiveDVD. Later it could be used to boot and restore the failed system.

      • Gentoo liveCD (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The gentoo developers are working on a program that can do just that. Go take a look at the Catalyst homepage:

        http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/releng/catalyst/
      • Still somewhat in it's infancy .. Catalyst [gentoo.org].

        It is usable now, just requires a little effort to get everything working smoothly.
        • by axxackall (579006) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:29AM (#8314873) Homepage Journal
          Catalyst is dealing with ISO format, thus has a limitation of 2GB (inherited from FAT). What I am looking is some HOWTO about building LiveDVD with either a bootable UDF filesystem, which would give me full 4.7GB partition, or a combo of a bootable ISO partition + an additional UDF partition.

          So, if , for example your bootable ISO would be 700MB, then your UDF would be 4GB - pretty good, huh? This case is good when you take some existing LiveCD image and slightly modify it (1) to mount UDF and (2) to know what is there.

          Or if your ISO would be 2GB, then your UDF would be 2.7 GB accordingly. This case is good if you build your own LiveCD image and your "root" partition must be big enough already (by some reason).

          UDF is important also in situations when you want to save something back on DVD (if you have DVD-/+RW hardware).

          And of course I should mention another limitation of ISO: filenames. They must be short, they should not have any strange characters, and the path in the filestructure must be not too deep. With ISO we have to use some dirty hacks to work around. With UDF you don't have such limitations.

          Do you know if Catalyst has any plans to work with UDF?

      • Re:only 702 MB??? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Shillo (64681) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:07AM (#8314537)
        > The size of DVD images can be too big: many sites would hesitate to publish it afraiding too many people would download it and crash their sites, while many users would hesitate to download it as it's too big for their DSL lines.

        Duh! This is exactly the problem that BitTorrent is designed to solve! :)

        --
      • Linux Live (Score:3, Informative)

        by quinkin (601839)
        The Linux Live [linux-live.org] bash scripts were used to create the Slax [linux-live.org] live CD. There is of course the Gentoo live CD site that others have posted.

        Q.

  • Thanks! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ryanw (131814) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:08AM (#8313988)
    Thank you for your efforts! To repay you we will saturate your bandwidth and overload your server.
    • Re:Thanks! (Score:3, Funny)

      by krumms (613921)
      To repay you we will saturate your bandwidth and overload your server.

      I, for one, welcome our new bandwidth saturating server overload.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:09AM (#8313995)
    If a see once more YALCD on Freshmeat or Distrowatch I am shove my CD-RW drive up the author's ass! (and run the eject command in the process)

    There are too many of them, the more there are, the more fragmented they become and therefore less tested, resulting loads of crap cds with poor hardware dectection, buggy apps and does not bode well for Live CDs.

    So if you want to make one, DON'T, help fix the bugs on the major ones, such as Knoppix and MandrakeMove, and let the other ones die unless they have a Good Reason to exisit (such as ClusterKnoppix or Knoppmyth) rather than just being a YALCD (Such as Mepis and Gnoppix)
    • MEPIS is an installer disc that boots live. It puts up a nice install with yawn inspiring ease.

      I have yet to understand why the kludge that is the Knoppix install is regarded so highly.
      • by muyuubyou (621373) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:42AM (#8314155)
        1) I had knoppix and to make a HD install is simple enough even for my mom with only minor instruction. Quick, easy and functional and I know it. I knew and had installed Debian before but it's not that because my peeps didn't and they could get it installed.

        2) MEPIS website. Sucks bigtime. They list 7 different ways to buy it but not a single way to download it. FAQ doesn't stand for "how to buy it" or "questions I'd love to be asked." After 15 minutes trying to find an FTP download and failing miserably I gave up. Because Knoppix worked anyway and has real support in their and other's page. If I'm kind enough to dedicate my time to trying their distribution out despite having several working alternatives I already know, they should at least don't piss me off with their bullshit.
        • by Ziviyr (95582)
          Sorry you got snagged at the website. It is available though, and real smooth install wise once you have the iso/CD.

          Its understandable from the MEPIS point of view, if its easier to buy it than to find it on the site, they get more funding. If you're strapped for cash its nice that it's available if you're willing to look for it.

          You seem to fit in caterory three, you won't pay for it, you're not worried enough to give it a good hard look and you have an alternative that you're happy enough with.

          For those
          • It's I don't pay for things I know scraps about.
          • "For those discontented few with little inclination to pay..."

            What are you talking about? Discontented few? Try overwhelming vast majority. LiveCD's are a dime a dozen. There are plently around which do the same thing as MEPIS. They are easy to setup and easy to install to the hard drive.

            I'd say he fits in category one. He looked at it, saw the same thing he's seen with other LiveCD's, and was put off by the Real Networks "hide the Free version" ploy.

            I'm sure MEPHIS is a quality LiveCD. I'm sure that tho
    • So if you want to make one, DON'T, help fix the bugs on the major ones

      You seem to think it is your place to tell me how I should spend my free time. Does this mean you are prepared to pay me to work on Knoppix or MandrakeMove?

    • by torpor (458) <jayv.synth@net> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:03AM (#8314210) Homepage Journal
      Rubbish. Live CD's represent a solution to a problem which has plagued this industry for years. (*cough*Microsoft*cough*)

      It is *GOOD* to have so many to choose from ... and its good for there to be a thriving 'cottage industry' around building these LiveCD images.

      I would like to see a live Boot CD build system which allows you to customize the payload *easily* (easier than it is to actually 'install' something on a local dedicated machine, individually, and administer it, anyway) and use the Read-Only aspect of the Operating System/Applications binaries to full advantage in securing a productive machine and network.

      Imagine: you have 20 PC's, all booting from a Live CD which is configured to give all users the tools they need, and can then join the remaining no longer OS-centric hard disks all together in a large, local, p2p network filesystem.

      New "graphics" guy comes onboard - give him the "GIMP CD Toolkit" CD, point him in the direction of any machine he wants, and away he goes. No more local PC administration. New 'sales' guy comes onboard, give him the "Office CD Toolkit" and away he goes. All the disks can then be joined together over p2p, and nobody ever has to worry about where their files are stored, or which PC to use, or what the security of an individual node is going to be if someone gets access to it - since a node would be OS-less, and the filesystem dedicated to the p2p fileshare, which would presumably be secure ... on the order of a local 'FreeNet' or what-have-you ...

      I can see that Live Boot CD's are a solution to so many problems... as long as they get easier and easier to make, build, and use ...
      • Welcome to slow computer country. Live CDs like Knoppix are great, especially for demo purposes or as a rescue disk, but they are not exactly fast, especially if you are starting larger programs. And have fun once the graphics guy wants/needs to use some software that is only on the Office CD and vice versa.

        Regarding security: Sure, the files on the CDs are imutable, but one would still be able to access the real valuable stuff which is your users' data if the machine is running some service that is vulner
        • by silicon not in the v (669585) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @02:25PM (#8317790) Journal
          Welcome to slow computer country. Live CDs like Knoppix are great, especially for demo purposes or as a rescue disk, but they are not exactly fast, especially if you are starting larger programs.
          I have a story about this one. I have a mostly-working Debian install (except my sound card), but I was running from a Knoppix CD to see if it could configure my sound card and then maybe I would be able to find out what drivers to set up for my real hard drive install. My wife came into the room, on the phone with her dad, and asked if I could pull up a web browser to find a page she wanted to tell her dad about. I answered, "Well, uh, OK." I clicked to open Mozilla, and as it chugged and chugged (300MHz machine with 192MB RAM) she tried to explain to her dad why it was taking so long.
          "He's using Linux...It's another operating system that tries to copy what Windows does, but generally only computer-people use it because you have to write your own programs for it."
          At this point, my Mozilla window came up, but the graphics were really distorted because Knoppix hadn't set up the S3 driver for my video card, so it was using vesa or fbdev. It was pretty much unreadable.
          "Well, it's really slow, and most of the time stuff doesn't work...[to me:]Why do people use it anyway?"
          I just said that I was a little too upset to answer right now. Later, we discussed why I was so upset about it. I told her that I was running the version from CD to diagnose something, so it's naturally slower and not as good as it's supposed to be. I said that it's like she had come up to someone who has a flat tire by the side of the road, and she asks for a ride. The person may say OK to try to be nice and help out, but while you're riding along, you're complaining about how this car has terrible ride quality and doesn't corner well and is really bumpy.
          I am trying to learn to use Linux, but it has been a slow-going experience because I am doing it on our secondary computer that doesn't have great hardware. Even Windows doesn't auto-detect my ISA sound card, but it comes with a driver disk that makes it work. I could go spend the $20 each for a new video card and new sound card, but I figure I would like to learn more about how to overcome problems like this and how to search for answers to this stuff online.
      • by bmsleight (710084) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:05AM (#8314394) Homepage
        I would like to see a live Boot CD build system which allows you to customize the payload *easily* (easier than it is to actually 'install' something on a local dedicated machine, individually, and administer it, anyway)
        This is just what Morphix [morphix.org] allows you to do. It basically takes away the hard work of re-mastering a Knoppix CD.

        The base, the Knoppix part contains the kernel, kernel modules, hardware detection, etc. This base is left untouched. You can either a change a mainmod or add lots of minimodules.

        The are four basic images [sourceforge.net] to start off with. So making you own LiveCD is much easier.

        Brendan

      • I can see that Live Boot CD's are a solution to so many problems
        Also consider tech like NetBoot [apple.com] solutions to these problems (with the advantage of having single images on hard drives to alter rather than dozens of CDs)...
  • by mattjb0010 (724744) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:19AM (#8314043) Homepage
    Interesting that there are two bioinformatics-tailored liveCDs. Now I can BLAST into my work at a remote PC in an instant :)
  • Forgot Finnix! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frogking (126462) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:20AM (#8314047) Homepage
    http://www.finnix.org/

    Yes, it's outdated but I know the guy who created it and he's pretty cool.
  • by thepyre (697537) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:20AM (#8314049)
    This might be a stupid question, but has anyone put out a live cd for a playstation 2 or xbox? I would love to run some form of *nix on my console, as it's probably the fastest computer I own.
    • Dynebolic (Score:4, Interesting)

      by IroNick (668714) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:43AM (#8314157)
      I've tried dyne:bolic [xbox-scene.com] or here [dynebolic.org] for my xbox. It works, but the version I tried was sadly slow. Seems like 32MB RAM isn't what this distro calls a good time. And of course: It requires your xbox to chipped and ready.
      • Re:Dynebolic (Score:2, Interesting)

        by IroNick (668714)
        Actually, the xbox has 64 MB of RAM, but it *felt* more like 32. The distro worked very smooth on my 800Mhz PC with 300-and-something MB RAM.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:40AM (#8314320)
      This might be a stupid question, but has anyone put out a live cd for a playstation 2 or xbox? I would love to run some form of *nix on my console, as it's probably the fastest computer I own.

      There is a build of Gentoo called GentooX available that works great on a chipped Xbox. You might be able to rig it up with a saved-game bug, but I've only done it with a chip in my box. Here's their homepage:

      http://gentoox.shallax.com/

      You should be able to find the download links on their webpage. Its only a 100-150MB file, but it uncompresses to about 2GB (huge rootfs file). Just make sure that if you install it on your Xbox, you put it in the root directory on the E drive. I got it setup easily on my box and it runs great. I don't have a USB Mouse or Keyboard rigged up on my Xbox so I was only able to SSH to it from my PC. I noticed another poster mentioned how slow it was, but maybe it was something with their distro, because I had no problems at all with speed. I even setup SETI@Home on it and ran that for a few days. The time it took to finish a packet were comparible to a Pentium III 500MHz, which sounds about right since I believe the CPU in the XBox is a Celeron 733MHz. I also had no noticable slow downs on it while running applications. I definately recommend trying it out if you want to put Linux on your Xbox.
  • by eadz (412417) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:20AM (#8314050) Homepage
    Over half of these 100 "Distros" are Knoppix remasters. Here's a list of 60+ Knoppix remasters [knoppix.net]. The reason there are so many? It's very easy to make your own Knoppix remaster [knoppix.net]. I'm pretty sure many of these distros have 5 users if the're lucky.
    • Over half of these 100 "Distros" are Knoppix remasters. Here's a list of 60+ Knoppix remasters. The reason there are so many? It's very easy to make your own Knoppix remaster. I'm pretty sure many of these distros have 5 users if the're lucky.

      I don't know. I created a version, have it on my home server (which is why I am not linking it here) and I have people downloading it all the time. I would link to my mirror, but it disappeared a while ago. (anyone have 200 MB of space and a big pipe?) It is a bo

  • by wan-fu (746576) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:21AM (#8314060)
    Awesome job with the compilation of a large list of Live Linux distros. However, I think you're missing out on a primary function: porn. I mean, c'mon, having a live CD means no history to keep on hard disk!
  • LinuXbox (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does any of these boot on Xbox???

    I checked out teh one called Plan-B. Sounds pretty cool.

    [quote]Plan-B is a bootable Linux environment without the need for a hard drive, it runs entirely in ram or from the cd, based on a basic, stripped installation of Red Hat Linux and the fundamental workings of the SuperRescue CD. A list of tools and utilities are also included for projects such as: * Forensics/Data Recovery * System/Network Analysis and Security Scanning * Temporary Network Device/Server
    • Re:LinuXbox (Score:2, Informative)

      by dfn_deux (535506)
      Dynebolic will boot on an Xbox.... I might be mistaken, but I believe that all the kernel hacking bits to make linux work on Xbox have been accepted into the main 2.6 tree so the next generation of live CDs should theoretically all be Xbox compatible.
  • crashrecovery.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by mobius_stripper (144347) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @05:52AM (#8314182)
    I've been using CDs from Crash Recovery Kit for Linux [crashrecovery.org] for a while, for both crash recovery (obviously), and for quickly booting up Linux on assorted machines for debugging, network connectivity or other tasks.

    Krishna
  • There should be over 700 MB Live DVDs.
    • by Ziviyr (95582)
      Every Tuesday it should rain parachuted bricks of gold in my back yard.

      I'm not sure much is stopping you from making a Live DVD now.
  • It's a great list (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WegianWarrior (649800) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:04AM (#8314214) Journal

    Particulary if you, like me, are just poking into this Linux thing and want to test several different versions without having to invest in a sexond harddisk or get rid of my still fully working Windowns installation. I'll definitly be spending using a lot of my bandwidth to download some distros this weekend *smiles*

    What I miss, however, is beeing able to see what minimum hardware requirement the various LiveCDs need without having to look at each one that looks interesting. Can't have everything I guess.

  • Think "applications" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:05AM (#8314217) Journal
    To answer the 'why more distro' trolls, hundreds of LiveCDs does not mean thousands of Knoppix/Gnoppix clones.

    It means hundreds of applications, each specialized for a particular niche, each provided in an ultimately convenient format: plug and play.

    It's a lot like console computing: plug in a cartridge and play. It's so different from the "traditional" computing model where software is carefully installed into an environment...

    I've always believed that the need to install software was one of the biggest handicaps with delivering software to a global public.

    LiveCDs eliminate this problem. We are coming back to the 1980's when home computers booted clean and software came on cartridges. Robust, stable, cheap. Look at some of the advantages from the home user's point of view:

    - no installation
    - total separation of data (on some kind of memory stick?) and code
    - unstable system? reboot it!
    - many people can share the same hardware with no interference
    - you can use any available box to run the software

    Conclusion: LiveCDs are not some esoteric hack. They represent a fundamental change in the home computer paradigm, and will open the door to a huge new public that still faces computers with trepidation (and after that Windows XP virus disaster that wiped their snapshots for the third time), and some trauma.

    If I was a computer manufacturer, I'd be looking at designs optimized for this way of working:

    - small, silent case
    - optimised for game playing
    - large amount of RAM (2Gb+)
    - no hard disk
    - easy-access USB memory sticks
    - very fast CDROM/DVDRW
    - no diskette
    - network, TV out, 5.1 sound, etc.

    And then distribute it with a pack of 20 or so interesting Linux LiveCDs including Mythtv.
    • Pretty cool idea at the end there about building a console system for PC that uses Live CDs to power it. However, the lack of a hard disk in your specs doesn't work too well when:
      - the console is used to web surf or check e-mail, some local storage may be required
      - games typically have large saves on the order of several megabytes, USB memory wouldn't be practical
      - why bother with a fast burner, there's no media to burn... I can't even d/l a new distro to disk.
      - mods/new maps/etc. to games? Wher
      • by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:38AM (#8314315) Journal
        Surfing the web:
        - cache pages on a RAM disk and then throw them away
        - no cookies
        - no history, no embarassment.
        - bookmarks saved in home directory on USB disk

        Game saves:
        - they're large because disk space is cheap. Easy to be more efficient and compress the data
        - for multiplayer games, save on a server

        Media burner:
        - download new distros to RAM disk, then burn onto CDR or DVDR
        - download photos from camera, burn immediately to CD
        - download other stuff, burn immediately to CD
        - requires lots of RAM but that is not an issue

        Why no hard disk? Because permanent shared storage breaks the "console" model and will inevitably be used by software providers in the wrong way. Plus it makes noise, creates more cooling issues, and forces the case to be larger.

        Example: you've saved your game and now you want to go play on another machine... how do you do it?

        But... it's not a big deal: such boxes should be easily modded to included whatever hardware people want. Just not for the mass market.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          > - no history, no embarassment.

          You know, history is actually a feature if you're not surfing porn...
        • by TrancePhreak (576593) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:55AM (#8314504)
          I think you miss the point here. Gaming requires large installs these days, 2GB and upwards. Where will one install these games? Some save games are large because they store a lot of data, Black & White for example. If you look at game saves for consoles, there are some games with complex data that requires a large amount of space. Some games require their own memory card even.

          2GB would not allow you to download a new DVD distro to ram disk. What's more, you probably couldn't do a lot of stuff while downloading, because you'd need to keep the ram open for the download. Hard drives are cheaper than RAM, and that should be taken advantage of. $156 USD for 1GB of RAM, or $120 for 120GB hard disk.
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:19AM (#8314257) Homepage Journal


    I dunno. All this random live CD distro stuff is seriously diffusing trustworthiness. if you ask me. When there are only 5 supposed users of one of these Live CD distros, it's quite possible a given downloadable distro could be a trojan. It might either fdisk your hard drive or do any number of things on your LAN. It would be hella-easy to modify a Knoppix to put the ethernet card into promiscuous mode and then forward all interesting data to some IRC server in Bulgaria. Happening while your cousin experiences linux for the first time on a computer at work.


    All I'm saying is, stick with the live CD distros coming from as reputable sources as you can possibly find. Avoid the obscure ones.
  • What about XOL [sol-linux.com]? I was looking for a nice Live CD the other day, and found XOL. Haven't tried it out yet, but it looks pretty decent.
  • by fyrestrtr (753958) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:43AM (#8314335) Homepage
    Found this Copyright (C) 2004 by Nicholas Brand on IE 6 at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, good list :)
  • Great Job (Score:2, Informative)

    by kompiluj (677438)
    Great job, brother!
    But I would also add:
    SUSE LINUX for i386 Live-Eval [suse.com]
    MandrakeMove [mandrakesoft.com]
    or were you fishing only for non-commercial ones (or Knoppix derivatives) or something?
    • or were you fishing only for non-commercial ones (or Knoppix derivatives) or something?

      MandrakeMove is 100% FLOSS. I don't see how that would differ from a non-commercial distro

      Sunny Dubey
  • Salvare isnt listed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Leoric (540150) <leoric@@@online...no> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @06:50AM (#8314352)
    I use Salvare. It is great, and is loaded with apt, so you never miss any software. Its made for credit card sized CDs, so I am always carring one in my wallet. http://salvare.sourceforge.net/ Salvare is: "Salvare (from the Latin "to rescue") is a small Linux distribution designed for small, credit-card sized CDs which typically hold around 34MB. More Linux than tomsrtbt but less than Knoppix, it aims to provide a useful workstation as well as a rescue disk."
  • Is there a LiveCD that will boot on an "OldWorld" PowerBook 3400c without the use of an OS 9 install?

    It would need sound support, and network support...
  • Linux's Killer App? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dfn_deux (535506) <datsun510&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:01AM (#8314378) Homepage
    I really think that Live CD distros might end up being Linux's killer app. I mean with the current state of the OS and it's compatibility with existing office applications and whatnot the "last mile" is all we really need and that is actually getting people to try it. Now I don't know about you, but most people that I know that aren't technically minded are not going to be willing to mess around with repartitioning their only hard drive to try linux. However everyone that I've shown knoppix to has been very impressed with the ease of use and compatibility with exisisting hardware and files produced with non-linux applications. If you can get 5 people to try linux with a live CD then 1 of them might convert to linux full time and it's likely that the ones who aren't interested will pass the knoppix CDs off to someone else...

    once the last mile is crossed we will have arrived.

    P.S. knoppix boots faster than alot of XP installs that alone might be enough.

  • See also (Score:4, Informative)

    by arvindn (542080) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @07:51AM (#8314485) Homepage Journal
  • Live CD's (Score:5, Informative)

    by Techen (705895) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:05AM (#8314532)
    Well, i'll be honest. I'm not a huge Linux fan. I'm not a computer geek. I'm just an average joe that likes to pudder around with his PC. That said, I am forever in debt to slashdot for showing me Knoppix. That CD has saved my bacon so many times. These LIVE CD's are gift to all us computer amatures. When we need to correct/save something we just screwed up, it offers a stable way to make the changes.
  • by user no. 590291 (590291) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:11AM (#8314546)
    . . . has anyone published instructions on how to make a Windows 2000 live CD :)?
  • by OlivierB (709839) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:17AM (#8314559)
    Alright, I agree with pretty much everybody about the whole Read-only positive aspects of live CD. No Hard Drive , easier administration etc. BUt guys wake up. The industry has created an aswer to all this and it's called THIN-CLIENT. That,s right. On the local machine they run an os of some ROM or even better boot from the network. On one central server there is a shared drive, permissions for applications etc. I reckon that is the future of entreprise desktop. Do this remind AS/400 to anybody else but me? Is history repeating itself or what?
  • WTF! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Accipiter (8228) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:18AM (#8314561)
    While SLAX is listed in that list, the author didn't note that Disc 2 of Slackware [slackware.com]'s 4 CD set is a bootable live CD.

    Go Slackware!
  • by wilsonjo (181905) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:42AM (#8314640) Homepage
    Coincidentially, I used the live KnoppixMyth CD to get my PVR working this week. I struggled for 2 weeks trying to get my Shuttle SN41G2 Xpc to work with Slackware 9.1. I then stumbled upon the KnoppixMyth [mysettopbox.tv] web site and decided to give it a try.
    In less than two hours, I was up and running, recording TV.
    Much credit and thanks due to the KnoppixMyth guys for the easy install!!
    BTW - Myth TV PVR Box Specs:
    • Shuttle SN41G2 with RAM + XP 2500 - $369
    • Hauppauge PVR-250 OEM $96
    • 120 Gig HD $70
  • by jarich (733129) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:55AM (#8314684) Homepage Journal
    I've never seen a release that can handle my laptop's power functions (battery, etc) but I was able to get it working via patching kernel an ACPI Patch

    I'd love to see a release that focused on the power management as well as WiFi, etc

    also, I don't want to store my settings on a USB key chain.. that costs $$ to buy! :) Set me up to store my settings on an FTP server!!!! Accessible from anywhere in the world! Security (via username and password) built it.

    joe sixpack at work could try out distro X and then take it home and keep trying it.

    also, it's time for a common preferences format (XML anyone)? so that I can set prefs in Knoppix and then reboot and point my Slax distro at the same home dir.

    :)

  • Live CD Demos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cattail.nu (724860) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:47AM (#8314979) Homepage

    So I have this very nice high end box, running, oh let's say one of those Linux type OS's, with VMware.

    In theory, I ought to be able to store all these ISOs on one of the rather large disk drives, then mount the file as a drive, and boot the live CD in VMware.

    It follows that I ought to be able to make a pick list of all the live cds and run several side-by-side as a demo to friends of what's available without all that booting/rebooting that's hard on the hardware.

    At the end of the demo, I could give them a CD of the OS they liked best.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    ----------

  • Two omissions (Score:4, Informative)

    by kg4eyf (232264) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @09:59AM (#8315069) Homepage
    Flonix [flonix.com] and Puppy [goosee.com]. These are both small, and capable of being run off of more than a cd, but they do have bootable isos. They both have flash drive versions, which I have taken looks at while designing my USB pen drive distribution RUNT [ncsu.edu].

    When I'm doing something people don't understand they don't question whether or not I'm doing my job, because it is my job to do all the things people don't understand.
  • by Ridgelift (228977) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @01:49PM (#8317420)
    Remember when computers could only run one program? You'd grab a floppy, put it in the drive, then boot the machine? It was probably obvious to many, but I just realized that this is sort of a return to that. No worries about viruses, operating system is customized to the application(s).

    I wonder what other "progress" in computers could be improved by using ideas from the past.

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