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Linux Live CDs: All the Linux with None of the Commitment

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If you’ve been itching to try Linux but have been wary about partitioning your hard drive or otherwise afraid to commit the time and space to another operating system, the good news is you don’t have to risk anything to experience Linux. For quite some time, Linux distributions have been made available in live CD format, decompressing data on-the-fly and running entirely from memory. Not only can you try different flavors of Linux, but you can often use the live CD to install the software if you really like it.

And if that wasn’t enough, specialized live distros can run from business card-sized CDs, USB thumb drives, and some that are intended as rescue CDs for virus-ridden PCs. There are even live routers and firewalls in case you want to use an older PC as your main connection to the Internet. You can also just boot a Linux Live CD to try out the games,, or the GIMP image editor without installing them. Because and the GIMP are both available for Windows, it’s a great opportunity to see whether you like them before you install them on your Windows PC. And in the event your Windows installation goes bad, you can even use a Live CD to rescue or otherwise back up files from your hard drive.

There are plenty of reasons to try a Linux live CD. In addition to the above, it’s a great way to experience a different desktop environment...

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I don't get it.

I use Live CD's as diag tools or to test various hardware for Linux compatibility, but actual use one as a desktop OS - no way!

I'm talking about running them on modern, pretty high-end systems (big cpu, fast cd/dvd, lots o ram) and of course they are all dog slow. Who in their right mind would use one as a real system? I think it turns people OFF from using Linux because the experience is so lame.

Do your non-Linux friends a favor, recommend (or help install it yourself) a dual-boot system NOT a slooooooooooooooooooooow Linux Live CD endurance lesson.

Re: I don't get it.

vonskippy wrote:

Who in their right mind would use one as a real system? I think it turns people OFF from using Linux because the experience is so lame.

Do your non-Linux friends a favor, recommend (or help install it yourself) a dual-boot system NOT a slooooooooooooooooooooow Linux Live CD endurance lesson.

I don't know, a lot of windows folks are quite intimidated by the whole partitioning and trying to install thing.

I've tested a couple that ran fairly okay from livecd. Of course they do much better loaded into ram. Perhaps if more of the livecds checked for how much ram is available and if enough, automagically loaded in toram it would make for better experiences.

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