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Linux distro that runs from CD ..?

Started by Eddy Van Esch, March 01, 2014, 10:25:32 PM

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Eddy Van Esch


I want to experiment a little bit with Linux but I don't want to install it (yet).
Does anyone know of a good Linux distro that can run from a CD?
Years ago I tried that with a Knoppix 'live CD' but it wouldn't run at the time.

Kind regards

Frank Fenti

almost all of them and I would recommend  a USB thumb drive.


very easy to use, download the live distro iso & select it in the menus. 

using this method you and actually have a Persistence installation; meaning you can install packages, updates and save files.

I have several that I use to rescue systems and surf incognito.

Fedora & ubuntu are high on my list.

remember to backup any files as when they die....  Well I've NEVER gotten any files of a dead one.

Eddy Van Esch

Frank, that seems to be exactly what I was looking for!

I am doing something similar with Windows XP. I have a USB stick with Bart PE and Win XP on it, and another one with Hiren's Boot CD and XP.
I am using them mainly to make OS images.

Thanks a lot!

Kind regards

Mike Stefanik

Linux Mint comes as a bootable LiveCD that you can also install from, of course. For system recovery, Finnix is fairly popular.

Eddy Van Esch

Thanks for the tips! 
I must say I get a bit lost with all the different distro's and flavors ...
Yesterday I messed around a bit with some tiny distro's (because I only had a 256 MB USB key available  :) ): Puppy Linux and 'Damn Small Linux'.

Today I have a 16 GB USB key and I first tried a 32 bit Ubuntu ( ubuntu-13.10-desktop-i386.iso ). That works fine on a 32 bits system (Intel Centrino CPU) and a 64 bits system (Intel Core i7 CPU).
I am now downloading a 64 bit Ubuntu distro ( ubuntu-12.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso ). I don't know if the 'AMD' means that it does not work on an Intel CPU ... It is a lower version than 13.10 but this is a LTS (Long Time Support) version.

Mike Stefanik

AMD64 refers to the x86-64 (64-bit) instruction set. It can be confusing because it goes by different names: amd64, intel64, x64. etc. but they all refer to the same thing, the AMD implementation of the 64-bit x86 instruction set that has become the de facto standard for 64-bit platforms. Intel had it's own 64-bit architecture, called Itanium (IA-64), but it has largely been abandoned. The most significant advantage to x86-64 was that it implemented the complete 16-bit and 32-bit instruction sets, along with the new 64-bit support, which meant that it was backwards compatible and could run 16-bit and 32-bit code without performance penalties. IA-64 provided x86 support through emulation, and therefore was slower. IIRC, AMD and Intel basically did a cross-licensing "patent swap" for various technologies each company owned, ensuring that x64 processors from both companies would be completely compatible with one another.

More than you wanted to know, I'm sure, but there you have it.

Edit: And apparently I'm not spelling very well this morning, either.

Eddy Van Esch

Quote from: Mike Stefanik on March 03, 2014, 08:47:26 PM
More than you wanted to know, I'm sure, ..
True.  ;D But interesting nevertheless ... I know next to nothing about Linux and its 25000 (give or take a few) different distro's/flavors/versions. So everything I learn about Linux is new and interesting to me ...

Eddy Van Esch

Mike, thanks for that pointer to Linux Mint.

The reason for my Linux adventure is that I want to take PureBasic (yes, that 'other PB'...) for a testdrive on Linux.
On Ubuntu, I couldn't get the required libs for PureBasic to install (someone with a little Linux experience probably would have no problems with it).
Then I tried Linux Mint. Installing the libs there was a breeze. The single line that I entered in the Terminal installed all libs flawlessly. In Ubuntu, that same line produced multiple errors.
So I was running the PureBasic examples in about 10 minutes time after booting up Linux Mint.
Out-of-the-box I also find that Linux Mint has a more Windows look-and-feel than Ubuntu. Of course, you can probably modify all that to your likings..

Anyway, thanks again.

Darrell Price

Hi Eddy,

There are many distributions out there, and something for everyone.

If you're looking for a no-hassle distro Linux Mint (mentioned above) is pretty much ready to go "right out of the box". It's a derivative of Ubuntu, which is a derivative of Debian. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to learn the internals, there's Slackware. It's been aptly described as being "friendly as a coiled rattlesnake", but it'll teach you a lot. And there's a lot in between.

Some links to help you out:

http://distrowatch.com/       <- Find your distro here

http://www.linuxcommand.org/   <- There's a free book at this site









Eddy Van Esch

Quote from: Darrell Price on March 03, 2014, 11:55:34 PM
There are many distributions out there, and something for everyone.
Yes, but for a beginner it is overwhelming .. 'what is what?'

If you're looking for a no-hassle distro Linux Mint (mentioned above) is pretty much ready to go "right out of the box".
Yes, that's what I am looking for. And I am running it now   :)
I am looking for a Linux that makes the transition from Windows to Linux as painless as possible. For now, I plan to remain on Windows for my daily work, but at the same time I want to prepare myself for the day when the question arises "Okay, do I stick with Windows or do I move on with Linux?" ...
So I don't need to become a Linux guru, I just would like to become familiar using it. Just like I am now using Windows.

And therefore, PureBasic is my candidate as programming tool, both on Linux as on Windows.

Thanks for the links. Lots of info! 

Eddy Van Esch

I noticed that most of the Linux distro's have a 'Install <this distro>' icon on the desktop of their 'Live CD'.
I read that some (try to) create a dual boot system, installing themselves next to the current OS.
Does anybody have an idea of how reliable this is? In my case Linux Mint?
I am now running the Live CD (Live USB actually) on a Windows XP system. I don't want that XP messed up ...  ;D

Frank Fenti

hey Eddy;

Today I found Slax linux.  portability/live seems to be it primary goal.  It went on a stick easily.


going to look at it more later tonight

Darrell Price


I'm presently running Mint and Win 7 on a dual-boot system, and have had at least one dual-boot machine for over 10 years. Not hard to do. The only problems I've had was caused by poor planning. You'll need plenty of free space, the amount depending on the distro you choose.


Eddy Van Esch

Thanks, Frank. I will take a look at that too.

Did you have the Linux installer create the dual boot?

Darrell Price

Most of it has been automated in the last several years, but there are still some configuration choices one has to make at the beginning of the installation.

Since you mentioned Mint, here are a couple of helpful links: