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Thread: What are some advantages of LiveCDs?

  1. #1
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    What are some advantages of LiveCDs?

    What are some advantages of LiveCDs, over hard drive installs? I mean, LiveCDs only last for the session that the computer is on, so it's only good for small sessions, right? Nothing is ever saved, such as documents, etc.? Or oh wait, are documents and whatever we save, are stored on the computer?

  2. #2
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    Knoppix is a wonderful tool to explore Linux (Debian) without having to mess with your Windows system. (That's how I got started about a year ago.) You can also save your files and settings to a removable drive and restore them when you start another session.

  3. #3
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    Gary King,

    Welcome to the world of "Live Cd OS's 101" [giggle]

    Three, levels, of a LiveCD OS exist, probably more, but, I'll just cover three

    1 ) CD-ROM boot, no drives used - advantages: viri attacks are only done to RAM, and Read-Only Access file systems - thus, the power goes out, viri go bye bye - configurations are only done in RAM, and, again, a Read-Only Access file systems - thus, if a configuration is screwy ( highly technical term here ), you just power off, and it all goes away - Lastly, hackers, and people who infiltrate computer systems, gain nothing on a LiveCD OS that isnt storing any data, or files, other than in RAM. As for the USAGE, the skies the limit... I have heard that some people, and companies are using Network Servers, File Servers, etc., using a LiveCD OS booted off the CD.

    2 ) CD-ROM boot, with configuration files, temp files, and installed programs, on either hard drives, or removable media - advantages: the "bulk" of the Operating System files are still on a Read-Only Access file system, thus, viri and hackers are "almost" held at bay, but, you can save you boot configurations, setups, personal files, install some programs, and still not go "full-blown" hard drive installed. Benefits: a nice transition to hard drive installing, without having to give up your other installed OS, or give up large storage areas for the install of this OS.

    3 ) Complete hard drive installing, either with a "dual boot" with another OS resident, or as itself alone - advantages: complete access to everything possible that Linux has to offer, and the security of having one of the most "secure" OS's on the market.

    LiveCD Operating Systems provide a nice niche, they allow the "safety", and "security" of booting another OS, without having to "install" it... Its kind of like the "Shareware Theory"; try it, before you buy it... only the "buy" here, isnt purchasing, or monetary, but, rather, deciding to install, or its usefulness, kind of thing. When a LiveCD OS is being used, you will find, that, lots of people "started out" by booting it off the LiveCD, and then, moved up, to hard drive installing it... Some, have found, that they are more than fine, staying back in the booting off the CD, and others, have moved to installing... Its a personal thing. Some people find the advantages of booting the LiveCD only, more, useful than having to actually install it. And, yet, others, find the installing an "evolutionary" thing ( this is my case ).

    Nothing wrong with staying with the LiveCD booting off the CD... It all depends on the person, and what they want to do, or what they want to use the OS for. But, by far, and more often, many choose to go on and install it.

    Most of the time, for the people who say they started out, booting the LiveCD, and then moved up to hard drive installing the OS, will say, it made Linux a good "transition" for them. Me included.

    I actually started using Knoppix, from booting the LiveCD, then progressed to using the LiveCD with saving to a hard drive, and then, finally, moving up to hard drive installing it, and then, lastly, complete scrubbing my previous Windows OS, and only installing a Linux OS on my systems. Again, it made a very nice "transition" from Windows to Linux.

    I have been corrected many times, on this subject, and, before someone points out, again, that I didnt mention it... here goes... Another nice niche, a LiveCD OS provides, is that of, providing a nice way for recovering from another OS failure. i.e. say your Microsoft Windows [place version here], decides to take a dump, and make everything you have on your hard drives, completely unaccessable... You can, with a good LiveCD OS, place the CD-ROM ( or DVD-ROM ) disc into your inflicted OS's drive, boot it to this LiveCD OS, and then possibly correct, or recover, the problem. At worst case, at least gain access to personal, non-backed-up data files, and recover them to another media.

    As many Windows users have found, not having a backup, or relying on the "stability" of there OS, has been to there downfall... And, many of the LiveCD OS's, mostly being Linux, have been good on the recovery side for this problem. Another nice point about a LiveCD OS, most, if not all, do not touch ANYTHING on your system, hard drives, modems, your other OS's configurations, files, etc... unless you do it yourself, or you ask the OS to do it... Thus, a level of "protection" exists with a LiveCD OS, that not many "installable" OS's can state. A LiveCD OS, allows, say, transportability, to places, where, an installable OS is not permitted.

    Hopefully, this helps a little,
    Ms. Cuddles

  4. #4
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    I've heard that Knoppix isn't made for upgrading hard drive installed versions. So how do you upgrade? I guess it's something you need to know how to do it, and not an automatic thing?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary King
    I've heard that Knoppix isn't made for upgrading hard drive installed versions. So how do you upgrade? I guess it's something you need to know how to do it, and not an automatic thing?
    Gary,

    I cant speak for any versions of Knoppix, past version 3.4, that was the last version I have had "direct" contact with, and, yes, at those versions, you had to "gut" your install, and completely re-install the OS again, and all programs that didnt, or dont, come pre-installed with the re-install... Some ways exist to make this "transition" of re-installing, a little easier, again, not sure of any Knoppix versions since v3.4, but, you can choose to install Knoppix with a seperate partition for your /home ( where all your personal files and configurations are kept ), and when re-installing, you would keep your /home intact, but the "gross OS files" would get replaced... again, if any programs are not installed that you use, or used, dont come with this new OS upgrade, you would need to re-install them again, after you re-install the new version of Knoppix.

    Other "variants" of Knoppix exist, like, say, Kanotix, which are made more "closely" related to Debian SID ( the unstable Debian release ), which both Knoppix and Kanotix are based off of. Kanotix is made to allow it to be "upgraded" without having to re-install, like Knoppix... From input of the creator of Knoppix, Knopper, Knoppix is more geared toward the LiveCD booting ability, whereas, Kanotix, is geared to both; LiveCD and also installing.

    Again, this information is coming from what I remember back in v3.4 of Knoppix releases, and may have changed with all the new versions that have come out, so dont quote me here, but, this has been the niche that Knoppix has been striving for, LiveCD booting... It does it well, and many, have enjoyed this niche, for many years, just fine...

    Again, hopefully, this helps,
    Ms. Cuddles

  6. #6
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    Hi Gary,
    This is quite a big subject. You need to learn about editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file, running apt-get update and apt-get upgrade commands, and have some idea what you are hoping to achieve. Stability and security are not the same.
    See
    http://forum.kanotix.net/viewtopic.php?t=10245

    Debian stable is very stable indeed and updating and upgrading should not break it. New features are added all the time to Sid (unstable). Testing concentrates on new features as well. If bugs are discovered in testing or unstable versions that affect the stable version, then eventually the stable version will be patched to make it even more stable/ secure. If the bugs are related to new features only found in the latest unstable or testing versions then they are not fed back into the stable version. Thus even Kanotix is likely to break if upgraded regularly. Knoppix tends to be less cutting edge than Kanotix, and by editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file on a hard disk installation to point to only stable mirrors should result in very stable version over time.

    Maybe you could read
    http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO...ess-HOWTO.html
    parts 1, 2 and 3 and then ask yourself why bother?

    My /etc/apt/sources.list has been edited to point to only stable sources.
    Here it is, hope this helps.

    deb ftp://debian.hands.com/debian/ stable main
    deb-src ftp://debian.hands.com/debian/ stable main

    deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main

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