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Old 07-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
Nymn
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Where do saved files go when you run a live CD?


Where exactly are they saved? In memory? Is there any way to recover them once you log out and shut down the PC?
I'm not trying to recover anything, I'm just genuinely curious.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
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generally they are saved in memory (and therefore lost after shutdown), however I know that some LiveCD's have the option of storing them on a flash drive, or the hard-drive, though that would probably require extra configuration. It is also possible to use a Live-USB flash drive, which can save files to the flash drive.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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Okay, thanks. That's what I figured.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #4
jefro
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Depends on a few things but yes the answer is they usually lost, but not always. Most live cd's cheat the system. The makers of them found a way to use both the cd and some part of your ram to act like a hard drive. It seems to let you save files but since it is ram it gets lost.

This assumes you have a distro that doesn't have a save or scratch disk. Some distro's offer you a way to save those files to hard drive or usb or floppy or even on the cd you booted to.

The files could be on the swap file or partition in some cases also. That area is possible to access if you have it on a hard drive or even flash drive.

Last edited by jefro; 07-03-2012 at 05:28 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
Nymn
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Interesting. Maybe it depends on how much you download while running the live CD?
 
Old 07-03-2012, 08:07 PM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymn View Post
Interesting. Maybe it depends on how much you download while running the live CD?
No, it solely depends on if and how the developers have implemented that feature.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Normally, you would NOT save anything to the CD---once the iso is burned to it, it's read-only.

A Live Linux session uses a "ramdisk"---a section of RAM that appears to the system like a normal read-write disk. At least part of the "root" filesystem is put on this ramdisk. Once you are running, you can mount a flash drive or external USB or SATA drive, and save files there.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Normally, you would NOT save anything to the CD---once the iso is burned to it, it's read-only.
In fact, there are (were?) some live-CDs that could write to a RW or a multisession CD.

Quote:
A Live Linux session uses a "ramdisk"---a section of RAM that appears to the system like a normal read-write disk. At least part of the "root" filesystem is put on this ramdisk.
To make this a bit more complete, usually it is not a static RAM-disk but a tmpfs that is mounted on top of the root filesystem (which nowadays usually resides in a SquashFS container on the CD) using AUFS or OverlayFS. All changes (new files, changes in files, the deletion of files and changes in the meta-data) are saved on the tmpfs, totally transparent for the user.
Quote:
Once you are running, you can mount a flash drive or external USB or SATA drive, and save files there.
Some distros, like Puppy or the ones that support persistence can do this on the fly without user interaction.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 08:59 PM   #9
pixellany
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I hereby acknowledge that my answer was a bit simplistic.......

Another perspective: If you want to save files, then install Linux. Live CDs are for tryout, system troubleshooting/repair, etc.

Last edited by pixellany; 07-03-2012 at 09:01 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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Short answer:

Either it's saved to tmpfs (RAM), which means it's lost when you power off, or it's saved to persistent storage either on a multi-session CD-RW or a USB drive.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 11:10 PM   #11
flamelord
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Quote:
Another perspective: If you want to save files, then install Linux. Live CDs are for tryout, system troubleshooting/repair, etc.
Another use for live cd's which would warrant data persistence is to have a portable system which can be accessed using multiple hardware systems. That way the user could be sure that the applications they needed were available. I admit that such a use case would probably be rare, but I can see someone wanting to do that. Although I would recommend a Live-USB in that case.
 
Old 07-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #12
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamelord View Post
Another use for live cd's which would warrant data persistence is to have a portable system which can be accessed using multiple hardware systems. That way the user could be sure that the applications they needed were available. I admit that such a use case would probably be rare, but I can see someone wanting to do that. Although I would recommend a Live-USB in that case.
I have one of those on one of these on my keyring:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820154034

Works great
 
Old 07-04-2012, 11:28 AM   #13
Soadyheid
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Use a USB drive! Mount it with your Live CD and save anything you want to it. Isn't that how you'd recover all the pictures, music, videos, etc, on a BSOD Windows system? I've done it a few times and amazed the Windows user who thought they'd lost all their valuable stuff after some High Street PC companies were unable to recover it.

Play Bonny!
 
Old 07-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #14
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This is a very generic question posed by the OP. We really can say the exact answer. Can we know the live cd?

Any of a few ways could allow one to save data off either by direction or by accident. I'd think that only a secure by design would block any of the accidental means. The very best security live cd would prevent any sort of mount.

Live cd's are not secure by design.
 
Old 07-05-2012, 04:36 AM   #15
Soadyheid
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@jefro
Quote:
The very best security live cd would prevent any sort of mount.
Surely the purpose of a Live CD is a) as a taster for the particular distribution and b) as a recovery tool, hence it should allow external devices, i.e. USB drives, DVD burners, etc, to be mounted? A Live CD which didn't allow you to do anything usefull is pretty pointless otherwise.

My

Play Bonny!
 
  


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