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Old 03-03-2004, 04:16 AM   #1
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Burning Linux CD from download? Virus possible? Download using "live" CD?

I have a Walmart Windows XP with 376meg RAM, 10 G HD, and 797mhz CPU; also an older Windows 95 with 48meg RAM, 2.1 G HD, 166 mhz CPU. I downloaded several Linux "live" programs, to use without installing the Linux on my HD: Feather-Linux and Devil-Linux; the former had an ISO suffix; the latter was two files with (I believe) rsz suffixes. I used Nero Express to burn the CDs, using first music CD-Rs and then computer CD-Rs, assuming that one could use the former to copy all types of downloads. A sixteen year old advisor questioned my assumption so I then tried to copy them with computer CDs. In all cases the CDs didn't work when I booted the computer. I then tried the older "live" DemoLinux CD which I bought a year before over the internet. This worked fine in the newer computer and, to my amazement, avoided a continual IRQ conflict which prevented my turning on the Windows XP computer with both my USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 devices attached, the latter being native to the computer, the former using a standard add-on card. It even automatically recognized my cable modem so I got online quickly. I never expected this since the program is four years old. I've just ordered from several current "live" disks: Knoppix 3.3 and MandrakeMove, they not arriving yet. My questions:
(1) What am I doing wrong in burning the CDs from the downloads?
(2) Does using a "live" Linux system CD, which isn't on the HD, protect the computer from viruses? If so, why doesn't everyone use them with an external USB "keychain" or larger HD for storage.
(3) What are the disadvantages of using a "live" Linux CD system as contrasted with installing Linux on one's system (apart from the risk of partitioning the HD). Can one download a program (as RealPlayer) to use with the "live" CD. I was asked for this permission when I tried to access a radio station. This "live" CD system seems like a great way of using a computer: for both individuals and companies to buy (for a far more reasonable price than with MS, and recognizing that payment might be a charged topic on this forum) new upgraded "live" disks yearly or so. Nuff questions. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by cranston; 03-03-2004 at 04:19 AM.
Old 03-03-2004, 05:25 AM   #2
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Don't take any of this as gospel, as I am pretty new to linux myself, but as far as I am aware:

1. All writable cd's are the same - there is no difference between a cd-rw for music /data. An ISO image is a single file holding loads of other files. To use it, you should find the option in your cd writing software to burn an image file to disk. This extracts the individual files from the iso image to make a usable cd. Just burning acopy of the iso file to the cd will not work.

2. Whether you use a 'live' version or not, there is no difference to your level of virus protection, as each gives full access to data on your hd. Obviously the cd cannot be infected though. Anyway, as far as I am aware there are virtually no viruses which affect linux to worry about! Could be wrong on this one, but there doesn't seem to be any linux anti-virus software anywhere.

3. 'Live' versions are great for getting up and running in a new pc quickly, but you can't install new programs onto them, as that would involve updating the cd. Realistically, you're stuck with the products which ship on the cd. You're right though - I too was seriously impressed with knoppix, though I think it has more use as a security checking and troubleshooting tool thanas an everyday wkstation os.
Old 03-03-2004, 05:50 AM   #3
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I have a surprisingly simple answer. Download (or use) the files with the ISO suffix, and use an ISO immage burner. Somewhere out there, there is a third party ISO "power toy" for Wdindows XP, and it works well. I have used it for about five different distros, and I haven't had any problems with it. A quick Google search will give several good sources for the power toy. (I guess that, at least a bit, answered question 1)

I don't think using a live CD protects the computer from viruses, since most viruses are stored on the hard drive, so the CD wouldn't really make a difference.

The disadvantages I have found, while I had only XP on my computer, were mostly about storage. A lot of distros have no support, ar at least buggy support, for writing to an NTFS partition, so it's rarely advised to store data on your hard drive. The other problem is withthe hardware, considering there is an increasing ammount of Windows-only hardware which are run by software drivers, and can be very difficult for Linux to use due to the proprietary nature. Beyond that, a live CD is generall slower than embedded Linux because every action, program, and everything has to be read from the CD drive and not from the hard drive (this also -- at least for most live distros -- monopolizes the CD-rom drive which is especially bad when it's the only one on the comuputer or the only one on the comuter with a specific purpose like burning). And the user is very limited on software.

There are, however, advantages to using a live CD. It is very portable, so it can be used on a work computer in stead of Windows (unless the net admins are too strict, like at my job). Also, if the user chooses not to install any operating system, using a live CD can keep the computer's data slightly more secure (I have never heard of anyone actually doing this, but it does make sense) -- unless someone else uses a portable operating system to access the computer.

As far as using RealPlayer, I'm not sure. I don't think it's usable under Linux, and if you're using a live CD you're also limited to whatever media player is on the disk, at least for the most part, since most Windows programs will not even work under Linux.

If a company wants to use Linux, it seems more logical to simply download a distribution and install it on all the computers in stead of requiring everyone to use a live CD, simply because it will simplify things a lot. Every machine would be totally self-contained and completely independant of requiring an operating system to be installed to even use it. Upgrades would also be much easier, especially depending on the distro.
Old 03-03-2004, 06:37 AM   #4
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1) Are you burning the ISO files correctly?
Old 12-07-2005, 05:12 AM   #5
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there are anti virus programs for linux however, they are mostly used in mail servers to detect any virus coming in or going out on mail from windows or to windows systems.


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