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Old 10-17-2006, 06:54 PM   #1
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Live CD[?] Where to start...

Hi, thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

I am interested in taking the plunge and learning about Linux. Frankly, I'm too scared something will go wrong if I just scrap Windows, and honestly, I wouldn't even know which distribution to use. Scouring Google, I have read of something called "Live CD" which is supposed to allow you to keep your current system configuration while still being able to try out Linux. Unfortunately, most of the sites covering "Live CD" assume you already know the details, and offer downloads of the ISO's only.

If anyone has any advice, be it personal experience, links to FAQs or tutorials, or general sage advice about Live CD (or just getting started with Linux in a non-commit kind of way) I'd be extremely grateful. I acknowledge that I am a shameless newbie, so ANY response is appreciated. Except maybe "STFU N00B - u g0T PWN3D!"
Thanks again.
Old 10-17-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
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I would say download a liveCD *.iso, maybe Knoppix or PCLinuxOS (you can take the quizes in my signature to help you find one you like). Then burn the *.iso to a CD (be sure to use the "Burn Disc from Image" option of your CD burning software -- if you open the CD in Windows, you should see a bunch of files. If you only see the *.iso, you did it wrong.)

Then put the CD in your CD-rom and reboot your computer (make sure the bios boots from CD first). Then read and follow this guide to start learning about linux.
Old 10-17-2006, 07:09 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2006
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The ISO is a CD-ROM image. If you have a CD burner you can just download and burn the image (as per here). I'd recommend you try Ubuntu Linux as it's great for new users. You can set up a dual boot which means you can keep Windows on your hard drive and everytime you boot there's a menu that let's you pick Windows or Linux.

EDIT: Darn, pljvaldez beat me to it. I still say go with Ubuntu, as there's a hard disk install, so if you like it while you're trying it out, you can commit.

Last edited by FreeDoughnut; 10-17-2006 at 07:10 PM.
Old 10-17-2006, 07:10 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Townsville, Australia
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A LiveCD is an operating system (usually containing other software as well) stored on a bootable CD-ROM that can be executed from it, without installation on a hard drive. The system returns to its previous OS when the LiveCD is ejected and the computer is rebooted. It does this by placing the files which typically would be stored on a hard drive, onto a ram disk

as for where to start try these Linux Distro Choosers:

also try these this link:, just imput your data and it will come up with a list of Live Distros for you, make sure you define live CD in the Catagory

A few personal reccomendations:


PCLinuxOS .92

This is the distro I use and recommend, Why because it works right out of the box. No need to configure Everything, everything just works. It also comes as a 1 CD install that is a live CD that you can install later if you wish.



Everything you will ever need on 1 CD. Hardware detection is exelent, as is the feel and look of the distro

Hope this Helps,


EDIT: Replys posted whist posting

Last edited by jacook; 10-17-2006 at 07:13 PM.
Old 10-18-2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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...first, thanks to you guys for the cogent and useful advice! And also for the recommendations on distros - which leads me to one final question before I snag one of these ISO's.

Through my searching online, I came across a distro called "Troppix," which apparently is geared for wireless applications. Before I go on, let me clarify 2 things.

1. Yes, I do intend to (eventually) use Linux to attempt some WEP breaches, though this was just the proverbial straw in my ongoing disgust with Bill and his Third Meichrosoft.
2. I am currently in a third-world country which HAS no laws on the books about "connection theivery," or "wardriving," or anything else (in fact, having a wireless network in my home, I am keenly sensitive to the nuisance of people trying to hog your bandwidth without permission), so legality, nor my conscience, is an issue. Basically, I'm just tired of having to go out on the roof whenever I need to send a quick email (I get most stuff done, including the forum stuff, from work). If you think I'm being "bad," I'd like to see how long YOU put up with $2.00/min calls to the U.S.

So back to Linux. Would you guys go ahead and recommend that I get this "Troppix" and familiarize myself with it, or would it be better to get a more well-known, proven distro to "learn the ropes" with, and then switch over at a later date? Again, my main purpose is getting off the old "M," and increasing my computer knowledge in general.
Thanks again for the advice, and stay well.
Old 10-18-2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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Go with something well known it will be easier to get assistance.

If people are using your bandwith from your Wireless access point you should look into locking it down using WEP, WPA, and possibly MAC based security.. leaving it wide open is asking people to use it regardless of laws and regulations..

Troppix, interesting. I wonder how it compares to Auditor, which has been around much longer..
Old 10-18-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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...yeah, you're right on. Thats why I've locked my home net down - I just wanted to illustrate the point that, having had my bandwidth hogged a few years back, I know how it feels, and that I'll only be getting on someone else's network every once in a while, and then just to send an email. In fact, I'd have 0 problem with someone using MY net for that, but instead most people are trying to surf for porn, or download movies, or other stuff that they shouldn't be doing on SOMEONE ELSE'S connection.
Your comment about going with well-known echoes my own sentiments, but some sage guru out there probably has a better handle on this stuff then my "gut," so I'll let them weigh in and see what comes up.
Thanks for reply!
Old 10-20-2006, 02:46 PM   #8
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I've decided to go with BackTrack for my distro. Anyone have any critical reasons why this is not a good choice, please let me know, because I've done an awful lot of investigating but there's always the possibility that I've missed something. I'm really anxious to try out Linux, and only have to wait another, oh, 15 hours until I have a snazzy new LiveCD to call "mio."

Thanks for everyone's advice, and on a side note, I originally decided to go with PC Linux OS, but went with BackTrack after the dl of the former dicked-up after pausing. Maybe next time.


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