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Old 05-05-2006, 06:57 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mepis 3.3.2 Ubuntu 5.10
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What can you REALLY do with these versions?

I am a big fan of Linux but not a 'whiz' with it.

Over a couple of years I have bought a variety of versions of Linux but I am a little confused about the worth of Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux and Knoppix.

This is not to say that they don't have merit but, as far as I can tell, each time I reboot my machine I have to start from scratch again. I cannot see how to save any Open Office files, a 'favorites' list, etc.

I feel like there must be more to these products than I have found and would appreciate it if anyone would like to give me their opinions.

Your help will be appreciated.


Old 05-05-2006, 07:34 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Old Blighty
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That is the point. They are "Live" CDs, they don't, by default, make any changes to your hard drive, so you get a fresh system every time you boot. You can mount hard drive partitions to save files etc as you would with any other distribution. Of course, you can install these distros onto a hard drive if you want, or just save your configuration. I found the easiest Live CD to install onto a hard drive was MEPIS, but maybe that's just me.
Old 05-05-2006, 07:35 AM   #3
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Live CD distros are mainly used for demonstration purposes, and to "rescue" your existing operating system or data in the event of problems.

Knoppix can be installed to the hard drive, and become a "proper" OS. Then you can save your documents, etc. DSL is useful where you only have very limitted resources. AFAIK, most Live CDs will allow you to save your settings and documents to a USB flash memory device.

Old 05-05-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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As I see it, live distro's are excellent and irreplacable as a tool when installing or repairing a machine. You can't do without it if you have a machine which doesn't boot, doesn't have a boot loader installed, or when you simply screwed up something important.

But they are also limited to this use. I strongly recommend against using a Live Distro as a demo. It is way too slow, and would give a completely wrong impression. 30 seconds to start Kwrite or 90 seconds to start a web browser is not really a good selling argument. If I had to work with a live distro, I would throw the computer out of the window after 30 minutes. That is not the fault of the distro maintainer, but has everything to do with the media. If you want to demonstrate Linux to someone, take a real installation with sufficient memory.

A third common use, like using an old computer as firewall with just a live CD, might be satisfactory but totally unnecessary. Even on a 4 GB HDD you can install any distro you like to do this work for you. Since this is a dedicated machine anyway it doesn't matter that you cannot run another OS anymore.

Old 05-06-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mepis 3.3.2 Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 60

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Re: What can you REALLY do with these versions?

Many thanks for the helpfull explanations here, I really appreciate it.

Kind regards.




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