Creating and Using a Linux Live CD
What is a Live CD?
A Linux Live CD is an optical media that you insert into your drive and it will load the Linux operating system of choice for your use. This requires that either your BIOS is set to boot the optical drive before the hard drive or on newer computers you can use the <F12> key when the system is first booting to select the optical drive to boot first (only for that boot). A live CD leaves your PC completely intact for the original Operating system. It does not make any changes to your system; the operating system is loaded into your system memory for your use. This allows you to:
- Try a new / learn a new OS without rebuilding your hard drive.
- Learn in a safe environment. As all changes are done in RAM, when you are done, you remove the CD, reboot your computer and all changes are gone.
- Requires that any work that you do want to save must be saved to removable media that you “mount” to the system.
What type of Live CD’s exist?
There are many different “flavours” of “Live CD’s” available to you. RedHat, Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, Knoppix, Myth, Backtrack, etc. These provide different versions of Linux and various utilities. For this class, if you choose to use a live CD, you will be using Centos 5.2
Creating a Live CD
The steps to create a Live CD are:
- Download the Centos 5.2 Live CD ISO. You can use this link, or google for your own link.
- Select the CentOS-5.2-i386-LiveCD.iso link from any of those sites and download it to your PC.
- The last step is to burn the downloaded iso to a blank CD. You must have burning software installed on your PC to do this. Examples include Nero, Roxio, MagicISO, etc. For this example, we will show you the trial version of MagicISO.
- Open your burning software (MagicISO in this example).
- Select from the File Menu of MagicISO to open the Centos 5.2 ISO you downloaded.
Place a blank CD or DVD in your optical drive.
- Select the burning Icon and let it work. Note: When burning anything on your optical drive, it is best practice to not use the computer for any other tasks.
When done, the CD is now ready to be used. Insert the CD back into your optical drive and reboot your computer. As discussed previously, if your BIOS is set to optical drive boot, the Linux CD will be loaded.