Linux Live CD
The Live CD's below have all been tried but failed to perform
either at all or as well as Ubuntu.
- Simply Mepis 6.5 from the July 2007 edition of the magazine
Linux Format which
is based on Ubuntu.
- The Synaptic Package Manager was unusable, giving the error
message Unable to write to /var/cache/apt/. I think this
is because the directory is linked to /linux/var/cache/apt
which is on the CDROM. This meant that no packages were available for checking or loading.
- Simply Mepis failed to recognise my graphics resolution of
1400×1050 and used 1024×768 instead.
- OpenSuse 10.2 from the April 2007 edition of the magazine
- No support for my screen resolution; 800×600 was used instead.
- Software is installed by a Suse program called Yast.
This isn't a nice piece of software. I was unable to get it to use
the CDROM as a source of further software updates. Since openmotif
is not installed by default, it has to be installed from the CDROM
- gawk is used for awk which is the right choice!
- Mandriva Linux 2007.0 from the April 2007 edition of the magazine
- This is a release which uses rpm files
instead of deb files for software updates. Mandriva has its own
software updater, the portentously named Mandriva Linux Control Center.
I could not work out how to add the CDROM to the search path and so
was unable to check or update the default software configuration.
- This distribution has some fancy graphics interface which didn't
work well on my PC. The correct graphics resolution was found,
but moving windows was slow with unattractive graphics artifacts
(like the panel moving out to touch a window which was moved close
to it). I also found an overhead of 20% of the CPU always running, probably to
maintain all this graphics overhead.
- gNewSense from the April 2007 edition of the magazine
- This distribution looks like Ubuntu with different colours.
Unfortunately this CDROM has no extra software which could be
installed (like gawk) so it isn't much use here.
- PCLinuxOS from the July 2006 edition of the magazine
- This release has no extra software beyond what what is installed.
- When you turn off the computer, the CDROM remains trapped inside
the drive. At the next power up, the boot is from the CDROM with no
option to boot from the hard disk! The only way out of this is to hack
the ROM BIOS to boot from the hard disk first, and afterwards hack it
The Ubuntu Live CD's 6.10 aka Edgy Erg and 7.04 aka Feisty Fred
have been used to test the concept and have worked well.
My versions came from the magazine
6.10 from January 2007 and 7.04 from July 2007.
You want certain features from a Live CD.
- Recognise your graphics resolution.
- Not be overloaded with software duplicates.
- Have more software on the CDROM which the user can install.
- Have the software search path set up to look first at the CDROM.
- Crisp graphics.
- Not look too much like Windows.
- Before powering off the computer, open the CDROM drive.
No distribution meets all these objectives, but Ubuntu does best.