1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Introduction to Linux; running a LiveCD distro

Discussion in 'Linux and Unix' started by VinceIP, Feb 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. VinceIP

    VinceIP Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Bear with this long post. Having knowledge of Linux is worth it.

    Linux is an operating system meant for power and control. It is totally free (and is required to stay that way, by law!) and easy to use for beginners. Not only are most Linux distributions faster then Windows, but also much more stable. Unless you have a rickety old PC, with Linux at your side, you will never have any crashes or application failures again.

    Through personal experience, I've found Linux to be an absolute lifesaver. Without it, I would have lost many gigs of data and many valuable hours of the day. In this post, I'm going to show you how to set up a small and fast Linux distribution to run right off of your CD-ROM drive. Think about it; an ENTIRE operating system, right on a single CD-R. It never touches your hard drive or interferes with Windows. Sounds good, eh?
    First off, you should know what a Linux distribution (distro for short) is exactly. Literally, it is a pack of precompiled software build for the UNIX system ready to be run, right out of the box. Every distro is made up of at least 3 essential pieces of software: a desktop enviroment (so you can get around on your PC), a boot loader (so you can start Linux up), and the Linux system itself. The desktop enviroment isn't exactly required if you choose to navigate by command line (only for super advanced freaky guys who are too cool for desktops). But we'd still literally be lost without it.

    Most distros are built to be installed directly to a hard drive and take place of Windows. That's not what we want to happen here though, is it? Although, it still IS possible to have Linux and Windows on the same hard drive running cooperatively through a dual-boot process. This is much more difficult to set up though. Luckily, there's such things as LiveCD distros. The very popular distros, Ubuntu and Xubuntu, offer LiveCD images. The thing is, these 2 distros are very powerful and are packed full of software (Xubuntu is a lighter version of Ubuntu, though). At this point, any DVD/CD-ROM drive just isn't fast enough for that kind of power, so the distros run slowly. That's why most LiveCDs are meant to be used as demos, so you can get a personal feel for the distro before installing it.

    However, if you take a very small, say, 50-70 MB Linux distro and throw it on a LiveCD, you've got a very fast and light operating system that can fit on a buisiness card-sized CD. Now I point you in the direction of Puppy Linux, my favorite distro. It's simply the fastest, speediest little thing in town. It runs totally in your system RAM. A PC can access data from RAM much faster then it can from a hard drive, so Puppy is just blindingly fast.

    My personal use for Puppy is now as a recovery tool, or just something to have fun with in case Windows decides to make me mad. Puppy can do everything Windows can do, and more! Puppy has document editing apps, including AbiWord and OpenOffice support, multimedia programs, like a clone in Winamp (called XMMS) and lots of video support, and an extendable selection of games (emulators, Quake, Doom 1-4, etc).

    But hey, my lazy descriptions of Puppy don't do it justice. Go to Puppy Linux's home page, pick up an ISO of Puppy 2.13, and burn it to a CD using your favorite burning program. I advise you use a slow burn setting. Once you've done that, shut down Windows, boot up again, and you'll be presented with the Puppy Linux boot screen. It's that simple! Of course, you have to make sure your BIOS is set to boot from CD-ROM.

    After Puppy has booted up, you will be greeted with a pretty little desktop interface. Click the 'connect' icon first thing to be guided through an easy network configuration wizard so you can get online.

    By default, Puppy is set to use a very simple desktop enviroment. But as you can see here, Linux is a very customizable operating system. When you're finished using Puppy for the day, you have many different options for saving your system configurations and any created documents. You see, since Puppy runs in RAM, unless you save your stuff to some sort of storage device, all of your stuff is gone when your PC goes off. This isn't particularly helpful during power surges or thunderstorms, but if you get that concerned, you can always learn how to set up a dual-boot with Windows so everything is automatically saved to a hard drive.

    Anyway, when you shut down Puppy for the first time, you have a choice. One choice is to set up a multi-session disc. This method has Puppy save your session to the disc which you burned it to at every shut down. Don't worry, you don't need a CD/DVD-RW for this. It is said that a CD-R can have sessions saved to it only a few times. If you're going to use multi-session, I suggest using a DVD-R. It can be written to 1000+ somthing times, from what I hear. Notice the "-". Yeah, DVD+Rs such for multi-session; trust me, I know.

    If saving to a DVD isn't your cup of pie, you have another, more unique method. Puppy can create a personal storage file, which is like a mini virtual hard drive. It can be anywhere from 32 MB - 2 GB. It will be called pup_save.2fs, and will be a standalone file saved on a hard drive. You can save it in a Windows folder and still keep your Windows install perfectly safe. This gives you up to 2 GB of storage for use with Puppy. If you need more, you can create an extra Linux partition, but that's more complicated and can be read about on Puppy's site. Choose whichever method you think works best for you. I think the personal storage "virtual hard drive" method is easier myself.

    I hope you got a very basic idea of how to set up Puppy Linux. Throughout your own personal experience with it, along with some additional support from Puppy's site, you'll know just as well as I do what a lifesaver Puppy can be for backing up files and many other things.
     
  2. tjamnz

    tjamnz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    774
    Vince, thanks for the post. Very informative. I cant wait to check out Ubuntu. and a few of your links.
     
  3. Stoner

    Stoner Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    44,931
    I've tried Puppy, but didn't like it writing to my hard drive.
    I prefer Slax, especially when the entire Live CD is copied into memory.
    It then becomes just about as quick as an installed distro and there are quite a number of apps that can be downloaded and used as a modular concept rather than the hassle of installing.

    You can download it here:
    http://www.slax.org/download.php
     
  4. yzman

    yzman

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    96
    very interesting... you just planned my weekend!
     
  5. tjamnz

    tjamnz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    774
    Id burn a few cd's too this weekend, but ever since i installed window 2000 Advanced Server (6 month eval copy) on my notebook (experimental) I can read and play cd's, dvd's, but cant write to blank cd-r, or cd-rw disks. Ive tried several disks. Tried to update the driver, unistall it (it just reinstalls automatically after reboot for the SONY CDRWDVD CRX850E)

    Event log Sytem errors, whenever i try to put in blank media

    "!" RSM could not identify the media in drive Drive 0 of library SONY CDRWDVD CRX850E. An error was encountered while attempting to read data from the media.

    i Received a device interface ARRIVAL notification for device:
    \\?\IDE#CdRomSONY_CDRWDVD_CRX850E____________________5DK2____#5&2c7c2be&0&0.1.0#{53f56308-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}


    i Received a device interface REMOVAL notification for device:
    \\?\IDE#CdRomSONY_CDRWDVD_CRX850E____________________5DK2____#5&2c7c2be&0&0.1.0#{53f56308-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}


    i Received Handle Query Remove notification.
    RSM approved the query remove request.


    My pc will get buggy until i pull the disk out of the drive too, but only with a blank disk, if im wanting to write data. (explorer locking up etc). Like i mentioned before, cd's with data on them are ok and everythings stable while reading them and no other errors.

    Other that that... Id have to admit, the os is quite stable and everything else works great.:D

    Any ideas? thanks
     
  6. ferrija1

    ferrija1

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,954
    Great post, I think I will try Puppy or Slax, as Stoner suggested. :)
     
  7. tjamnz

    tjamnz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    774
    The 2 magazines cost me 15 bucks a peice
    hakin9.live magazine (2 Cd's) and Linux+ Mag (2 DVD's Fedora Core 6)

    Cant wait to roll em out tomorrow. Im going to setup a fedora/xp-pro multi boot configuration. Hakin9 seems to be a distro with a bunch of cool networking tools.. Steganos Security Suite 6, NetworkActiv PIAFCTM, Paragon Drive Backup 8, Exact Image 7.0, Safety-Law Shadow Security Suite, and tons of free tutorials and ebooks.

    Best 30 Bucks I even spent!

    Im thinking Id like to set up a mirror soon too. just tryin to think of a cool domain name.
     
  8. Empire2500

    Empire2500

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,631
    Just wondering,say you wann play a game on linux that is usually played on windows..can you run it?
     
  9. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    12,970
    I walk my Puppy regularly.
     
  10. Gibbs

    Gibbs

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Commercial games can be a big disappointment on Linux. However it entirely depends on the type of game. Some run and some don't. A good resource to see if popular games run (and howto) is http://frankscorner.org/
     
  11. ballpark570

    ballpark570

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Messages:
    448
    If these various Linux Distros are so easy, nimble and safe , why don't we see them installed on computers like HP , Dell, gateway, etc.....?
     
  12. ferrija1

    ferrija1

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,954
    I think the companies are a little scared to do that and I don't think that many people would buy it.
     
  13. Gibbs

    Gibbs

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Linux isn't good for business if it's free, where do they make their money? ;)
     
  14. ferrija1

    ferrija1

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,954
    You actually get the Windows OS cheaper from a company like HP or Dell because they buy the OS copies in bulk and the companies don't get much/any money from it.
     
  15. tjamnz

    tjamnz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    774
    Man the biggies like Sun must make millions of dollars off of their server distributions, just like Red Hat and others. Its ppl and those companies who put together desktop builds for everyone to use (free of charge).

    I predict Fedora will evolve, and someday, when you order your dell.. you'll be able to order it will linux pre-installed with support. Your choice, win or linux. This will and would ultimately create MORE jobs which is good.

    I just installed Fedora 6. I needed 246 updates. took about an hour 1/2 to install. anyways...

    I also found a sweet tutorial for windows administators makin the move to linux systems... and describes all the basic daily tasks you'll need to know.
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/543649

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice