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Live CD: The Best Way to Test Drive Linux Distributions


How to Download a Live CD




A live CD is a bootable device that contains an operating system and some tools that can run without installing anything on your hard drive. It can be a CD, DVD, or USB drive, depending on the size of the operating system. A live CD allows you to run an operating system for any purpose without installing it or making any changes to your computer's configuration. You can use it for testing, repairing, recovering, or experimenting with different operating systems.




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Using a live CD has many benefits, such as portability, safety, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. You can carry your preferred operating system, applications, configuration, and personal files with you, and use it on any compatible computer. You can also run it without modifying or erasing your existing data or system. Moreover, you can choose from a variety of live CDs that suit your needs and preferences, or create your own with the tools and features you want. However, using a live CD also has some drawbacks, such as being slower and less stable than a normal system. It can take longer to load and run, and may crash or freeze more often. Additionally, it is limited and temporary, since you cannot save changes or access some features that require a full installation.


In this article, we will show you how to download a live CD, how to burn it on a disc or USB drive, and how to boot from it on your computer.


How to Choose a Live CD




There are many live CDs available for different purposes and operating systems. Some of the most popular ones are:


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  • Ubuntu: A user-friendly Linux distribution that offers a desktop environment, web browser, office suite, media player, and many other applications.



  • Kali Linux: A Linux distribution designed for penetration testing and security auditing. It includes hundreds of tools for hacking, forensics, reverse engineering, and more.



  • Hiren's Boot CD PE: A Windows-based live CD that contains various tools for system administration, diagnostics, backup, recovery, partitioning, malware removal, and more.



  • SystemRescueCD: A Linux-based live CD that provides tools for data recovery, disk repair, file system support, rootkit detection, network analysis, and more.



  • Tails: A Linux-based live CD that focuses on privacy and anonymity. It uses the Tor network to encrypt and anonymize your online activity.



You can find and download an ISO image of a live CD from its official website or from other sources such as . An ISO image is a file that contains all the data of a disc in a compressed format. You will need to burn this file on a disc or USB drive in order to use it as a live CD.


How to Burn a Live CD




To burn a live CD, you will need the following:


  • An ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • A blank disc (CD or DVD) or USB drive with enough space to hold the ISO image.



  • A software tool that can burn ISO images on discs or USB drives.



The process of burning a live CD may vary depending on the software tool you use and the operating system you are using. How to Burn a Live CD on Windows




If you are using Windows, you can use a software tool like to burn a live CD on a disc or USB drive. Rufus is a simple and fast tool that can create bootable USB drives from ISO images. ImgBurn is a more advanced and versatile tool that can burn ISO images on discs and USB drives, as well as create ISO images from discs and files.


To burn a live CD on Windows using Rufus, follow these steps:


  • Download and run Rufus from its official website.



  • Insert a blank disc or USB drive into your computer.



  • Select the disc or USB drive from the Device drop-down menu in Rufus.



  • Click the Select button and browse to the ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • Click the Start button and wait for Rufus to write the ISO image to the disc or USB drive.



  • Eject the disc or USB drive when Rufus is done.



To burn a live CD on Windows using ImgBurn, follow these steps:


  • Download and install ImgBurn from its official website or from .



  • Insert a blank disc or USB drive into your computer.



  • Run ImgBurn and select Write image file to disc or Write image file to flash drive from the main menu.



  • Click the Browse button and select the ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • Click the Destination drop-down menu and select the disc or USB drive you want to use.



  • Click the Write button and wait for ImgBurn to write the ISO image to the disc or USB drive.



  • Eject the disc or USB drive when ImgBurn is done.



How to Burn a Live CD on Mac




If you are using Mac, you can use Disk Utility to burn a live CD on a disc or USB drive. Disk Utility is a built-in application that can create, manage, and repair disks and disk images. To burn a live CD on Mac using Disk Utility, follow these steps:


  • Insert a blank disc or USB drive into your computer.



  • Open Disk Utility from the Applications > Utilities folder or by pressing Command+Space and typing Disk Utility.



  • Select File > Open Disk Image and choose the ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • Select the ISO image from the left sidebar and click Burn in the toolbar.



  • Select the disc or USB drive from the pop-up menu and click Burn again.



  • Eject the disc or USB drive when Disk Utility is done.



How to Burn a Live CD on Linux




If you are using Linux, you can use a software tool like to burn a live CD on a disc or USB drive. Brasero is a simple and easy-to-use tool that can burn data, audio, video, and ISO images on discs. UNetbootin is a cross-platform tool that can create bootable USB drives from ISO images. To burn a live CD on Linux using Brasero, follow these steps:


  • Insert a blank disc into your computer.



  • Open Brasero from the Applications > Sound & Video folder or by typing brasero in a terminal.



  • Select Burn image from the main window of Brasero.



  • Click the Browse button and select the ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • Select the disc from the Select a disc drop-down menu and click Burn.



  • Eject the disc when Brasero is done.



To burn a live CD on Linux using UNetbootin, follow these steps:



  • Insert a blank USB drive into your computer.



  • Download and run UNetbootin from its official website or by typing unetbootin in a terminal.



  • Select Diskimage and click ... to browse to the ISO image of the live CD you want to use.



  • Select USB Drive and choose your USB drive from the Drive drop-down menu.



  • Click OK and wait for UNetbootin to write the ISO image to your USB drive.



Eject your USB drive when UNetbootin is done.</li How to Boot from a Live CD




Once you have burned a live CD on a disc or USB drive, you can boot from it on your computer. To do this, you will need to change the boot order in your BIOS or UEFI settings. The BIOS or UEFI is a firmware that controls the hardware and software of your computer. The boot order is the sequence of devices that your computer tries to boot from, such as hard drive, CD/DVD drive, USB drive, network, etc.


The process of changing the boot order may vary depending on your computer model and BIOS or UEFI version. However, the general steps are as follows:


  • Insert the live CD disc or USB drive into your computer.



  • Restart your computer and press the key that opens the BIOS or UEFI menu. This key is usually displayed on the screen during the startup process, such as F2, F10, F12, Esc, Del, etc.



  • Navigate to the Boot tab or section using the arrow keys.



  • Select the disc or USB drive that contains the live CD and move it to the top of the boot order list using the + or - keys.



  • Save and exit the BIOS or UEFI menu by pressing F10 or another key that is indicated on the screen.



  • Your computer will reboot and load the live CD.



When you boot from a live CD, you will see a menu that gives you some options and features to use. These may include:


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