A lot of people today have experienced the usefulness of running the OS directly from the CD-ROM. With the speed of today’s CD-ROM’s the start up time is compatible with most hard disks. Only user data and settings are stored on the computer, which makes more space available on the drive. These settings can off course be kept on a USB drive for easy access/backup.
There’s also a few other benefits worth mentioning. If you do not need to store data, you can run your PC without a hard disk. And since you can’t overwrite normal CD-R discs the chances that someone should mess with your OS data is non-existent. Furthermore you will save a lot of time as the OS and all your favourite applications are already installed wherever you boot up your CD.
The CD-based Linux distributions comes in all kinds of versions depending on your needs.
The Live CD List is a web based overview of more than 300 Live CD distros including links, size, names, votes etc…
To further narrow your search for the perfect distro the following “shortcuts” may come in handy;
- Desktops: provides a working GUI desktop environment with a collection of desktop programs, such as browsers and text editors. Many also include utilities for other purposes, such as home entertainment, but are only listed here because the additional functions are not their primary focus.
- OS Replacement: provides an option to transfer the cd to the hard drive, or to install an OS in a different form
- Education: provides a collection of educational programs, or was created to be used in the educational field
- Rescue: provides tools needed for data recovery
- Clustering: provides tools for making clusters
- Security: contains network security tools
- Home Entertainment: geared towards playing video and audio
- Gaming: video games!
- Medical: contains medical programs
- Diagnostics: contains utilities for testing hardware
- Firewalls: distributions created to be used as firewalls
- Forensics: distributions containing forensic tools
- Servers: distributions used for various server functions
Feel free to share your favourite distro or anything else Linux related.