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Run Linux from a CD

 
Gregg Bolinger
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Does anyone know or have any information on how I could install Mandrake 8.x onto a CD and run it on any PC?
Thanks
 
Guy Allard
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Hi Gregg - The best suggestion I have is to look at 'tomsrtbt' as an example.
He not only provides 'rescue floppy', but also a image file which can be burned to a bootable CD.
I have actually done that, using the 'cdrecord' command line to run the burn. Having a bootable rescue CD in addition to floppy is quite nice.
My reollection is he provides good docs regarding how to customize your rescue system.
So .... I think with suitable customization, you should be able to get prettry much any distro to boot from a CD (stripped down functionality probably).
I am not aware of a specific HOWTO on this subject.
Good Luck, Guy
 
Frank Carver
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There are actually a whole class of distributions designed for this sort of thing, although you need to make some choices about where to put the dynamic parts of the system.
If you have tons of memory you can load them into a ramdisc, although you wil need to reconfigure the system every time you boot the CD, as nothing is preserved between boots.
If you are running your Linux-from-CD on a system which normally runs Windows and don't mind using up a little bit of disk space, you should consider one of UMSDOS systems which installs a minimum Linux filesystem inside a regular Windows file.
If you don't like either of those you may need to mount a floppy disk for your config file system structure, but this can be quite tricky to get right.
I suggest that you are probably taking a difficult path if you try to make a distribution which assumes a "full" installation (such as RedHat, Mandrake, SuSE etc) do this sort of thing. Why not take a look at the distribution list at http://www.linux.org/dist/index.html , in particular the "Runs on MS Windows" category.
 
Frank Carver
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Re-reading the original message, you may be asking for something different.
If you just want to make a CD from which to install (say) Mandrake, you can find an "iso" disk image for the system, and burn it to a CD-R using Nero, Adaptec/Roxio or your favourite CD-burning software. Almost all modern and well-known CD distributions are available as bootable "iso" images.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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My purpose behind my original question is this: I develop code in Java, C, Lisp, etc in Linux. I would like to be able to show off my work when necassary without having to worry about Linux/Unix being installed where I am at. I was hoping to create a CD that would allow me to boot to Linux and run from a RAMDISK or UMDOS file as Frank stated in his first response. I will look into some different distros.
Thanks.
 
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