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Thread: do you use live distros often and why.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Denmark.
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    53
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    Ubuntu

    do you use live distros often and why.

    I always have a few USB or DVD live distros in my collection but I mostly use them to test a if a new (old second hand ) is compatible with linux or BSD before I go ahead and install a system to hard disk.
    I sometimes have use for a rescue CD while other times a USB stick is more practical so I have several live distros for several older laptops.

    my live distros I have on USB is kubuntu and standard ubuntu and nomad BSD .
    I have a system rescue cd based on linux (I cant recal which it is based on ) and a BSD rescue CD and fedora security edition and freedos 1.3 rc live CD which I am betatesting on a old hp pavilion and its a nice little liveCD as well. I actually often use it to partion a hard drive before I install someting else.

    I also have a tails live DVD for privacy but I don't really use it , its just nice knowing I can if I need to .

    when I was building my own computers ten years ago I also helped others fix their computers for free and used liveCDs sometimes and I am thinking about doing this again simply to gain more experience and at the same time help others and perhaps inspire them to use linux or something else instead of just throwing old hardware out that still works.

    I almost never use a live system unless its to test hardware or to fix something that is broken and I never had any use for a live persistent system to bring with me in my keychain so I can use it on other computers instead of bringing my own laptop but its nice to have the option and I always have several live systems ready to use if I need them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    585

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I haven't even bothered to keep a live image around for a few years. I stopped distro hopping and haven't had any other need to test. I suppose if I was changing hardware a bit more often I would. As it is I just use my pxe installer server and go straight to installation. I'd like to set up a full live boot off of my pxe server but I haven't had any real reason to so far. Just something to do I guess.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Ba'aku
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    95
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I make LiveUSB copies of my existing Xubuntu system and share between a desktop and laptop, or test to see if it works on different hardware, but my distro-hopping days are over.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    melbourne, au
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    326
    Distro
    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I use 'live' systems extremely regularly...

    -- testing of Ubuntu (primary reason)
    Depending on the test, I may boot a 'live' environment to take notes of the system before I run my install (or whatever it is I'm testing), then may also boot the 'live' system again to verify the results were valid (ie. if it was an encrypted install, is the system encrypted? or can I view the data?)

    -- using other people's computers
    I don't use windows, nor do I want to use other people's windows machines; however I often 'borrow' their hardware & run my own 'live' system. It's always with permission, I never `mount` their drives, though may use their internet connection (or actually use their system to show them something I've pre-prepared)

    -- fix/maintain my own systems, run `fsck`, run `smartctl` etc.
    Yes I could do some of this without a 'live' system, but it's much faster & easier with a 'live' system.

    -- browse the web with a different ID/history
    I use different browsers/environments for different web sites. For a rarely used site or where I've forgotten which environment I've setup to use that site; a 'live' system is what I'll use. I don't use Tails as I have `tor-browser` installed for my ~weekly login to facebook to post something there. Yes I could use a VM on an already running box, but booting a 'live' on the box next to me is my preference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Hidden!
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    Xubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I used to use them very regularly for repairing installation problems. Nowadays, because I've partitioned my hard drive into 12 partitions for up to 5 Linux installs, I no longer need them for that particular task. I can now boot into a parallel installation to do the same repairs I used to use the live image for.

    My main use for them now is to test or install a new release or distro, which I'd class as only very occasional usage.

    They are very flexible and can be used for a variety of reasons like posted above by guiverc, so I always have several recent live images on hand even if they are not often used. Better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them . Cheers, yeti.
    Last edited by yetimon_64; January 6th, 2020 at 10:17 AM. Reason: punct.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Denver, CO
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    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    Is it me but I find the "live distros" so slow that it's almost not worth the user experience..Honestly I'd rather just install something within a hypervisor if I want to try it out. The process is a longer and convoluted however the experience is much closer to running the installation on bare metal. In terms of repair, I'm just more apt to remove the hard drive and access it in a different linux installation to perform the repairs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Lubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I typically use the ‘Live’ environment to confirm hardware compatibility prior to a clean installation to upgrade my OS (eg, 16.04 to 18.04). I used to keep ‘Tails’ around for secure browsing at a public hotspot, but haven’t since they gave up on 32-bit.
    Windows 10, Mac OS and Ubuntu walk into a bar and...Wait. How does that go again?

  8. #8
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    Kubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I use live installations when I need to do something with the hard drive in my systems. Most recently I've booted a live Kubuntu ISO and installed gddrescue so I can clone a machine's hard drive to SSD. Done that for a couple of laptops now.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Hikkaduwa
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    3,123
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    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I use a Live USB to install an OS.

    Otherwise I use a Full install to USB or internal disk.
    - A full install is faster,
    - More secure,
    - Can use proprietary drivers,
    - Can use encryption,
    - Unlimited persistence,
    - Nicer looking,
    - No Try/Install screen,
    - Allows swap and hibernation,
    - OS updates and upgrades are possible
    - Better utilization of disk space,
    - Works the same as internal install with same solution to problems.
    Last edited by C.S.Cameron; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:40 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    /dev/root
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    Hidden!

    Re: do you use live distros often and why.

    I store live operating systems as iso files in a big data partition, and I renew the collection maybe once per year (remove old versions, when they are no longer interesting (which is not always the same as 'has passed end of life'). USB pendrives and memory cards are temporary devices for me. I don't store things on them, only use them for temporary tasks. So whenever I need it, I clone an iso file to a USB pendrive or memory card or sometimes an SSD connected via a USB box or adapter.

    - The main reason for me to use a live system is to test [new versions of] operating systems and develop and test my own software (mkusb).

    - I use a live Clonezilla drive to create images of operating systems, e.g. my own main operating system, for backup purposes. (I back up my data files more often and by other means.)

    - I also test computers (like described by other people in this thread), for example second hand computers to be used by me or a friend.

    - It happens that I use a live system to explore or repair an installed system.



    - Very seldom I use a USB pendrive or memory card to transfer data between computers.

    - I agree with C.S.Cameron that an installed system in a removable drive has many advantages, but there are cases when I would prefer a live drive:
    . An installed Ubuntu system is portable, but not as portable as a persistent live system.
    . A live (live-only) drive is a good alternative when the user wants to be sure, that no traces are left on the drive after shutdown/reboot.
    Last edited by sudodus; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:25 PM.

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