Category Archives: Linux Live CD – My Choices

Middle Weight to Standard

My Selection of 20 Live CD/DVD

My Selections of 20 Live CD/DVDs with a short subjective comment appear below.

1. Puppy Linux form lupu, to quirky to wary or you can build your own Puppy from Woof: the “Puppy builder”.

It can boot from any media from CD, USB, Smart Card. When I go abroad I carry only a Mini CD and USB version to test any of the hardware i may consider buying from a bargain counter.
It has not build a Cloud Version. Hope they will do that.

I believe in “Small is Beautiful” and Powerful and this is the only distribution that fits that definition and carry all the useful utilities

2. Knoppix CD/DVD, Kids and Games.
This is the one which started it all until Puppy came into the scene. This was my favorite and Damn Small Linux was the utility I carried in my front shirt pocket.
Knoppix has its own virtues.
It never fails you and can be installed into the hard disk now.
It’s ADRAIN version support visually handicapped.

3. Debian is the the gold standard for Light Weight and Heavy Weight championship. It is bit quirky for newbies to come first in the list. It has over 30,000 packages to cover all your basic and advanced needs.
It now has Sinhala Capability too.

4.Ping Eee surprisingly comes 4th, simply because it supports laptops and netbooks and it is almost ready for tablet invasion and getting used to what is on the horizon.

5. Vinux comes 5th since it supports visually handicapped and the latest version (3.2.1) can be carried in a USB.

6. PCLinux comes 6th with its FullMonty as my usual workhorse but it has dropped down on my list. It has many versions and 64 bit version promised has not yet hit the market. To begin with it was only in English and now it is penetrating the Globe.

7. Simply Mepis is the 7th in my honour’s list stable KDE with a cleaning utility called sweeper and AntiX for older computers. Taylor Swift which has taken roots from AntiX is still not yet mature enough to be recommended as a general purpose distribution.

8. Ubuntu’s unity comes 8th for its innovative approach and getting ready for tablet invasion in spite of many criticism form its user base.
Its Ubuntu One cloud service of free 5 GiB and music service for under 4 dollars will rock the market in no time.

CloudUSB its 10.10 derivative is also in my list for getting ready for cloud but it is not a thin client but a very FAT client.

9. Arch Linux LinuxGamrs Live takes the 9th spot for promoting games. It is something one should always have in your armory.

10. Poseidon Linux not Scientific Linux takes the 10th spot by a wide margin for packaging productive utilities and scientific (including statistics) for business and schools.

The next 10 should not be very unhappy.
11. Sabayon tops the list here for working on the dream we believe in and making Gentoo base working for you. The DVDs I downloaded from Gentoo does not work on my IBM laptop or desktops for me to volunteer any endorsement.

12. Linux Mint

13. Suse

14. Mandriva / Mageia

15. Arch

16. Fedora

17. Bodhi

18. Ultimate / Lubuntu Linux

19. Peppermint

20. PureOS

This list is, guys and girls who are developers working on other distributions is a grave injustice.
Mind you this is subjective and I will assess all of them in an objective way by giving them points.
Then this subjective element will be eliminated but it takes time.
I have to download and test them alone.
That is why I promote Linux 100 here and elsewhere.
I will be writing about you too, with points awarded in my own scheme and try to be fair (when I find time) as much as possible.

Knoppix Update-Clear Front Runner

Knoppix stands tall and scores 2410 which is well above Ubuntu and Unity on the threshold of becoming a Gold Standard on its own.
Good old days when it was difficult to find a distribution and DEMO CDs were hard to come by Knoppix started the revolution of Live Cds.
I have used it from its 3.1 versions and up and it was available even in Sri-Lanka.

Its significant features apart from Live CD running on RAM are
1. Good hardware detection
2. Sound configuration and unique start up with sound script.
3. Ability to compress lot of programs into a CD.
4. Enormous number of packages
5. Partition tool and many more
6. ORCAs that is fun for visually handicapped user and is as good as Vinux.
It was way ahead until Puppy Linux came into the scene and took another twist by making Live CD under 100 MiB soon which I became a convert.
its weakness was it could not be installed into the hard disk and I found a way to mount it on FAT partition. I always had a copy mounted on my hard disk when the LXDE came into the available.
The came the 10th anniversary release which was big hit by itself both CD and DVD versions. Now it can be installed and administrative right can be restored after installing.
There is Knoppix for Kids and Games DVD which was something lacking in 95% of the Linux Distributions.
If you do not use any other Linux distributions this is the one one should always have.
I cannot find anything wrong with this distribution when I format my hard disk it is the first one goes in as the flag bearer of Linux and other are installed afterward.

Debian the clear winner-The Gold for Light and Heavy Weight Championship

Now that the industrial action is over, we brought the Hero to Gyro (not giro and we could not be bought by money circulating on illegal hands or corruption) except perhaps few individual who had vested interests and wanted to be heroes at the expense of the general body politics of our action perpetuated by sheer needs and not aspirations (fell far short of aspirations of accountability, transparency, fairness).
These instant Heroes had unassailable lead and they had to be pulled down to base level and gyrate them on the correct path lest all of us would be heading for disaster.
We never had the political will to bring Heroes to Zeros but the vision to come to the base level we reached way back in 2008 and gyrate in correct orbit instead of asking for miracles which we will never achieve the way we sink into dirty tricks and manipulations by undesirables.

I hope senses will come to body politics of the country, unless of course the voters will bring the Heroes to Zeroes in double quick time at the correct gyroscopic orbit and time and they are not stupid or donkeys who carry burden.

We are of course in the minority in that context and what we can provide is wisdom if not vision.
We came to equilibrium position neither zero nor hero but a position of comfort from where we can gyrate to greater heights if correct recognition is extended.
Otherwise history will take us backward (like in cricket) instead of forward.


Coming to IT industry where there are commercial heroes but the clear winner which gyrate at the correct orbit is Debian.
It was no surprise.
Score of above 3000 and well above the Gold Standard of 2500 for the standard CD.
For the heavy weight category it is within the Gold Mark where no other distribution has all the components at hand with over 30,000 package well tested.
It has gParted which is around 100 MiB with partition and security features.
It has Blender, Scribus and Inkscape.
Only missing component was O.E.M. component.
It did not have a printed book but thanks to French and the English translation is due soon and available on line as open source.
It has all the versions from Mini to KDE to Server.
It has multi-language support including Sinhala.
It does not pretend to be a (commercial) hero but the wise counsel to all the other distributions which include Ubuntu and extending a hand to Linux Mint currently.
Additionally it is forging with FreeBSD too.
It is the clear winner.
If I said without my marking scheme everybody will say I am biased. Now it is vindicated and flame wars are not the necessity but a feature of Linux and its multi-faceted distributions..
Now I can say with or without bias it is the one that guides us and the Gyroscope for years to come.
If you need a solid, stable and secure enhanced Linux, there is only one and only one.
It is called Debian.
It is not for the lazy souls and it is the one who wants to dig a lot, sweat a bit and enjoy a lot of the hard labour.
Nothing is easy in the IT World.
One has to go into simple command line and give commanding orders till midnight commander sleeps like a sleeping beauty!


Small is Beautiful!
Below  are a few lines by a guy like me who like me lie little things.
this was written probably 5 years ago when the distribution was 25 MIB
I thank him for his precise description of SliTaz.

(This is easily my favorite live CD now. I admire DSL for being versatile and fast, and I do like the way Puppy Linux has evolved. But it’s hard to beat a pretty, usable, complete system that ducks under the 25Mb mark, and does it so well. Fatter distributions (and I’m thinking of Xubuntu, et al., here) would do well to notice how much can be done with so little).

 Read Porteus Linux too.

This minimal Swedish distribution is only 30 MiB and it has burner, browser, install script, gparted and a manual.
It can play music and watch a video and visualize a photograph.
Amazingly it is smaller that the Damn Small Linux (DSL).

It has a lovely graphic presence and is a server version.
I new about this and never bothered to downloaded it thinking it is only in text mode and no graphic.
I was proven wrong and it has a lovely graphic mode.
After installation one can use the package manager to install what one wants.
The is the down to earth customizable version of Linux and any version bigger than it will have to be treated with insulin.
It has two version stable version and a cooking version with a DVD with packages.
1.5 GiB for stable version and 2.7 for the coking version.
I am sorry guys and girls at SliTaz of my prejudices coming from a windows background.

Like Porteus Linux you get 100 out of 100 points from me and another 100 for being the smallest functional distribution and will be the latest convert of your distribution and would be downloading the packages.

Linux Update Pinguy and Ping-EeeOS

Linux Update Pinguy and Ping-EeeOS

The Latest Edition based on Ubuntu 11 Unity is superb and is for Laptops, Netbooks and it can be installed on a Desktop.

In time to come this Ubuntu derivative with Unity desktop will roam the web with style.

The recent edition of Pinguy based on Ubuntu is very pleasant.

It has both 32 bit and 64 bit versions.
This was one of the DVDs I could download overnight and was over 1.67 GiB and comes under my middle weight or the Chimpanzee category.

Rapid download was due to the availability of large number of seeders.

Seeders themselves speak of it popularity and I need not say any more.

It has Unity and Apple like desktop.
Boots up fast has LibreOffice and Dropbox, Skype and many of the utilities that a first time user may prefer to have in his or her system.

I have no reservation of recommending it to a newbie and Linux savvy should decided for himself or herself.

It has some issues like not being able recognize multiple Linux operation that I have in my hard disk. Grub is is little bit limited and finicky (one does not have to worry about it and let me deal with it myself) in its behaviour.

This comment is short and sweet and I should wind up with my bonobo to gorilla classification of the ape family assuming that we, users not the Linux community descended from apes.

This was something to substitute the boxing category I started with and being interested in biology, environment and biodiversity, I could not resist using our nearest relative (I am not an expert on apes and not even humans and their behaviour especially with the computers) to illustrate how heavy or padded a Linux distribution is.

1. Bonobo is the feather weight category and include all Linux distribution under 200 MiB and fits in to a mini CD. Puppy to DSL to IPcop.

2. Common Sri-Lankan Monkey is the Light weight category and the best in this category is Peppermint, again a Ubuntu derivative.

3. Middle weight is the Chimpanzee category and goes up to 1.5 GiB and Pinguy fits in well to this category. (Mind you mini DVD can fit in 1.4 GiB image and still fit in with your front pocket. I still have few Mini DVDs, I bought for Cricket World Cup,2007 left in my cabinet and a double layered one not used. This is to illustrate the point that I rarely go above Mini CD and standard CD for my work. I am light weight in my approach. Fact that there are DVDs now one need not fill them with junk packages one never uses. Remember Linux used to pack them in Floppies. Do not forget that creative beginning).

4. Heavy Weight ( 3 to 4 GiB) or the Gorilla category is PCLinux FullMonty and Knoppix, the 10th Anniversary edition which is less than 4 GiB and it is my number one).

5. If one wants one can add HaliWandura (Sri-Lankan jungle variety which is less in numbers with a blackish ring around the face and neck) for 700 MiB CD and PCLnux and Ubuntu fall into this category.

I find between 500 to 700 MiB one is limited with many constraints (We are limited by the physical capacity of the disk and not Linux) and going up to 1 GiB does not do justice to the developers, either.
So go for next best that fits in with mini DVD of 1.4 GiB).

One (1) GiB may be good for Flash Drive guys / girls but with Flash drive capacity which has increased now, trying to fit a distribution (KDE) to 1 GIB is not advisable.

So developers it is far better to stick to 4 categories.

1. 50 to 200 MiB
2. 500 MiB
3. 500 x 3 and the 1500 MiB ceiling.
4. 500 x 6 and the 3000 and above category

5. For any glutton use above 4.0 GiB (this is not hitting Debian below the belt punch (boxing terminology) which has the best repository on this planet but to state that packages above the base system should be blocked into either 4 GiB (standard DVD) or may be even 1.5 GiB (Mini DVD) and that depend on how they are used.
It is high time somebody outside the Debian (it become an independent survey) community do an objective survey of the use of various elements in the repository.
Then on the basis of 5-S classification divide into three categories and archive according to that system.
1. Frequently used
2. Less frequently used but generally useful (? Education).
3. Used for a particular purpose but rarely (Science)

Double Density and 8 GiB is a waste of time and it is far better to have two 4 GiB game DVDs instead of one big 8 GIB DVD.
Incidentally I saw a Debian distribution of 20 GiB (? BlueRay) in LinuxTreacker today and I wonder to whom this distribution is targeted for?

Who is the glutton?

Penultimate Linux

It is difficult for me to give an ultimatum as far as Linux is concerned.

The innovations that come by every minute of the day prevents me from announcing an ultimatum to Linux way forward and next distribution that will come out of the blue.

Enough is said about the Linux 100 and I have gone beyond the hundred by many a mile.

It is time for me to concentrate on Mobile Linux from Mobilin to MeeGo to Android to Unity derivative that might come soon.

Naming my top 10 will cause lot of injustice to that are not mentioned.

Life is making choices, prejudices and making decision at a given point of time which only lasts for that moment of time.
What is not mentioned is not a deliberate exclusion but a subjective statement with some value added judgment.

I have to go by the gut feelings but not with culinary delights.

1. Number one for me is 10th anniversary Knoppix 6.4

2. Number two is Puppy (lupu, quirky and wary, slimpup and the lot). If not for Puppy I would not have come this far.

3. Number three is PCLinux including FullMonty which opened me to the world of Live CD.

4. Number 4 is Mepis and AntiX (including Taylor Swift) for looking after old computers.

5. Debian is my Number 5 but my choice by deafault with many flavours including Sinhala Capability of installation

6. Gparted, Pmagic, RIP

7. Peppermint

8. Imagine-OS

9. Incognito and Polippix are new derivatives with a strong political statement.

10. Last but not least Ubuntu, Mint and Unity and all  are Ubuntu derivatives making the feel of Linux universally available for the ordinary folks (not the Developers) who are taken for granted by the multinational companies hell bent on making money out of a poor product since the other choices are discredited by false propaganda.

If I miss any it is due to personal circumstances for me to use a particular distribution.

To rectify that anomaly I always talk about Linux 100 and not top 10 like a Video / Audio Charts.

Linux 100 and more going to stay like Dalmatians 101 in the web and IT world.
You have lot of choices now.

Go and select your own 10.
Please note that I have excluded Games and XBMC due to their craving on graphic intensive hardware requirement and environment which many poor people cannot afford at this point of time.

Other reason is manufactures with squinted eyes on Linux not providing not providing sapce for Linux modules.

In 10 years time the story may be quite different.

I may be gone but Linux will rule from Mobile, to netbook to laptops to desktop.


Gentoo was my last conversion or convergence.
I had seen a Gentoo live CD (probably 2008) and KiWi Linux (I may be wrong here) which was probably a Gentoo Linux derivative but never caught my eye till I discovered XBMC in Sabayaon.

The latest edition which I downloaded yesterday is pretty impressive.
In 2.3 GiB it has everything a newbie needs and XBMC (Media Center).
It has both 32 bit and 64 bits editions.
It is good as gold for Linux Lovers.
In 10 years it has the stature and only Knoppix can boast and can rival.

If not for my search for Linux 100 and the discovery of Sabayon an XBMC I would not have been writing this piece.
Thanks a lot guts and girls.
Please excuse me for my ignorance and not including you in my 100.
You are in the top 10 in my list and even though you are around 20 in the distrowatch (Sabayon is in the top 10) if you introduce few live CDs and LXDEs, you will be envy of the rest.

XBMC may be heavy to be put in a CD distribution but that as a separate edition in your repertoire (do not let it die a natural death of under usage) of live CDs will add spice to your distribution of high quality.
I would have preferred you put blender in the DVD in future version with XMBC and that will be the best multimedia and graphic Linux image.