Normally a computer runs the operating system from its hard drive, but there is another way to run a operating system. You can get a Linux OS ready to run on your disk. The Linux which runs from the disk is called Live CD, also today you can easily make it to run from a USB Drive which will improve performance.
How a Live CD or USB Drive Works
When you boot your computer, it will boot the operating system which is installed on the hard drive. Also your computer can boot the program from a CD or USB Drive. For example when you install Windows or any other operating system, the computer will boot Windows Installer or Linux Installer depending what are you installing from your CD or USB Drive.
A Live CD or a Live USB drive means that your computer can boot the Linux operating system from your Live CD or USB drive without having to install it on the computers hard drive. The live environment will work from your computer’s RAM without using your computers disk. What it will do, it will load in the RAM the main components to run the operating system from the CD or USB drive.
You can use Live CD or USB Drive just like on a normal installed Linux Operating System, the only disadvantage is that you cannot install big programs, you cannot play games and you will have to wait some more time for a program to start. Working from a UBS drive instead of Live CD will improve performance.
How to Run a Live CD or USB Drive
1. Download iso file of any Linux distribution that supports Live CD, for example Ubuntu.
2. Burn the Linux iso file on to a CD or on a USB Drive.
3. Boot your computer from CD or USB Drive.
To boot from a CD or USB Drive you will have to press F12 key or ESC key to select the Boot from CD / USB Drive option, or you will have to go in BIOS and change the 1st Bootable media.
4. Starting the Live CD / USB Drive
When your Linux will boot from CD or USB Drive, you will have to choose “Live CD” or for Ubuntu Linux you will have to choose “Try Ubuntu”, see bellow.
Why Not Choosing a Windows Live CD
If you would like to use a Windows Live CD, actually called “Windows To Go” you will have to buy a Windows 8 Enterprise version which is available only for business purposes.
Advantages Using a Linux Live CD
If you think that using a Linux Live CD is not for you, you are wrong and here is why:
Use it for Online Banking: Some banks recommend to their clients to use a Linux Live CD or USB drive. This is very useful for security reasons. Linux is a secure operating system and working from a fresh Live CD will give you even more security. Also you can use a Linux Live CD on any computer, even if it is full of viruses and malware. No viruses and malware can get into your Linux System. You don’t have to worry.
Try Out Linux: If you’re interested in giving Linux a test drive, you can do it anytime just by testing it from a Live CD. The advantage is that you can test all versions of Linux systems which have a Live CD version.
Troubleshoot Windows PCs: Maybe you did not know, but Linux offers a good variety of tools to fix Windows problems, you can always fix your Windows issues, like partitioning, restoring passwords, recovering files.
Use a Secure Operating System Everywhere: You can use a Live Linux CD / USB Drive everywhere and any time, it is supported by all computers and it does not take too many resources. You can boot Live CD from any computer with any operating system installed and it will not affect the computer or the operating system in any way.