Larger picture(s) of this item below! Click here to have a look!



Find Freedom!
Many Linux distros Install from the Live Desktop! Click here for screenshots.
Escape Windoze!

Try Linux Today!

Boot to a Fully-Functional Desktop Without Installing Anything to Your Hard-Drive!

Free Programs!
Many Linux distros Install from the Live Desktop! Click here for screenshots.
Free Updates!

Only $4.95 per Disc (CD or DVD) + Delivery!

It's True! You can try many Linux Distros Without Touching Any Hard Drive!
Simply put the Live-CD in your drive, reboot, and have hours of fun looking around! Safe and simple!

You can then Install Your Choice on Free Space on your Windows (or other) Drive!

Please Note: Some Live CDs do in fact cache to your hard drive, but then delete any temporary files when finished.
Also note that unfortunately not all Live CDs will work on all hardware configurations, especially on older computers.

"Do I get ALL of these distros on the one disc?"

Are you kidding?! (This may seem humourous to most of you, but I do get asked!)

If you're new to all this, you have to understand that each Linux distribution is an operating system that can barely fit on a disc, and most are actually 2Gb or more compressed (those on DVD are even larger).

"Do I get ALL of these discs for $4.95?"

Um... NO - I couldn't even buy all the blanks needed for that price!

Once again, I do occassionally get asked! Unfortunately, that would mean running at a huge loss, for this involves weeks of downloading, verifying images, burning them onto discs, verifying the discs, and printing onto them - not to mention the cost of discs, ink, and eBay and PayPal fees!

Please note: 1 Item = 1 Disc (CD or DVD)
This means "1 item" = 1 Distro - unless it comes on more than 1 disc, in which case you would increase the quantity of items being purchased accordingly. Most distros, however, come on 1 CD or DVD.
To buy more, just change the "Quantity" when purchasing. Click here for Delivery Prices.

You can also use many Live CDs to:

Test your Memory Chips (RAM) for Faults!

Backup your Hard Drives, and Recover Data from Your Windows Drive!

Surf the Web Straight from the CD Drive on Any PC with Broadband!

Partition Drives, Perform Backups, Create Hard Disk Images, & Much More!

Create Documents or Play Games on Any Computer!

Don't Pay for Software! Linux distributions come with HEAPS of FREE PROGRAMS, and you can Download THOUSANDS More with built-in "Package Managers"!

1. A List of the Latest Linux Releases  (just below)
     For more info on any particular "distro" or rescue/utility disc, go to the full list of distros further down

2. The Full List of Available Linux Distributions & Rescue Discs  (click here)
     For more info on any particular "distro" or rescue/utility disc, go to its website or search online

3. More Information on Compatibility and Terminology  (click here)
     For those not sure what terms like "i386" mean, and for info on what will run on which computer

4. General Linux Introduction for "Newbies" from Windows or Mac  (click here)
     For more info on Linux in general, Google search for topics like "migrating to Linux from Windows"

5. Screenshots of Various Linux Distributions  (click here)
     For more screenshots, go to the official sites and (and also try Google for users' own pages)

Click here for the latest delivery rates
Most Recent Linux Releases
These are all final "Distribution" releases not alpha/beta "Development" ones (unless specified otherwise)
All names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective owners/developers.
The complete list is below this; if what you want isn't on it, just ask me to get it for you!
Sabayon 4.0 Live DVD
Gentoo-based with KDE, GNOME, Xfce & Fluxbox desktops.
OpenSUSE 11.1 DVD
The latest official release of this giant of the Linux world.
PC/OS 2008v2 OpenDesktop CD
Xubuntu-based with out-of-the-box support for multimedia formats.
SimplyMEPIS 8 Live CD
Debian-based designed for both personal & business purposes.
CrunchEee 8.10.02
Ubuntu-based CrunchBang for the Asus Eee PC.
Sidux 2009 "Ouranos" Live CD (KDE or Xfce)
Based on the unstable branch of Debian GNU/Linux.
MEPIS antiX 8 Live CD
Light-weight Mepis variant with Fluxbox and IceWM.
ZevenOS 1.0
Ubuntu-based distribution with a BeOS-like user interface.
Debian 5.0 Net-Install CD
Popular distro that Ubuntu and many others are based on.
CentOS-based featuring PBX/telephony platform called Asterisk.
Topologilinux 7.0.1 DVD
Slackware-based distribution designed to be run under Windows.
Trisquel 2.1 Live CD
100% "libre" distribution based on Ubuntu (English & Spanish).
MythDora 10 Live CD
Fedora-based media centre distribution featuring MythTV.
CrunchBang Linux 8.10.2
Ubuntu-based with the light-weight Openbox window manager.
Ubuntu Ultimate Edition 2.0 DVD
"Polished" is the word for this very popular Ubuntu-based distro.
Lunar Linux 1.6.4
Source-based distribution designed for advanced Linux users.
Ubuntu Studio 8.10
Aimed at the audio, video and graphic enthusiast & professional.
Berry Linux 0.94 Live CD
Fedora-based live CD with KDE 4 as the default desktop.
Crux 2.5
Minimalist, i686-optimised Linux distribution for advanced users.
TinyMe 2008.1 "Droplet" i586
PCLinuxOS-based mini-distribution targeted at older computers.
Fedora Core 10 (Gnome or KDE) Live CD
Latest version of one of the stalwarts of Linux, based on Red Hat.
Parted Magic 3.6 - Live CD (also: USB version)
Live desktop for hard disk management tasks, like partitioning.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 Live CD
Latest SunOS enterprise release with Ubuntu-like desktop.
Ubuntu Satanic Edition 666.4
Novelty distro meant as fun, not to offend the religiously-sensitive!
Mandriva 2009 One (Gnome, KDE or Xfce)
From the people who brought you the legendary Mandrake Linux.
Caos Linux NSA 1.0
A light-weight, stable and secure distribution of Linux for servers.
Clonezilla Live CD
Partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost.
pfSense 1.2.1 RC2 Live CD
FreeBSD-based firewall system with GUI.
gOS 3 "Gadgets" - Live CD
Google Gadgets based desktop that debuted at Wal-Mart stores.
Now also available: Theme Packs for Gnome and KDE, as well as the Ubuntu Starter Pack (themes, programs & ebooks)
Combine with my VMware DVDs - Multiple Compressed Virtual Machines on each disc - only $9.95 each!
Ready-to-run Linux, BSD and SunOS based Operating Sytems you can try in Windows, Mac OS X or Linux!

Check here later
for more distros

List of Available Linux Distributions
Most i386/x86 versions will run on AMD64/Intel 64-bit PCs and modern Intel-based Macs.
All names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective owners/developers.
Please note that 1 Item = 1 Disc (buying a distro on 2 CDs counts as 2 items when purchasing, so the answer for "Do you get all these discs for $4.95" is "NO" [I do get asked!]). Also note that terms like "i386 or amd64" mean you have to pick your desired version from those available (most distros are not multi-architecture, but have separate discs for each). "i386" is for all PCs, while "amd64" & "x86_64" are for 64-bit chips only.
Go straight to:
Ubuntu Family   Ubuntu Derivatives   BSD Derivatives   SunOS Derivatives
Main Distro List   Small/Lightweight   Special Purpose
Special Architectures & Hardware   Rescue/Utility   Servers & Firewalls

     Do you want an earlier version than is listed? Ask me - I probably have it!
  Some earlier versions are listed here, especially if they differ vastly from newer versions - otherwise, please enquire!
Some Popular Linux Distributions                          see also: Ubuntu Family

Arch Linux 2008.06 - Installation CD (i386 or x86-64bit)   [1 CD]
Long-awaited new distribution release with many new changes. Features use of UUIDs for persistent device naming; true live Arch installation environment; & inclusion of the beginner's guide from the Wiki. Comes in choice of 32-bit or 64-bit.

OpenSUSE 11.1 DVD (i386 or x86-64)   [1 DVD]
OpenSUSE 11 Gnome - Live CD now with Install (i386 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
OpenSUSE 11 KDE 4 - Live CD now with Install (i386 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
The latest official distribution release of this giant of the Linux world. This is the free version of SUSE Enterprise Edition sold by Novell.

Gentoo 2008.0 R1 - Live CD (i386 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
Heaps of new features & updates, with a move away from Gnome in favour of the Xfce desktop. Installation is now networkless, meaning it installs off the CD rather than just start the process and download everything from Gentoo's servers. Also features improved hardware support.

Sabayon 4.0 - Live DVD (i386 or x86-64bit)   [1 DVD]
Gentoo-based distro with multiple desktop envirnoments (KDE, GNOME, XFce & Fluxbox), and comes with Compiz-Fusion window manager for stunning desktop effects. Very sleek and powerful.

SimplyMEPIS 8 - Live CD (i386 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
This Debian-based KDE distro is a popular one for newbies, with a focus on ease of use and dependable stability. Many great features like NTFS partition resizing & WiFi support.

Mandriva 2009 One (Gnome) (i586)   [1 CD]
Mandriva 2009 One (KDE) (i586)   [1 CD]
Mandriva 2009 One (Xfce) (i586)   [1 CD]
One of the most popular distros of recent times, with a strong focus on user-friendliness. From the people who brought you the legendary Mandrake Linux.

Fedora 10 Gnome - Live CD (i686 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
Fedora 10 KDE - Live CD (i686 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
Very popular distro based on one of the stalwarts of Linux, Red Hat.

Freespire 2.0.3 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Free version of Linspire (formerly Lindows), a distro with a very Windows-like environment. Based on Ubuntu 7.04, and features KDE, and proprietary drivers and media codecs.

The Ubuntu Family
Almost a phenomenon, this OS has seen millions adopting it, with even fairly new computer users ditching Windows entirely in favour of Ubuntu (or its siblings). Adopted by Dell and Asus EeePC, it's now the first OS many new PC owners use! See my Ubuntu ad in my store for lots more info & screenshots of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu. And don't forget to check out all the cool Ubuntu derivatives further down.
Note that the 8.04.1 LTS release has long-term support (for security updates) till 2011 (or 2013 for Server). Normal releases have a life-cycle of 1.5 years and can easily be upgraded to the latest version every 6 months. You can of course continue to use a system and update software without upgrading each time.
Apple Mac users read this to help you decide which version you need.

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Live CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Server - Install CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Live CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS Server - Install CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
The standard Ubuntu "Linux for Human Beings" running the Gnome desktop.

Kubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Live CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Kubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Kubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Live CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Kubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
This is Ubuntu running the very popular KDE desktop.
Kubuntu 8.10 onwards features KDE 4. If you prefer KDE 3.5x, purchase the LTS version.

Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Live CD (i386, AMD64 or PowerPC)   [1 CD]
Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
Xubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Live CD (i386, AMD64 or PowerPC)   [1 CD]
Xubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Alternate CD (i386, AMD64, PowerPC or PS3)   [1 CD]
This is Ubuntu running the lean and fast Xfce desktop.

Edubuntu 8.04.1 Hardy Heron LTS - Add-on CD (i386, AMD64 or PowerPC)   [1 CD]
"Linux for Young Human Beings" is Ubuntu for schools & home education. Note that from 8.04 onwards, Edubuntu is no longer standalone - you need to install Ubuntu first. 

Gobuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - Install CD (i386 or AMD64)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu for system developers and experienced Linux enthusiasts.
Ubuntu JeOS ("Juice") 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon - Install CD (i386)   [1 CD]
"Just Enough Operating System" is Ubuntu configured specifically for virtual appliances.

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Edubuntu are also available in 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon", 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" & 6.10 "Edgy Eft" - Live CD & Alternate CD (i386, AMD64 & PowerPC)

Ubuntu Derivatives                       see also: Small/Lightweight   Special Purpose
Special Architectures & Hardware
Get Ubuntu with flashy themes, preinstalled media codecs & extra software; try it with a totally different desktop environment like E17; install Ubuntu on your netbook; create a Multimedia/Entertainment system; set up a Digital Studio; & much more! You can even get Ubuntu for your religion!

Ubuntu Ultimate Edition 2.0 (i386 or x64)   [1 DVD]
"Polished" is the word for this very popular Ubuntu-based distro. Big on multimedia and transparencies, with an emphasis on style, and with gamers in mind as well. Includes support for a wide range of networking options, including WiFi and Bluetooth.

gOS 3 "Gadgets" - Live CD   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based distro that instantly launches Google Gadgets for Linux on startup, introducing over 100,000 possible iGoogle and Google Gadgets to the desktop. Google Documents, Calendar, and Mail launch in Mozilla Prism windows to closer resemble desktop applications. Debuted at Wal-Mart stores.

OpenGEU 8.04.1 'Luna Crescente'
Ubuntu-based, but with a snazzy customised Enlightenment/E17 desktop, which includes OpenGEU themes manager (geutheme - an incredible tool able to change every part of the desktop with a mouse click), eTrayer (a new system tray developed by the OpenGEU team), and many new modules, like Extramenu, Trash bin and more. This distro was formerly known as Geubuntu.

Ubuntu Studio 8.10 (i386 or x86_64) Installation DVD   [1 DVD]
Variant of Ubuntu aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast & professional; provides a collection of open-source applications for multimedia creation. The Ubuntu of choice for many.

Symphony OS "SymphonyOne" 2008.1  (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based with Mezzo, an alternative desktop environment, with features of FVWM. It offers full Ubuntu compatibility on systems with as little as a 200 MHz processor.

Linux Mint 5.0 Xfce  (i386)   [1 CD]
Linux Mint 5.0 R1 "Elyssa" (Gnome)  (i386)   [1 CD]
Linux Mint 4.0 "Daryna" (KDE)  (i386)   [1 DVD]
Ubuntu-based and fully compatible with its repositories; features mintAssistant for configuring a new system, mintUpload for file transfers, printing to PDF, and much more.

CrunchBang Linux 8.10.2  (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based distro with the light-weight Openbox window manager. The distribution has been built from a minimal Ubuntu system and customised to offer a good balance of speed and functionality.

Kiwi Linux 8.04 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based; installs packages necessary for playing restricted audio, video and Flash formats by default and supports English, French, German, Hungarian and Romanian.  Features a graphical tool for restoring GRUB boot menus, Compiz extra settings GUI, Microsoft True Type core fonts, and the Medibuntu repositories are enabled by default to allow installing w32codecs, Skype & Google Earth among others.

Mythbuntu 8.04.1 (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu meets MythTV, the awesome media control centre. Updated Hardy Heron release.
Mythbuntu 8.04 (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu meets MythTV, the awesome media control centre.

PC/OS 2009v2 OpenDesktop CD   [1 CD]
PC/OS 2008v2 OpenWorkstation DVD   [1 DVD]
Xubuntu-based with out-of-the-box support for popular multimedia formats. Includes Flock browser instead of Firefox, Picasa for photo management and Google Gears for offline access to Google Applications.

Freezy Linux 1.0   [1 CD]
Based on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and GNOME desktop environment. This edition allows the end user to have a greater easiness of use due to the presence of many pre-added software & a lovely desktop layout.

Ubuntu Christian Edition (UbuntuCE) 4.0 (i386)   [1 CD]
Added BibleTime, more resources for GnomeSword, + replaced with GNOME Office.
Ubuntu Christian Edition (UbuntuCE) 3.3 (i386)   [1 CD]
Along with the standard Ubuntu applications, UbuntuCE includes the best available Christian software, like GnomeSword (a top of the line Bible study program with Bibles, Commentaries, and Dictionaries). Also includes web content parental controls, as well as top programs like

Ubuntu Muslim Edition (UbuntuME) 7.10 (i386)   [1 CD]
Based on Ubuntu, its main feature is the inclusion of Islamic software, such as prayer times, a Qur'an study tool and a web content filtering utility.

Ubuntu Satanic Edition 666.4 (i386 or x86_64)   [1 CD]
Once a set of popular novelty themes for Ubuntu, now a distro on live CD. Please note that this is not intended to offend the religiously-sensitive, but is meant as a laugh for those happy to use the sense of humour God gave them (many Christians in fact find this hilarious!). Great for horror movie lovers too.

Kurumin NG 8.06 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Brazilian distro based on Kubuntu 8.04, but enhanced with features developed earlier by the Kurumin & Kalango projects. Features Magic icons improvements, addition of a My Computer shortcut to the desktop, various cosmetic changes to the desktop and GRUB boot theme, and additional media codecs for K3B.

Greenie Linux 3.1H Live CD   [1 CD]
Impressive Ubuntu-based distro optimised for Slovak and Czech users, but also supporting English and Esperanto. Features a special menu with graphic effects, a new root menu, latest Ubuntu packages, and a custom Greenie Toolbar for Firefox with some interesting enhancements and links. Quite interesting!

eAR OS 1.08c - Live CD   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the advanced, yet simple-to-operate eAR Media Centre. Tune in to TV programs, rip CDs to hard disk in lossless FLAC quality, watch digital TV and DVDs, listen to Internet radio, view photos, or listen to music - all from within an intuitive user interface.

gNewSense 2.1 "Deltah"   [1 CD]
Sponsored by the Free Software Foundation, gNewSense is an Ubuntu-based distro released without any proprietary & non-free components, + several enhancements. All proprietary firmware, restricted modules and Ubuntu logos are removed, while the "Universe" repository is enabled by default.

Trisquel 2.1 Live CD (i386 or x86_64)   [1 CD]
100% "libre" distribution based on Ubuntu and recommended by the Free Software Foundation. Includes support for both English and Spanish.

nUbuntu - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based network security distro, with heaps of security testing tools.

Ubuntulite 1.1 (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based extremely lightweight distro for giving legacy PCs a new lease of life.
Fluxbuntu (Build 1 Rev 2) - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Mixing the best of Ubuntu with the ultra-lightweight environment of Fluxbox.

ZevenOS 1.0   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based distribution with a BeOS-like user interface, performance and support for older hardware. Xfce-based with low-level desktop (uses PCManFM and LXPanel instead of xfdesktop and Xfce panel) and JFS as the default file system.
BSD Derivatives
The BSD family is a whole other world of computing, with a large and active community. Even Mac OSX is built around a robust and secure BSD core. These operating systems belong in the same class as Linux in that they are based on UNIX ideals and APIs.

FreeBSD 6.2 (i386)   [2 CDs + optional 2 CDs]
"FreeBSD" is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation and is used by OzzyFrank with the permission of The FreeBSD Foundation.
UNIX-like operating system for the i386, IA-64, PC-98, Alpha/AXP, and UltraSPARC platforms based on the "4.4BSD-Lite" release. The most popular distro from the BSD family, FreeBSD also has optional "Documents" CD and "Boot-Only" CD. More BSD-based distros below.

DesktopBSD 1.6 DVD (x86 or AMD64)   [1 DVD]
DesktopBSD 1.0 DVD (x86)   [1 DVD]
Based on FreeBSD and the FreeSBIE live CD. Its main goal is to provide a desktop operating system that is easy to use, but still has all the functionality and power of BSD.

DragonFly BSD 2.0 - Live CD   [1 CD]
DragonFly is an operating system and environment designed to be the logical continuation of the FreeBSD-4.x OS series.

OpenBSD 4.2 - Install CD (x86 or x86-64)   [1 CD]
Multi-platform 4.4BSD-based UNIX-like operating system, emphasizing portability, standardization, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography. OpenBSD supports binary emulation of most programs from SVR4 (Solaris), FreeBSD, Linux, BSD/OS, SunOS and HP-UX.

BSDanywhere 4.3 - Live CD (non-installable)   [1 CD]
BSDanywhere is a new OpenBSD-based (non-installable) live CD consisting of an OpenBSD base system, graphical desktop (with Enlightenment 17), collection of software, and automatic hardware detection. BSDanywhere can be used as an educational Unix system, rescue environment or hardware testing platform. It is not necessary to install anything to your hard disk.

PC-BSD  7.0 'Fibonacci' DVD (x86)   [1 DVD]
PC-BSD has as its goals to be an easy-to-install-and-use desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD. To accomplish this, it currently has a graphical installation, which will enable even UNIX novices to easily install and get it running. It will also come with KDE pre-built, so that the desktop can be used immediately.

MidnightBSD 0.2.1   [1 CD]
FreeBSD derivative focusing ease of use and simplicity in mind, with added hardware support for newer devices including ATI, NVIDIA and Intel SATA controllers, and wireless support as standard.

MirOS 10 - Installation CD (Dual-architecture i386 & SPARC)   [1 CD]
OpenBSD-based secure operating system for i386 and SPARC architectures.

SunOS/Solaris Derivatives
Distros with GUI based on SunOS, the enterprise (text-based) OS from Sun Microsystems for their Sun SPARC servers & workstations. All these will run on normal PCs (and modern Intel-based Macs).

OpenSolaris 2008.11 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Industrial-strength enterprise distro from Sun Microsystems with fully functional Ubuntu-like desktop environment (in other words, the modern SunOS with a Gnome-based GUI that can run on other hardware). Take your brilliant idea, build a prototype, test it, deploy it, and run it on production servers. ZFS as the default filesystem, with instant rollback feature that works like a giant undo button.

BeleniX 0.7 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Based on OpenSolaris, it includes the full 64-bit kernel and libraries; properly integrated and themed KDE 3.5.8; re-branded Caiman installer installs BeleniX to ZFS root.

MilaX 0.3.1 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Formerly known as Damn Small Solaris, MilaX is a desktop and server mini-distribution based on OpenSolaris Nevada 89. Features IceWM & Conky; for systems with more than 512 MB of RAM, the live image is mounted from the memory and it's possible eject the MilaX CD after booting.

NexentaCore Platform 1.0.1 - Live CD   [1 CD]
A base operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with Debian utilities and Ubuntu software packages. Based on OpenSolaris b85+ (x86 32-bit and 64-bit), with critical patches from b87, b88 and b90; ZFS write-throttle fixes; significantly improved speed of boot_archive creation - up to 5 times faster.

More Great Linux Distros                             (in alphabetical order)
Main list of distros - if it isn't listed in one of the other categories, it will be here. This includes many of the most popular and respected distros through to obscure but interesting ports of them.

Absolute Linux 12.0.6 - Install CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Based on Slackware, running IceWM & ROX Filer, so is built for speed. Text-based install.

Berry Linux 0.94 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Fedora-based live CD with KDE 4 as the default desktop.

Bluewhite64 Linux 12.0 "miniLive" - Live CD (x86_64)   [1 CD]
Unofficial port of Slackware Linux to the x86_64 processor.

CentOS - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
CentOS is 100% compatible rebuild of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in full compliance with Red Hat's redistribution requirements. CentOS is for people who need an enterprise class operating system stability without the cost of certification and support.

Compiz-Fusion Live CD (wNOP) - Live CD   [1 CD]
Based on Puppy Linux, wNOP (as its called) comes with Compiz-Fusion and the necessary video drivers included. It automatically sets up your graphics card (if it supports CF).

Crux 2.5   [1 CD]
Minimalist, i686-optimised Linux distribution for advanced users.

Debian 5.0 - Net-Install CD (i386 & amd64)  [1 CD]
Popular distro that Ubuntu and many others are based on.
Demolinux 3.0 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Another Live CD only tool; uses SuSE and RedHat applications.

Draco 2007Q4 (i386)   [1 CD]
Based on Slackware Linux and "pkgsrc", a package management system developed by NetBSD. Draco Desktop defaults to Xfce, with Fluxbox as an option.

Dreamlinux 3.1 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Complete redesign with Flexiboost independent architecture, & Gnome + Xfce.
Dreamlinux 2.2 Multimedia Edition - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Dreamlinux 2.2 Multimedia Edition GL Edition - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
This stunning distro is heavily influenced by the look and feel of Mac OSX while still giving you the flexibility and freedom of Linux. The GL version is with desktop effects.

Elive Gem 1.0 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Big on 3D, shadows, blurs and other effects, this Enlightenment-based distro is still fast.

Epidemic 2.1-14 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Debian-based with Easy Channel, a graphical utility for installing proprietary applications and non-free media codecs; Enetwork, a network configuration tool; integration of Compiz Fusion with several 3D plugins.

Foresight 2.0.2 - Live CD   [1 CD]
rPath-based with Gnome that features a rolling release schedule that always keeps your desktop up to date.
Foresight Linux 1.0 "Kids" Edition - Live CD   [1 CD]
Tux Paint, Tux Typing, maths games, educational activities, arcade games & more for kids.
See also Special Architectures & Hardware for the Mobile Edition for netbooks and Asus Eee PC.

GNUstep 1.0 - Live CD (i486)   [1 CD]
This legendary distro has more of a legacy feel and is great for ancient PCs.

GoboLinux 014.01 - Live CD (i686)   [1 CD]
KDE-based Linux distribution with an alternative file system structure & udev-based hardware detection system. Alternative hierarchy stores all files belonging to an application in its own separate subtree, therefore there are directories such as /Programs/GCC/2.95.3/lib. Live and install.

Granular 0.90 "Fun Works" - Live DVD (i386)   [1 DVD]
Big on out-of-the-box multimedia support, and unites KDE, Enlightenment, Looking Glass 3D & Xfce desktop environments. Includes quality 2D & 3D games.
Granular 0.90 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Based on PCLinuxOS, this distro is easy to use and "filled with lots of fun". It also unites KDE with Xfce in one desktop environment, and has a unique start menu.
KDE 4.0 (Beta 0.3) - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
The official K Desktop Environment distro.

Knoppix 5.3.1- Live DVD   [1 DVD]
Compiz 3D window manager 0.7.3 with experimental Compiz-Fusion modules; KDE 3.5.9, KDE 4.0 as experimental boot option; updated WiFi drivers; built on Debian 'Lenny'.
Knoppix 5.1.1- Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Famous for being one of the first truly useful Live CDs, this is a great tool; KDE-based.
KnoppMyth v5 F27- Live CD   [1 CD]
Knoppix meets MythTV, the awesome media control centre.

Linux4All "Basilisk" 1.40 - Live CD (x86)   [1 CD]
Based on Fedora Core 3 but running both Gnome & KDE. Workstation edition.

Linux XP 2006 SR2 - Install CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Great for Windows users new to Linux, as it looks a lot like XP. Note this is commercial and you have 99 boots before having to buy activation (which can be by itself or with support).

Lunar Linux 1.6.4 (i386 or x86_64)   [1 CD]
Source-based distribution designed for advanced Linux users. Supports installation from a USB stick or other media.

Myah OS 3.0 Box Edition (LXDE)
Myah OS 3.0 Dragon Edition (KDE)
Myah OS 3.0 Mouse Pro Edition (Xfce)
User-friendly distro with full multimedia support & a wide range of software. Choice of desktops, from lightning-fast LXDE to stable version of KDE.

Pardus "Lynx lynx" 2007.3 "Kurulan" (Install CD) (i386 or x86-64)  [1 CD]
Pardus "Lynx lynx" 2007.3 "Calisan" (Live CD) (i386 or x86-64)  [1 CD]
Developed by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey; has a range of unique features, like Mudur, a start-up framework of Pardus to speed up the boot process, and PiSi, an efficient package management system with a user-friendly graphical interface.

PCLinuxOS 2007 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Very popular KDE-based distro with a large community & lots of development.
PCLinuxOS Gnome 2.21.2 (Development Release) - Live/Install CD   [1 CD]
New look Gnome PCLOS with dark chrome theme & 2Gb of software (lots of multimedia).

Phantomix 4.0.27 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Knoppix-based live distro for secure and anonymous web browsing & communication.

Pioneer 3.0 Basic (Final) - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
"A Windows replacement" with a 7-year support cycle; "Basic" means workstation.

Sidux 2009 "Ouranos" KDE Live CD (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Sidux 2009 "Ouranos" Xfce Live CD (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Sidux 2008-02 "Erebos" KDE (i386/amd64)   [1 DVD]
Debian-based; i386 & x86_64 merged as the new generic x86 architecture (in DVD versions).

Slackware Linux 12.1 Install DVD   [1 DVD]
Long-awaited new version of one of the most popular distros. It features better support for RAID, LVM, and cryptsetup, and has both the Xfce and KDE desktop environments.

Topologilinux 7.0.1 DVD   [1 DVD]
Slackware-based distribution designed to be run under Windows, but also available as a standard Linux system that can be installed to a hard disk. Runs the Gnome desktop environment.

Ulteo Application System "Sirius" 1.02 i386 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Easy to use, with hundreds of applications & innovative features. Very fast to install, very easy to use.
Ulteo Virtual Desktop (for Windows)   [1 CD]
Run Linux programs in Windows! Enjoy the power of your Linux applications on Windows without the need to reboot! With Ulteo Virtual Desktop, you just have to run the application you need to use from the Ulteo panel and its window will show up like any other Windows application. Comes with a bunch of apps.

Ultima Linux 8.4 - Live CD (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Slackware-compatible desktop and server distribution built around the KDE desktop. Features improved hardware support for wireless, ATI and NVIDIA drivers, and some 'netbooks' such as the ASUS Eee PC.

VectorLinux 5.9 "Live" - Live CD   [1 CD]
With the Live Edition you can carry your VectorLinux OS everywhere - no installation required.
VectorLinux 5.9.1 "SOHO"   [1 CD]
Free edition to showcase some of the features of the (commercial) DELUXE SOHO release's feature-rich and user-friendly environment. Its aim is ease-of-use and support for a wide range of hardware.

Vixta 3D 9.03   [1 CD] is an easy-to-use, Fedora-based distribution with a user interface that resembles Windows Vista (the desktop environment is actually KDE).

Zenwalk 5.0 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Slackware-based with new Zen Installer; you can remaster the Live CD with Live Clone and install your customised version. Extended multilingual, multimedia and WiFi support.
Zenwalk 4.6 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Fast and modern Xfce distro optimised for PIII upwards. Their "rational computing" outlook means one mainstream application for each task, with all tasks covered.

Small & Lightweight Distributions                see also: Ubuntu Derivatives
Here is a selection of "mini" distributions ideal for running lean & fast Live desktops from CD, USB & ZIP drives, or for installing onto ancient PCs with as little RAM as 32Mb. Note that distros may vary in uses or purposes and minimum system requirements, so please visit the sites for more info if unsure, especially if planning to revive a really old computer. Also note some may be Live-only and others Install-only.

Damn Small Linux (DSL) - Live CD 4.3 (i386)   [1 CD]
Popular "mini" distro for running off a CD or even USB pen-drive. Loads fast and has tools for various tasks. Note that this can also install on a hard drive (but you may be limited to choosing an entire drive).

Puppy Linux 4.1 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Popular extremely light-weight distro great for running off USB, ZIP and CD drives, and great for breathing new life into really old computers with little RAM.

TinyMe 2008.1 "Droplet" i586   [1 CD]
PCLinuxOS-based mini-distribution targeted at older computers and people who want a very light and fast desktop environment, with tools for most everyday wants and needs.

TinyFlux (PCFluxboxOS) 1.0 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Small & fast PCLinuxOS remaster with Fluxbox WM; great for legacy hardware, with modern, polished look. Runs GTK and Xfce apps & themes, with Thunar as file manager.

DeLi Linux 0.8 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Light-weight distro designed for computers with as little as 32 MB of RAM. Features 'pacman' package manager (from Arch Linux).

MEPIS antiX 8 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Light-weight Mepis variant with Fluxbox and IceWM window managers, as well as Conky and ROX Desktop.

NimbleX 2008   [1 CD]
Slackware-based mini distribution with tools like Partimage and even VirtualBox.

Macpup Dingo
"A beautiful remaster of Puppy Linux" (4.00 - Dingo version) with dockbar & a Mac-themed IceWM.

CDlinux 0.6.1 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Mini-distro with Xfce, a bunch of useful apps like Firefox, Pidgin and xine, and support for touchpads.

xPud 0.7   [1 CD]
xPUD is a small & fast booting LiveUSB, usually booting into X within 15-seconds, & starts an easy-to-use UI as soon as possible. Being a Ubuntu derivative with APT/dpkg system, the rootfs is quite small.

GoblinX 2.7 Mini Edition (Xfce) - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
GoblinX 2.6 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Based on Slackware, its primary goal is to create a more pleasant and functional desktop, standardising all icons and themes to make it easy for novice users to learn about available applications.
Feather Linux 0.7.4 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Feather Linux 0.7.4 - USB Drive image (i386)   [1 CD]
Small & fast Debian-based Knoppix remaster to run off CD or USB pen drive.

Syllable 0.6.4 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Syllable 0.6.4 - Install CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Small & fast, reliable & easy to use, with a 10 sec boot! Based on AtheOS and BeOS.

Special Purpose Distributions                        see also: Ubuntu Derivatives
Build Multimedia/Entertainment Systems, Musician's studios & Video Editing systems; Play Games; Scan for Security Issues; Control Heavy Machinery; set up a Science Lab; Build your own Distro; & much more!

MythDora 10 Live CD (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Fedora-based media centre distribution featuring MythTV, latest NVIDIA, OpenChrome and IVTV drivers, and Xfce desktop. Also has multimedia apps like K9copy (DVD Shrink for Linux).

LinuxMCE 0710 DVD (x86)   [1 DVD]
Kubuntu-based Multimedia & Entertainment system. Made for being able to play all media files and be a TV with remote control support. Also for controlling other devices in your house, even lighting; can be controlled via mobile phone and PDA, etc. The CD version is an add-on, while the DVD installs Kubuntu for you first, saving you the hassle. Read the FAQ for more info on features & requirements.

GeeXbox 1.1 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Turn your PC into a HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Media Center running off the CD. Has codecs for all media types and works on any Pentium-class PC or PowerPC.

Musix 1.0r3 (Stable) - Live CD   [1 CD]
Knoppix & Debian-based with comprehensive collection of free software for musicians. It's intended for music production, graphic design, audio & video edition, and all kind of tasks.
64 Studio 2.1 (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
Debian-based distribution designed for musicians and digital artists. It is tailor-made for digital content creation, including audio, video, graphics and publishing tools.

ArtistX 0.5 KDE Live DVD   [1 DVD]
Formerly Mediainlinux, ArtistX is a Debian-based bootable DVD containing many free multimedia software packages for audio, 2D and 3D graphics, and video production. The goal is to enable creative individuals to accomplish their tasks with the help of Free Software. Features the KDE desktop.

BackTrack 3 (Security/Penetration Testing) - Live CD   [1 CD]
BackTrack 3 USB Version (Security/Penetration Testing) - Install DVD   [1 DVD]
Over 300 tools for exploits, password attacks, spoofing, sniffers, fuzzers, scanners, and much more. Besides forensics programs, wireless and Bluetooth tools, there are also Cisco and database tools, and more besides. The CD is Live only, so no need for installation, and the DVD is for installing onto a USB device.

Helix 2008R1 (2.0) Forensic Analysis - Live CD   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based live CD with a collection of incident response and forensic analysis software like: aimage (advanced disk imaging tool), Autopsy (GUI front-end to Sleuth Kit tools), Sleuth Kit 2.52 (open source digital investigation forensic tools), chkrootkit (rootkit detection) & chntpw (overwrite Windows SAM passwords).

The Battle for Wesnoth Live CD   [1 CD]
The popular multi-platform turn-based strategy game on a Live CD!

linuX-gamers Live DVD   [1 DVD]
Bootable DVD with a collection of popular 3D games: BzFLag, Enemy Territory, Glest, Nexuiz, Sauerbraten, Torcs, Tremulous, True Combat: Elite, Warsow and World of Padman. It contains both the NVIDIA and ATI proprietary Linux driver. Although the live DVD is based on Arch Linux, it does not offer any desktop Linux functionality except gaming.

Linux From Scratch 6.2-5 - Live CD (x86)   [1 CD]
Assemble your own Linux system! Has all tools & guide for creating your own Live CD.

EMC2 Ubuntu - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
"Enhanced Machine Controller" is a software system for computer control of machine tools such as milling machines, cutting machines, robots, hexapods, etc. Runs Live with Ubuntu 6.06.

Poseidon Linux 3.0   [1 CD]
Inspired by Quantian Linux and based on Ubuntu, this distro is enhanced with software for scientific and academic purposes, including applications for numerical modelling, 2D/3D/4D visualisation and statistics. It offers several specific tools in the areas of GIS, 3D Visualization, Mathematics, Statistics and several other fields of research.

Scientific Linux 5.1 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Scientific Linux is a recompiled Red Hat Enterprise Linux put together by various labs and universities around the world.

Trixbox   [1 CD]
CentOS-based featuring PBX/telephony platform called Asterisk.

Special Architectures & Hardware
Distros for architectures like PowerPC, as well as specialised hardware like the Asus Eee PC, various netbooks, Playstation and XBox. Netbook and Eee PC users note that some other distros listed in other categories are compatible with these computers, while those listed below are optimised for them.
Please note you may need to search online for installation guides.

Ubuntu Eee 8.04   [1 CD]
Ubuntu Eee is Ubuntu customized for the Asus Eee laptop PC. Smaller fonts, working wireless adaptor, Skype instead of Ekiga, Thunderbird for email, and so on.

CrunchEee 8.10.02 (i386)   [1 CD]
Ubuntu-based CrunchBang for the Asus Eee PC. Features the light-weight Openbox window manager and GTK+ applications. This distribution has been built from a minimal Ubuntu system and customised to offer a good balance of speed and functionality. Please search online for installation guides.

Foresight Linux 1.0 "Mobile" Edition - Live CD   [1 CD]
Designed for netbooks and ultra mobile PCs, such as Asus Eee PC, Intel Classmate and Dell E netbook, etc. Features a customized GNOME desktop optimized for smaller screens.
Rescue/Recovery Live CDs & Utility Discs
Hardware tools for all sorts of tasks: drive partitioning, data backup & recovery, boot sector repair, BIOS, & more. While some are only for fixing a Linux system, most can also be used by Windows & Mac users.

Parted Magic 3.6 - Live CD   [1 CD]
Live desktop for hard disk management tasks, like partitioning. All mountable partitions and CD-ROMs are fully supported from the desktop. Also available: USB version for flash cards/USB sticks.
GParted 0.3.4-8 - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
The famous Gnome Partition Editor on a bootable CD.

Clonezilla - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
Clonezilla Live is a Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost. It saves and restores only used blocks in hard drive. With Clonezilla, one can clone a 5 GB system to 40 clients in about 10 minutes.
RIPLinux 2.9 (& 1.9) - Live CD (i386)   [1 CD]
"Rescue Is Possible" for Linux systems; troubleshooting and repair.
Super GRUB Disk v.0.9598 (i386)   [1 CD]
The official boot disc for fixing errors with the GRUB boot loader.

System Rescue CD 1.1.0 (i386)   [1 CD]
System Rescue CD 0.2.0-PPC (PowerPC)   [1 CD]
Gentoo-based data rescue Live CD with a bunch of hardware tools and stuff to fix a Linux system. It's just as handy for Windows and Mac users as it includes a hard disk partitioning program and other hardware tools. Mac users with PowerPCs note that there is also a version for that architecture.
Super Rescue CD 2.1.2 (i386)   [1 CD]
Very large live system with many tools; based on RedHat 7. Minimum RAM is only 24Mb!
Seagate SeaTools 3.02.04 (i386)   [1 CD]
Bootable disc for checking Seagate hard drive; works with other brands too.
Timo's Rescue CD Set 0.9.12r2 (& 0.9.11) (i386)   [1 CD]
For creating your own rescue disc for getting yourself out of trouble.
Trinity Rescue Kit 3.2 (& 3.1) (i386)   [1 CD]
Rescue and repair for Windows (& Linux) systems; Linux-based.
Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.1 (i386)   [1 CD]
100 Motherboard, BIOS, hard drive and filesystem tools for Linux and MS-DOS. Invaluable!

Servers, Firewalls, & Distros for System Administrators

Devil Linux 1.2.15 (i486, i586 or i686)   [1 CD]
Devil-Linux is a CD-based Linux distribution for firewalls and routers.The goal of Devil-Linux is to have a small, customizable and secure Linux.

EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.20  (i386)   [1 CD]
In distribution since 2001, EnGarde was one of the very first security platforms developed entirely from open source, and has been engineered from the ground-up to provide users and organizations with complete, secure Web functionality, DNS, database, e-mail security and even e-commerce.

IPCop 1.4.20 Install CD (i386)   [1 CD]
User-friendly firewall geared towards home and SOHO users.

Caos Linux NSA 1.0 (i386 or amd64)   [1 CD]
A light-weight, stable and secure distribution of Linux for servers, compute nodes and network appliances.

Finnix 92.0 (i386, amd64 or PowerPC)   [1 CD]
Debian-based live CD designed for system administrators, with 32/64 bit autodetection.

pfSense 1.2.1 RC2 Live CD   [1 CD]
FreeBSD-based firewall system.

Gibraltar Firewall 2.6   [1 CD]
Debian-based firewall with "Snort" intrusion detection system. It is bootable directly from CD-ROM, so hard disk installation is not necessary. The configuration data is optionally stored on hard disk, floppy disk or an USB storage device. It was specifically developed for small-sized to medium-enterprises, & offers you an extensive protection of your internet connection, whether permanent cable, DSL or dial-up connection.

Endian Firewall Community 2.1.2 (& 2.1.1) (i386)   [1 CD]
Great firewall for business/enterprise and for running a secure home server.

ParallelKnoppix 2.8 - Live CD (x86_64)   [1 CD]
KNOPPIX-based live CD that allows setting up a cluster of machines for parallel processing using the LAM-MPI and/or MPICH implementations of MPI. Can run in a virtual machine.
Click here for the latest delivery rates
"i386" and "x86" refer to the Intel family of chips, which most PCs use, as well as other 32-bit processors from companies like AMD. Some distros will list their standard 32-bit version as "i586" or "i686", which just signifies chips since the Pentium era (though in reality only the slimmest of distros will run an anything earlier than a Pentium II or equivalent anyway). In most cases, 32-bit versions will run on 64-bit hardware absolutely fine, but not utilise the full potential of it (like RAM over 3Gb etc; please note that a very small minority of 32-bit distros won't run on 64-bit PCs, but specifically require the 64-bit version).

"AMD64" refers to only the 64-bit chips from AMD (e.g: Athlon64, Opteron), as well as PCs with the EM64T architecture (e.g: EM64T Xeon); as mentioned, 32-bit AMD chips are considered "i386". Similarly, "x86-64" refers to Intel's normal retail 64-bit chips, like Core 2 "Duo" and "Quad" processors. However, in many (or even most) cases, both "amd64" and "x86_64" mean all 64-bit chips. If a distro has both of these in addition to the "i386" version, then grab the one for your chip; otherwise, "amd64" or "x86_64" versions apply to all 64-bit chips. Note that 64-bit distros generally won't run on 32-bit hardware.

Apple Mac users note that many distros see no difference between the newer Intel-based Macs and standard PCs, so the "i386" version is what you want. Some, like Ubuntu, have "PowerPC" (or "PPC") versions for those with older Macs (Apple Macintosh G3, G4, and G5, including iBooks and PowerBooks, as well as IBM OpenPower and IBM-PPC "POWER5").

"IA-64" is for Intel Itanium and Itanium 2 computers, while "PS3" is for installing onto a PlayStation 3. HP PA-RISC computers wull use "HP PA-RISC" and Sun UltraSPARC computers, including those based on the multicore UltraSPARC T1 ("Niagara") processors, will need "SPARC" versions.

"Live CD" refers to a CD from which you can boot into a fully-functioning desktop that is (in most cases) identical to the desktop of a fresh install of that distro. From there you can choose to install the distro to a hard drive, though a small minority of Live CDs are only for evaluating the distro only and need a separate installer (some are designed specifically to be a live desktop to use as a tool, so for those few there is no installer at all).

"Alternate CD" means that it does not boot to a "Live" desktop, but is just an installer. "Text-based" install means it doesn't have a modern graphical interface with mouse input, but installs via an old-fashioned MS-DOS-style screen with keyboard-only navigation. This is ideal for older computers or or those who would rather install quickly by skipping the Live desktop loading.

Have you been hearing and reading about the new wave of user-friendly Linux distributions ("distros") like Ubuntu, Fedora, Simply MEPIS, Kubuntu and Sabayon, and want to see what all the fuss is about? Or have you been curious about Linux, but didn't want to install it to your hard drive just to have a look? Or have you been thinking about slowly migrating from Windows, but didn't know which flavour of Linux to pick?

Well, read below and see why the "Live CD" phenomenon has become so popular, and why you should be trying a few today. And I mean "trying", since you can boot to a fully-working desktop and try a bunch of open source (ie FREE) programs and games, all running off the CD in memory, not being cached on your hard drive!

Please note that you are not getting trial versions here, but full operating systems which come on "Live CDs". This means with a Live CD you can boot to a fully working desktop to use and evaluate the distro, then install later if you so please, simply by double-clicking the "Install" icon on the desktop or installing from a boot menu (depending on distro)! However, a few Live CDs and DVDs give you a fully working live desktop but require a separate installation disc, and I have tried to mark any as such. 

The majority of Linux distros are totally free to download, as are all programs and extras; what you are paying for here is to have them on CDs to save you looking for a reliable download mirror and spending time (and bandwidth) downloading them and burning the .iso images to CDs. I verify the integrity of all CD images I download, and test the burned result (unless there is no self-test/integrity verification for that disc).


A Customised Ubuntu Desktop - You can make this YOUR operating system, not like Windows (which you lease!)

Why Try Linux?

Many Linux distros have well and truly shattered the image that Linux is still an operating system for "geeks". While the emphasis has always been a more robust, stable and secure computing environment than Windows, most modern Linux distros have certainly "come of age" when it comes user-friendliness. In fact, in many areas distros like Ubuntu, Sabayon and SimplyMEPIS now make Windows look overly complicated, and Windows XP users often find it much easier to use these than making the jump to Windows Vista.

And while Linux boasts tight security, and privacy issues are unheard of, Windows is still full of holes, and Vista now further invades your privacy and erodes your rights to your own computer via DRM (Digital Rights Management). If you'd prefer an OS that needs the latest hardware because it is constantly monitoring you to see if you are doing something illegal, go with Vista (you can also have fun replacing the software that won't run on it, and wait patiently for those Vista drivers for the hardware that no longer functions). Upgrading Windows has never been a painless exercise, and it seems to be getting worse. So maybe the time is now to give Linux a try, as you can surf the web securely, install programs at no cost, and eventually break free of leasing an OS that is never really your own.

Is Linux Hard to Learn?

Everything is at your fingertips with easy to access menusWhile trying any Linux OS means a bit of learning - just like you had to go through learning Windows - I'm sure you'll find most out there these days to be quite intuitive and easy to use. In fact, if you've read the buzz online, you would already know that many relatively new computer users from the Windows world have successfully migrated to various Linux distributions in the past year. And more and more "newbies" are turning away from the cost and privacy issues of Windows in favour of an OS they can truly make their own. Why do you think Dell now offer Ubuntu on their PCs? (Michael Dell himself uses Ubuntu on his laptop!).

While Linux is not Windows, and there are some fundamental differences between them, most people can get around the differences easy enough. Distros generally have great built-in Help features, and if you get stuck on something, you'll be glad to know that (in my experience) answers for Linux questions are usually much easier to find than Windows ones.


Lots of help is available, from built-in help to online forums!

If you're familiar with Microsoft trying to charge you for issues beyond the actual installation, you'll know that the only "free" support is that from other users. Most companies/developers do not provide free support for their free OS either, though you can often choose to pay for it. However, most have great built-in Help features, and the Linux community is so huge that you'll always find answers in the various forums. Do a Google search for your queries (there are also great guides and tutorials out there), or start a thread in one or more of the forums, and you'll be getting answers in no time. Most distros have their own forum, and there are also general Linux ones, as well as the massive Ubuntu forums ( which is very active (you can often have the answers you seek delivered via email within minutes!).

Free Programs?

Hell yeah! There are literally THOUSANDS of free programs for Linux! And you don't have to go looking for them (in most distros), as that what "package managers" are for. Simply run "Add/Remove Applications" or "Synaptic Package Manager" (or whatever your distro uses) to see what programs and updates are available, select the ones you want, then with one more click they're all downloaded and installed for you (this, of course, depends on the distro)!
It couldn't be easier to install and remove software!

But let's not forget that the average Live CD comes with hundreds of programs on it, including Internet/Network apps, Games, CD/DVD burners, Multimedia Players, and much more! While not all of these are installed by default, pretty much everything you'll need is there in a standard installation (these days often including the mighty - the free yet powerful open-source competitor to MS Office). And for web browsing, the popular Firefox is usually installed, unless the distro has its own browser (KDE-based distros like Kubuntu have Konqueror). And for picture editing, you don't get something horribly basic like Windows Paint installed by default, but usually The Gimp - a powerful yet easy-to-use alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

After running Synaptic or any other package manager to get more programs, it will soon become obvious that you'll never have to do Google searches for software again (and hope the downloads are reliable when you finally find what you want!). Package Managers do it all for you - how much easier can it be than that?

What about Updates?

As mentioned, you can run a package manager like Synaptic for updates and programs, or you can just run your distro's Update Manager for updates alone (names for the updater will vary with each distro). Or just wait for a notification and click on it! Not only does this quickly and easily update your system, it lets you update every program you have installed!
You'll be notified when updates are ready for download and installationYou can of course choose what you want updated, meaning you can postpone updating your distro (if you're cautious from having grief with Windows updates) and just update your programs and "libraries" (dependent software). Forget lengthy visits to the Windows Update site (which can be "experiencing technical difficulties"!) - just run the Update Manager and let it install the list of recommended updates. And of course most Linux distributions give you the option to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system free of charge.

What Else Makes Linux So Cool?

NTFS support in Ubuntu

Another great feature of Linux is the fact that generally any drive can be read, while in Windows it just doesn't recognise other filesystems than its own. You can access Mac OSX, other Linux partitions, and of course Windows drives. This means that when your Windows installation is dying (yet again), you can still rescue your important files by copying them to your Linux drive or another NTFS or Fat32 drive. Live CDs are good for this, as you can use one with a USB drive to recover files from a PC that only has one drive (with Windows on it).

Also, most distros can be customised in so many ways, it really does make Windows look rather pale. You can change themes that not only alter colours, but change buttons, icons and window borders as well. You can change these individually, and many more are always available for download. You can add or remove panels, and customise them by putting handy little gadgets and your favourite shortcuts on them, and by making them opaque or transparent. You can switch boot "splash" screens and specify your own login window, and the list goes on. In just a few minutes you can transform your workspace into something totally unique, but you can go even further.

Linux Eye-Candy?

Burning Windows never fail to impress!
"Window Managers" like the much-loved Beryl (now Compiz-Fusion) can put an absolutely stunning array of desktop effects at your fingertips (please note this is not part of most standard installs - you have to install it separately). Not only can they add transparency to windows or just their title bars, and add even better themes with shadows, glass-like finishes and animated buttons, but also eye candy beyond belief if you're used to Windows (and this includes Vista!). Not only is the vast amount of effects staggering, but so is the level of control you have over them. See your windows wobble like jelly as you drag them, or beam into existence like via a Star Trek transporter, or explode or burn up when you close them. Spin the desktop cube, have inactive windows go opaque, pick from a range of hilarious and cool animations for minimise and maximise, and even have it rain on your desktop or ripple like water! No wonder so many people find it so hard to go back to Windows!

And eye candy aside, you can also pick between totally different "desktop environments", which range from very basic to very advanced. While most distros are based on one desktop environment, many allow others to be installed, so you can log into totally different computing environments without actually changing operating systems.

Gnome? KDE? Xfce?

These three desktop environments are the most popular in the Linux world, and most distros have one of these as its base. Many come with Gnome (or GDE - Gnome Desktop Environment), which is a sleek and powerful desktop that is nonetheless easy on system resources (ie: generally a lot faster than Windows). Then there is the hugely-popular KDE (K Desktop Environment), a very rich and flash-looking desktop that can make Windows look pretty pale in comparison! Its many "bells & whistles" are less of a drag on memory than those in Windows, and you can disable/enable most of them at will. There's also Xfce (XForms Common Environment), which is great for older PCs or for those who find even Gnome to be too flash and prefer a minimalistic desktop.

If you want to give new life to old computers, consider distros running Fluxbox or other light-weight window managers like Openbox, Enlightenment and Blackbox. Of course, there are also distros with very conservative installs, with ones like Puppy Linux and DSL that can even run off small USB pen-drives. If it all seems too confusing, just look at some screenshots and maybe search online for testimonials of various distros and the main desktop environments, and go with something that seems very popular for Windows (or Mac) users new to Linux. Also remember that many distros will even allow you to download and install other desktops like FVWM-Crystal, Enlightenment & Openbox (screenshots below). This means you can log into another desktop environment within the same operating system; so if you install a distro like Ubuntu and want a more simple and fast desktop (or a more flashy environment to work in), you can install other window managers and complete desktop environments to see what you like the best. (Note that while some distros and desktop environments look plain and rather simple, they can generally be customised beyond your wildest dreams - so don't necessarily go for ones that look nice and polished, as you can do better yourself).
Gnome KDE Xfce

More Screenshots available below!

More Screenshots available below!

More Screenshots available below!

These are shots of Live CD desktops in these environments (distros: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu)

You can either get the Live CD or the Alternative (Text-based) Installer

"Live CD" or "Alternate" ("Text-Based") Install?

"Live CDs" are great if you want to try out distros without installing anything. You can have fun exploring various flavours of Linux and even surf the web straight from the CD, then if you decide to install one it is usually as easy as clicking the "Install" icon on the desktop (you can often keep playing games and surfing the web while the installation is going!). The "Alternate CDs" offer you the option of "text-based" installations, which means that they are better for older computers with not much RAM. Opposite are shots of the two different ways of installing Ubuntu; as you can see, text-based installs are no harder than the more modern alternative, but since you don't need the processing power to give you a working desktop as well as a graphical installer, they run on a wider range of computers.

Please note that a small number of Live CDs are only for evaluating the distros, and have separate installers; wherever I am aware of this I have marked them as "Desktop Only - No Install". Also, those that are installation-only are marked as such, and can be either text-based or graphical, depending on the distro. A few distros come on multiple discs, with the first disc generally being the installer, and the other discs being extra packages, etc.

What if I decide to Install?

Installation is in most cases quick, painless and without incident, and you can specify how much of your Windows drive you want to allocate for this purpose. While I've never heard of any data loss on the original Windows partition, needless to say backing up your data first will give you piece of mind. If you have a secondary drive, then you won't even need to get nervous about possibly losing data, as you can install to that. If you want to totally get rid of Windows, then just tell the installer to have the whole drive! If deciding to share a drive, the distro will set up a boot menu (GRUB or LILO) that lets you either boot into Linux or Windows.

Can I Keep Windows if I decide to Install?

Of course you can; just install your preferred Linux distribution on another hard drive, or on another partition of the drive Windows is on. If you only have the one drive, you can specify how much of the Windows drive to take, and that will be turned into a separate partition and formatted for Linux. For those who find this scary, you can Google for "partitioning" to familiarise yourself with some basics; however, as long as you don't tell it to take your whole Windows drive, there shouldn't be any trouble. For those who have partitioned drives before, note that in general you won't need to create a Linux ("ext2" or "ext3") partition beforehand, as the installer should do it all for you (if you want to have one ready anyway, just make one Fat32 partition and the installer should convert that into the Linux partition as well as the Swap partition).

Time to Migrate from Windows?

You can scan your Windows drive for viruses while in Ubuntu!Most Linux distros are extremely secure, and since there are no Linux viruses, they are not subject to viruses and spyware (though there are free programs to guard against these nonetheless). Most people install antivirus programs in Linux to scan their Windows drives, or to scan files they've downloaded that are bound for Windows users. And while Linux is infinitely more secure from outside attack than Windows, you can also get powerful firewalls like Firestarter for no cost (just for peace of mind).

Does Linux support all of my hardware?

Then all you have to do is tell Ubuntu to enable your driversAs you probably know, even Windows doesn't support all hardware by default, since hardware drivers are the property of manufacturers. Remember when you installed Windows and couldn't even play a DVD without downloading something to make it happen? Or when you later added a new sound card and it wasn't even recognised till you ran the drivers install from the CD you got with it? Well, most Linux distros are really good at picking up hardware, and in many cases better than Windows. Look around the web and you'll see many stories of amazingly simple Linux installs that have all the hardware up and running without hassle.

That said, because of the "restricted drivers" issue you may need to get Linux drivers for some pieces of hardware, which more and more manufacturers are now supplying. There are also "generic" drivers and workarounds that the community develops. And let's not forget that while these drivers are subject to copyright, distros like Ubuntu can often detect what you need and let you install it with just a message about it being restricted. You may be cautioned that the software is proprietary and "cannot easily be changed to fix any future problems", but all you have to do is click a button to confirm and reboot.

Also, not every piece of hardware will work in all Linux distros, and some may not function in any distro. If you have specific hardware that you want to make sure runs properly, just search online for more info (eg: "Suse and Creative Audigy ZS"... include brands and model names/numbers if possible). However, look around and you'll see most hardware works "out of the box" on most distros.

Can I Import any Files, Settings or Programs from Windows?

All your files can quite easily be copied over to your Linux partition, and even better news is that most common types will open in programs already installed. Your video clips and MP3s, your Office documents and PDF files, DVD and CD images, and much more will open with programs that are installed by default, or easily installed with your favourite package manager like Synaptic. (Please note that just as in a fresh install of Windows, to play certain media files you may need to download codecs, or install media players that can handle those filetypes).

Also, you can open these files directly off your windows drive and enable write access to save to them as well. This way you can save having duplicates, and you can access and edit the same files from two different operating systems.

Using either the default Firefox browser or installing Opera can let you import bookmarks from their Windows counterparts and also Internet Explorer. If you're like more and more Windows users these days, you would have already switched to one of these browsers so know that importing Favourites from IE is simple enough.
Run Windows from within Ubuntu using Vmware!
As for programs, of course you have to be realistic that Linux isn't Windows, and be ready to find replacements via Synaptic. That said, you'll be glad to know that many programs native to Windows will indeed run in most Linux distros with the help of Wine, which is basically an invisible layer of emulation or compatibility that runs .exe files (Windows programs). Results vary, and some small apps you would expect to run OK won't, but then programs like DVD Shrink, Mailwasher Pro, and even Adobe Photoshop can work flawlessly. Some people have found workarounds for some of the more popular apps, so you can always search for them or ask in the forums.

Also, you can actually run Windows from within many Linux distros, if there are one or two Windows programs you can't do without (or cost you so much you'd rather not). Simply install Vmware and then install Windows into that (basically anyone can do that), or even use your existing Windows installation (more for advanced users)!

In conclusion...

Modern Linux distributions are great operating systems that have become very intuitive and user-friendly. However, if you're new to Linux you'll need a little patience while learning the ins and outs. This of course is no problem if you keep your Windows going while learning and setting up your preferred distro, and you'll join the ranks of "dual booters" who enjoy the best of both worlds. But even many novice computer users are actually finding Linux more intuitive to use, so don't be surprised if you become one of the many who end up ditching Windows totally!


Just a reminder that I did not create any of these distros nor force you to install them, so any headaches you may have with either setting them up or learning the ropes are not my fault. Believe it or not, I have actually seen negative feedback left for eBay sellers of Linux OSes from those who decided to try Linux without having the patience for it, which of course is an appalling misuse of the feedback system! Also note that I have no control over any potential installation problems due to your particular hardware configuration. I do, however, accept responsibility for CDs that fail the integrity test, so rest assured that to save us both the hassle, I will run data verification on each CD before posting.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Don't forget to check out my other items to combine postage & packing with other discs & some of my DELICIOUS GOURMET FOODS! In most cases, these discs will ship for FREE when in a parcel with other goods!

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This ad was made entirely in Ubuntu!
SCREENSHOTS Click on the thumbnails below to open 800x600 versions of these in their own windows.
These first shots illustrate that while Linux is a bit different to Windows, it's not that different... and for those who have made the leap to Vista only to be totally lost again, most Linux distros may actually seem surprisingly familiar! But some of these shots also highlight how different Linux can be when it comes to its stunning "eye candy"!
The Gimp image manipulation program in Ubuntu Many popular programs are available for Linux, like the popular web browser, Opera You can even run some of your Windows programs using Wine!
There are heaps of great programs for Linux! This is the powerful GIMP image editor in Ubuntu. There are many great Windows programs available for Linux, like Opera web browser. Compatibility layers like Wine let you install and run many Windows-native programs in distros like Ubuntu.
OpenOffice Writer - another quality but also FREE program to replace your costly Windows software! The Kmenu in Kubuntu The Gnome Applications menu give you access to your installed programs
And you can even forget Windows programs like MS Office. This is Writer in Ubuntu. Everything is easier to find than in Windows, from programs to settings. This is the KDE desktop of Kubuntu. Gnome has everything separated into 3 main menus with easy-to-understand sub-menus. This distro is Ubuntu.
Spanish Gnome in FreeBSD Linux is available in YOUR language. You can get a bunch of cool docks, even one like that in Mac OSX!
Linux distros are available in many languages. This is FreeBSD in Spanish running the Gnome desktop. Besides other languages, the look & feel can be quite familiar. This is Chinese Fedora looking like a Mac. Mac OSX users can choose Mac-like distros or just install themes and a dock like AWN. This is distro is Elive.
Linux features many different amazing effects! You can peel back your windows when maximised with effects from Compiz-Fusion!

KDE desktops can be populated with cool gadgets & have Karamba themes applied to certain popular programs.

Desktop effects are default in many distros, and installable in others. This is PCLinuxOS  minimising a window. Beryl/Compiz-Fusion has some great animations & effects. Pictured is a window being peeled back in Ubuntu. KDE features the hugely popular SuperKaramba themes (like the iPod skin for Amarok) & cool widgets.

Transparencies, Glass Finishes, Shadows, Blurs and more are available for most Linux distros!

All sorts of "window choosers" and tiling effects!

Yes, Linux users having been spinning their desktop cubes since quite a bit before Vista came out!

Any distro can be customised to the max! This is Elive with a dark theme & some quick settings changes. There are many great window tiling effects and "window choosers". This is Mandriva showing open windows. And let's not forget the common rotating "desktop cube" (that Vista copied). This is PCLinuxOS in action.
Here are some screenshots from a few of the distros on offer here. Look online for plenty more (just go to your favourite search engine and type something like "sabayon screenshot").

Ubuntu is based on the sleek and customisable Gnome desktop, with a  HUGE community & lots of support. Kubuntu is one of the most popular KDE distros, as it is backed by both the KDE and Ubuntu communities. Xubuntu has the super-fast Xfce desktop - great for all PCs, including old Pentium IIs with not much memory.

Mandriva (of Mandrake Linux fame) is another popular KDE distro with lots of development behind it. OpenSUSE is one of the biggest distros in the world. This version features the KDE desktop. Musix for musicians is an example of the great specialised distros for specific tasks or environments.

Elive runs the Enlightenment desktop, which is flashy and very customisable, yet still fast. PCLinuxOS is another popular KDE-based distro that installs fairly plain but can be customised a lot. DSL really is a "Damn Small Linux", but nonetheless has plenty of tools and programs, and tons of uses.

Granular is one of the new distros trying to break free of the mould with redesigned menus and more. Dreamlinux has a wonderful Mac-like interface straight out of the box, and is big on multimedia. SimplyMEPIS is another great KDE-based distro that is easy to use and has a large, active community.

Sabayon is based on KDE & Gnome combined! Also has Compiz installed by default & features games support. Fedora is a highly-customisable distro based on the famous Red Hat. This shows the Live CD desktop. Syllable is another light-weight distro that is not short of features, but will run on older computers.

Zenwalk is another popular distro, seen here running a fast but rich Xfce desktop with transparencies. Knoppix is a very popular KDE-based Live CD, great for data recovery and hardware testing. Puppy Linux is small enough to run off a USB drive, yet is powerful and as customisable as any other distro.

You can go your own way with other popular (and obscure) Desktop Environments and Window Managers. These show them running on top of Ubuntu, but they can be installed into most Linux distributions quickly and easily. Of course, some distributions ship with these as their default environments; search online for more info.
AfterStep is fast and sleek interface that is colourful and fun, and can of course be configured to your needs. FVWM-Crystal is a desktop big on multimedia (not to mention transparencies & a stylish 3D look). Openbox is a popular no-frills window manager that is plain by default, and driven by a right-click menu system.
Waimea is a simple (and hence fast) desktop great for those with modest needs and/or old computers. Enlightenment is the desktop of choice for many, being fast yet supporting transparency & opacity. Blackbox is popular because it is fast and runs on a wide variety of computers, from old to the latest.
Ubuntu - "Linux for Human Beings" - is a Stable, Secure & Highly Customisable Operating System with THOUSANDS of FREE Software Titles & a HUGE Community (which is ready to help with the transition from Windoze)! Download & run the Live CD, which lets you boot into a working desktop without touching your hard-drives! If you install, you can "dual boot" between Windows and Ubuntu, and install software without even looking for it! Click this link and check it out...
Many thanks for checking out this item. But PLEASE only buy this if you actually intend to pay for it. Contact must be made within 2 days, and your new possession paid for within 7 days.

Upon receiving payment, you will be notified, and your item will be shipped within 2 working days (the following working day in most cases). I will endeavour to make sure it is securely packed and at your door as soon as possible.

Please note that recycled protective packaging may be used in the packing of this item, in an effort to lower the impact on the environment.

Also note that I assume no responsibility for items that don't show up. I will, of course, do my part in tracking down items that were Registered. However, I haven't had any lost mail coming or going internationally or within Australia (still, insurance and/or registering can be arranged for your piece of mind).

Thanks again, and HAPPY SHOPPING!

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