Fedora Live Images
How to use the Fedora Live Image
How to use the Fedora Live Image
A live image is a safe and easy way to test the
Fedora operating system on your own familiar hardware. If you enjoy
this experience, you can install the live system software to your
system's hard drive. The installation can either replace your existing
operating system, or co-exist separately on your hard drive. This live
image provides you with an experience that is very similar to running
Fedora, but there are some important differences. Refer to Section 5, “Advantages of a
and Section 6,
“Disadvantages of a Live Image”
for more information.
With My Live Image?
Before you use your Live image, read the next
section to learn how to maximize your enjoyment of Fedora. You may also
want to read Section 4, “Booting”
for hints on starting
— or booting
— from this media. Then insert
this media in your computer and boot from it.
This live system successfully boots and runs on most
computers with 256 MB or more installed system memory, or RAM.
Your computer must have the ability to boot from the device holding the
live image media. For instance, if the live image is on a CD or DVD,
your computer must be able to boot from the CD or DVD drive.
To set up your system to boot from the live media,
shut down or hibernate your computer. Power your computer on, and pay
attention to the first screens that appear. Look for a prompt that
indicates which key to use for either:
The boot menu option is preferable. If no such
prompt appears, consult your manufacturer's documentation for your
computer system, motherboard, or mainboard for the correct keystroke.
On many systems, the required key will be F12,
Esc, or Delete.
Most computers normally boot from a hard disk. If
you have a Fedora live image on a CD or a DVD, then set the computer to
boot from the DVD or CD drive. If you have a Fedora live image on a USB
device such as a USB flash drive, set your computer to boot from the
If you must make changes to the BIOS configuration,
record the current boot device selection configuration before you
change it. This record allows you to restore the original configuration
The BIOS on older computers might have a very
limited range of boot options. If your computer can only boot from
floppy diskette or hard disk, there is no practical way to boot from
the Fedora live image. Sometimes, an updated BIOS is available from the
manufacturer of your computer. A BIOS update might offer additional
boot menu choices, but requires care to install properly. Consult the
manufacturer's documentation for more information.
Unless you choose to install Fedora from the live
image to the computer's hard drive (as described in Section 8,
“Installing Fedora from the Live Image”
) the Fedora live image does
not make any permanent changes to the computer on which you run it. If
your own computer cannot boot from the live image, you can safely
explore the live image on a newer computer to which you have access,
without fear of changing that computer.
While running this live image, you are in
control. Unlike reading about Fedora in print or online, you are not
limited to a set of screenshots or options chosen by others. Select
which tasks or applications to explore with complete freedom.
You can experiment with this live image with no
disruption to your previous computing environment, documents, or
desktop. Hibernate your current operating system, restart with the live
image, and restart the original operating system when finished. Your
previous environment returns with no changes made.
You can use the live image to evaluate whether
Fedora recognizes and properly configures your hardware devices.
Full Hardware Recognition
In some cases, the live image might not offer
the full range of hardware support offered by an installed Fedora
system. You might be able to manually configure additional devices in
the Live image. If you use the live image from a CD or DVD, you must
repeat these steps each time you use the Live image.
You can use the Live image to try different desktop environments
such as GNOME, KDE, Xfce,
or others. None of these choices require you to reconfigure an existing
Linux installation on your computer. You can learn more about the
various desktop environments in the Fedora 12
, available from docs.fedoraproject.org
Live images on USB can include both a persistence overlay and a separate area for
user data. The persistence overlay allows you to make changes to the
Fedora live environment and retain these changes for the next time that
you use the Fedora live image. These changes can include system
software updates, configuration changes, and new programs you choose to
install. The separate user data area allows you to reinstall the live
image with a newer version of Fedora later, while retaining your
documents, media files, and other important information.
While using this live image on CD or DVD, your
computer might be much slower to respond or require more time to
complete tasks than with a system installed to hard disk. CD and DVD
discs provide data to the computer at a much slower rate than hard
disks do. Less of your computer's system memory is available for
loading and running applications. Running the live image from RAM
trades higher memory usage for faster response times.
Due to space constraints, fewer programs are
included than in a full installation of Fedora. Your favorite
applications may not be present in this live image, even though they
may be present and run quite well in a full installation of Fedora.
Live USB persistence
Live USB images with persistence allow you to
install new applications on your Fedora system. There is a limit to the
space available for new applications. If you decide to make many
changes to the software installed, install Fedora to a hard disk first.
You cannot permanently install new applications
in the live image on CD or DVD. To try other applications, or newer
versions of existing applications, you must either use a live USB image
with persistence, or install Fedora on your computer. You might be able
to temporarily install or update applications, however, if you have
sufficient system memory. Most systems require more than 512 MB of
RAM for installations or updates to succeed. These changes will be lost
when you shut down the live image.
Changes may also evaporate if your system's
memory usage forces the system to reread the original software or
settings from the Live image on CD or DVD. This behavior is peculiar to
a Live CD or DVD image and does not occur in a full installation of
Explore the icons and menus on and around the
desktop to find programs that interest you. In addition, you may wish
to explore other capabilities.
The live system can access existing data stored on:
You can therefore test how Fedora interacts with
your documents, photographs, and multimedia files, and how files
created by programs running in the Fedora live environment work when
you transfer them to your existing computing environment.
You can use the live image to make backup or
archival copies of data, if your computer system includes:
Files normally in use by your previous operating
system when it is running are not in use in the Live image. Therefore,
you can use the live image to copy files that are problematic for
backup software in the previous operating system.
To install Fedora from this live image, select the Install to Hard Disk application on
the Desktop. After you install Fedora, you can customize the software
and configuration to your liking on a persistent basis. Although the
live image itself only offers a small fraction of the software
available for Fedora, this limitation no longer applies once you
install Fedora to a computer.
The Fedora 12 Installation
Quick Start Guide
, available from docs.fedoraproject.org
to use a live image to install
Fedora on typical desktop and laptop computers.
When submitting a bug report, be sure to mention the
manual's identifier: readme-live-images
If you have a suggestion for improving the
documentation, try to be as specific as possible when describing it. If
you have found an error, please include the section number and some of
the surrounding text so we can find it easily.
||Thu Oct 01 2009