Using Third Party Linux Live CDs or DVDs

There are a number of non-SUSE Linux "Live CDs'' available which can be useful for system repair and rescue. Three of the most well regarded and useful of these are the following:

■ Knoppix: The main version of Knoppix comes as a "live DVD'' and contains a large number of programs

■ DSL: (Damn Small Linux): Based on Knoppix, but with a deliberately small footprint — can run on low memory systems

■ The GParted live CD: A special purpose system for partitioning tasks

I have found all of these useful in the past for various purposes. Knoppix is the best known "Live Linux.'' The full version includes a very large amount of software and quite a number of utilities useful for system repair, including partitioning tools (such as QTParted) and some data recovery tools, such as Testdisk, Photorec, and ddrescue. There are also some tools for correcting errors and fixing password problems on Windows systems. Knoppix is available from

DSL is useful for booting older systems with small amounts of memory. In particular, it can be very useful for recovering and transferring all the data from an old system, whatever operating system it might be natively running. See

GParted is a graphical front-end for parted. The GParted live CD is a live system dedicated just to this program. See

If you are interested in Live Linux CDs, many books are available on the subject including the following:

■ Knoppix Hacks (2nd edition) by Kyle Rankin (O'Reilly, 2007)

■ Live Linux CDs by Christopher Negus (Prentice Hall, 2006)

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