Documentation Live Image Beat

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Fedora Live Images

The Fedora 21 release includes several Fedora Live ISO images in addition to the traditional installation images. Fedora Live ISO images are intended to make it easy for you to create bootable CD media containing this Fedora release and a small selection of applications. Once booted, the Fedora Live image also includes a feature that allows you to install the Fedora Live image content to your hard drive for persistence and higher performance. It is an excellent way to test drive the Fedora Linux operating system on hardware prior to committing to a permanent installation.

Available Images

For a complete list of current spins available, and instructions for using them, refer to:

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/CustomSpins

Usage Information

To boot from the Fedora Live image, insert the media into your computer and restart. To log in and use the desktop environment, enter the username fedora. There is no password on this account. The GNOME-based Fedora Live images automatically login after one minute, so users have time to select a preferred language. After logging in, if you wish to install the contents of the Live image to your hard drive, click on the Install to Hard Drive icon on the desktop.

Text Mode Installation

A text mode installation of the Fedora Live images is available by using the liveinst command in the console.

USB Booting

Another way to use these Fedora Live images is to put them on a USB stick. To do this, you can use liveusb-creator graphical interface. Use Add/Remove Software to search and install liveusb-creator or install using yum:

su -c 'yum install liveusb-creator'

You can also use the command line interface. Install the livecd-tools package from the repository. Then, run the livecd-iso-to-disk script:

/usr/bin/livecd-iso-to-disk /path/to/live.iso /dev/sdb1

Replace /dev/sdb1 with the partition where you want to put the image.

This is not a destructive process; any data you currently have on your USB stick is preserved.

Persistent Home Directory

Support for keeping a persistent /home with the rest of the system stateless has been added for Fedora 10. This includes support for encrypting /home to protect your system in the case where your USB stick is lost or stolen. To use this, download the Live image and run the following command:

livecd-iso-to-disk --home-size-mb 512 /path/to/live.iso /dev/sdb1

Replace /dev/sdb1 with the partition where you want to put the image.

Replace 512 with the desired size in megabytes of the persistent /home. The livecd-iso-to-disk shell script is stored in the LiveOS directory at the top level of the CD image. The USB media must have sufficient free space for the Fedora Live image, plus the /home, plus any other data to be stored on the media. By default, this encrypts your data and prompts for a passphrase to use. If you want to have an unencrypted /home, then you can specify --unencrypted-home.

Note that later runs of livecd-iso-to-disk preserve the /home that is created on the USB stick, continuing to use it even if you change your Live image.

Live USB Creator

A graphical [live usb creator] is available for Fedora. A Windows version is available as well to enable users to easily migrate to Fedora. In this release, you can use Add/Remove programs and search for 'liveusb-creator' or you use can use yum in the command line


su -c 'yum install liveusb-creator'


Live USB Persistence

Support for persistent changes with a Fedora Live image exists for Fedora 9 and later. The primary use case is booting from a Fedora Live image on a USB flash drive and storing changes to that same device. To do this, download the Fedora Live image and then run the following command:

livecd-iso-to-disk --overlay-size-mb 512 /path/to/live.iso /dev/sdb1

Replace /dev/sdb1 with the partition where you want to put the image.

Replace 512 with the desired size in megabytes of the persistent data, or overlay. The livecd-iso-to-disk shell script is stored in the LiveOS directory at the top level of the CD image. The USB media must have sufficient free space for the Fedora Live image, plus the overlay, plus any other data to be stored on the media.

Booting a Fedora Live Image Off of USB on Intel-based Apple Hardware

Fedora 10 includes support for putting the Live image onto a USB image and then booting it on Intel processor-based Apple hardware. Unlike for most x86 machines, this unfortunately requires reformatting the USB stick that you are using. To set up a stick for this, you can run

/usr/bin/livecd-iso-to-disk --mactel /path/to/live.iso /dev/sdb1

Replace /dev/sdb1 with the partition where you want to put the image.

Note that all of the other arguments for the livecd-iso-to-disk tool as described above can be used here as well.

Differences From a Regular Fedora Install

The following items are different from a normal Fedora install with the Fedora Live images.

  • Fedora Live images provide a subset of packages available in the regular DVD image. Both connect to the same repository that has all the packages.
  • The SSH daemon sshd is disabled by default. The daemon is disabled because the default username in the Fedora Live images does not have a password. However, installation to hard disk prompts for creating a new username and password.
  • Fedora Live image installations do not allow any package selection or upgrade capability since they copy the entire file system from media or USB disks to the hard disk. After the installation is complete, and your system has been rebooted, you can add and remove packages as desired with the Add/Remove Software tool, yum, or the other software management tools.
  • Fedora Live images do not work on i586 architecture.