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Revision as of 23:16, 22 March 2010 by Beland (talk | contribs) (→‎Advantages and Limitations: add links and rationale)

Download and Create Live image or LiveUSB

To download a prebuilt Fedora Live image, visit the download page. Then you can either:

If you want to build and then burn your own custom ISO, see How to create and use a Live CD.

Advantages and Limitations


  • You can demonstrate features or try out a release including testing hardware functionality before installation
  • Live USB/CD/DVD installation is faster than regular installation. Live USB installation typically takes only a few minutes.


  • It is not possible to choose packages during installation
  • It is not possible to choose a non-default filesystem.

Larger than CD size

Fedora 13 onwards, Fedora Desktop Live image is larger than a CD; you must use USB or DVD media or choose a smaller spin from:


  • The Gnome Desktop Spin targets the majority of users as a group; though it is most commonly downloaded, it cannot be optimized to be the best solution for everyone because different people have different needs.
  • The majority of users have USB or DVD media available, and the price of these media is competitive with CDs (or better, considering that USB sticks are highly reusable).
  • Expanding to beyond 700MB allows the inclusion of software such as OpenOffice, which is a critical piece of a modern, widely useful Live distribution.
  • For users who cannot boot from USB or DVD media, there are several other options, including:
    • Smaller-than-CD image (boot.iso) which can install Gnome Desktop to a hard drive via the network
    • Multi-CD installer which can install Gnome Desktop to a hard drive
    • Hard drive install method
    • Other spins which will still fit on a CD if a LiveCD is still necessary
    • The ability to create a custom spin using Revisor (see How to create and use a Live CD) if a Gnome-based LiveCD is absolutely needed. Individual users can start with the Gnome Desktop spin and remove packages until it is the desired size; the included packages are specified in a downloadable kickstart file.

For more information:

In the future, any group of Fedora contributors can come together to publish a separate Gnome Desktop CD spin if there is sufficient interest.

Fedora Live image features

Current features:

  1. Read-write rootfs so it's possible to install software while the livecd is running
  2. Install to hard disk or usb drives
  3. Use SELinux in enforcing mode and other security features by default
  4. Stay as close to a normal desktop install wrt. features
  5. Ability to create normal CD-ROM and CD-R media (less than 700MB) or DVD images
  6. Included best of breed software on the media
  7. Make it easy to do a derived livecd with your own repositories, packages and art work
  8. Data persistence
  9. API used by LTSP, appliance creator and others



Fedora Live image users and developers can participate and contribute in the discussions happening in the Fedora Live CD list.

(predecessor list archives)

Finding the Code

The source code for the live CD tools is maintained in git. The repository is at 'git://' and can be browsed via the gitweb interface . You can install it easily by installing the 'livecd-tools' package.

Kickstart files are in the spin-kickstarts.noarch package.

Hard Drive Installation

The ability to install to the hard drive is available in Fedora 7 and above releases. After the live media boots, click on the install icon on your desktop to start the installation. Installation from live image requires that GRUB and the /boot directory be installed onto a drive with an MSDOS partition label, or that the current machine supports EFI booting. If a pc-clone machine has only GPT harddrives then you may need to use something such as a USB2.0 flash memory device (with an MSDOS partition label) as an intermediate destination.

Media References