This site was created to help sort through the many LiveCDs available to find the right one. It currently tracks LiveCDs, LiveDVDs, and LiveUSB operating systems.
If you see anything that needs to be updated or changed, please leave a comment on that project's page. Other comments can be left here, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each entry must have a web presence and an available download (or a means of purchase) for a CD, DVD, or USB Flash Drive image.
Desktops: provides a working GUI desktop environment with a collection of desktop programs, such as browsers and text editors. Many also include utilities for other purposes, such as home entertainment, but are only listed here because the additional functions are not their primary focus.
OS Replacement: provides an option to transfer the cd to the hard drive, or to install an OS in a different form
Education: provides a collection of educational programs, or was created to be used in the educational field
Rescue: provides tools needed for data recovery
Clustering: provides tools for making clusters
Security: contains network security tools
Home Entertainment: geared towards playing video and audio
Gaming: video games!
Medical: contains medical programs
Diagnostics: contains utilities for testing hardware
Firewalls: distributions created to be used as firewalls
Forensics: distributions containing forensic tools
Servers: distributions used for various server functions
The min size and max size refer to ISO sizes in mebibytes. Many distributions have different size images of their current release. Sizes over 700MiB may require overburning to be put onto a CD, or be a LiveDVD ISO. Many LiveCDs can also be copied onto and booted from USB drives.
x86: AMD and Intel computers, could include optimizations from the 386 to the Pentium IV to the Athlon XP
x86-64: Computers with chips that use the x86 64-bit extensions, also known as AMD64, EM64T, Intel 64, or x64. These chips include the Athlon64, Opteron, Pentium 4 600 series, Pentium D, Core 2, Core i7 and modern Xeons
PPC: PowerPC chips, including the Apple G3, G4, and G5 (in 32-bit mode), possibly other IBM Power chips
PPC64: PowerPC 64-bit chips, including the Apple G5, possibly other IBM Power chips, such as the one used in the Playstation 3
Eden: LiveCDs specifically made for the VIA Eden platform. Because these are based on the x86 instruction set, x86 LiveCDs may work too.
Xbox: Made for the XBox, may require software or hardware mods to run
IA-64: Itanium and Itanium2 platforms
Sparc64: SUN Sparc 64-bit platform
Alpha: Alpha platform, once made by DEC, then Compaq, then HP
Mips: Some SGI platforms
HPPA: Also known as PA-RISC, made by HP
Active: Project is being updated regularly
Inactive: Project is no longer being updated, but their website and download are still functional
Dead: The website may still exist, but downloads are no longer available (or the opposite, the downloads may exist, but the website disappeared)
Projects with no download and no website are removed from the list.