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A CD-ROM that contains a working copy of an operating system or other application that is run without installing it. Used for demonstration and evaluation as well as system recovery, the software runs intact from the CD. If used for testing software, installation may be an option, but it is not the default. LiveCD functions can also be stored on a DVD or USB drive (LiveDVD or LiveUSB).

For Testing and Evaluating
LiveCDs and LiveDVDs are a popular way to test machine compatibility with a different operating system without installing it. For example, some versions of Linux come on bootable CDs and DVDs for testing hardware compatibility. Linux runs directly from the CD or DVD and is not installed unless the user chooses that option (see LiveDistro).

After years of dealing with software conflicts, many people are averse to installing a new application. However, software on a LiveCD or LiveDVD, which does not alter any files in the user's computer, is a way of trying something new before installing it. For a list of LiveCD software, visit

Restoring a Failed Computer
LiveCDs are widely used for troubleshooting a PC that does not boot, and most personal computers are configured to look for a bootable program on the CD or DVD before loading the OS from the hard disk. See bootable disk.
References in periodicals archive ?
On the LiveCD desktop is an ' Install' icon - double click on it and, in little more than 6 clicks, you've got a full Ubuntu system on your hard drive.
New Alloy solves the continuing bandwidth problem with its advanced hybrid media management solution: LiveCD v.
In LiveCD, all hybrid media are accessed locally for maximum performance.
DVD and 2 CDs: full Fedora Core Linux 7 on DVD, an official Fedora LiveCD, plus a CD of Fedora Extras.
Download options include ISO/CD Image, VM Player image, Xen universal guest image and LiveCD (burn and boot).
founded in 1996 to develop LiveCD for providing powerful content management capabilities to hybrid media applications.
LiveCD broadens the business bandwidth of developers, enabling a new class of live applications for digital direct marketing, distance learning, and multimedia publishing.
New Alloy with its LiveCD solution is a stand-out from the recent hybrid media noise.
today announced that iMedia Software Marketing has integrated New Alloy's LiveCD technology into iMedia's infoShip v1.
We are extremely pleased that iMedia has selected LiveCD technology as part of their ground-breaking infoShip product.
Hybrid media applications using LiveCD are dynamically updated with new information via the Internet with New Alloy's powerful Smart Push technology.
Macromedia is very excited about New Alloy's LiveCD Xtra because it offers Director 6 users the next dimension in hybrid media functionality," said Leesa Lee, senior product manager at Macromedia.