Trying PCLinuxOS without installing

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Live CD - A Live CD is a CD that contains an operating system without installing executable, which launches at start-up of the computer.

BIOS - BIOS stands for Basic Input Output System.

Testing PCLinuxOS

To test PCLinuxOS (without installing anything on your hard disk), boot your computer with a "live CD" as described below.

Start the liveCD

Perhaps you started by opening your LiveCD on your Windows system, this is not the right method. Finding that many people were trying to access the contents of the LiveCD from Windows, we created this documentation file, to specify what to do.

A LiveCD is a CD containing an operating system that can start immediately after insertion into a CD drive and and the computer is rebooted. A LiveCD is used independently of the operating system. They also contain a setup program to install on the hard disk.

BIOS and boot

If, when you start with a liveCD in the drive is still Windows starts, then you have to change the order of boot in the BIOS.

The BIOS is a program built into the motherboard. You can access the configuration interface a few seconds after turning on the computer, just before the time of starting the operating system. You can see an indication on the screen (note this is displayed briefly) like "press F2 to enter Setup" for example. It could also be an "F2", or "F10", or "Delete" allowing access to the BIOS.

Once in the BIOS setup, you move the arrow keys of the keypad on your keyboard. Locate the startup, called "Boot." Look at the indications on the screen (bottom or right) to learn how to select and move the order of the boot.

Sometimes you have to look a little, have no fear of making a mistake, the system will always start on the device containing an operating system, anyway.

Here is and example that represents a section of a boot in the BIOS interface.This is a Phoenix BIOS, other brands of BIOS may look different. Always look for the category of "Boot", which is the one you want.


Select your CD device and move to the top position. This will now become your first boot device. When you have move the cd to be your first bottable device press the "F10" key and than press return. This will save the information and your machine reboot itself.

NOTE: When your machine reboots some may display the following statement on the screen "press any key to boot from CD". If your machine displays this, simply press return. Your machine than will try booting from the LiveCD.

When the CD boots, it offers several lines to choose from, to start the operating system. Simply do nothing. After a 10 second timeout it will automatically boot from the first option listed. If you don't want to wait simply press return to boot from the first option listed. Each option listed are pre-configured for various kinds of hardware (graphics card, and other special options) and the first option is the most generic. If this does not work, (this rarely happens, but it can happen), try rebooting your computer. This time using the down arrow key select the Video Safe Mode-VESA option then press enter, and see if your computer boots. If not or you experience other issues, please post your issue(s) on our PCLinuxOS forum.

Otherwise you should, after a few moments see an login screen. Enter "guest" for user and "guest" for the password to login. If you need to be the administrator the username is "root" and the password is "root" DO NOT login as root unless absolutely necessary!

Again if you have any issues with the LiveCD and your system,be sure to post your problems on our forum.

Install PCLinuxOS

If PCLinuxOS is for you and you want to install PCLinuxOS to your hard drive, please read our HowTO on installing PCLinuxOS here Installing_PCLinuxOS