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first time post. We have a legacy of old PC that are currently running windows xp. Moving forwad we are looking toward going open source and extending the life of these PC's.

My first questions is: 1. Is it possible to pull the hard drives out of these PC's and make them boot off a CD?

I hope to have the Ubuntu running off the CD. There are a few applications (some of them in house applications) that we need to be on the image of the cd. The users will access there own and shared files via network drives.

  1. If this is possible. Would anyone who has had previous experience in this area know where I would start?
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While all that is possible, why not simply install Ubuntu on the hard drives and make everything simpler and faster? – John Gardeniers Feb 9 '10 at 4:37
PXE booting would be another good alternative to CD booting. Search for 'LTSP Ubuntu' for lots of docs on how to do that. – Zoredache Feb 10 '10 at 7:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Here is a link on how to do LiveCD Customization of Ubuntu.

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Here are some things to think about

  1. Is an existing LiveCD, together with a USB flash drive or some kind of network drive, good enough? Do you really need your software on the CD?
  2. Make a list of what software packages you do or do not want. (X, OpenOffice, Gnome/KDE). One method of remastering a LiveCD involves removing some packages to make room for others.
  3. How is the RAM? Adding RAM can really do wonders sometimes.
  4. LiveCD based system will have latency when the disk must spin to find files. Do you want to copy LiveCD filesystem to a RAMdisk on boot? If so, see #3
  5. The CD mechanism is mechanical and will eventually break down. These may be as expensive, or more expensive, than hard disks in the long run.
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Thanks for the tips – freddy6 Feb 10 '10 at 0:21

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