This page describes the configuration of a Live CD for the PCs of the Internet Lab. With a Live CD, it is possible to boot Linux directly from a CDROM/DVD without access to the hard drive. Changes to the operating system stay in main memory, and are lost when the system is restarted. There are two advantages of using a LiveCD on the PCs of the Internet Lab:

Below is the LiveCD installation used for the Internet Lab at the University of Toronto. Credit for the LiveCD installation and the instructions goes to Majid Valipour.


The Live CD for the Internet Lab machines is a remaster of the PCLOS 2007 operating system. PCLOS is a Live CD Linux distribution based on the Mandriva distribution. Our remaster of PCLOS includes all software required by the TCP/IP Internet Lab Manual, and its configuration replicates that found in the book.

The remainder of this page describes how to build and customize the `Internet Lab Live CD' (including, installing drivers needed for the specific hardware of the lab stations). It is assumed that the reader has knowledge of basic Linux administration.

Building and Customize a Live CD for the Internet Lab

Used terms:

We have created a Live CD for the Build station, referred to as `Internet Lab Live CD', which is available for download.

Preparing the build station

The following steps install a Live CD on a PC (the `build station'), to be used for configuring and creating ISO images for the lab stations.

Installing additional software (drivers)

The `Internet lab Live CD' probably has all the drivers necessary to boot your machine. However, in some cases, the particular hardware of the lab stations requires to install new drivers. Adding drivers can improve performance or usability (For example, we had to update the graphic card driver to get a higher resolution display.)

The installation of drivers is done for the installed `build station' before the ISO images for the lab stations are created. You can install new kernel modules (device drivers) to support the specific hardware of the lab stations and configure the system properly to load them automatically. (You may need to edit the files /etc/modprobe.conf, /etc/modprobe.preload, and /etc/modules).
Note: Currently the size of produced ISO image is larger than 700 MB and requires a DVD. The ISO image can be made to fit on a CDROM by by removing some unnecessary software packages. You can simply use the PCLOS package manager (Synaptic) to remove any unnecessary software at this stage.

Creating ISO images for lab stations

After customizing the local PCLOS copy on the build station, you can now create one ISO image for each of the lab stations. PCLOS has provided scripts to build an ISO image. The differences between the ISO images of the lab station consist of the host names, the default network configuration with IP addresses, background images, etc.

If the build station has a different hardware configuration than the lab stations, then the image you have to use on the lab stations is likely slightly different from that of the build machine (e.g., you may need a different Xorg.conf file).

To make the image creation process easier we have developed our own script that modify necessary files that differs from that of the build station before building an image for a lab station.

Creating and testing images

You can use any burning software to create ISO images. In particular, you can use the K3B burning software that comes with PCLOS.

See also

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