I am trying to introduce some computer science students to the world Of Linux programing. Instead of asking them to install Linux distribution on their systems, I have advised them to run it through Live CD or through VMWare, for obvious reasons.

Now I am looking for a Live CD which has tools required for programming installed in it. They are just beginners so their main requirement is GCC, Vim, GDB and make. But additional tools won't hurt either, like git, doxygen.

So which distribution of Live CD would you recommend?

Thanks for your time.

asked 25 Jul '10, 08:20

user-729's gravatar image

accept rate: 75%

Thanks for all the replies.
I tried my luck with Fedora 13 live CD but it didn't even have vim and gcc installed in it.

Knoppix provided gcc, vim and make. But it didn't have git and doxygen which I needed.

Well then I came to know about Suse Studio and it solved my problem very well.

Using their online interface, which is quite easy, I was able to churn out my custom live distribution, with all the developments tools I wanted to discuss with those students, in few minutes. Waiting for it to be build, by the Suse Studio site, took more than few minutes. Then downloading the final distribution from their server took around 35 min, but that would depend on the connection speed.

Their repository is vast. Besides git, tig, doxygen, indent, I was able to add several other packages, which I deemed useful or necessary for those students.

All in all, Suse Studio offers a time saving and easy process to make a custom distribution.



answered 03 Aug '10, 20:30

user-729's gravatar image

accept rate: 75%

Use the Debian Live web builder. It will build a livecd with the packages you specify.


There is also DevelopGo http://www.ibiblio.org/onebase/onebaselinux.com/About/features/developgo.php


answered 25 Jul '10, 14:33

craigevil's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

99% of the live cd's out there will have your requirements.

So I'd suggest you look into the distro that is used by your cs department.


answered 26 Jul '10, 19:34

rfelsburg's gravatar image

rfelsburg ♦
accept rate: 25%

I would recommend Knoppix. It's actually the very first Linux I ever used. You can download the Live CD or Live DVD with many open source development tools:



answered 26 Jul '10, 17:47

Andy's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

Well, all of the above answers are good, but I don't think any one distro will suite all. Yes, they all have vi, gcc, etc, but let's look at Debian... older packages, very stable, solid as a rock. Ubuntu LTS pulls it's code from the debian-testing repos, while the maintenance releases (Ubuntu 9.04, 9.10, etc) pull from debian-unstable.

I can see distrinct advantages to use Debian, Ubuntu LTS, and Ubuntu maintenance releases. Of course there's more than just the Debian distro and it's derivatives, there's Slackware, red Hat (CentOS, Fedora), Gentoo and tons of others.

I would look at using multiple distros.. one VERY stable, like Debian and/or Red Hat, another like Ubuntu LTS and maybe another one where you compile from code like Gentoo. Another good one to use for fun would be Damn Vunerable Linux (DVL) as this thing has more holes in it than swiss cheese -- on purpose. ( http://www.damnvulnerablelinux.org/ ) so this would be a GREAT tool for people learning or working with Security, and also for programmers.

I'm not a programmer or a developer. I'm a network/os/security guy. Many times programmers want to break security so their stuff works while we network guys are like "uhhh no. You are NOT getting root, running as Administrator on Windows, and no, I am NOT opening up those ports on the firewall. You need to code differently." So DVL is a great tool for learning security.

Linux is truly an OS made for programmers by programmers. I know many want it mainstreamed like Windows, and Ubuntu has made it much less of an OS that is "Made By Geeks For Geeks", but still, it is a developers OS, so most or all of the tools you need should be in there already on any distro you so choose to work with.


answered 26 Jul '10, 20:36

Ron's gravatar image

Ron ♦
accept rate: 13%

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Asked: 25 Jul '10, 08:20

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Last updated: 03 Aug '10, 20:30

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