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Introduction to Lakeshore Linux


Lakeshore Linux was designed to be a complete desktop environment that can be deployed directly from the LiveDVD or installed to your computer hard drive, even on machines without a network connection. I created the distribution using SuSE Studio, and am now maintaining the distribution on Open Build Service using their Kiwi import and repository. Lakeshore Linux was originally a result of pushing the envelope as to what one could do with building an "appliance", and then optimizing the product to fit on a DVD taking up less than 2GB of space. The current version takes up 1.2GB of space on a DVD.

IMO, a LiveDVD is the best way to try out Linux before making a commitment to using Linux on your computer. When running a LiveDVD, any issues that arise when it comes to hardware compatibility will show up while running the LiveDVD. That way, you can decide to retain your current operating system without Linux disturbing the contents or configuration of your computer. In other words, no harm was done while testing Linux.

Getting Lakeshore Linux

Lakeshore Linux is currently hosted at the OpenSuSE download servers in its own directory. The Live Installer provides the ability to install OpenSuSE (and derivatives) from a LiveDVD to your hard drive.

As the distribution is now built with Open Build Service, no longer will you need a login to download the ISO images.

Note: A high speed Internet connection is recommended for downloading the ISO images as they are approximately 1.2GB in size. With a DSL connection, expect the download to take two hours to complete..

As of now, there is no torrent available for downloading of ISO images.

Burning the ISO to DVD

Once you get an LiveDVD image, you will need to burn the image using your favorite CD/DVD burning application (such as K3B, Brasero or Nero) to create the LiveDVD. Be sure to use the Burn Image function and not the Create Data DVD function or you will be creating a DVD with a disc image as the content of the DVD instead of creating the actual DVD.

Writing the ISO to USB Flash Drive or Memory Card

Alternately, you can use the unetbootin utility to create a Live installation on a USB flash drive or memory card.

I recommend that your flash drive or memory card be at least 8GB in capacity so you can have room to not only run Lakeshore Linux, but have room to store data directly on the installation. Then, you get a portable system that can boot from any computer that can boot from a USB storage device.

More importantly, you will be able to run and/or install Lakeshore Linux on netbooks, desktops, Ultrabooks, or any other machine that does not have a DVD drive.

Starting Lakeshore Linux

Once you have burned your copy of Lakeshore Linux to a DVD-R (or DVD+R), place that DVD into your DVD drive and restart your computer. Be sure you can start your computer from a CD/DVD drive instead of the hard drive. Lakeshore Linux should boot from the LiveDVD. The first thing you will see is the startup screen. Press Return to load the Linux kernel and the login screen.

Lakeshore Linux comes with either GNOME or KDE as the default desktop (depending on which version you downloaded).

At the moment, the GFXBOOT does not work properly with the OBS created ISOs. Hence, you will get a command line GRUB. Simply type in Lakeshore_Linux_GNOME (underscores included) at the boot: prompt to start the LiveDVD.

Login to the Desktop

As we are running Linux from the DVD, you will need to login to the desktop.

Click on guest and then type guest for the password. You will then be taken to the GNOME desktop.

Some functions will require a system administrator password. Type linux where such a password is required.

Installation is Recommended

Whichever version of the product you download, running Lakeshore Linux from DVD will show you how the distribution will run on your computer. To get the most of this product, I recommend that you install the distribution on your hard drive. Doing so, using the Live Install utility will allow you to keep the distribution updated, as well as extend and customize the distribution by adding (or removing) software from customized OpenSuSE repositories. In addition, the distribution will run as intended as it is not slowed down by access to the DVD itself.

Once installed, run the Bootloader configuration from YaST to be able to fix the GFXBOOT problem.