July 29, 2009

Android Live CD: Not Quite There Yet

 Originally Published on Igneous Quill

Yesterday I learned that a live CD version of Android was available for download. I've been curious about this OS and have tried out several Linux live CDs of other distros, so I thought I'd give this one a look. I went to the Google project page for the Android Live CD and downloaded a copy of the iso for v.0.2 from a mirror (a link can be found in the readme). I then burned the image to a CD and rebooted my notebook (a Dell Inspiron 1545). I got as far as the Live Android startup screen and everything stopped. I let it set for nearly 10 minutes, but nothing.

After rebooting a couple of times I decided it just wasn't going to work. So I waited until today to try again.

This time, rather than download the complete iso from a mirror, I downloaded the file in two parts from the project page and merged them with the following:

cat liveandroidv0.2.iso.001 liveandroidv0.2.iso.002 > liveandroidv0.2.iso

Again I tried rebooting with the live CD, and once again it froze on the start screen. In all honesty, the *buntu distros (Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu) have probably spoiled me. It is incredibly easy to create a live *buntu CD boot from it and either install or just try it out. Except for the time two monitors were involved I haven't had a problem yet. So, patience with Android.

Since I couldn't get Live Android to run the way a live CD normally does, I decided to fire it up in VirtualBox OSE. Sure enough, there it was.

Having gone through all this I went back to the read me page for the Live Android project and found this: "In liveandroid v0.2, only a few of video card and net card driver added, so if you encounter freeze problem, please feedback to us, we are glad to fix it."

Scrolling further down on the read me page you'll see that this problem of freezing up is fairly common.

The idea of a live CD for Android is certainly a good one, and if you are interested in the OS go ahead and download it. Be aware that you may need to run it in VirtualBox or something similar. Poking around on the OS it should become obvious fairly quickly that this isn't ready to serve as your only or primary OS. It's just something to play with, at least for now.

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