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The whole "LiveCD" concept is mentioned all over the place, and I've used live usb sticks before, but there appears to be nowhere to download this version. I thought that maybe this is wrapped into the standard version of ubuntu, but when I create a usb stick from the latest version (11.10) and try to boot from it, it loads up a text-based menu instead of the live cd that I've seen before. The menu gives an option to boot from the disk, but the boot freezes before ever making it to the gui.

Is there something I'm missing? Is there a LiveCD iso hidden somewhere that I can download?

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A menu gving an option to boot from "the disk" seems to come from BIOS. Did you set up BIOS to boot from USB first? –  Takkat Apr 19 '12 at 6:16
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No, USB sticks you're using are exactly the same as what everyone is referring to as "LiveCD". The only difference is that, to get the "live" environment you choose "Try Ubuntu" instead of "Install Ubuntu" when you boot from the CD or USB stick.

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