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I came across this term Alternate CD. How it different from a Live CD?
Also why cant we upgrade using a live cd while we can using an alternate one as mentioned here?
The link does not specify anything about the live cd.

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2 Answers 2

I came across this term Alternate CD. How it different from a Live CD?

The alternate CD is a text-based installer and does not have a live mode. Here's where/why it's useful, according to the official download page:


The alternate install CD allows you to perform certain specialist installations of Ubuntu. It provides for the following situations:

  • setting up automated deployments;
  • upgrading from older installations without network access;
  • LVM and/or RAID partitioning;
  • installs on systems with less than about 384MiB of RAM (although note that low-memory systems may not be able to run a full desktop environment reasonably).

Also why cant we upgrade using a live cd while we can using an alternate one as mentioned here?

Because the alternate CD contains an actual repository with the .deb packages necessary to perform an installation/upgrade (see this answer for an example/more info). The Live CD cannot be used in this manner, since it contains a compressed filesystem and not individual packages. It runs in live mode off this filesystem, and when you chose to install, it expands the filesystem onto the target hard disk.

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https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CommonQuestions#Get_Ubuntu

The Desktop install CD image contains a graphical installer as well as a live session of Ubuntu, that runs directly off your computer memory and the install media without installing anything to hard-disk. Using the live session installer you have the opportunity to begin using Ubuntu immediately, get an idea of system performance and install if and when ready.

The Alternate CD has an old style, lightweight text-based installer with no Live session available. It also provides you with extra options and configurations not offered by the desktop versions.

hope that helps

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