Kid-Safe LiveCD

by Brian D. Burns

Kid-Safe LiveCD

For many years, I've been fascinated by the idea of Linux and the Open Source community. Finally, in February of this year, I took the plunge and decided to give Linux a serious look. At every turn, I've been amazed at the progress that has been made. In fact, there's so much going on in the world of Linux these days, it's enough to make your head spin!

As I began my journey, I quickly discovered the wide variety of distributions available. I played with several, including building a few LFS (Linux From Scratch) systems in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of Linux. During this learning process, I discovered LiveCD's. Being the geek that I am, I knew I had to build one.

The idea of a Kid-Safe LiveCD seemed obvious. The fact that a LiveCD operates without disturbing the host system makes it the perfect platform to let kids play on the computer. I tried several different methods to create this system, including LFS, Knoppix and Slax, but none of them worked the way I wanted. I knew that in order to achieve my goal, I needed to be able to login to an operating system, customize it, then create a LiveCD from it. After many days of searching, I stumbled upon PCLinuxOS p.93-MiniMe. In less than 8 hours of looking at this system, I was in heaven! I was so excited, I went straight to work building the first release.

Since that time, I've come to really appreciate PCLinuxOS. Not only the OS itself, but the community as well. And what better way to help spread the good news about PCLinuxOS than through the Kid-Safe LiveCD! After all, children are our future.

With the current release of the Kid-Safe LiveCD (0.25-beta), I feel that the look and feel of this system has really taken shape. But there is still so much to do... and for me to learn. I'm working now on learning more about KDE and it's kiosk features, as well as RPM packaging. I hope to be able to produce either a single RPM, or a combination of RPM's, that can be applied to the latest MiniMe release of PCLinuxOS which will put into place all the required components to create the Kid-Safe LiveCD. I'd like to make it as simple as possible for anyone to create their own customized version of this system.

Current information about this project can be found on my home page at Wizard's Kid-Safe LiveCD. Once the RPM's are ready, the project's home page will be moved to SourceForge at This will allow those interested in contributing to the project easy access to the sources.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and interest in this project. The world can be a very cruel place for children... especially these days. The only way to make this world a safer, friendlier place is for parents to make their responsibility of raising their children their number one priority. Only with a great effort will we be able to produce a new generation of young adults and future parents who will nurture the good that is within all of us, and defeat the evil that surrounds us. If my efforts in creating a safe, wholesome environment for kids to learn about computers can play a part in this great struggle, well... it's the greatest reward anyone could ask for.