You can download MobaLiveCD from here. A mere 1.6 MB download, MobaLiveCD presents an inviting prospect over virtualization solutions like Virtualbox, although it is not as feature rich. Under the hood, MobaLiveCD uses QEMU – the open source emulator. If you ever tried using QEMU, you would know that it requires a fair bit of configuration and know-how. MobaLiveCD does away with all that and provides you with a single executable file which launches the application, you don’t even need to install MobaLiveCD.
MobaLiveCD is a portable application, the interface is intuitive and straightforward. To run a Linux LiveCD:
- Just click on the ‘Run the LiveCD’ button.
- Browse to the iso image.
- Choose whether to create a virtual hard drive or not and the LiveCD boots up.
MobaLiveCD needs to copy files to the system32 directory, so you should run MobaLiveCD with elevated rights if you see an error like the one below. To do with elevated rights just click on the exe file and choose Run as Administrator.
Keep in mind that you are essentially running another operating system inside Windows thus the resources available to MobaLiveCD will be limited. So you should not expect the same performance levels you would get by restarting the computer and booting from the CD ROM. Nevertheless depending upon your computer’s configuration you can still get decent performance, enough to let you try out the Linux Live CD thoroughly.
You can toggle full screen mode using Ctrl + Alt + F and Ctrl + Alt would bring the cursor back to the host operating system. In addition you can use the Right-Click Menu button that would create a right click context menu entry for ISO files, allowing you to run an ISO file directly within MobaLiveCD from the context menu.
The latest version of MobaLiveCD can also be used to run a Live USB drive right inside Windows. Click on the Run Live USB button and follow the prompts. If you would like to save the state of your work MobaLiveCD also lets you create a virtual hard disk.
Oh and in case you are wondering which LiveCD you should download, check out the Unofficial(fake) Chrome OS. And now that we are on the topic, let me confess that it was out of an urge to try out the fake Chrome OS(and laziness to set up a virtual machine in Virtual Box) that I realized MobaLiveCD is a cool application we haven’t covered yet, so now you know about it.
MobaLiveCD is great for testing new Linux distributions with a Linux Live CD, downloading ISO’s before burning them or testing remastered Live CD’s that generally require some hit and miss to get things exactly the way you want. With MobaLiveCD you can test them without needing to set up a virtual machine or burning CD’s.
Have you used MobaLiveCD? Do you know of any other similar application? Let us know in the comments.