Live demonstration on DVD or USB-storage

Running Windows and willing to test Kdenlive?

Update 14th of september 2010:
The live DVD and USB versions are outdated and should not be used anymore.

We provide a live demonstration which boots on DVD or USB mass-storage, and offers your a selection of the best multimedia softwares ... without the need to install to hard disc. After booting, you will have access to your Windows hard drive to read, import and export media. So you can only use the USB key/DVD to boot into Linux, run Kdenlive and exit.

Should I choose live DVD or live USB?

Both USB key and DVD allow to read and write to a Windows 95/XP/Vista/7 hard drive.

If you have the choice, we recommend you to choose to build an USB key. The USB Key will be able to memorize your configuration (keyboard, langage, etc...) and will allow you to install addition software, to the limit of available space on the USB key. The USB Key acts a a small hard disc and therefore is superior to a DVD.

The minimal size of the USB Key is 2Gb. A 4Gb key is recommended. Do not buy an expensive and large key as you will be able to read and write videos to your Windows hard disc. If you buy a larger key than 4Gb, you may be able to store your media. Your choice depends on your budget.


The live demonstration is provided on DVD and USB mass-storage.

Choose an image and click to download:

Detailed information

Unless you choose to resize your hard disc or decide to install GNU/Linux, it will not modify your operating system and will execute in memory only. After shuting down your computer, your old operating system is back. See boot screenshots.

If you choose the USB mass-storage flavour, it will execute as fast as an installed GNU/Linux system and allow complex video editing. The live demonstration is intended for Windows and Intel MacOsX users, who may be looking for a free software solution.

The live demonstration provides a usable Gnome desktop with several audio and video applications:

  • Kdenlive 0.7.4 video editor with MLT 0.4.2
    with all existing audio and video filters.
  • Linux 2.6.30 kernel.
  • FFmpeg video codecs, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 codecs. Support for a wide range of containers: AVI, MP4, OGG, Quicktime, etc...
  • Blender 3D modeler
  • Audacity audio editor
  • Ardour audio station
  • All Xorg graphical drivers, including latest ATI and Nvidia accelerated cards.
  • Nvidia VDPAU hardware decoding extensions. mplayer and mencoder provided. Kdenlive cannot yet use VDPAU. To play with VDPAU, download footage from our camcorder database and mplayer -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau path/to/file.
  • Compatible with Virtual box, Qemu and VMware virtualizers (guest modules and graphical drivers included).
  • Gparted partition resizer with support for FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, UFS and many other files systems.
  • And much more ...

The live demonstration will be upgraded to Kdenlive 0.7.6 as soon as Debian fixes some packaging issues. Stay tuned.

This live demo also includes a Debian installer. Read our guide and make sure you understand what you are doing. Before resizing partitions or installing GNU/Linux, you should make a complete backup of your system.

Preparing the media

This section describes how to transfert the downloaded files to DVD or USB disc.

Burning the Live DVD

This section describes how to burn a live DVD.


You can use GnomeBaker to burn the DVD:

  1. Select the 'Tools' menu, then "Burn DVD image'.
  2. Select the DVD image and Click 'OK'.
  3. In the dialog, click 'OK' to burn.


Download and install Infrarecorder, a free and open source image burning program:

  1. Insert a blank DVD in the drive and select Do nothing or Cancel if an autorun dialog pops up.
  2. Open Infra Recorder, and select the 'Actions' menu, then 'Burn image'.
  3. Select the live DVD image file you want to use, then click 'Open'.
  4. In the dialog, click 'OK'. 


Use Apple's Disk Utility (Disk Copy in older versions)


Preparing the Live USB mass-storage

This section describes how to transfer the Live image to a USB mass-storage.

Warning: do not use u3 compliant USB keys

Some new USB keys have a bootable hidden partition, called "u3", which cannot be deleted. Most Sandisk USB keys are u3 compliant. These keys will need to be erased using proprietary software to gain full access. Avoid these keys or your computer will not be able to boot the USB key. To remove use (Windows) or (Mac).

Warning: low quality USB keys

If you are running Windows, some USB keys may be bootable after using "HP USB disk storage format tool" to reformat the key :


The USB mass-storage can be a USB key, a USB disc or a USB stick. Your bios should be recent enough to boot on USB media. The USB mass-storage size should be equal or larger than 2Gb.



Plug-in your USB mass storage. Try to identify the device node. If you are not used to command lines, run gParted:

  1. In the menu 'Gparted', select 'Devices'.
  2. Select the USB mass-storage and note the device path: /dev/sdX where X is a letter.
  3. Right click on the USB mass-storage and click unmount.
  4. Quit Gparted.

Now use the dd command line utility to write the mass-storage. Make sure that you overwrite the whole device, not just the first partition of it that you normally mount, i.e. /dev/sdX instead of the more familiar /dev/sdX1. As root, enter:

dd if=$DOWNLOAD.img of=$USBDRV

where $DOWNLOAD is the image that you downloaded and $USBDRV is the device node of your USB key, in the above example /dev/sdX and not /dev/sdX1.


Download and install WinRaWrite, a free software to copy the Live image onto a Usb mass-storage.

  1. In floppy drive, select your USB mass-storage
  2. Click on Image File and select the downloaded image.
  3. Click on 'Write'. Click 'Exit' when finished.

Please note that after this step your USB mass-storage will be unreadable by Windows.

Warning: do not unplug your USB key until Windows finished data transfer. Right clic on the USB key to unmount the key. Windows should inform you that the key may be safely removed. Or your USB key may be unreadable.

Preparing your computer

Most computers have a defaut setup to boot on a DVD or USB mass-storage:

  • Intel/AMD PCs:
    • Just after reboot, the BIOS dispays information.
    • You may then hit ESC or F2 key (or whatever key is displayed) to enter BIOS. 
    • Change your BIOS to allow booting on DVD or USB Mass-storage.
    • The boot order may be DVD/USB and then disc.
  • Intel MacOsX:
    • In the finder settings, select boot icon. Choose "Boot using another operating system" and select the live DVD or the Live USB mass-storage. 
    • Reboot.


Tips : if a USB memory stick is inserted before booting, pressing F8 to interrupt the usual boot process will bring up a dialog giving the option to boot from the USB stick after all :)

Starting a live session, without installing

Insert the disc or the USB mass-storage in your computer and reboot. A Bios dialog is displayed:

Hit return or enter "live" to start a live session:

Your computer is being discovered, a lot of messages are being displayed:

The demo system is up and ready:

If you are not using an English/American QWERTY keyboard, select System menu, Preferences menu, Keyboards to setup your keyboard:

Click on Add to choose a Keyboard. When done, press Close.

 To start Kdenlive, choose Applications menu, Sound&Video menu, Kdenlive icon:

A wizard displays:

Choose your default camcorder standard:

Important: Disable audio and video thumbnails. Thumbnails are stored on disc and you don't have access to your computer disc. This will save memory.

Et voilà! You can now test kdenlive:


Full persistence and home automounting (USB key only)

In this section, we will boot the newly created USB Key and add full persistence and home automounting. It will make your USB Key act as a real hard disc, allowing you to install additional software and remember your personal settings.

Please note that this does not apply to live DVD.

Free space on USB Key

After booting the USB key, launch Gparted in System -> Administration -> Gparted

In our example, we are using a minimal 2Gb USB Key. 1Gb free space is available:

We propose a simple rule, where 50% of free space should be for full persistence and 50% for home automounting.

You may experience problems to type on non-US keyboard. If this is the case, choose another keyboard in System->Preferences->Keyboard.

Full persistence

With "full persistence" it is meant that instead of using a tmpfs for storing modifications to the read-only media (with the copy-on-write, COW, system) a writable partition is used. In order to use this feature a partition with a clean writable supported filesystem on it labeled "live-rw" must be attached on the system at bootime.

This is very useful to be able to install additional software, keep your personal settings, such as keyboard, language, etc ...

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:


  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • Select ext3 file system as it is very common under GNU/Linux and well supported.
  • Label the partition "live-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Home automounting

If during the boot a partition (filesystem) image file or a partition labeled home-rw will be discovered, this filesystem will be directly mounted as /home, thus permitting persistence of files that belong to the e.g. default user. It can be combined with full persistence.

This partition can be used to store data on the USB Key and exchange data after rebooting under Windows.
if you plan to read and write data directly on your Windows hard disc, you don't really need this partition.

In GParted, click on unallocated free space. In Partition menu, select New:


  • Click and move the borders to size your partition.
  • If you are using Windows XP, Vista or 7, select ntfs file system.
  • If you are using Windows 95 or any derived version from DOS, select fat-32 file system.
  • Label the partition "home-rw".
  • Click "Add" when finished.

Apply changes and reboot

To apply your changes, click on apply. Applying modifications will take a few seconds. Then you should see your three partitions:

Close GParted and reboot your system:

  • Select System -> Shutdown.
  • Click on the Reboot button.

After reboot, your system should be persistent.

Using the live demonstration to resize a Windows partition

Windows users may need to resize a partition in order to install a dual-boot system and free space for a GNU/Linux partition.


  • Make sure your computer is connected to a reliable power source and will not shutdown during partion resizing.
  • Make a complete backup of your data. When your backup is finised, disconnect the backup for the computer.

  • You should be aware that resizing partitions is not a normal daily maintenance task. This is an exceptional tool, which can fail and make your desktop system unusable. Preferably, you can also by a new hard disc and avoid partition resizing.

  • You should free at lease 20Mb for the system and 25Mb to store movies, which is a minimum.

Supported file systems

  • DOS, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS partitions. 
  • Most Unix partitions can be resized. 
  • There is no support for resizing MacOsX partitions.

Required steps

Start a normal live session.

Unmount the disc that would like to resize. Right click on the disc and select "Unmount". You cannot resize a disc which is mounted.

Run gParted: in System menu, Administration menu, select Partition editor.

In gParted windows, select the partition that you wish to resize.

In Partion menu, select Move/Resize:

Move partition borders to resize the partition:

When done, click on Resize/Move:

When done, click on Apply changes.

Wait until your changes are fully applied. Depending on the size of the partition, this may take a long time.

Starting the GNU/Linux Debian installer


  • This page describes how to install a fresh GNU/Linux system on your computer. Do not read this page if you only intend to use the Live DVD in demonstration mode.
  • Before installing a new operating system, you should backup all your files on DVDs or fixed backup. Do not connect your backup to the computer during installation to avoid any accidental erase.
  • A free partition with at least 20Gb should be available.
  • Our installer is a Debian GNU/Linux installer. It is provided without liability or in countries which do not accept limited liabilities a maximum liability of 1€ as a total.
  • If you are not aware of GNU/Linux, please ask for help to friends or people with a good knowledge in GNU/Linux. A good way to learn GNU/Linux is to use the Live DVD in demo mode until you have sufficient knowledge. Do not install GNU/Linux directly without any support for "real" people.

Main installation steps

Make sure to connect to Internet using an ethernet cable. Do not use this installer using Wired networks, as your wifi card may not be recognized during installation. Without any wired connection to the Internet, do not performe an installation.

Insert live DVD and reboot. By default this is a QWERTY keyboard. Enter "installgui" to start the installation.

Choose your language:

Choose a language variant:

Choose your keyboard:

Your computer is being discovered:

To be written in more details...


Live DVD support and changelog

Feedback and suggestions

Use this forum thread:


Register Kdenlive web site and visit our forum:

How to build a Debian Live demonstration


Source code

Source packages for Live DVD (required by Free Software rules, no need to download).