I'm not too familiar with Linux, but hope it may be ideal for this situation. I'm hoping there is a boot from CD style distro that will be ideal for my daughter to use solely for browsing the internet.

The only odd requirement is that it must be able to save a list of websites to 'favourites' (maybe on USB for example), or as a next best option maybe that list can be hardcoded (such as on a config file) within the distro?

Would this be possible? Can you recommend a distribution?

Thanks all. Many useful suggestions here. Sorry I could only accept one answer

3 Answers 3


Although it might be bloated, you could just use Ubuntu Live (netbook or desktop).

If you copy that to a USB disk via their usb-creator-gtk, you can specify an amount of persistent storage for the user.

If you need to make more modifications to a default install, you can always take a look at this article from lifehacker about customizing a live cd.


While Gert's suggestion is probably the best one, it comes with the "disadvantages" that your daughter can do other stuff with her personal persistent storage as well.

A simpler approach would be to just use a generic LIVE CD (take whichever you like) and put the list of websites coded as a landing-page somewhere: Drop the file somewhere and assign it a short URL via an URL shortening service (bit.ly allows you to customize the shortURL so it could be "bit.ly/DaughterName" for example).

  • It's also possible to append this file to the Live CD. You can customize them, so you don't need any webspace and url shortening services...
    – echox
    Oct 5, 2010 at 12:39
  • That is true but some people might be scared off by the idea of having to remaster a live CD. That's why I added this second answer to show a way that does not require that much "work".
    – tante
    Oct 5, 2010 at 12:52
  • I like this idea, which if I understand correctly is to have a static html homepage containing the 'favourite' links? I'll look into this, thanks!
    – PaulG
    Oct 5, 2010 at 13:14
  • Exactly. If you have no webspace you could use something like sites.google.com to create the page. But any hosting will do.
    – tante
    Oct 5, 2010 at 13:47

One more idea: You can use a normal Live CD without persistent storage and use an online service like http://www.delicious.com/ or http://www.google.com/bookmarks/ to keep track of favorite pages.

  • This sounds good. But I'd probably need to 'favourite' the bookmarks page, or ideally set it as the auto-loading homepage. Is that possible with a livecd?
    – PaulG
    Oct 5, 2010 at 13:21
  • 2
    This is a bit tricky, as you have to modify the default landing page on the Live-CD. Possible (for Ubuntu see help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomization) but not trivial
    – fschmitt
    Oct 5, 2010 at 13:25

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