Amarok Live

"there's a party in the CD" - Amarok, February 15, 2005 Release Notes for Amarok Live 180px-Bootsplash 01 256.jpg

Amarok Live is a stripped down LiveCD with a fully functional Amarok music player bundled with the tracks commissioned last year by Wired Magazine, which are distributed under the Creative Commons Sampling Licenses. It includes - among other major artists - tracks by the Beastie Boys and David Byrne.

Cool Things To Do with Amarok Live

  • Use it to show your friends that use MS Windows how cool apps do exist for Linux, so switching is possible
  • Explore the awesome new features of the latest version of Amarok
  • Enjoy the really good music that comes with it, that is licensed for free distribution
  • Remaster it with your own tracks or plug in your usb key full of music to use as a party playlist
  • Use three copies to make a bikini for your girlfriend :D

Project Goals

The goals of this project are:

  1. Create something cool to promote the Amarok 1.2 release.
  2. Offer an easy way to introduce people to Amarok, who otherwise wouldn't have experienced it. (e.g. Windows users)
  3. Provide a way to demonstrate the new features of Amarok when a suitable Linux installation is not available.

Eventually, we try to shrink down the image to around 250MB, which should ease up distribution.


How To Get

Amarok Live is available via Bittorrent. It can also be downloaded via http and anonymous ftp thanks to our good friends at the University of California, Santa Cruz, School of Engineering.

http ftp

You can get the torrent file from

How To Run

Insert the CD and boot. In most cases, you can just hit return at the ISOLinux boot prompt. There are various cheat-codes / boot-parameters, that you can use if case of hardware trouble. The kernel image name is livecd, so the syntax would be:

 livecd cheatcode1 cheatcode2

Common Codes Full List of Cheat Codes

How To Remaster

To remaster the CD for the purpose of adding software packages or your own music, you need an empty partition and either an existing linux swap partition or a new one. You must also be using the 1.2.1a version of Amarok Live CD (1.2.1 did not include the perl-QT package which the installer needs). The basic steps of remastering are as follows:

* Boot the LiveCD, use diskdrake to create or modify your partitions as necessary
* Run the LiveCD installer (there should be an icon on the desktop)
* Finish the installation and reboot into the hard disk install
* Once booted into the hard drive install, use synaptic or apt-get to install any additional software you would like to be included on your custom Live CD, and add any music tracks under /music that you want to be included.
* Set up your desktop exactly how you want it to be and save the KDE session
* alt-ctrl-F1 to a console and login as root
* run the mkamarokcd script in /root, an iso will be created in /root
* burn the iso to a blank cd and enjoy.

You can also add music to the LiveCD without remastering. This process requires a kernel that supports the squashfs and about 1.5GB of free disk space. Instructions and the necessary scripts are here.

How To Mount a USB key in a Running LiveCD Session

It is really easy to use your usb key flash memory device to add music to the collection in the Amarok LiveCD so you can use it as a party playlist. Follow these simple instructions.

  • Plug your usb key in
  • open a terminal and become root (password is blank)
  • run diskdrake
  • select the usb partition, specify a mountpoint and then click the mount button
  • in amarok's collection browser, add the mountpoint to the watched folders list

Easy or what?


We'd love to hear your feedback on what you think of Amarok Live. A special forum has been set up to hear your bug reports, complaints, suggestions, and general comments.

beta2 to final changelog

  • updated kde splash to remove wolf icon (new image by tightcode)
  • updated boot instructions with new image provided by our friend tightcode
  • Added amarok icon to desktop and kicker
  • fixed problem of 2 cool-streams playlists showing up
  • fixed problem of some sound cards coming up muted
  • added cool audio bookmarks to konqueror
  • added new amarok themed bootsplash (again by tightcode)
  • cleaned konqueror cache and session cookies
  • package updates, Amarok to 1.2.1, kernel to 2.6.10, ALSA to 1.08
  • added locally cached copy of the Wired CD page so it will still display if the network is not up on the target machine (thanks again tightcode)
  • added about links to desktop, and removed open konqueror window
  • added LiveCD KDE logout image
  • added a lot of polish and tweaking to the window arrangement (details, details, details)

beta1 to beta2 changelog

  • upgraded libgstreamer to .8.9
  • upgraded libvisual to .2 and installed libvisual-plugins, which was not installed in beta1 for some unknown reason
  • installed gstreamer plugins for artsd, alsa and libvisual to fix gstreamer configuration.
  • upgraded Amarok to 1.2.1-20040216cvs
  • turned off audioscrobbler submissions, not necessary on LiveCD and many user will probably not like it on by default
  • deleted desktop donation icon
  • fixed desktop home icon so it was same icon as taskbar
  • fixed Konvi icons on desktop
  • Minor font adjustments in Konqueror
  • removed alsa-utils, since alsactl was interfering with the ability to play sound
  • dramatically reduced the memory footprint by moving music files out of /home to /music so they run them from the loopback filesystem instead of being copied to RAM with the rest of /home
  • upgrade mklivecd scripts to current cvs, which fixes some booting problems, especially dealing with synaptics touchpads
  • fixed bootsplash so we get our boot messages on a nice blue background instead of on an ugly black screen
  • fixed gstreamer registry error by making sure the registry exists and recreating it automatically if it does not so gst now works ootb on the LiveCD
  • Added Amarok Live KDE splash screen courtesy of kobsession
  • added boot splash screen with some boot instructions

Known Issues

Synaptics Touchpads

On laptops with synaptics touchpads the advanced features of the touchpad will not be available. You can run mousedrake once booted and choose the synaptics touchpad to gain access to the advanced device features. No boot parameter is necessary any longer.

Muted Sound Device

The desktop should boot up with sound levels set to a reasonable level, though in some rare cases they might be muted. You can easily unmute your sound device with kmix, then.

Hard Drive Installation

On March 7, 2005 it was discovered that the hard drive installer did not work due to a missing perl-QT package. To rectify this, a supplementary iso was issued with a working installer. The only functional difference between the original and the revision is the presence of perl-QT which allows the installer to work properly. If you have no intention of installing the CD to create a working installation of PCLinuxOS or to remaster the disk with your own music, there is no need to download 1.2.1a.

The replacement is not available via Bittorrent, only on the ucsc server providing http and ftp access. See the above section entitled "How to Get."

Ideas / TODO

  • Need cool KDE startup sound
  • Install CVS version of konversation with link to #amarok
  • Figure out a way to load konqi, from either a script or in offline mode, so that the wired CD page is displayed even if the network is not available
  • Possibly do something with a dual session disk so it also works as an audio CD.
  • Possibly create an easy way to remaster this, so the user can add their own tracks and use this as a way to play a party list.
  • Write Remastering HowTo
  • Get some cool new tunes for the 1.3 LiveCD
  • Install Uplisting and other cool scripts.
  • Continue work on the AmarokLive website AmarokLive website.


  • Amarok Live is a LiveCD based on PCLinuxOS, created by Texstar, which itself is a LiveCD distro, mastered with the mklivecd scripts created by Jaco Greeff and currently maintained by Tom Kelly.
  • KDE Splash Images were based on various Amarok imagery and were made by tightcode.

Press Mentions / Reviews

Distrowatch (20050307) PCLinuxOnline (20050309) The Dot (20050310)

This page was last edited on 13 January 2013, at 09:57. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.