How to bypass blocking software using the Ubuntu Live CD
Bennett Haselton, 3/27/2006. Thanks to
Kevin Daniel Allen for the suggestion!
This page describes how you can bypass blocking software on a Windows machine by rebooting
the computer from a Linux CD, so that you go outside of Windows entirely. When you're done,
remove the Linux CD and the computer will be in the same state that it was before.
- This method has only been tested to defeat blocking software on a Windows PC. It has not been
tested for the Macintosh. (To get a Macintosh CD you can order one from https://shipit.ubuntu.com/,
but we haven't tested that, so you're on your own!)
- This will only work if your computer has an always-on Internet connection (not dial-up).
- This will only work to defeat blocking software that is installed on the local computer; it
will not defeat blocking software that is installed on the network. For example:
- It will work against software like CYBERsitter and Net Nanny that gets installed on
your home computer.
- It might work on a computer at a library or school -- it depends on how the blocking software
is installed on that computer. Some computers are "locked down" to stop you from installing software
or changing software settings, but the network connection itself is not censored;
in that case, this method will work, since the locks and restrictions will not be in place if you
boot from the CD. On the other hand, in some libraries and schools, the network
connection itself is censored, in which case this method will not work.
- It will not work against blocking that is done at the ISP level, such as AOL Parental Controls.
- It will not work to defeat Internet censorship in a censored country like China or Iran.
- Booting a computer from the CD takes about 5 minutes, so it only works if you have enough time
to do that.
- When you boot into Linux, the user interface looks significantly different from Windows, so you
wouldn't want to do this where people are looking over your shoulder and might get suspicious if
they notice something unusual!
Part 1: Make the CD
To make the CD, you must have a CD recording drive and a writeable CD.
Follow these steps:
- Download ISO Recorder from
this web site
and install it. (Be sure to pick the right version depending on whether you have Windows XP Service
Pack 1 or XP Service Pack 2. Most users have Service Pack 2.
To find out what version you have, go to your Windows Desktop,
right-click My Computer, and pick "Properties", and look at the "General" tab, under "System:".)
The ISO Recorder software is necessary for copying an ISO image onto a CD.
- Download the Ubunti Live CD .iso file from
(About 650 megabytes.)
- Insert a recordable CD into your CD writing drive.
- Right-click the ISO file and pick "Copy image to CD". (That option should appear on the
right-click menu if you have ISO Recorder installed.) Once the CD is burned, label it "Ubuntu Live CD".
If you run into problems making the CD yourself, you can order it free by mail from
Part 2: Boot from the CD
To boot from the Ubuntu Live CD, insert the Ubuntu Live CD and reboot your computer.
Usually, this will boot you into Ubuntu. (When your computer detects a CD in the CD drive,
it may display a message while it's starting up, like "Press ENTER to boot from the CD" -- in which
case, do what it says.) You should see some text scrolling up the screen, followed by the "Ubuntu"
logo instead of the usual Windows logo, and after about 5 minutes, you should see the Ubuntu desktop.
Go to the "Internet" menu and pick "Firefox" to launch the Firefox browser and surf to any Web site
If the computer boots into Windows, even with the CD in the drive, then your computer is
currently not set to boot from the CD. To change this, you need to change some settings on your
computer to make it boot from the CD drive. This is slightly advanced, and is different on almost
every computer, but Kevin Daniel Allen
has written a tutorial about how to do it.
Please send questions or problem reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.