Trying distro without installing

i made a boot drive of the distro on my mac. can i boot it from the drive and try out the distro without running it in a VM? whenever i select it as my boot drive it takes me directly to an install screen.

What did you built the ISO from?

I never encountered “install screens”, just bare DEs that had some icons for grub, manual and terminal.

And that is already the distro you can try without installing. Be aware that it wouldn’t persist any changes.

I says install but it’s just a live system, nothing will be installed just by booting.

i used the gnome ISO. should i have used the plasma ISO?

I never used gnome, plasma only. Therefore I am not sure what gnome iso actually does. Though I heard in a podcast about Linux that it gives you a blank desktop and nothing else. That podcast episode was about half a year old or so… Perhaps things changed?

If I find some time this evening I’ll try the gnome ISO on a VM to understand what you are talking about.

I have tried the Gnome ISO.

It seems to boot into Gnome and asks me if I want to take the tour of Gnome 40. If I deny to take the tour I get a blan desktop that shows some programs on the bottom that are unrelated to installation.

  • Firefox
  • Geary
  • Calendar
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Files
  • Show Applications

The latter shows a flat view of applications, similar to how most android drawers would.

Also you can type things to search.

So this image leaves you still quite alone and expects you to know what to search for…

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And NixOS - Getting Nix / NixOS says “recommended for most users”.

Edit: confirmed that it is as bad as NobbZ says.