In the world of Windows, a wizard appears when the CD-ROM is inserted in a drive. The wizard presents a menu of reading documentation, running the X Server from the CD and installing the software to the hard drive. When the X server is run, a new window appears on the desktop. The window contains a command prompt that is used to connect to remote computers. It is possible to open up more command-line windows and use them to make more connections. When the user has finished and has closed all connections, the X server can be shut down by right-clicking an icon in the system tray.
In the parlance of Unix, an X server is run from the CD. A secure shell (ssh) client is included, and it is configured to allow by default forwarding of graphics from X11 applications. Users run the ssh client to connect to the remote machine, and X11 graphics are forwarded automatically from X applications that are run. The X server is that by X.org, and the ssh client is openssh.
The software is a set of Cygwin packages (http://www.cygwin.com) that have been installed and altered to run from CD, the Wizard's Apprentice (http://wizapp.sourceforge.net) and a few scripts that tie things together and provide the illusion that the XLiveCD is an application. Details are available in documentation that is provided on the CD.