Running Linux From a USB Flash Drive

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JeanInMontana
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Running Linux From a USB Flash Drive

Postby JeanInMontana » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:11 pm

Running Linux From a USB Flash Drive: Pure Heaven

In recent months Support Alert subscriber "Briard" has been looking Linux as an alternative to Windows. This month he checks out the potential for running Linux on a USB stick plugged into a Windows PC. (July 2007)

A New Launch Pad

Perhaps I should’ve left well enough alone but after my adventures with USB computing I thought: "wouldn’t it be nice to have the whole smorgasbord on a flash drive. Not just applications but the operating system as well.

I discovered that you can load Windows XP on a flash drive but that’s not a trivial job, judging by this 14-page tutorial.

Linux looked like an easier option. Since many distros run from live CDs, I figured it’d be a simple matter of copying the ISO image across to a USB stick. I was dead wrong, as this ‘walkthrough’ from http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ showed:

1. Type umount /dev/sdx1 to ensure the partition is unmounted
2. Type mkfs.vfat -F 16 -n usb /dev/sdx1 to format the first partition
3. Type umount /dev/sdx2 to ensure the partition is unmounted.
4. Type mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdx2 to format the second partition
5. Remove and reinsert your USB flash drive
6. Type mkdir /tmp/usb
7. Type mount /dev/sdx1 /tmp/usb
8. Type cd /cdrom
9. Type cp -rf KNOPPIX boot/isolinux/* /tmp/usb
10. Type cd /tmp/usb

More giddy steps followed but I wasn’t put off, since I had the detailed map and a copy of Knoppix handy on a PC mag cover disk. The Live CD opened a gloomy seascape, which was shattered by a female voice announcing (NASA-style with a huge echo): Initiating Start-up Sequence.

You have to read the rest at the website. See link above.
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Postby rockingmtranch » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:18 pm

Yep. Not too shabby.
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Postby JeanInMontana » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:41 pm

I'm thinking it would save a bunch of partitioning etc.
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Postby rockingmtranch » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:58 pm

You can do anything off the 'livecd' or flash drive. Any changes you make won't be saved because you haven't installed anything. Just like I am doing now. Everything I do to make changes will be erased when I shut down. Like I wanted to watch that video you posted. I can install all the codecs but they won't be saved. It is just like having an operating system although a bit slower. At least the cool part is I can connect to the internet and do stuff like this. That's a plus.
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Postby rockingmtranch » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:41 pm

A lot of advances in this little program since I posted :D

* New Run Pendrive Linux on USB from Windows without rebooting
* New Quick and easy Pendrive Linux install using Windows
* Old Pendrive Linux install from Linux
* Old Pendrive Linux installation from CD
* Run Ubuntu 7.10 from Windows without installing or rebooting
* Ubuntu 7.10 USB persistent Linux installation
* Ubuntu 7.04 USB persistent install using Linux
* Ubuntu 7.04 USB persistent install using Windows
* Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy flash drive install from Linux
* Ubuntu 6.10 USB installation using Windows
* Run Ubuntu 6.10 from a portable device without rebooting
* Knoppix flash drive install from Linux
* Knoppix USB installation using Windows
* Run Knoppix from a portable device without rebooting
* Gentoo USB pen drive install using Windows
* Damn Small Linux USB install using Windows
* PCLinuxOS 2007 flash drive install from Windows
* PCLinuxOS MiniMe flash drive install from Linux
* PCLinuxOS MiniMe USB installation using Windows
* SLAX USB installation using Windows
* Run SLAX from a portable device without rebooting
* MCNLive USB installation tutorial using the Live CD
* NimbleX USB installation tutorial using the Live CD

I'm downloading the newest. I'll let ya know how it goes

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

8)
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Postby rockingmtranch » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:37 am

Ok...the first one on the list there, I downloaded the file (324 mbs), extracted the 7-zip file and double clicked the .bat file as instructed on the site. Worked great. I now had Linux and XP running on the same machine. Shutting down was as easy as going to the shutdown menu, click reboot and Linux was dismounted. I then just closed the window and was still running XP. Very cool. I'm going to take the flash drive to school today and show my instructor :D
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Re: Running Linux From a USB Flash Drive

Postby rockingmtranch » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:51 pm

Yep. Been almost a year but I just had to come back and tell y'all, if you download the newest Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex ISO and burn it to cd, then boot from it, it has a program to install to a flash drive (or, alternately, not even have to burn to cd but the cd is nice to have in my opinion). After boot, go to >System>Administration>Create a USB Startup Disk and follow the directions. Awesome. Quick, clean, and works great (I've done many and ran some for weeks on end). There are many more possibilities than I can even mention so here is a good link to get you started:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/live-ubunt ... l-windows/

All your changes and bookmarks and all that good stuff are also saved for the next time you boot from the flash drive. Great, great program and site.
Look around there. You should find what you you're looking for if you want to carry an operating system in your pocket (and if you want to show your friends how fast their computer could be when they complain how slow and messed up it is...heh-heh). I was actually invited to do a demonstration at my local community college due to my passion for this.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

:brvo:
Linux. Don't fight it. You will be assimilated.
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Gulf War Vet--2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry--Fort Polk, LA


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