Linux USB boot | SoloLearn: Learn to code for FREE!

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Linux USB boot

Hi guys, can I download a Linux distro into an USB and boot it via USB without having to install permanently the OS? That in theory will make an old PC/laptop run smoother like with Ubuntu Cinnamon or Linux Mint. Like for that session only use Linux OS to boot and then another user can come in use that PC and will never know I was running Linux with that same PC. Is that possible? Thanks in advance!

8/2/2020 11:18:41 PM

Bruno Coelho

19 Answers

New Answer

+7

Probably one of the most often executed installation types... This is almost "default" except for all those, who are really working with Linux. Google for Lili USB Creator.

+9

Bruno Coelho In addition to what has already been so well answered, you could also explore the following options if you are only using the Linux terminal: - Bitnami Stacks (for Prebuilt VMs) - Docker Containers with Kitematic - Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) Each of these allow for Linux installations that can be loaded and then completely thrown away while remaining in your host Windows machine. Some or all might even support a USB boot option. I've never tried before. There may also be options for installing Desktop GUI on WSL2. But it might not be prime time ready yet. I've not personally tried. That said, you should be prepared for a steep learning curve if you've never worked with Linux before. However, the learning experience is well worth it if you have a high aptitude for picking up new things and a keen ability for searching what you need online. 😉

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Aymane Boukrouh it's possible to have a writeable section on an live USB stick or to install a fully qualified OS onto the stick too (that's the way I use my default system)

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PS: You'll only win some performance, if you're not trying to store too many data on the stick or you need at least USB 3.0. Otherwise installing Linux would be faster.

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It would probably be a bad idea runnimg a Live OS, and will work slower than an installed OS. Other than that, Live OS nevee saves the data, which means if you're using it for programming you will have to set it up everytime you boot into it. If you're worried about damaging your Windows, then why not Dual Boot? It is pretty easy, and safe.

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No, this is only true for live systems, but you can install a complete OS mutable on an USB stick.

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Persistent volumes can be configured for every distro... Standard functionality of Lili as virtualbox too...

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Sandra Meyer nice to know. I haven't actually had to build one from scratch in awhile. I have .iso images I created for myself and use etcher to burn them to drives. I will have to checkout lili if there is a Mac version. 😉

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Sandra Meyer I don't really have a need myself right now, but it looks more functional than rufus? I will probably download it in one of my VMs just to check it out. I build recovery thumbdrives on occassion, so might come in useful at some point. And David Carroll I will be going to a company sponsored Docker workshop, so I may have to checkout Kitematic and ask around to see if anyone uses it at work... that looks to be of use also. Great Stuff, thanks everyone for sharing. Never know what little gems you find in these threads, where you think you already have an answer?! 😉 Happy Coding! 😎👍

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Thanks Sandra! I want to start playing with Linux but dont want to mess up the only Laptop I have at home for the other users that are used to Windows.

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Sandra Meyer that would only allow you to save data, but not system configuration (I think). If for example you need to work with specific software (i.e a web server) you would have to set it up everytime you boot. If I'm wrong correct me as I am also interested.

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Bruno Coelho find a thumbdrive distribution that has a "persistent" volume. It will allow you to configure services and keep the last state as long as you shutdown gracefully. If you want a user-friendly OS to use: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-desktop/ I have a ton of Raspberry Pis so I can carry a thumbdrive to boot on my mac or pc that allows me to test things. Side benefit is python & java installed by default 😉 I also use VirtualBox. It allows you to install multiple OSes on a machine and run them side-by-side in their own drive "image" without the host OS being effected. You can put the images on a removable thumbdrive if you want to use it on multiple machines, but the VirtualBox app (also known as a hypervisor) needs to be installed on each device you use the images on. You can set it up to run routers and firewalls, so if you have enough RAM and processor cores, a complete Data Center can be emulated. Hope that gives you other options to look at... both are Free! 😉👍

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Kode Krasher Unfortunately it's not available for Mac

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Kode Krasher it was when I used it the last time, but I've only guided some people through it since I don't run any longer a windows for other purposes than testing since more than... 5 years... Lili was always a very comfortable and fast tool and it supports almost every distro explicit and (tried it) many of the "unsupported" distros can be installed successfully too. Lili is especially cool for all those people, who need a quick and user-friendly exit from windows 😉👍🙃

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Bruno Coelho , I should probably make a web page or something, but you might find this one page pdf useful if you know the standard windows command line: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8v3xflohcv1r7e/DOS%20to%20Linux.pdf I am sure there are better cheatsheets, but I use this at work to handout to new folks that have no linux experience. It should get you started in the shell. 😉

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Sandra Meyer I bet it is another iOS/Android difference? Pdf viewer is built-in on most apple products and I thought dropbox web converted it to svg, but apparently not. Shouldn't be too tough to put in a page though. Project for when I have some down time at work. Thanks for letting me know. 👍

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Bruno Coelho Sandra Meyer try this... https://code.sololearn.com/WWIyq7gFxc8Y I haven't made this public yet because I need to rephrase some things, proofread it, and correct my lazy styling. I was getting a little loopy, so I decided to just get the tags matching and call it a day. If you load it on a PC and print it double sided on 8.5x11 paper it makes a decent cheat sheet. 👍 Let me know what you think.

+3

Invalid file format? 🤔 A web page for that stuff is a great idea!

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Of course, you turn it on starting with Linux and you click try it. You will have Linux on the RAM. In the moment you turn it off everything will be like before. I hope I could help you.