An easy to make USB bootable distro

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by boredog, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    Hello

    My sisters computer win xp took a dump and I am looking for a good free simple distro that can be easily mad e to boot off a USB stick.

    And sugestions along with instructions on how to do it would be appreciated

    Thanks
     
  2. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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  3. sbwhiteman

    sbwhiteman Registered Member

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    As wtsinnc suggests, you can go to Distrowatch for a distribution. For an XP-class machine you'll need a fairly light distribution, but you also want one that will seem familiar to an XP user. I suggest Linux Mint, the 32-bit version with the XFCE desktop environment, here: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php. Download it then use the Universal USB Installer.
     
  4. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    Rather than installing a full distro on a usb stick, I'd recommend using a pendrive type Linux install, which effectively loads the environment into RAM (from the USB), and therefore minimises usb IO (you can save the session & installed apps on closing, so it beats an optical LiveCD in that context). I've had good results with various forms of Puppy Linux (either Ubuntu or Slackware based). The Puppy Live installer (boot from dvd) includes the utilities needed for running this way by writing the applicable system to the usb stick.

    For a Windows user, Linux Mint is fully functional and has similar idioms to Windows.

    One thing I would recommend is to remove/unplug the disks of the machine you're building on, unless you are confident you know what you are doing. You want to avoid making a dual boot (or worse, partitioning the whole thing!) on your laptop unless this is desired.

    I'm not clear whether you want to replace the Xp on the old laptop completely and run from the HDD? If that were the case, then the Linux Mint distro would have a lot going for it.
     
  5. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    i loaded Kubuntu and I even installed it to hard drive and all went well but I can't figure out how to connect to the internet.
    I have her computer hardwired to the router.
     
  6. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    You should have test the live CDs of various distros, say Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora etc, to find which one works the best on your hardware, before you actually install the distro on you machine.
     
  7. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    I thought I could just install another over the top of it if it don't work. I looed up some things online that I will try later when I get back home.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/desktopguide/C/internet.html

    I was using Knoppix about 5 years ago but it did not have USB boot option at the time.
     
  8. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    If you can boot via a USB flash drive prior to hard drive (i.e. via BiOS setup device order), it would be preferable to burn an OS version .ISO to USB in order to run the USB flash drive from RAM instead of using a live CD (as USB/RAM is faster than CD/RAM).

    -- Tom
     
  9. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    Oliver: can't use live cd's on sisters dell because it has no cd-dvd drive. requires a SATA cd-dvd drive. she only lives on SS so doesnt have much money and i been peicing computers for her for the past 10 years. i have a win pro cd with service pac 2 and one with 3 but require buying a cd-dvd player.

    Tom: I can do both.

    I have been using computers since 1979, just not many unix- Linux systems. I first started beta testing norton in like 95 or 97 on dialup. Over the years I hav tested many different security softwares. I mostly advocated for home users and not buisnesses. just sharing a bit of my background there.

    now moving on with kubuntu:

    found if i disconnect the cat 5 cable going to her dell and wait 20 seconds , then reconnect , i get a nice green led on network card and computer connects to internet. but kinda of a hassle for her to do that each time she turns computer on.
     
  10. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    visit sourceforge and download the *.iso file for MX linux
    sourceforge.net/projects/antix-linux/files/Final/MX-14.4 (sports xfce desktop environment)
    or the *.iso for antix linux (sports multiple window managers. On the fly, user can switch back n forth between fluxbox, JWM, and iceWM)
    sourceforge.net/projects/antix-linux/files/Final/antiX-13.2
    then download the "unetbootin" utility: sourceforge.net/projects/unetbootin

    Insert a fat32 -formatted USB pendrive, launch unetbootin, browse to select the desired iso file, select the drive letter of the pendrive as the target destination, click OK.
    Unetbootin will extract the iso contents and install a syslinux bootloader onto the pendrive to make it bootable.
    When unetbootin finishes (approx 3min, in my use) you can eject the pendrive. It will boot your sister's (or most any) PC.
    (tip: you may first need to enter BIOS setup and change the boot device order, so that USB drive is booted first, if detected)

    If you wish, this "live" (vs installed to hard drive) linux installation can be repeatedly, indefinitely, booted from pendrive.
    Alternatively, both of the suggested linux distros above provide friendly install-to-harddrive installer scripts (launcher icon for installer will be displayed on your desktop).

    I don't want to overwhelm you with choices, but should mention that there are plenty of other "live" linux distros.
    Some distros, including the 2 mentiond above, also provide optional "persistence" (you repeatedly boot from pendrive and can elect to preserve filesystem changes across boot sessions, or not)
     
  11. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    Kubuntu boots just fine from USB the only thing I found with Dell on my systems is to get internet access, you have to unplug the cat 5 cable and plug it back in again, and all works well. In facy I am really liking Kubuntu even with that fault.
     
  12. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    Yep, Semplice boots fine from USB. TinyCore boots fine from USB... as do several dozen other distros.
    (more like "over a hundred" distros, if we count all the PuppyLinux flavors and 'Buntu remixes)
     
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