January 22, 2015

How can I install linux on a USB stick?

I'd like the entire system to be installed onto and running from the stick, with no tracks on the host hardware. Is this possible?

Well yes, you can....

Well yes, you can.
There are 2 approaches:
first the easy one:
you can opt for a writing a "live cd image" to an usb stick, that way it functions the same way as booting an actual live cd.
the hard one:
Or you can install a custom distribution on the usb stick, use multiple partitions on the usb stick, tell the system it should put everything static from the usb stick in tmpfs and all mutable stuff (like your data) should go on the actual usb stuck. you don't want a swap partition; most systems have more than enough ram.
I'd say, go for option 1. Most distributions explain very clearly how to create a bootable usb stick from a live dvd image.
Often it boils down to 'dd if=/path/to/live-dvd.iso of=/dev/sdXY bs=4k'.
I recommend OpenSuse (http://www.opensuse.org) if you want a solid desktop running from a usb stick.

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You may consider syslinux.org: http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/MEMDISK

You may consider syslinux.org: http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/MEMDISK

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This is totally possible. If it's anonymity that you're looking for, you...

This is totally possible. If it's anonymity that you're looking for, you might want to check out tails. Here is how to install it on a USB drive.

If you're looking for more of a forensic file recovery type distribution, there are a few out there. Off the top of my head, kali comes to mind.

If you're not looking to do anything as specific as these distributions are designed for, you could try one of these. Then just Google that distros name along with the keywords "persistent usb".

I hope this helps you out!

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I use unetbootin package:...

I use unetbootin package:

1) Install it

Download from: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ or your prefered source and install it

ubuntu, mint: sudo apt-get install unetbootin
this will downloand AND install it for you

2) Download you linux image from your prefered distro official home page

3) be sure your pen drive is formated as FAT32 file system

4) Open unebootin, point to linux image, select your pendrive, and it will make your pendrive a bootable linux pendrive.

5) reboot and select you pendrive as first boot device (modern bios usually have a key for that, older may require you to enter bios setup and select first boot device)

6) Have fun!

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