Sunday, January 4, 2009 How To Run Linux From A USB Drive

"Nothing can beat having a great Linux distro installed on a super-fast hard drive, with all your favourite apps configured just how you like them and all your files at your fingertips.

But this has one major drawback: perfect as your setup is, it's also just one machine, and sooner or later you'll be forced to leave that computer behind and use something else.

Something that might run Windows. Something that might not even have Firefox. Because no one likes being parted from their data for too long, we present a smarter option: store it all on a USB flash drive.

In older days, you were able to store Linux on a CD and use a flash drive just to save changes. After some advancements, you were able to run Linux straight from the flash drive, but it didn't store any changes you made. But the latest generation of Linux distros – namely Ubuntu 8.10 and Fedora 9 – have a memory overlay system that allows you to store your Linux distro and any changes you make to it on a single flash drive. Sure, you'll need at least 1GB to be able to fit the entire distro on there, but it does mean everything you need is all on the one device.

Once you switch your install to a flash drive, it means you can take it pretty much anywhere and get back to work immediately. Whether you're using a server, a desktop or even a tiny little Aspire One or Eee PC, the vast majority of modern computers support booting straight from USB, so you can just plug in your drive and go."

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