Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/172810/take-a-secure-desktop-everywhere-everything-you-need-to-know-about-linux-live-cds-and-usb-drives/
Computers normally run an operating system installed on their hard drives, whether it’s Windows, OS X, or Linux. But they can also boot from removable media devices, allowing you to boot a Linux desktop from a USB drive or CD.
When it's a small drive, use Puppy.
When it's a large drive, use Lubuntu.
Maximum hardware compatibility, both support persistence, and both work.
Why Lubuntu? I'm not saying you're wrong - I'm genuinely interested in the reason (fairly new Linux user, here).
Lubuntu because it has the huge hardware compatibility of Ubuntu, but is still extremely lightweight, so it'll run on Pentium 4s and Core i7s alike.
Puppy is very small, loads very quickly and works all from memory. I think it's a great choice for having a thumbdrive operating system. Ubuntu is way to big and slow for this.
My laptops hard-drive crashed recently. It was a week before I could replace it.
In the meantime I assumed a live linux usb should allow me to use my laptop but when I tried to boot from a usb drive with ubuntu 13.04, I got stuck at the ubuntu loading screen.
Can someone explain what happened?
This sounds great, but I can't figure out how to use the installer.
In reply to aargh. If you are talking about getting the live cd to run you must burn it as an ISO file. I run Puppy sometimes to find files on the machines I tinker with. I recommend Suli-Pup. With Puppy you don't NEED to install it to use it. There is a way to install but I haven't done so. If you are having problems with some other distro (Ubuntu, Mint, Ferodra.) maybe there is a problem with your installation disk. I have found that I get a coaster instead if a good disk if I burn the ISO to disk at the default speed. When you get ready to burn a disk set the burn speed to as low as possible. It only takes a few minutes more but it cuts down on bad disks. If you want to find most of the Linux ISOs check out 'Distro Watch'. It has lots of choices. Good luck.
Sorry. I thought of something else to add for Aargh.!! If the ISO disk is working okay it will still take a while to show up on your screen. When I installed Linux Mint 13 LTS yesterday there was a long wait. Looked like I wasn't going to get anything but I just let it run for a while. Once the desktop loaded there was an icon that said 'Install Linux Mint". There will be a wait, then you will see options for language, time zone, input options and the like. Ubuntu 13 was much the same. Windows XP takes a LONG time to do a fresh install. Linux will only take an hour or so (counting updates.) and be ready to run. This is only necessary if you are "installing" the OS. You don't need to install if you only want to run a live cd. I'm looking forward to the new Linux Steam OS that was announced today, it isn't out for download yet but it sounds cool.
I have Windows 8. Can I boot a live Linux USB stick? I thought Microsoft prevented a Linux boot when it changed the BIOs process in Windows 8.
In reply to hopponit:
Thank you for your time spent in replying to me. I very much appreciate it.
Actually, I've made live disks in the past, my favorite of which was Puppy Slacko.
This time, however, I'm trying again to install on a thumb drive. I imagine there is some simple piece of info I'm missing, which would solve it for me.
Eventually, I'll drive up the coast and ask my linux-guru nephew to help me.
When the primary hard drive in my laptop crashed I went looking for a Live CD capability and ended up using Linux slax (Slackware derivative) on a flash drive for several weeks. KDE desktop, sessions preserved across boots, file changes saved to flash drive via union file system, simple package/module installing. I was back online in half a day and could continue working (internet) while I restored Vista and recovered data.
Hmm.... Slax. It's matured a lot since I tried it last. I'll give it a try again. Thanks!
With Windows8, you'll need to use Advanced startup options; in there you can specify a restart with an alternate boot media.
"With Windows8, you'll need to use Advanced startup options; in there you can specify a restart with an alternate boot media."
Which sounds useful. If there is an HTG article on this, could someone post a link?
If not, could it be created?
I've been on Linux for years, so long that the entire windows debacle has got beyond me, but recently I tried to help a friend dual boot Linux on their Windows 8 machine, and got nowhere. The help with the system seemed to specifically avoid the topic, and online 'help' should hang their head for taking money for what they do.