Ubuntu on a Pen Drive

Steve Smith demonstrates how to create a boot-able USB Linux drive and installer using Pen Drive Linux's Universal USB Installer.

Booting to Linux From A USB Drive

Episode # 3-34 available on : Youtube Vimeo 

Released: May 18, 2013

With the advent of the modern tablet, or touch screen notebooks, many of these devices are removing legacy hardware we were used to using to run games, or even install other operating systems. One of the victims of the newest trend is the optical drive, and let's face it, USB pen drives have so much more space, than optical drives. It also requires less power to run a flash based device instead of spinning a disk, and scratches on disks are really unpleasant.

Question is, how does one install Ubuntu, or any other Linux, on a device that has no native optical drive? The answer is simple, use an USB pen drive to install your favorite Linux distribution. The only problem is, we can't open an ISO file, and drag and drop the files within, expecting our computers to know the drive has an operating system, we need a special type of software to burn the ISO to our USB drive to allow the computer to boot from it.

One really good tool designed for this task is called Universal USB Installer, provided by Pen Drive Linux, that allows anyone to create their own boot-able Linux pen drive. The file is small, and easy to use, download, open, agree to their terms, and select the Linux distribution of interest. This application also allows you to have it, not you, download any Linux distribution you want, saving you a lot of time and trouble.

To use Universal USB Installer, you need to follow a few steps.

Step one, select the Linux distribution you wish to install from the Drop down menus, you may select the option to have the program download it.

Step two, browse to select the one you have downloaded, if you haven't already requested the program download it for you.

Step three, select the correct drive letter for your USB pen drive, please you the Windows Explorer if you are unsure. If you are still not convinced that you have the correct drive, get one of your computer geek friends to help you.

Step four, select the size of the persistent file size, you wish to use, this is entirely optional, but allows you to use this drive as a normal operating system hard drive.

Then select create. You may wish to use either a USB2 or USB3 pen drive, if your device is compatible, and the time of creation is strongly dependent on the type of drive, and the size of the persistent file you created.

Once completed, you can plug the USB pen drive into any computer, and start using Linux as a Live drive, or install onto that computer to experience the wonders of Linux.

You may have to access the Pen drive operating system using one time boot menus available once you boot your computer, if you didn't already explicitly ask your computer to boot from USB whenever available.

Next week, we will analyze the benefits of using disposable e-mail addresses, and how that may protect your identity online.

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Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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May 18, 2013



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Completely Erased

It should remove all traces of the virus, provided the hard drive has no bad sectors on it. It it does, you the mentioned Spinrite to try to fix the hard drive then run DBAN after, but usually, DBAN can erase the entire drive without issue. I've used it on maximum and let it run almost 16 hours on my friends computer, that is why this episode exists.

Completely Erased

Great! I am going to run 'autonuke' on a machine that has polymorphic malware, not sure if it is in the MBR or somewhere else on the machine. Assuming autonuke runs fully without any error, will it remove the malware from the computer with certainty?

Completely Erased

Yes, it will wipe all data, including the master boot record on your hard drive. If you are unable to get DBAN to work correctly, consider using Spinrite to fix the drive so DBAN can work, rarely needed, good to have.


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