Install Linux on USB stick (Pen drive)

USB Pendrive Linux install from Linux

The Pendrivelinux team has put together a USB Pen Drive Linux package based purely on Debian Linux. The USB Linux package is currently available in .img format. Installation is simple and just requires copying the .img to a USB device and then creating a live-rw partition if you wish to store your changes. We think you will find this personalized USB Linux version easy to install, navigate and use.

Credits extend to the Debian-Live team for creating Live-Helper script used in this project. (Aicrom) Márcio Santos for the custom Penguin artwork, Theme-Graphics thanks to Carlos

This Pendrivelinux version is obsolete and no longer supported.

Basic Essentials:

  • 1GB or larger USB flash drive (512MB will work but isn’t recommended)
  • Pendrivelinux.img
  • Linux environment (Debian used in this example)

Obtaining and installing Pendrivelinux to USB:

  1. Insert a 1GB or larger USB flash pen drive
  2. Start your PC (booting from a Linux OS)
  3. Download the pendrivelinux.img
  4. Open a terminal and type sudo su
  5. From the terminal, change to the directory where you saved pendrivelinux.img
  6. Type fdisk -l and note which device is your USB device. Example:/dev/sdX (X represents your USB drive letter. Through the rest of this tutorial, replace X with your actual drive letter)
  7. Type dd if=pendrivelinux.img of=/dev/sdX

Optional – Create a second partition for saving changes:

  1. Type fdisk /dev/sdX
    1. Type n (makes a new partition)
    2. Type p (makes the new partition a primary partition)
    3. Type 2 (makes this the 2nd primary partition)
    4. Hit enter to accept the default first cylinder
    5. Hit enter again to accept the default last cylinder
    6. Type w (writes the new partition information to the USB drive)
  2. Type umount /dev/sdX1 and then remove and reinsert your USB drive
  3. Type mkfs.ext2 -b 4096 -L live-rw /dev/sdX2
  4. Reboot your computer and set boot priority to boot from the USB stick

You should now be booting into USB Pen Drive Linux from your USB drive!

Notes: You must boot by typing live persistent at the boot prompt if you wish to use the second partition to save or restore changes. Otherwise the system will boot in LIVE mode.

No root password has been set by default. To set a root password open a terminal and type sudo passwd root and then set the password you would like to use for root access.

The default username is user. Default user password is live

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