A Live USB system stored on flash memory, sometimes called a stick, lets you boot any USB-bootable computer into a Linux operating system environment without writing to that computer’s hard disk. The Live USB stick can feature an area to store changes to the system, called a persistent overlay. It can also have a separate area to store user account information and data such as documents and downloaded files, with optional encryption for security and peace of mind. Finally, with a non-destructive installation, pre-existing files and excess storage space on the stick are accessible from the system. Essentially, you can carry your computer with you in your pocket, booting it on nearly any system you find yourself using.
For creating a bootable live usb drive, you need the following requirements.
- A working computer running GNU/Linux, Windows or MacOS.
- A USB flash drive, also known as USB stick, thumb drive, pen drive, or jump drive, with 1 GB or more of storage space.
- A Linux based distribution image file such as Ubuntu. You can download it from http://www.ubuntu.com/download for free.
Once the above requirements are met, you are ready to write the image file into USB. It can be done in two different ways.
- Command line method (If you are already using a Linux based OS) &
- Graphical method
Let us see the graphical method as it is plain and simple and requires less knowledge on commands. For this method, I personally suggest UNetbootin, a freeware which you can download from http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net
As now you have the necessary image file, a USB drive and UNetbootin, Lets get started!
Quick steps :-
1. Run the UNetbootin.exe file.
2. Select the Linux distribution, for which you have the necessary image file.
3. Format your USB drive using FAT32 file system.
4. Browse and select the ISO image file in UNetbootin.
5. Select the drive letter of your USB carefully.
6. Once selected the USB drive, Give OK. It will take around 10 to 20 minutes to complete the task.
7. After completion, your USB is a Bootable Live USB stick which you can use to either install on a pc, netbook etc.. or simply run the operating system from it.
If you have any difficulties in the above steps, feel free to share it here in the comments section below!