Running an operating system, like Windows, off of your flash drive can be very useful sometimes. You can recover your data from a hard drive and copy it to an external hard drive if that computer won't boot up or scan that computer for viruses and so on... This Instructable will show you how to install, boot, and run the popular Linux distro, Ubuntu from your flash drive. You will be able to automatically save your changes and settings back to the flash drive and restore them on each boot using a second partition.

You can run Ubuntu will all your settings and files, even if you don't have your own computer with you. You will have a whole, powerful operating system in your pocket!

Sorry for the not very helpful pictures. It was to hard to document each little step for each step. Hopefully it is still easy to follow...

I'm not liable for any damage done to your computer and/or flash drive. However, I haven't ever had a problem. Just make sure to follow each step carefully.

*This process is no longer needed as of Ubuntu 8.10 because a USB Ubuntu Creator is built in.

Step 1: Get Materials

Here are the materials needed:
  • USB 2.0 Flash drive (at least 1G) (You could use USB 1.1, but everything will take 5x longer)
  • Computer w/ CD Drive (Must be able to boot from USB. Newer motherboards will work. Motherboards older than 2 years old probably won't work. A BIOS update from your computer manufacturer might work.)
  • Ubuntu LiveCD (You don't need this if your computer already has Ubuntu installed on it)
  • You should also be somewhat computer-savvy and comfortable with command prompt/ terminal.

I used a 4GB Sandisk Cruzer Micro and Ubuntu 7.10 (current one at time of writing)

You can get the Ubuntu LiveCD at ubuntu.com. Download the Ubuntu Desktop LiveCD iso and burn it on a CD using Nero or another program. You could also request a free Ubuntu CD but that takes 6-10 weeks to ship.

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