In this instructable I will show you how to put nearly any linux distro on a usb flashdrive. So you may have heard of  linux before or maybe not. It doesnt really matter if you know all about it or nothing about it. Basically linux is kind of a broad term in the way that linux in itself was made to be a opensource and free computer operating system. An operating system is like what your computer runs. For example there is Windows (which is microsofts operating system) , OSX lion (mac/apple made), and something new google made called Chromebook which you can find out more about here, then there is linux (free opensource operating systems). Anyway linux is broken down into different distros (short for distrobutions). Distros are just the different linux operating systems you can get. There is a buttload of different distros that you can later see in the program you'll download to put linux on your flashdrive. 

So you know what linux is so now you might be wondering why you even care to get it. There are a lot of reasons you might want it that you can read about somewhere. So one thing that I like about Linux is there is like an app store for Linux on it with almost everything free. Another is that is is good for hacking. Say your on someone elses computer and you can't login without their password which you don't have. Good thing is you have linux on your flashdrive which you can boot off of and presto you have your computer on theirs. So about the hacking part its possible to access things on a computer through your linux. Okay enough of bunny trailing. There is actually a linux distrobution called Backtrack solely for security penetration. Yeah that's right, hacking. They clearly state that their distro is for hacking. You can go to their website right here at backtrack to read more about that.

Now putting Linux on your flash drive  means that you can take your operating system anywhere plus everything you have on it goes is on the flash drive. Essentially you can use your computer on someone else's. 

Now if you are really into Linux you might want to use your favorite distro as the main operating system on your computer. Their is always usually (oximoron) a setup kind of file once you install a distro on a flash drive that says install ......... which will replace your current operating system with that distro which I don't recomend unless you have the crapiest operating system and you absolutely hate it. Now enough said about Linux cause next step is how to actually do it.

Step 1: Getting ready

To put linux on a flash drive you will need to find a program that will take the iso file (linux distro will download as a .iso file) and install it on a usb drive so you can boot from it. I will totally recomend http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ which is also what I will be using for the instructable. Find and download the Universal USB installer. There is also a program can be used to do this which is called unetbootin, but I think pendrivelinux's is better just because. You will also need a flashdrive. Depending on how big the distro is that you later choose you might want a larger gigabyte drive. No matter what you should at least use a 2 gig usb stick (just a preference especially if you are going to be installing a lot of apps. What i recommend though is a 4 gig minimum. Also just to let you know everything will be deleted on the usb stick so I recommend using one that you don't need for other things.

Moving on when you download the installer you can open it up. Now to run the installer you need adminstrator  privileges. I am assuming you know what that is so just make sure to either have the administrator's password or do it on their account. Now that it is open just click agree at the license thing. The program is really easy to use from there on. You can click on the drop down box to select a linux distro and that is where you can see a whole bunch of linux distros. I would recommend something like ubuntu for a cool user interface and stuff, but for hacking download backtrack. It will be split up into sections of different distros and different versions of them and so on. You will probably want to watch videos and research some different distros to find one you like. But like I said, for hacking= backtrack.

Also when you select a distro if you don't already have a the .iso file just click on the download the iso box and it should take you to the download page or something where you can download the file. Now is the waiting part. Depending on how big the file is (it varies depending on the distro) it can take a really long time. When I was downloading the backtrack 5 r2 iso which is a near 2 giga gigas (gigabytes) it took at least 5 hours I would say, but that all depends on the distro.  Once it is downloaded just put it on your desktop or something where you can easily find it.
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