A Live USB will let you run an operating system off of a USB drive, so you can try a operating system without a partition, or carry a favorite one with you, or have an emergency backup in case your computer crashes.

In this Instructable, I will be showing you how to create such a USB drive. It's a beginner friendly tutorial, and assumes you know the basics of computer navigation, but if you are familiar with computers, you should be able to follow the abridged version I have at the second to last step.

There are a lot of different softwares out there to do this, so I've tried out a bunch and I'm bringing two good ones to you. I will also be showing you some notable Linux operating systems you can get for free. Finally, I will be showing you how to actually use the USB Drive to start the computer and run your new operating system.

Let's get started!

Step 1: What We'll Need

In order to begin, we will need a couple of things:

- A USB Drive of at least 4 gigs (more if you want to carry more than one operating system)

- A software to put the operating system onto the USB (see next step).

- A computer to load the files onto the USB

- A computer to control (this can be the computer you are loading the USB with)

- An operating system (More later- I have some suggestions)

If you need a free and reliable operating system, a version of Linux is the way to go. There are a lot of different versions of Linux (dubbed 'Flavors' or 'Distributions', often shortened to 'Distros').

Step 2: Getting the Software

Above you can see the logo for UNetBootIn.

We will need some software to actually extract the operating system onto the flash drive. You've got a bunch of options out there- here are my favorites based on the ones I've tried. These are both Open Source tools that will allow for the extraction of the data onto the USB drive.


Works on: Linux, Windows, Mac

This one is my favorite. It is simple and easy to use, and allows you to download from a drop-down list rather than browsing and downloading the software online (although you can do this as well, if you want). I have only tested it on Linux. However, it is a much larger and better developed tool, and is actually a default program on some Linux flavors.

The Sourceforge page for this project can be found here.

YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer)

Works on: Windows, claims to work on Linux but I can't get it to work.

This one has a lot of the same features UNetBootin has, but it allows you to have more than one OS on a flash drive, which I really like. However, the Linux version doesn't seem to work on my Ubuntu (a type of Linux) laptop, so it doesn't seem to work for Linux. I have tested it on Windows and found it to work well.

The website for this can be found here.

Linux Live USB (AKA LiLi)

This is another great tool worth considering. It was recommended by rowilsonh, and seems to be a very efficient and easy to use alternative to the software I've listed. Quick and easy, it has a lot of great resources, like a list of their supported linux distros (although I have a list later for those searching), and a lot of other great features.

Their official webpage can be found here.

Step 3: Let's Pick an Operating System!

The photo above is the logos of the three most popular Linux distributions available: Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Debian.

So, in order to run an operating system, we need to know which one to use. If you have one, skip this step (or don't, whatever). I grabbed the list of 3 of the some of the most popular Linux flavors, as determined by DistroWatch. Here'sa link to that list.

1) Linux Mint

This is one I've wanted to try for a while, so it's one of the systems you'll see me add. It features a clean desktop, and is designed to be a more compatible version of Ubuntu. It works right out of the box with many features pre-installed, so there is little setup necessary.

The official webpage for this project can be found here.

2) Ubuntu

This is the Linux flavor that I mostly use and am familiar with. It has a large amount of compatible software and a sleek, modern looking interface. It has a large number of tools pre-installed, but you'll find the rest very easy to install through the Ubuntu Software Center, a sort of App Store featuring thousands of compatible softwares.

The official webpage for this project can be found here.

3) Debian

Debian includes a massive amount of packages that come with it (20,000 pre-compiled pieces of software). A massive amount of operating systems have sprung forth from Debian, so it's another one that's worth looking into. I'm curious about it as well, so it's another I'll be downloading. It's not quite as beginner-friendly, and you'll need to understand how a computer works.

The official webpage for this project can be found here.

(At one point I had said that Linus had started this directly- I was incorrect, thanks Kevinf1 for the catch)

So that's the top three most popular, but here's a few that are worth a mention because even though they aren't as popular, they still have a large follower base and have something that sets them apart. If your favorite isn't here, convince me of its uniqueness and I'll add it.

Puppy Linux- This one is a basic desktop, but what makes it special is that despite having a lot of great features, it is very small, and crams itself into the RAM of your computer (allowing for very fast responses from the programs). The official webpage for this project can be found here.

Zorin OS- This is a great choice for Linux beginners and those interested in getting started with a new operating system- that's what its designed for. It also allows you to run Windows programs, which is found in many Linux flavors, but Zorin does it without having to download anything. Don't assume that jsut because it's designed with beginners in mind that it's a dumbed down version of anything, however. This is still a powerful and sleek operating system. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

Kali Linux- Remember how I said a lot of OS's have sprung from Debian? This is one of them. It's used for penetration testing, and leads the field in this area. If you don't know what that is, this is useless to you. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

UbuntuGnome- Ubuntu used to have a very windows-ish feel to it, but then it changed. This operating system is basically the same as Ubuntu, with all the same great features, but keeps the old look and feel. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

Tails Linux- An acronym for The Amnesiac Incognito Live System, this is the program used by informants and reporters around the world to keep themselves from being snooped on. Tails uses a system in which it makes sure not to keep a record of what you are doing, and uses TOR for web browsing. As soon as you shut it down, it forgets everything you've done. Thanks to these and other anonymity techniques, this OS has been gaining a lot of popularity. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

(Please be warned- I have received reports that visiting this site will put you on an NSA watchlist. This is most likely connected to the fact that it was used by Edward Snowden, as well as other informants and reporters, to conceal their location, identity, and communications. Thanks for the notice, Mark Rehorst!)

Gentoo Linux- This is one geared towards hardcore Linux users who know what they are doing. If you want a nice, fast desktop, and you are familiar with Linux, give this one a go. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

Here are a few recommended by the comments of other readers:

Lubuntu Linux- Lubuntu is flavor of Ubuntu, and is meant to be lightweight, usable by the normal PC owner, and able to run on just about any specs. The official webpage for this project can be found here. Thanks to Instructables user Cheapo for this suggestion.

Fedora Linux- According to a Guru I know, Fedora stands out because of all the tools it offers for programming and compiling code, which has made it popular among the Linux community. It sounds easy to set up, yet very powerful and tinkerable. Fedora tends to do its best to be at the cutting edge of software and technology. The official webpage for this project can be found here.

OpenSUSE- Another one recommended by the Guru, this is an operating system that stands out because of its ruggedness. This platform seems to be very difficult to crack, and is good for servers. As he put it, "If I want to make a solid Linux box, I'm going to use OpenSUSE." The official page for this project can be found here.

Porteus- This is a lightning-fast Linux distro designed to be fast, easy, and bootable from a USB drive. It boasts a 15 second startup time, and remains a modern and desktop. It is also compatable with most any system thanks to its simplicity, and can even be loaded into the RAM for an even faster loading time. The official page for this project can be found here. Thanks to Instructables user Arochester for this suggestion.

There are hundreds of more versions of Linux, many worth checking out- these are just a tiny amount.

Step 4: Setting Up the Software for .ISO Download

Before we begin, lets plug in our USB Drive. We need to see that the computer recognizes that there is a USB drive plugged in. On windows, I know this is true because a dialog opens up asking what to do. On Ubuntu, the USB drive will open. That's good- it means the computer is recognized the USB as a USB and that it's plugged in.

Once you are ready with this, open the software you picked. If you are using UNetBootin, you will see something like the first image. YUMI should show something like the second.

Check where your USB is located- it'll make it simpler if you only have 1 USB device plugged in. One way to make sure in Windows is by going to the Computer folder and seeing what device is your USB drive. If it's not immediately obvious, click around until you find it. Be sure to double check that this is the correct device- if you write to the wrong one, you aren't getting that data back.

You'll notice it is given a letter on windows (for me, its usually G: or H:). In the program, select this as the device you want to write to. You may have to select 'Show all devices' if you can't see it in the list there.

Step 5: Download and Select the .ISO

This is a pretty simple step. Once you've found the operating system you are happy with, you just need to download the .ISO file. Pick the type you want- the internet is your friend for researching the differences here.

In this image, you can see that I am downloading Linux Mint from their webpage, and that I now have a .ISO file in my Downloads folder. I select that in the tool, and I am all set to go.

If you are using UNetBootIn, this won't be something you need to do. Simply select the operating system you want in the drop down menu and it will do the rest.

If you choose to format the drive, then the USB will be wiped before the operating system is installed.

Step 6: Check and Go!

When we have selected the operating system and the device to write to, we should be all ready to go.

However, let's double check that everything is as ready as it claims to be. If we write to the wrong drive, then it's gone forever, and that's not good.

You'll also want to make sure this is the right kind of Linux. Although not disastrous if you mess it up, it won't be fun because it takes a while to load and it would just be a major hassle.

If you think you are ready, just hit the button to begin and wait for the loading bar to pass. This may take a while, depending on which one you downloaded.

When you are done, the software will let you know. YUMI will allow you to add more distros (or Linux tools), but you can skip and just add more later if you want.

Step 7: Using the USB Drive As a Live USB 1: What's the Boot Menu?

Now that the USB has completed its download, you are ready to use it whenever you wish. In order to use it you will need to know how to you bring up the boot menu.

It's easy to find out. You can just restart the computer and look for the text that says something along the line of "To bring up the boot menu press [key]". That's what you see in the first image. You'll have to be quick- it'll only be there for 1-4 seconds.

Typically, it is the Enter key, Escape key, or one of the F keys, such as F2 or F12. For me, F12 is the one on the machine I'll be using.

You can also do a Google search on the model of your computer. Try "BIOS Settings for [computer model]" or "Boot Menu shortcut on [computer model]".

Step 8: Using the Live USB 2: Getting to the Boot Menu

Once we know what key we need to open the boot menu, plug in your USB stick. This can be done when the computer is on or off- it doesn't matter. Then, either restart your computer or turn it on (if it was off before). As the computer begins to start up, start pressing that key to bring up the boot menu. Ideally, you will press the correct key as soon as the text "To bring up Boot Menu, press [key]" (or whatever your computer's equivalent is) appears. If this happens, then you will be brought into the Boot menu.

The second image here is an example of what that boot menu will most likely look like.

Step 9: Navigating the Boot Menu and Selecting Your Operating System

Once in the Boot menu, you should see something like what I have in the photo above. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate up or down to the USB device you plugged in. Select it using Enter.

By doing this, you are telling your computer that rather than getting started by using the already installed operating system, you want the computer to look at the USB Drive you selected and use the operating system there.

In YUMI, the actual location is most likely in "Linux Distros", but some may be hidden in "System tools". From there,, you will want to select the "Live" option. With UNetBootIn, it's quite a bit simpler- just select the "Live" option and it will start right up. With some systems, such as Debian, you may find only the default option. That's fine, unless you've accidentally installed a downloader.

Step 10: Navigating the Final Menu and Usage

If the distro has its own menu for you, select the Live option to start as a Live USB. If you can find a Persistence option, use that instead. It's the same thing, except it makes file saving easier. After hitting enter, wait for it to complete.

This shouldn't take too long for Linux machines, and afterwords, you will be running the operating system off of your USB drive. When done, shut down the computer and unplug the USB drive.

You could just yank the USB drive out if anything goes wrong, but you don't really want to crash your computer, so let it shut down. If you like the distro, then you can download it or keep it on the flash drive to use wherever you want. If you don't, no harm done- just delete the files and you can get a new distro or use it for storing other files.

Step 11: So, the Abridged Version

Here's an abridged version for review or those confident with computers:

- Download the UNetBootIn or YUMI open-source tools

- Download the .ISO File of the operating system you want or choose it from the list in UNetBootIn or YUMI

- Plug in USB drive, select it in the software, select the proper operating system.

That's the USB prepared, now for usage:

- Plug into the computer you wish to use

- Restart/Turn on computer

- Enter boot menu at start up

- Select USB Device

- Select operating system (Live version, or install if you wish to install it)

- Use operating system.

When done:

- Shut down computer

- It may have specific instructions on how to shut down from a USB, for me, it tells me when to remove the USB and when I have, to hit enter. You can pull it out but that crashes the computer.

And after the USB is out, everything returns to normal! Turning on the laptop will select the default operating system.

Step 12: TaDa!

So, there you have it! That is how you create a USB device that allows you to carry an operating system in your pocket. Hopefully this encourages you to try out a different operating system, or gives you the opportunity to try out an operating system without having to risk damaging, a partition, or a change for your computer. That's the real advantage this has, I think- not affecting the computer you are on opens a lot of doors for people. You can walk up to any computer, do your thing, unplug and be done with it.

I hope this Instructable was helpful to you in some way, and let me know what thought, comments, or ideas you have. As always, Have a nice day!


<p>You left Arch, Manjaro, Sabayon, OpenSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, and Scientific Linux out of the list</p>
<p>I've heard of those, but what makes them special (and worth adding) in your experience?</p>
<p>Arch: the ability to build your system from the ground up.\</p><p>Manjaro: a good attempt at bringing Arch-type systems to the masses.</p><p>Sabayon: an attempt to bring Gentoo-type systems to the masses.</p><p>Fedora: RHEL/CentOS/Scientific's bleeding-edge upstream.</p><p>CentOS and Scientific: free RHEL clones.</p><p>OpenSUSE: SLES/SLED/s upstream.</p><p>--------------------------------------------------------</p><p>Here's the links for each distro:</p><p>--------------------------------------------------------</p><p>Arch: <a href="https://www.archlinux.org/" rel="nofollow">https://www.archlinux.org/</a></p><p>Manjaro: <a href="http://manjaro.org/" rel="nofollow"> http://manjaro.org/</a></p><p>Sabayon: <a href="http://www.sabayon.org/" rel="nofollow"> http://www.sabayon.org/</a></p><p>Fedora: <a href="http://fedoraproject.org/" rel="nofollow"> http://fedoraproject.org/</a></p><p>CentOS: <a href="http://centos.org/" rel="nofollow"> http://centos.org/</a></p><p>Scientific: <a href="http://scientificlinux.org/" rel="nofollow"> http://scientificlinux.org/</a></p><p>OpenSUSE: <a href="http://www.opensuse.org/en/" rel="nofollow"> http://www.opensuse.org/en/</a></p>
<p>You forgot Anonymous-os, bagtrack, bucktraq, ubuntu, kali ,and a lot more...</p>
I made it! <br>it's working on a laptop that has no hdd!
<p>That's awesome! Glad to hear it worked for you!</p>
If you want to remove the install to hard drive option on your live USB (Must be Ubuntu variant, Linux Mint or some other Linux distro that uses Ubiquity and sudo... commands!) login to the &quot;try&quot; option, then go to Terminal and enter without quotes &quot;sudo apt-get remove ubiquity&quot; then restart the PC and boot back into your Live USB. (Tested with Ubuntu 10.04 live USB.)
<p>Handy tip to know, thanks!</p>
<p>I'm using win 10 and trying to download debain and it loaded....sort of. it starts to work but one I try to boot it it tells me their is a missing or corrupt kernel image what do I do. if it helps I'm trying this on a win xp computer using unetbootin.</p>
<p>I am also using unetbootin</p>
<p>i used the debian and got it to load.... sort of. it is telling their is a missing or corrupt kernel Image what do I do? I'm using win xp if that helps.</p>
This 'ible is great! I do have one question though. When using the USB as between computers, instead of downloading the ISO onto each one, is there any way to save progress/programs onto the USB sp each time I plug in and boot up on a computer it doesn't reset? For example, I download chromium on one computer but as soon as I shut down and plug into another computer I have to re-download chromium. Can I somehow download it and save it onto the USB and have the same &quot;desktop&quot; load on every computer I plug into?
awesome! thanks for this instructable.
This would also add use to my old laptop. (I think it has a virus)
Can you do this on a SD card?<br>I want to have a lot of space.
<p>Can I do this with other operating systems like Windows 2000 or dos?</p><p>If so could someone make me a toutorial. Thanks.</p>
<p>Would this work on a sd card?</p>
<p>This is the best Instructable I have seen! Thank you Very much! This is very awesome. Thanks!</p>
<p>i want mac</p>
<p>i want mac</p>
<p>That is very nice of you to place but i do have a very good question ( i of course know the answer) but most reading this do not ) and wont tell you but suggest you read up on it ) so to the question live boot is great very great but what happens if it is a uefi boot computer ??? or boot dos ??? what then if you have to well boot up that usb but that cant be because of a uefi security set up that is needing UEFI BOOT ??? what then my friend what then ... i only brought this up because like you love to use a portable persistent os not that too is another q what is persistants how do i know well that is not my q nor my answer to give but very good read i tell you and before you say that UEFI is not around anymore windows is planing on bringing it back up that means dos updates and cmd prompt will also bring that on boot up happy times happy learning </p>
<p>I built a new pc a month ago with a UEFI motherboard but do not know what you are talking about. I can live boot any O.S. on my setup with USB. Do you not know how to get around UEFI? As you say, i won't tell you the answer but maybe you should read up on it. :)</p>
<p>one way is to look in the bios settings , is it set up for uefi boot is there the security setting that makes it deny uefi the SECRET IS UEFI MAYBE YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR PORTABLE USB INTO UEFI COMPATABILTY </p><p>i myself use rufus it is a very nice program to use to make bootable usb images but again please do get ahold of my from facebook i am willing to walk you through the steps </p>
<p>rufus has that capability to boot with eufi </p>
<p>i am sorry that i have not replyed but you can get ahold of me on facebok under michael kopichanski i would very much be willing to try and walk you through the steps to help you </p>
<p>and for those wondering what os i am running it is linux but based on kali </p>
<p>This post was likely written when Linux Mint was on version 17.2 which featured an improved UEFI support update. Support is even more improved now that they're on version 17.3, too. With a bit of research you'll find that Linux operation systems have really come a long way.</p>
<p>it worked it worked!!! The Favorite button worked!(hehe you thought that i was gonna say that it didnt work right?)</p>
<p>Can you include SteamOS it is based on Debian and developed by Valve. It is designed to play video games, but SteamOS is still in beta. Here's the link for the distro http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/</p>
<p>I will try this</p>
<p>Seems to work so far. I will post a pic later of it running if it works.</p>
<p>Here i am, 5 months later, with a computer that doesn't work. Could i run windows from a usb? Not sure if you mentioned anything about it above, but if i can please let me know, and if not please also tell me. Thanks!!!</p>
<p>Try install a hackintosh distro on the USB, that'll be cool</p>
<p>I'm downloading mint on UNetbootin, but e. whit keeps telling me to select a disk image. What is a disk image and what do I select?</p>
<p>I'm not quite sure what's meant by e. whit, but I can answer the second bit-- the disk image is your .iso. In the case of UNetBootin, you can go to their downloads site (http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php), get the .iso, and then select that from Unetbootin. Hopefully that does the trick!</p>
<p>I am a rare Graphic Designer who has always been PC based rather than Mac, because I've always worked in PC based office settings where it's been an advantage for me. I've been looking at job postings recently, and most require experience with Mac OS, so I've been trying to figure out how to brush up as inexpensively as possible- I haven't used a Mac OS since college 15 years ago. Would something like this instructable be a viable option for me? Where Macs are now based on Intel chips and can be made to run on machines built with Windows in mind (albeit with considerable tweaking I'm led to believe), I've asked friends about formatting an external hard drive and setting up OSX on it to run on my PC that way. They always hiss like a scalded cat and tell me they think it might be possible, but really really hard and not worth it. I think I get that reaction mostly because that's their idea of blasphemy, and they have never considered something like that, so I don't know if it would really be worth trying or not.</p>
<p>OSX is based upon Berkeley UNIX (FreeBSD), NOT based upon Linux.</p><p>I don't think you want to try to run OSX on a regular PC, as Apple has a vested interest in keeping their software OFF of regular hardware (they make all their money on hardware and give away the software). The standard approach, which has been used since the beginning of time on all types of PCs, is to have a custom and copyrighted BIOS on each computer, so that while MAC machines might be compatible with PCs on a hardware basis, the I/O software contained in the BIOS is not, and you'd need to find an instance of a MAC BIOS.</p><p>This strategy made the IBM PC-XT the dominant PC maker and the Apple Macintosh the dominant alternative in the mid 1980's and it's not about to change. I remember lots of machines (DEC Rainbow, etc.) without the crucial BIOS chip and they were all a PITA to use, until Phoenix made the first clean-room BIOS chip clones.</p>
<p>Just as an aside, I don't think Apple views their OS in terms of having a vested interest in keeping it off generic hardware (the integration between hardware and software is what gives Apple computers value). My suspicion is that Apple secretly encourages the Hackintosh community since the Hackintosh community relies on security weaknesses in the OS to get the software running on non-Apple hardware. Once the security holes are identified and exploited then Apple can fix them.</p>
<p>Challenge the MacOS experience nonsense, the paradigm of the desktop is pretty similar, buttons may be in different places, windows may behave slightly different, and some controls will be difficult to find, but any computing literate person should be able to pick up the basics in a couple of hours of trial and error.</p><p>Also I would think more in application terms, many applications exist in both OSes, if you use applications that work in both then concentrate on them as your selling points.</p><p>I am not sure, but I think the license to OSX doesn't give you permission to run it on a virtual machine, and even if you chose to ignore that, it seems to be a complete hit and miss scenario.</p><p>Man, if that is so vital to your career prospects just buy the cheapest one you can afford.</p>
<p>@jlms I beg to differ. The paradigm is remarkably different from Windows. If I was looking for a person with Mac experience I'd be looking for someone who owns one or who has spent a number of years with them. Just knowing where there commands are doesn't make you a proficient Mac user. Any Windows user would do if the person is working on software that's cross-platform. However, if you're looking for a Mac user you'll be looking for someone who understand the nuances of the Mac (i.e. the little things that Mac allows you to do which aren't possible on Windows without lots and lots of headaches).</p><p>As for the license, you are correct. Running it in a virtual machine is a blatant violation of the license. A few exceptions exist but they apply to developers! Plus, for the OP's purposes, it's pointless to learn how to use a Mac by using a virtual machine. To be proficient on a Mac you need to immerse yourself in it and you won't be immersing yourself if all you're doing is using a virtual machine.</p>
<p>Thanks for the response. I have come to the conclusion that I think it'll be best to find a used Mac on Craigslist or eBay to brush up with- after researching it, I just don't have the skills to make a hybrid frankencomputer monster work. I was hoping that something along the lines of this instructable would make it easy, but, alas...;)</p><p>I realize that I can quickly get up to speed on using a MacOS (the programs I use really only differ in that you use the command key as a hotkey modifier rather than control, so it's OS functionality that I'm a little worried about), but I'd like to be brushed up before I'm plunked down in front of one and asked to perform some menial tasks to test my competence. And, yes, it is pretty vital to my career prospects. I had to admit in a job interview once that it had been a few years since I had worked on a Mac, and right at that point a great interview immediately changed tone, and I got a call that very evening saying I didn't get the job. </p>
<p>Your post is 8 months old but I thought it worth replying to anyway.</p><p>Buy a Mac and make sure you buy one that's moderately current (i.e. can run Mac OS X 10.8 or later)! Make sure you get some professional software for it (if you're a professional then I imagine you understand the value of having licensed software as opposed to pirated software). That's how you're going to get &quot;experience&quot; on a Mac! Alternately, attend a local college or university and take a course in something-or-other that uses Macs. That'll give you experience on the Mac AND it'll give you something new for your resume.</p><p>I'm an experienced Mac (30+ years) and Linux (13+ years) user having rolled my own Hackintosh a few times for the heck of it. Even with my experience and skill level, a Hackintosh (or a virtual machine) is simply not worth the headaches. It's no trivial task to get running and your goal is to learn Mac OS X and not how to get it running on non-standard hardware, correct? The &quot;Hackintosh&quot; experience does nothing to help you learn how to properly function in Mac OS X.</p><p>What sets Mac apart from Windows is not the location of the commands (they're nearly identical since Windows has largely copied Mac over the past two decades). What sets Mac apart is the way a Mac user approaches problems and what they _don't_ have to worry about. Having &quot;experience&quot; on a Mac isn't as simple as knowing the basics. Anyone can learn that! It's easy.</p><p>Mac experience means you _understand_ how the apps talk to each other and how the whole design philosophy of the operating system forces developers to integrate their software. The differences are becoming fewer, however, they are still meaningful.</p><p>Full disclosure: I would be a fraud if I still called myself a Mac user: nowadays I'm 88%, Windows 7, 2% Windows 8 and 10% Linux Ubuntu (&amp; now Mint).</p>
<p>Thanks for all the advice- it'll take a while to digest it all and see what I can do with it. All I really need is to be able to perform basic tasks with the OS (opening and closing programs, manipulating files and folders, etc...) in case I'm asked to do so at an interview. So, I'm ok with a slow and somewhat buggy install. </p><p>Most Mac people have really lightened up in recent years- if I would have made a suggestion like this in the 90s, I probably would have been stoned. ;) </p>
<p>I remember some Dell PC models the BIOS/EFI could be hacked so OSX can be booted and installed, try looking up &quot;Hackintosh&quot; as I think this can be done on other or newer types of PC hardware. Another option could be VMware or VirtualBox(free) and install OSX in a virtual environment if you have the hardware with enough CPU and RAM power to do this. <br>If none of the above help you then, OSX uses a modified UNIX core for the OS, so learning to use Linux in the mean time can greatly help as many Terminal Commands and the way file system works are shared as Linux was build to be a UNIX type system, ZorinOS linux distribution has OSX skin so this could maybe help further you along as well.<br>Best of luck!</p>
<p>You would think your friends would be a little more helpful if they were really hardcore Mac users. Their OS is Linux based, and their hardware is just a PC in a different case. Newer Macs don't have very impressive hardware specs compared to similar PC's, and the price to performace ration is not as good as it used to be. Not that there's anything wrong with prefering Macs, but the OS is really the only thing that sets them apart these days, so I would think your friends would feel like they're doing you a favor by re-introducing you to MacOS.</p>
<p>I'm afraid I honestly don't have a full answer for you. I know that as your friends said, OSX can run on a windows machine, but it does take more than a little tweaking and can be a bit buggy. In theory, if you can get a clean .ISO file of OSX this would work, but I don't know how you would do that- those kinds of proprietary software would have a massive amount of anti-theft software, and although you aren't really stealing it, the anti-piracy stuff doesn't know the difference. </p><p>I understand what you mean about the blasphemy thing though (a lot of people don't get that some people treat their OS as a religion, Linux users in particular), and I think they may be correct. My curiosity says go for it, but I don't know if it is worth the price. It's worth looking into though.</p><p>Another option for you (although less desirable I am sure) would be some sort of OSX emulator or layer so you can run your programs. I know there are versions where you can get windows stuff to run off of Linux like that (using a program known as Wine). </p><p>I've done a bit of internet research, and I think the best option for you is the free tool, VirtualBox. Here's a LifeHacker article about that: <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5938332/how-to-run-mac-os-x-on-any-windows-pc-using-virtualbox" rel="nofollow">http://lifehacker.com/5938332/how-to-run-mac-os-x-...</a></p><p>For Linux, there is the Darling layer tool (<a rel="nofollow">http://www.darlinghq.org/) </a> which may also work for you.</p><p>I wish you the best of luck in your discoveries and job hunts, I hope it goes well for you! Hopefully I've helped you out a bit.</p><p>/AssemblyRequired</p>
Zorin OS isn't on the list...
<p>Yes it is!</p>

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