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Can I run Ubuntu Linux DIRECTLY from a flashdrive? Answered

I want to download Ubuntu Linux onto a flashdrive, and then be able to plug that into a computer(running Windows XP) and run off of Linux from the flashdrive. Can I do this? As in, I plug the flashdrive into the computer, then restart it. After it reboots, it starts up in Ubuntu, then just runs on Ubuntu like it would on a computer that normally runs on it. But instead of using the computer's hard drive, it stores on the flashdrive. Then, when I'm done, I can shut down the computer, unplug the flashdrive, and then when I boot the computer back up, it runs off of Windows XP like it normally would, like nothing happened. How would I do this? Is there a special distro of Linux I would have to do this on, or would it work just normally on Ubuntu? I would prefer not to partition the hard drive.


Most widely distributed linux distros will have a "Live" iso. Directions for ubuntu are located here.

The problem you are going to encounter is you can not save any changes you make. My solution is wubi which is not quite the solution you were looking for but works a lot better. With wubi you can run it and it does everything for you, you dont need a seperate hard drive and is easy to remove. It basically makes your computer dual boot windows and linxu without having to change anything. (no linux partitioning or anything)

. Yes. You can find out how by typing your title into Google (most other search engines should work, also) as you should have done in the first place.

Actually I already did go searching a little. All I found was Damn Small Linux, which I can't get a good download of(One seems to bet the best candidate: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/run-damn-small-linux-in-windows/ but when I try to extract it, it says it cant find a temp folder to extract to, even though I'm extracting it directly to my flash drive) So, if you would please care to direct me to a good one, I would be very thankful.

Look for the "live" ISO of the distribution you want to play with, burn that to your USB key.