Linux on USB: Running Puppy Linux from a USB Flash Drive

Linux on USB: Running Puppy Linux from a USB Flash Drive
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Puppy Linux Portability Overview

It is true that many Linux distributions are being used in a portable fashion via USB Flash Drives and countless other mediums including external drives and CDs or DVDs. But, what makes Puppy Linux different is its size and features. With a distro that is approximately 100 MB in size, including its default applications, it makes it ideal to go where most other distros have not been, including older and smaller USB Flash Drives. Not only will Puppy Linux operate from a 128 MB USB Flash Drive, it provides ample space to make the distro portable and expandable for daily use.

Making Puppy Linux Portable

The Puppy Linux Universal Installer included with the operating system makes the process so easy that anyone can do it, regardless of experience.

NOTE: It is highly recommended that the USB Flash Drive be formatted with a bootable Linux ext2 or ext3 partition prior to commencing. Additionally, a copy of the Puppy Linux Live CD will simplify the process.

  1. With Puppy Linux running, insert the Puppy Linux Live CD in your PC’s optical drive.
  2. Plug the USB Flash Drive you wish to install Puppy Linux on and make sure that it is recognized by the system.
  3. Click on the Install icon located on the desktop to open the Install window.
  4. In the Universal Installer section, click on the “lightning bolt” icon to launch the Universal Installer.
  5. In the Puppy Universal Installer window, select the option labeled USB Flash Drive and click on OK to proceed.
  6. A small window will list all the USB Flash Drives that the system found. Select the one you wish to install Puppy Linux onto and click OK to proceed.
  7. Review the details about the drive and then click on the upper most button, next to “Install Puppy to…” description to initiate the installation process.
  8. On the confirmation window, review the details and click OK to proceed.
  9. When asked where the Puppy files are located, select CD.
  10. Confirm that the CD is in the drive and click OK.
  11. When asked about the MBR (Master Boot Record), select the default setting and click OK.
  12. In the “ABSOLUTE FINAL SANITY CHECK!” prompt, verify all the information and when ready to initiate the install, press the Enter key.
  13. For a clean install, press any letter followed by the Enter key in the remaining prompts.
  14. Installation is complete!

Taking Puppy for a Walk

Now that you have successfully installed Puppy Linux onto a USB Flash Drive, it is time to take it for a walk. Essentially, we are going to test its functionality.

puppy linux

  1. Locate a PC that is capable of booting via its USB port.
  2. Plug in the USB Flash Drive with Puppy Linux and power on the PC.
  3. When prompted to make any selections upon booting, always select the default settings and proceed.

You can always make changes to any part of Puppy Linux, based on the hardware it is booting on. The default options displayed when booting are usually the safest choices to use and always results in little or no compatibility issues. Puppy Linux can run on any PC platform, including laptops, with ease.

In some instances, the only changes or modifications required may be those relating to wide screens, where the options for resolutions may be limited. Enjoy your portable Puppy Linux.