Have you ever wanted to boot into linux and use your personal setup, or access your Firefox bookmarks on some computer other than your own? Large format usb sticks and Knoppix now provide truly mobile computing capabilities. Your desktop can now reside on your keychain and interface with most any hardware.

These instructions assume you are using a windows based operating system on a machine with usb support. If you are using some other operating system you will need to find equivalent programs to open up the .img and .iso files. Some people have had success with the 'Make usb pendrive bootable' option from a live cd of Damn Small Linux.

Required materials:

  • A usb memory stick with at least 75 megs free. The distro only takes 50 megs but it's good to have a little extra padding.
  • Winimage to open the image files. Make sure you allow it to install Filedisk to be able to mount the iso.
  • Download 'dsl-1.0rc2.iso' and 'bootusb-0.8.img'(or whatever is most current) from http://damnsmalllinux.org/download.html.
Make sure your computer can boot from usb. If it can not boot from usb, use dsl-embedded-1.0rc2.zip(or whatever is current) and you can run Damn Small Linux in qemu on linux and windows. The embedded distro takes around 100 megs but is the easiest way to get linux working on a usb memory stick.

After you have assembled your tools and verified you can boot from usb:

  1. Format your memory stick in fat or fat16.
  2. Open the boot image with Winimage.
  3. Click on Disk then select your usb drive for the 'use disk' option.
  4. Click on Disk again and then choose Write disk. It will complain about disk sizes not matching up. Tell it to shut up and get back to work.
  5. Open the iso with Winimage.
  6. Copy the entire file system of the iso including the exact directory structure to the root directory of your memory stick.
  7. You don't need to use a menu funtion to do this...just drag and drop the files onto your pen drive.
  8. Reboot your computer
  9. Enjoy the speed and goodness!

These instructions are compiled from my own experiences. Please message me with any corrections. If you wanna boot to dos try this writeup.

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