Linux Live USB Creator: Easily Boot Linux From Your Flash Drive

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linux boot from usbTrying out Linux should be easy; with the help of Linux Live USB Creator it is. Quickly get any Linux distribution to boot from your USB key, complete with a persistent mode for keeping applications and documents in place. You can even install a portable version of Virtualbox to your USB key so you can run Linux comfortably from within Windows.

With support for a shockingly high number of Linux distributions and an easy-to-use Windows interface, Linux Live USB Creator makes the creation of USB boot disks effortless. From downloading the ISO to formatting your drive, there’s not much about USB booting this application doesn’t make easier than similar software.


Feel free to download Linux Live USB right now, and keep reading for an overview of the program.

5 Simple Steps

First things first: fire up the program. You’ll see 5 sub-windows, representing the five steps to making a Live USB key. The first is simple enough:

linux boot from usb

That’s right: you need to pick which key you want to boot Linux from. Once you’ve done this, pick the version of Linux you want to boot. If you’ve got an ISO or a CD handy you can use that, or you can pick from many downloadable distros:

linux boot disk

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If you select a distro from this list the program will take care of downloading the ISO for you:

linux boot disk

So far, so good. If you want your key to keep downloaded programs and documents in place, you’re going to want persistence mode. This is step 3; simply scroll to leave room:

linux boot disk

Step four is optional, but includes some handy tools:

usb linux boot jump drive

Here you can choose to hide the created files on your key from being seen by Windows, useful if you plan to use your key for more than just booting Linux. You can optionally format the drive you’re writing to, and choose whether or not you want your Linux distro to be loadable in Windows.

Once you’re done you can click the lightning bolt in the fifth box to start the creation of your live CD. Congratulations; you’ve got yourself a bootable USB key.

Live Virtual Machine

The options include a step for launching your key in Windows. What is that about? Well, once your disk is created, open it up in Windows Explorer. You’ll find a new file that looks like this:

linux boot from usb

You can click this to boot your Linux distro without rebooting Windows, which is handy from time to time. Naturally you’re going to want a pretty powerful computer to try this out, but it’s a nice added touch.

Supported Distros

Wow. Just, wow. This program supports the automatic downloading and installation of many different Linux distributions. Highlights include:

There’s more; check out Live Linux USB’s official list of Linux distros for a complete list.

Conclusion

Linux Live USB isn’t the first program to help users make live USB keys; uNetBootin does the same job. What Linux Live USB does better than this program is make the process painless. It’s worth checking out just for that, but according to blog OMG Ubuntu, this program works more consistently than others. So it’s easier and better.

Do you like this tool? Let us know in the comments below. Also feel free to share other tools for the job, and to discuss your favorite Linux distributions.

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Comments (15)
  • David

    Regarding: Linux Live USB Creator with persistence mode:

    Thanks to Justin Pot for introducing this ‘awesome’ program that allows a newbie to linux to put Linux Mint Quiana Mate on a 4GB live USB stick. It is great!!

    I do have a question however:

    Occasionally I will download a file from the internet while using the Live Usb and put it in my Documents folder on Linux Mint, then cut and paste it to my computer’s hard drive. After doing this several times, I notice that even though the files were removed from the Linux USB and are not showing up in trash (or I deleted them from trash), the balance of available USB disk space (since I am using ‘persistent mode’) continues to decrease.

    So where I might have started out with 1GB of available USB space when I first burnt the Linux Mint live usb (with persistent feature), after a couple weeks I may be down to 250Mb.

    Is there anyway I can reclaim that space without having to create a new live USB mint stick all over again?

    The reason is, that I recently installed a ‘cloud program’ – namely ‘SPIDEROAK’ in debian to the Live USB stick and hate to lose it by having to start all over again.

    Hope you may have the answer, and thanks for all the work you do!

    • Justin Pot

      So I’m looking into this, and wondering whether or not the problem is persistent mode or not. 4 GB isn’t a lot of space for a modern Linux system, and there’s lots of things that could be taking up space over time. I recommend you run something like BleachBit to clean things out a little.

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/bleachbit-utility-clean-linux-system/

      This should give you more space. If for some reason the persistent disk itself isn’t properly deleting things, you might want to file a bug with the LinuxLive team – you’ll find a way to do so on your website. But this should give you back some space for now.

  • Dylan

    Need help i see nothing no text or somthing i see allow the pictures but i while hit the puctures than while hi going whats happen but i have ubuntu and i need linux 17 mint

  • Fulloftests

    It is a virus actually…wait a couple of days for it initiate on your unit.

    • jhpot

      What does it do? If this is true we should really alert LiLi, because they put out a solid product and I’m sure this is a mistake.

  • Mike

    Immunet is pretty decent.
    It’s a “cloud based community driven” AV tool which benefits of ClamAV as an offline engine [sort of backup engine]. Basically you get the benefits of the cloud (like Panda Cloud Antivirus) and the insurance of ClamAV (regular updates, offline scanning).

    You should give it a try.

  • Mike

    It’s a very nice app but I cant make it work.

    The installed system (Ubuntu) boots when I run the virtual version inside Windows but when I boot from the key it just displays a single line of text on a black screen and then nothing happens. It might be looking for some essential files on the internal hd and not on the usb. This happens when I run Puppy Linux from (a different) usb; I have to enter “pmedia=usbflash” otherwise it only searches the internal hd for the necessary files. (I used Unetbootin to create the Puppy usb as it didn’t have to be persistent.)

    Unfortunately it’s not possible to enter something similar when the usb is created with Lili, it doesn’t even return an error message.

    Or is it?

    • jhpot

      I can’t see a way to do this with LiLi, but it is a pretty young project. I suggest you leave them some feedback on their site, but for now stick with uNetBootin.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.