How can I create a bootbale thumb drive with a UNIX environment?

Ray Nelson November 26, 2011
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I’d like to build a bootable 8GB thumb drive with a basic Unix environment with a file browser capable of accessing and copying files between external disks.

I see so much on UNIX and have played with it, yet if someone can recommend the correct package it could save me lots of trial and error.

I get many requests from friends and relatives to rescue pictures from Severely infected disks and playing with windows is not fun….

  1. Anonymous
    December 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Took me a while to find this question again.  Changing my name to make searches easier.

    Anyways, Thought I'd provide a Status.   I had Used YUMI to build a bootable environment with Reflect.iso and Acronis.iso on it. 

    I had played with Hirens before, so I added that and found "Parted Magic" which lets me copy files between drives.

    If I could change the question, I'd include the ability to copy files.  That was the critical piece for me.

    • Richard Carpenter
      December 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      I used YUMI to create a Ubuntu Ultimate/Virus Repair and recovery usb, great piece of software

      I use the Linux, I am a Unix guy at heart :-) , part of Hirens to backup files to the root of the USB, then use the tools on hirens to start the troubleshooting and repair process.
      Another portable Windows virus remove tool I would recommend is Multi Virus Cleaner. It ironic looks like the viruses it is removing now a day, but works great.

  2. Ray
    November 27, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Will keep it all in mind.   Sorry this got off on this track...  Poor fellow who logged initial question is getting lost....

    • RayLNelson
      November 27, 2011 at 1:41 am

      Oops, it was me....

      • Jay
        November 27, 2011 at 2:20 am

        hey what are you saying ???
        there is only one Ray on this page, right ?!

        and does it matter if you have bunch of files or one iso ??
        you just have to plug the pen drive to boot!

      • FIDELIS
        November 27, 2011 at 2:43 am

        If it is any help, knopix comes with Konqueror.  As you may know, it is a browser but it can be used as a file manager. 

    • Richard Carpenter
      November 27, 2011 at 2:43 am

      No Worries, If you need any explanation on anything or to pass some to someone else, Just ask and we would be happy to explain further.

    November 27, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Hello, I would say the linux distro most suitable for this job is knopix:

    installing knopix or any other distros/tools on usb drive/flashdrive using universal usb installer:

    If you are looking for a unix bases rescue package, you could try the trinity rescue kit:


    ubuntu rescue remix:

    ultimate boot cd:

    system rescue cd:

  4. Richard Carpenter
    November 26, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I like using Hirens Boot CD for this kind of work.

    • Ray
      November 27, 2011 at 12:37 am

      I had an older version of that.  I will try it.  My brother has a disk coming to me that is supposed to be infected.   Will let you know...  Wish we had a separate track to post it on...  

  5. Jay
    November 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    .what is browsing file copy ability ?

    you will have to download the iso file.

    and then the usb installer will create the bootable usb.

    • Ray
      November 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      Yes, I have done that before.  Was just wondering if there was something that works like Windows Explorer, letting you browse files and copy...

  6. Ray
    November 26, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Do these have the browsing file copy ability?

  7. Jay
    November 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    select usb stick in step 2. of this link and follow the instruction of creating bootable usb.

    • Smayonak
      November 27, 2011 at 2:27 am

      Do you know if there's a way to auto log on as admin with persistence enabled?

      • Richard Carpenter
        November 27, 2011 at 2:39 am

        Depends on how you want to do it. The easiest way is to Run ReConstructor to create the distro per your requirement. Once the iso is created you can make it persistence like normal.

        • Smayonak
          November 27, 2011 at 3:30 am

          Unfortunately, I'm on Windows and only use Linux for rescue purposes/LiveUSB.

          However your advice is pretty awesome. Thanks for the info.

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