How can I install and boot an operating system from a USB drive?

MerVzter Balacuit October 28, 2012
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I don’t know if the answer to my question really exists, but I really wanted to know if there is any. I’m thinking of running any OS specifically Linux distro on a USB drive BUT not on booting it like typical process (restart computer – set in BIOS – boot USB). What I wanted to say is making a USB drive as my virtual machine.

Just like configuring the USB drive using some software and then you can just plug the USB to another machine then it will execute the OS installed on the USB drive or something like that. Maybe it’s a very confusing question, but hope some people think like me and can understand it.

Tank you!

  1. Prasanth Mathialagan
    November 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Try Windows USB DVD tool.

  2. Abba Jee
    November 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    go to
    download yumi latest version
    run it on your computer
    download ISO o os from it or just select from there if you have it on your local disk
    chose your usb drive
    click create and relax untill its done your job :)
    then restart your computer
    from bios change your booting device to usb device
    i guess that;s all

  3. Mahesh Kay
    November 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    There is one small app called unetbootin. Just use that application along with the specific linux OS of your choice to install linux on the USB drive. It works just fine and you don't have to worry about things. I used unetbootin for some of my small size flashdrives to work -under 512mb it was used for the puppylinux.

  4. Aswin Kumar K P
    November 13, 2012 at 7:14 am

    You should use Universal USB installer choose the location of your ISO and then choose the distro which you want to install and then its all done....You need to format it as FAT 32 or FAT 16 file format before you do this....

  5. Adam Campbell
    November 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    install virtual box on drive along with having the rest of the OS files on the drive

  6. MerVzter Balacuit
    October 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

    guys i want to say thank you for all your help... i tried making a bootable OS in any usb drive, but i guess sir Vasudevan M with his explanation he gave me the idea of what im really wanted to make, i will check all of your links later on, if this is not like sir Vasudevan M idea im still thankful for it becos your trying to help me.. anyway im using YUMI and SARDU :)

  7. Manu Jain
    October 30, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Use this link and you can make live USB for any linux based distro

  8. Saurav Azad
    October 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    if you are trying to built an usb bootable for windows 7 you can download
    the software from Microsoft site
    or go and search on

  9. Dave Rimmer
    October 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    You should be able to do what you require from the answers given so give it a go and post back if any problems.

  10. Gravity Dead
    October 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    yeah the "ha14" and "patrcik jackson" comment are much more than sufficient :D

  11. Patrick Jackson
    October 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I think that you want to get a persistent installation of the OS that you like.

    If that is so, then you can use Linux Live USB to install your favourite distro and you can set the amount of space reserved to save settings, files etc.

    I would recommend you install Ubuntu using the tool in your USB drive atl east 4 GB big and set the persistent space to atleast 512 MB.

    Hoping this works! :)

  12. Vasudevan M
    October 29, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Ohkay, I guess I understood what you meant. Did you mean you want to execute the OS from the USB drive just like any other portable app? This is a great idea

    What you can do is , install a portable version of virtualbox on you USB drive and run an OS from the same drive.
    See this for details :

    If you want the OS to start automatically when you plug-in the USB drive, you can write a script for it..I am not sure how that can be done, However after digging a bit I got this :

    You may have to modify it a bit to run from the USB drive .Once you have a script ready.You may want to run it automatically when the USB is inserted.
    For this Check this link : //

    Hope I was of some help.

    • MerVzter Balacuit
      October 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

      with portable virtual box it seems i have an idea now, im thinking about it before but i forgot to continue searching for it.. i will try all your links hopefully all of this will help.. thanks a lot sir

  13. Aniket Singh
    October 29, 2012 at 5:18 am

    you have to make pendrive bootable.......u can prefer this link for more information

  14. kjkrauth
    October 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    go to , the program you are looking for is called Universal USB Installer

  15. ha14
    October 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm
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