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Friday, March 24, 2006

Bootable USB Drive - Damn Small Linux


I first came across Damn Small Linux when I was first playing with VMware Server, I had installed the DSL VM to test using another OS. Damn Small Linux, as the name implies is very small, only 50MB, but is a complete feature filled OS. The neat part of such a small OS is that it can easily fit on a USB flash drive. Below are the steps I took to create my own Linux-PC-on-a-stick.

First, you will need to format your USB drive. Download and install this HP utility, and format the drive in FAT.

Then, download Damn Small Linux, you can view their website for all their versions, or download the embedded version directly from PCgeekdom.com here. Unzip the files to your USB drive.

You will now need to make your USB drive bootable, to do that download and extract syslinux. Now in a command window cd to the syslinux directory and type the command "syslinux.exe F:" where "F" is the letter of your USB device.

Now the tricky/fun part is actually booting, you will need to use a PC with a newer version of BIOS that supports USB booting. You will need to open up BIOS and make sure USB devices are allowed for boot up, and change the boot sequence to check for USB before your HDD.


  • Insert by Inside Security is a similar product, but it can be installed on a CD for older mobos. Is basically a fully featured, web enabled linux platform, really good software, although it can't write to NTFS.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 PM  

  • I find the timetravel of the interwebs amusing. You are talking about DSL which is less than 50 MB large, while I am currently looking for something to put on my new 16GB thumbdrive. I don't think I'll be installing anything small on there, just seems it would cramp the possibilities. :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 PM  

  • Really amazing software.
    To download portable softwares for your USB drives - Download Pendrive applications

    By Anonymous Computricks, at 5:03 AM  

  • Thannks great blog

    By Anonymous Joe, at 4:39 AM  

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