Linux Mint On A USB Drive

I have been working on this for a couple of weeks.  Those who know me also know that my first go with Linux was with Zorin Linux, a distro that has the look of windoze, thus making the transition easier.  Well then I said to myself…why can’t I install a copy of Linux on a 32gb USB drive so I can take my personal OS and Mail software all set up to my liking on the go.  This would allow me to run it on any computer regardless of that computers OS.

So after some research I decided to use my Win 7 OS to create this USB setup.

  1. I downloaded a full copy of Linus Mint to a folder that is easy to find (I recommend making a new folder). That way I have all the tools, Office software by Libre Office (which allows all Win created files to be opened and saved in Win format, and is FREE.) I suggest that you go make a cup of tea, and chat with the wife while the software is being downloaded (could take a hour depending on your connection speed).
  2. You will need a small Win program to install a “Boot Menu” on the USB Drive.  I used Netbootin for this, also downloaded to that special folder.
  3. Start Netbootin and select where you saved the .iso of Mint, then press Go!
  4. Go make a cup of tea, and chat with the wife while the software is being installed.
  5. Now reboot your computer and access the Bios. The switch for access when rebooting is sometimes the F2 key or the Del key, your computer’s instructions should have this info somewhere.  My Dell is F2.  Hold the key down and the Bios screen should appear. Scroll down with the arrow key till you get to “boot sequence”. Follow the on screen directions to change the boot sequence to put USB first, before Hard drive.  If you don’t have a bootable USB plugged in it will just skip over it and boot normally.  Save all your changes and then reboot the computer. Quickly stick the USB drive that you created into a slot.  If all went well it should give you a boot menu.  From there all choices are just common sense.

I am making this post from the USB drive with Mint right now using the pre-installed Firefox browser that comes with the Mint .iso.  All your fav extensions are available for Firefox.  It also comes with ThunderBird Mail client that will fetch your existing email accounts(POP/SMPT) and configure them without you having to do anything but providing your email and password.

Ill provide some screen shots and links to the How-To file if anyone requests them.


2 thoughts on “Linux Mint On A USB Drive”

  1. Good post.

    I have thought about doing this for a little while. I used to have a flash drive that I would run an instant messenger off of. I would use it instead of trying to install a program on a different computer. So when I went to a different computer, I ran it off of my flash drive.

    Nowadays, there a plug an play flash drives that are huge with respect to the amount of available memory and what can be stored and operated off of them. I have a 2 terabyte drive that I use as a back-up and portable memory dump for my camera.


    1. Only one negative on flash and SD drives/cards. They do have a read/write limit before they go poof or start sputtering.

      Not my concern with the post I made though because I won’t come close to using it that much.

      On capacity, I have 3 with 128 gig’s on them. The price is still coming down. BrandsMart has 32 gig MicroSD Cards on sale right now for $8.00 with the holder.

      I just picked up a USB holder for SD and Micro SD cards from Zon. It’s really nice, all metal with a SD slot above the Micro slot. You can store a whole bunch of contraband on a 128 gig Micro card that is about 5/8″ sq. Speaking of contraband stuff saw a ad for phony 20’s for sale on the badlands last night.


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