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Linux on a USB Drive

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posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 11:49 PM
Installing Linux on a USB Drive


Universal USB Installer

Download your favorite Linux distribution in ISO format. For me this is Fedora w/KDE.

Step 1 plug in a USB stick that is at least 1-2GB. Preferably a 32GB thumb drive or larger. If you don’t plug in the USB stick before starting the program, it may not detect your drive.

Run the program and choose “Agree.” Select the distribution from the first drop down list.

Then in step two select the ISO file that we downloaded. If you don’t see your file in downloads you may have to type in the filename text box “*.*” and press enter to get it to display your files.

Make sure you backup your files from your thumb drive to your desktop or some other safe place.

Now make sure the check box for “Format” is selected. I recommend doing this just in case the wrong file system is installed and leaves the drive unbootable.

Now choose “Create” and select “Yes.” In about two or three minutes your bootable Linux drive will be ready.

What can I use this for? I’ll give you a few examples. Ever wanted to get some files off a computer that has a user account and password? If the BIOS doesn’t have a password set it to boot from the USB drive first then reboot and start Linux. Navigate to the drive and you can copy the files
. What if your school computers are very restrictive? Use Linux from USB drive to bypass their blocks. It doesn’t work in all cases, but usually it does.

I’ll give you another example. When I deployed to Iraq we stopped and acclimatized ourselves for two weeks in Kuwait. We lived in tents. There was a particular tent that we could go to and pay per hour to surf the internet. I would just boot off of my USB thumb drive, which completely bypassed their application to charge for internet.

You can also use Linux to recover files from damaged hard drives. Use the DD command. Learn the DD command it is your friend. So here’s the command “dd if=/location/of/file/to/copy of=/location/of/where/to/save/copy conv=sync, noerror”. The "sync" tells DD to pad damaged areas of the file with nulls to preserve the file size. The file size needs to be preserved when recovering things like access files. The "noerror" tells DD not stop when it encounters an error with the file. See normal copy commands will stop and delete what they have copied the minute they detect an error. Making you screwed. Not with DD!

Hope this helps someone.

posted on Apr, 5 2015 @ 11:59 PM

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 12:26 AM
Many government workstations do not have: "Boot from USB disabled", as the administrator(s) have do this at each machine, and lets face it gov/mil employes do as little as possible.

This workaround will, most of the time not allow you access to the servers they are connected to, but this will allow access to the machine and its own data you "booted on". Which is useful in itself if you know how to recover hashed data streams/storage.

However when the network security guys do a Retina scan Retina scanner, they will see that the computer/machine was booted/accessed via a USB, so once done your trick is up. The usual retina scan period for military systems is one month, although some commands that require higher security will check the scans every six hours.

Credentials: Former Navy Network security vulnerability technician.
edit on 6-4-2015 by jackjoedoe because: added info

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 05:07 AM
On the company where I work we use an USB drive with Linux (Ubuntu) to see if the problems with a computer are software or hardware related, as if it works from the USB drive then it's not a hardware problem. We also use it to recover files.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 05:29 AM
posting from my win8.1 laptop running from an 8gb usb stick with fedora live. Surprisingly it seems to have detected all the hardware right off the bat. First time using fedora. Depending on a few little things, I may migrste to this

Cheers! Gave me something to do !!

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 08:34 AM
Ahh, I actually think I prefer the default fedora with gnome, at least it appears to be a little more robust, it allows me to use my webcam also
I couldn't find any apps in the repository that worked.

and I've also now installed synergy on my windows workstation and on the laptop, and am now able to use my keyboard/mouse on windows to control the laptop. A lot easier than both for testing.

Quite impressed with Fedora actually.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 04:30 PM
a reply to: jackjoedoe

Navy. Ya the army has usb disabled in both BIOS and Windows. The actual drivers are missing and require domain admin to re-add them. Also the version of McAfee we use has a polling checker to see if USB was used. If it detects USB was used, it sends e-mails to admins. I'm sure state entities are wide open. I know each service has there own setup. Marines left theirs wide open.
x Army IT

Great stuff you guys posted. Glad I motivated some of you.

I use Fedora mainly because it is closest to RedHat. KDE vs Gnome I suppose is a matter of preference. I really prefer Windows 7 Pro. I know I'm going to get # for that, but it just works. I have run many different Linux distro's for years at a time. Only touching Windows PC's to repair them, but I was zealot back then and it was good for me to learn. Now days I just use Linux as a tool. Also when I need to develop something that talks to the hardware I go to Linux.
edit on 02015b2015 by lobograndemalo because: (no reason given)

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