Putting Linux Muscle in Your Pocket: Resources for USB Thumb Drives

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 16, 2009

If you've followed my previous posts on PortableApps and MacLibre you know that these sites offer Windows and Mac users, respectively, the opportunity to get boatloads of useful, free portable open source applications in one download. They're especially good for stocking a USB thumb drive with applications that you can carry in your pocket and use anywhere. Linux users interested in the same opportunity to maximize the potential of a go-anywhere USB thumb drive have even better options: They can put a complete Linux operating system on a pocket drive, along with lots of great applications. Here's a good way to find everything you need to do this quickly and easily.

Pendrivelinux has a truly exhaustive collection of tutorials and resources for running Linux and Linux applications from any portable USB device. Down the left rail of the site's home page, you'll find many tutorials like these:

Move WUBI Ubuntu Install to an external USB drive
PUD Linux Flash Drive Install for Windows (PUD Linux is a tiny Ubuntu-based remix)

Create a Portable gOS 3 Flash Drive

Pendrivelinux functions like a blog, with ongoing tutorials for lots of Linux distros that you can get going on a USB drive. It also collects many useful posts for creating Boot CDs for Linux variants. In addition, it houses PenDriveApps, which is an awesome, categorized archive of portable applications for Windows, the Mac and Linux.WIth it, you can easily find everything from portable FTP applications, to portable media players, to portable translation applications.

The capacities for portable USB drives have exploded even as prices have plummeted. You can easily find 64GB pocket drives for only a little over $100. The sites found in this post and one of these drives can equip you with enough free, open source applications to keep you working and get you out of any jam, even when you have to work on a computer that's not your own.