If you’re looking to run Linux from a USB flash drive, Puppy Linux is the best option. Why? It can function from removable storage devices. It comes with every program you will ever need. And, best of all, Puppy comes in dozens of Linux flavors, like Ubuntu, which many people are already familiar with.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to set up Puppy Linux on a USB flash drive. We’ll also show you how to use Puppy, and more!
Note: to use Puppy Linux optimally; you should have a USB flash drive of at least 4 GB in size. Otherwise, you will not have a lot of space for files and other data.
Downloading Puppy Linux
To use Puppy Linux on a USB flash drive, the OS must be downloaded from the internet. Downloading Puppy Linux requires grabbing the latest ISO release of the operating system. To learn how to get your hands on the latest Puppy Linux, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Head over to the Puppy Linux official website and locate the download icon. Click on it with your mouse.
Step 2: By selecting the “Download” icon on Puppy Linux’s website, you will be taken to the download page. On the download page, there are several different releases of Puppy Linux to choose from.
In this guide, we will focus on setting up Puppy Linux based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Ubuntu Bionic). It is an LTS release of Ubuntu, it is reliable, and it is the operating system most Linux users will already be familiar with.
Note: feel free to try out the other spins of Puppy Linux listed on the download page. Just know that this guide will not focus on these other releases. You will be on your own!
Select the “Ubuntu Bionic 64” or “Ubuntu Bionic” download link to start the download process.
Step 3: After clicking on the “Download” button, the Ubuntu Bionic release of Puppy Linux will begin downloading to your Linux PC. Be patient and allow the process to complete.
When the download is done, you will have the latest release of Puppy Linux (Bionic Pup) on your computer. Now it is time to set up the operating system on a USB flash drive. Move on to the next section of the guide to continue!
Flashing Puppy Linux to USB
Puppy Linux is a persistent Linux operating system. Persistent means that once Puppy is flashed to your USB device, the USB will act like a computer hard drive. So, no matter how many pictures, videos, or music files you put on it or how many websites you visit, everything will stay the same each time you boot into Puppy.
However, before we can delve into the awesome power of Puppy Linux, we must demonstrate how to install the operating system. To start the installation process, you will need to download the Etcher flashing utility.
Why Etcher? It is a wonderful program that makes flashing ISO files to USB devices incredibly simple. Additionally, Etcher will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Since it is cross-platform, anyone will be able to set up Puppy Linux on a USB on any computer OS!
To get your hands on Etcher, click here. Then, once you’ve gotten Etcher on your PC, open it and follow the step-by-step instructions below to set up Puppy Linux on your USB device.
Step 1: Find the “Select image” button and click on the mouse. Then, browse for the Puppy Linux ISO file downloaded to your PC.
Step 2: Plug in the USB flash drive. Then, locate the “Select drive” button and click on it to select your USB flash drive as the device to flash Puppy Linux onto.
Step 3: Find the “Flash!” button to start the flashing process.
When the flashing process is complete, reboot your PC into its BIOS and configure the system to boot from USB to access Puppy Linux.
Using Puppy Linux
Using Puppy Linux starts out by booting the operating system. To do that, wait for the boot screen to appear. Then, select “Bionicpup64 8.0″ or Bionicpup 8.0” and press the Enter key to load up the operating system.
Upon selecting “Bionicpup64 8.0,” Puppy Linux will begin the boot sequence. Sit back and wait as it configures itself so that it will be able to run on your hardware.
After the boot sequence, Puppy Linux will display the “Quick Setup.” In this window, you will be asked to set up your Country, Time zone and keyboard layout. You’ll also be able to activate a firewall and change the hostname if you so choose.
Once you’ve configured the “Quick Setup” window, click “OK” to close it. When the “Quick Setup” window is closed, you will see a desktop with many different program shortcuts. Click on any of them and start enjoying your new portable USB Linux operating system!