Playing with Linux without installing it onto your HDD

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Playing with Linux without installing it onto your HDD

Post by [FZ]Falzar on 3rd March 2010, 10:11 am

Okay for a change this tutorial will not be about Windows or Mac OS X

Today, I'm gonna teach you guys how to boot into a Linux Distribution without installing and partitioning your HDD.
Firstly, there are many Linux Distributions that Live meaning that they are able to run directly from a CD/DVD or a thumbdrive. You can pick one that suits your needs easily. A simple Google search can bring up quite a number of these distributions such as Debian but I will just be using my favourite *ahem*hacking*ahem* distribution, Backtrack, which can be downloaded from Backtrack Linux. It will be in ISO format so just save it without opening it first. I will teach you how to prepare the media for writing first, be it USB or CD. Your choice Smile.

=============>THE USB WAY<==============
You will need this tool called UNetbootin, which can be downloaded from here Unetbootin
This tool allows you to install the linux distributions in ISO format into a USB thumbdrive or USB HDD. You will want to download the windows binary from the site.

Before opening Unetbootin, please plug in your removable media first.
Once Unetbootin is open and you have your Linux distro downloaded, select the radio button named Diskimage. Leave the dropdown menu as ISO. Under the address path, click on the "..." button and navigate to whereever you downloaded the linux distribution to.
***************THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!****************
Check the box entitled "Show All Drives(Use with care).
Under the dropdown menu entitled "Type", please be very cautious and select USB Drive instead of HDD.
Next, select the drive letter which represents your media in the next dropdown menu.
Please make sure you have enough disk space on your removable media before installing (est. 500MB~2GB+ depending on OS)
If all is done and fine, click OK and then sit back and relax. The next part of the tutorial will be below.

===============>THE CD/DVD Way<===================
You will need a DISK IMAGE(IMPORTANT) burner for this step.
I assume that you have a DISK IMAGE burner installed on your computer(if not, you can easily google it)
So first thing's first. Download your Linux Distribution to any place on your HDD and make sure it is in ISO format.
Next, open up your DISK IMAGE burner program. Locate the option which allows you to burn a disk image to a CD/DVD.
Next, navigate to your ISO and select it. Make sure you set the type of media(CD/DVD) based on the size of the distribution. When all is done, click burn and relax

==============>ALRIGHT! IM READY FOR THE LINUX EXPERIENCE<====================
So here is the fun part Big Grin You have prepared your Bootable Linux CD/DVD/Thumbdrive YAY!
*note*For USB Linux, please leave the thumbdrive in as most BIOSes autodetect USB drives instead of CD/DVD
The first thing you need to do is to restart your computer. Watch out for the hotkey that says e.g "F12: Boot Menu" or "Use an alternative booting method" and spam the hotkey to open the Boot Menu.
When you have inserted your CD/DVD/Thumbdrive in, select the appropriate drive containing the Linux Distro. Thumbdrives will normally be autodetected by your system.
*PRESS ENTER**OMG SCREEN TURNS BLACK**NOOOOOO*
Don't panic Smile The Linux Bootloader will load, containing a few options for OS loading. Select the default option and let the magic happen.
For certain distributions, a whole load of text will start popping up and scrolling down. This is normal, as the bootloader is loading all necessary functions needed to run Linux, just like Windows does, except Windows does it more discreetly.
Depending on your Linux Distribution, a bash shell will either open or a desktop environment will be loaded.
**For backtrack, if you are using the prefinal edition, type startx in the console to start the environment after load.
**For some distros, networking is not enabled by default. Type /etc/init.d/networking start to start the networking service.

Voila!!! LINUX IS LOADED!! Enjoy playing around with it and get a feel of it Smile
To shutdown the Distribution, just go to the menu and select power off/halt or go to the console and type Shutdown(depends on your OS)

========================================================================================
My first tutorial Big Grin Handtyped all the way Big Grin

[FZ]Falzar
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Re: Playing with Linux without installing it onto your HDD

Post by Rebel on 10th March 2010, 5:45 am

BackTrack is cool Smile Since you know it, I am pretty sure you've messed around with getting the pass phrase for WEP/WPA/WPA2 and auditing *cough* cracking *cough* it Smile
It seems like some features don't work well on Ubuntu or other distros, but BackTrack works well with those tools Smile

Great LiveCD tutorial BTW Smile

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Re: Playing with Linux without installing it onto your HDD

Post by Dr Jay on 11th March 2010, 2:28 am

Moved to a talk forum, since this is not an appropriate "guide".

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Re: Playing with Linux without installing it onto your HDD

Post by Gabethebabe on 22nd March 2010, 8:28 pm

Iīm afraid I donīt quite like your tips. If you really want to try out linux you do not want to be restricted by booting of a readonly medium or a removable medium. If you really want to try Linux, either create a dual boot system or install it in Virtualbox (the latter is the cleaner).

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