Universal USB Installer: Make Linux Live USB Flash Drives with Persistent Storage
I triple boot my system with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Ubuntu but I also like to test other Linux distributions. Most of the time, to test the other operating system and distributions, I use VirtualBox or VMware Player to virtualize them. But for those Linux distributions that offers Live CD/DVD option, I use my USB flash drive to test them live.
This saves me time as I don’t have to first configure the virtual machine and install the Linux distros to test it. In my previous articles, I covered two softwares, UNetbootin and Multiboot USB Menu that helps me to make the distros ready to be booted directly off my USB flash device.
Another, very good utility that helps me create persistent storage on my flash drive is Pendrive Linux’s Universal USB Installer. What I meant when I said “persistent storage”? It means that you’ll actually have some permanent storage space in your flash drive to save things like your files and preferences, instead of having a clone of your disc image in your flash drive.
Universal USB Installer at this moments supports a huge number of Linux distributions, including both the 32 and 64-bit versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and sysadmin or technicians favorites like Backtrack, GParted, DBAN, Clonezilla, OphCrack, System Rescue CD, etc to name a few. It even supports Dr.Web Live CD Scanner, SliTaZ Cooking, Ultimate Boot CD, and more. The updated full list of supported distribution is available at the developer’s page.
The Universal USB Installer is very easy to use. Simply choose any one of the Live Linux distribution ISO file that is now supported by it, grab your USB flash drive and, click on Install. If you run Universal USB Installer from the same directory containing an installable ISO, the script will auto-detect the ISO and install it on your flash drive.
Universal USB Installer at this moment does not support installing and booting from multiple Linux Distributions, but the developer’s are promising addition of this feature soon.