If you’re looking for a painless way to run Linux without having installed any one of 200+ distributions to your Hard Drive, or without having to boot from a Live CD, then open source Linux Live USB Creator could be the perfect tool. In a very simple process, Linux Live USB Creator will install any one of a huge range of Linux distributions to a USB drive.
After installing your chosen Linux distribution, either from an existing ISO on your HD, or exercising the option to download an ISO through Linux Live USB Creator, you will have several available options.
Option 1 – Run LinuxLive USB directly within Windows in a virtual environment.
Option 2 – Boot directly from the LinuxLive USB key.
The following screen captures illustrate how a previously complex process has been streamlined, so that a competent average user should be able to breeze through the installation. For this review, I installed PCLinux from an ISO, previously stored on my HD, to an 8 GB Flash Drive.
Launching Linux Live USB Creator will take you to a colorful, “follow the bouncing ball” simple interface.
In less than 5 minutes the process is complete and I’m off to the races!
Well, sort of. In fact, immediately upon installation completion, you will be taken to the developer’s site for a quick heads-up on using Linux Live USB Creator.
As per the developer’s instructions, using Windows Explorer, I navigated to the newly installed VirtualBox folder on the USB drive, clicked on Virtualize_This_Key.exe, and sat back as PCLinux launched inside Windows in VirtualBox.
Now, how cool is that! No fuss, no muss, no knowledge of running a virtual system required.
As stated earlier, you have a huge selection of Linux distros to choose from. For this review I choose PCLinux since I had it hanging around on my HD – one of those “I’ll get to it when I can” downloads.
Free and Open-source – LinuxLive USB Creator is a completely free and open-source software for Windows only. It has been built with simplicity in mind and it can be used by anyone.
No reboot needed – Are you sick of having to reboot your PC to try Linux? No need with LinuxLive USB Creator. It has a built-in virtualization feature that lets you run your Linux within Windows just out of the box!
Supports many Linux distributions – Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, OpenSUSE, Mint, Slax, CentOS, ArchLinux, Gentoo, PCLinuxOS, Sabayon, BackTrack, Puppy Linux …
Persistence – Having a Live USB key is better than just using a Live CD because you can even save your data and install software. This feature is called persistence (available only on selected Linux).
SmartClean & SmartDownload – SmartClean uninstalls properly any previous Live USB installations and SmartDownload lets you download any supported Linux in 2 clicks automatically selecting the best mirror to download from. SmartClean also lets you clean your USB key in 1 click.
Intelligent processing – LiLi works with many Linux, even if they are not officially supported.
Hidden installation – LiLi hides the Linux installation, your USB key stays clean.
File integrity – tells you if your ISO is corrupted.
Keeps your data on your USB device.
Intelligent formatting – can format disks bigger than 32 GB.
Auto-update – automatic updates when new Linux distributions are available.
System requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP
Download at: Linux Live USB
Tested on Windows 8 (developer).
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