Linux Live USB Creator: Easily Boot Linux From Your Flash Drive

linux boot from usbTrying out Linux should be easy; with the help of Linux Live USB Creator it is. Quickly get any Linux distribution to boot from your USB key, complete with a persistent mode for keeping applications and documents in place. You can even install a portable version of Virtualbox to your USB key so you can run Linux comfortably from within Windows.

With support for a shockingly high number of Linux distributions and an easy-to-use Windows interface, Linux Live USB Creator makes the creation of USB boot disks effortless. From downloading the ISO to formatting your drive, there’s not much about USB booting this application doesn’t make easier than similar software.

Feel free to download Linux Live USB right now, and keep reading for an overview of the program.

5 Simple Steps

First things first: fire up the program. You’ll see 5 sub-windows, representing the five steps to making a Live USB key. The first is simple enough:

linux boot from usb

That’s right: you need to pick which key you want to boot Linux from. Once you’ve done this, pick the version of Linux you want to boot. If you’ve got an ISO or a CD handy you can use that, or you can pick from many downloadable distros:

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linux boot disk

If you select a distro from this list the program will take care of downloading the ISO for you:

linux boot disk

So far, so good. If you want your key to keep downloaded programs and documents in place, you’re going to want persistence mode. This is step 3; simply scroll to leave room:

linux boot disk

Step four is optional, but includes some handy tools:

usb linux boot jump drive

Here you can choose to hide the created files on your key from being seen by Windows, useful if you plan to use your key for more than just booting Linux. You can optionally format the drive you’re writing to, and choose whether or not you want your Linux distro to be loadable in Windows.

Once you’re done you can click the lightning bolt in the fifth box to start the creation of your live CD. Congratulations; you’ve got yourself a bootable USB key.

Live Virtual Machine

The options include a step for launching your key in Windows. What is that about? Well, once your disk is created, open it up in Windows Explorer. You’ll find a new file that looks like this:

linux boot from usb

You can click this to boot your Linux distro without rebooting Windows, which is handy from time to time. Naturally you’re going to want a pretty powerful computer to try this out, but it’s a nice added touch.

Supported Distros

Wow. Just, wow. This program supports the automatic downloading and installation of many different Linux distributions. Highlights include:

  • Ubuntu and Ubuntu’s many versions.
  • The GParted Live CD
  • Jolicloud
  • UberStudent
  • xPud
  • Clonezilla

There’s more; check out Live Linux USB’s official list of Linux distros for a complete list.


Linux Live USB isn’t the first program to help users make live USB keys; uNetBootin does the same job. What Linux Live USB does better than this program is make the process painless. It’s worth checking out just for that, but according to blog OMG Ubuntu, this program works more consistently than others. So it’s easier and better.

Do you like this tool? Let us know in the comments below. Also feel free to share other tools for the job, and to discuss your favorite Linux distributions.

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