Linux

Easy Guide To Run Linux as Virtual Machine Using USB

Easy Guide To Run Linux as Virtual Machine Using USB

Do you want to use Linux distros without installing it actually? Or maybe you just want to try a distro but don’t want to install it? Well, you can do it! So follow this easy guide to learn How To Run Linux as Virtual Machine Using USB or Disk.

Live Linux environments work just like a usual operating system but run completely from a CD or USB pendrive — the latter being the most common choice these days. Since nothing is written to the host computer’s local storage, when you’re done all you need to do is remove the media, reboot, and everything will be precisely as it was before.

There are a number of uses to this, from merely test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or work on the go from someone else’s PC but running your own OS securely with all your private files and settings.

There are basically two options when it comes to running Linux from a USB drive: from within Windows using virtualization software such as VirtualBox, or creating a boot disk. This swift guide details both approaches in a few easy steps.

Running Linux from a USB drive in Windows

Running Linux from a USB drive in Windows
Running Linux from a USB drive in Windows

This option will come in convenient if you want to run a Live Linux environment but need to retain access to Windows. Possibly you just want to do something real rapid without rebooting, or want to be able to hide the virtualized Linux instance. Our preferred weapon of choice here is a little tool called LinuxLive USB Creator.

Click Here To Download LinuxLive USB Creator!

It’s free, open-source software, and it has a built-in virtualization feature that lets you run a self-contained version of VirtualBox from the USB drive. This means the host computer you’ll run Linux from doesn’t need to have VirtualBox installed.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Download and transfer the ISO image of your preferred Linux distribution to a USB drive.
  • Download and install LinuxLive USB Creator (Download Link Above).
  • Launch LiLi USB Creator and follow the straightforward steps guiding you through the process.

Now follow the steps below:

  • Step 1. Select the USB drive where you want Linux installed.
  • Step 2. Choose the source ISO file of the Linux distribution you downloaded.
  • Step 3. Choose Live Mode.
  • Step 4. Leave the third box checked, the other two are up to you and self-explanatory.

You will need and internet connection to complete the process — mainly to download VirtualBox if you don’t have it installed. Once the process is finished, open your USB key in Windows Explorer and you should see a folder called VirtualBox containing two executable files: VirtualizeThisKey.exe and VirtualBox.exe.

Also Read New Creative Linux Distros

Running VirtualizeThisKey.exe will launch your Linux distribution in Windows (inside VirtualBox), whereas VirtualBox.exe opens the full VirtualBox interface.

Boot Linux from a USB drive

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator
YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

If you’d rather load Linux without going through Windows first this is the way to go. There are a few different tools for creating bootable USB drives around the web but one I’m mostly fond of is YUMI — short for Your Universal Multiboot Installer.

Click Here To Download YUMI!

This is the inheritor to our MultibootISO and can be used to install more than one distribution to run from your USB. It’s extremely simple to use, and all files from each Linux distribution are stored within the Multiboot folder, making for a nicely organized Multiboot Drive that can still be used for other storage purposes.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Download the ISO image of your preferred Linux distribution.
  • Download and install YUMI.
  • Launch YUMI and follow three simple steps guiding you through the process.

Now follow the steps below:

  • Step 1. Select the USB drive where you want Linux installed.
  • Step 2. Select the Linux distribution you’ll be installing from the list.
  • Step 3. Choose the source ISO file of the Linux distribution you downloaded.

Once YUMI is done you’re all set. To boot into Linux just plug the USB drive into the host computer, reboot, and press the necessary key during this process to enter the Boot Menu (usually F10). After choosing your USB drive you should see the YUMI boot menu where you can pick the desired Linux distribution in Live mode.

Also Read Best Linux Distros Everyone Can Use

You can run YUMI’s boot drive creator again to add More ISOs/distributions to your drive as needed and they’ll all show up in this menu during boot.

Easy Guide To Run Linux as Virtual Machine Using USB

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