A useful Windows app for making bootable USB keys
A bootable USB memory key is the best way to try out or install Linux on a netbook without an optical drive but making one can be tricky if you don't have access to a second computer with an optical drive. The Universal USB Installer is the answer as it will create a bootable USB key using the ISO file downloaded from the Linux website.
There is no installation required as the program can be run directly from the download. You might want to make a note of where you download the program so you don't lose it if you need it again.
Agree to the licence agreements and the main screen will be displayed.
Select a version of Linux from the dropdown menu in Step 1. There is a wide selection including the latest versions from Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Opensuse and Puppy Linux. There are also entries for some Linux based antivirus rescue tools from companies such as AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, F-Secure and Kaspersky.
The second step is to locate the Linux ISO on your computer. Universal USB Installer includes an option to download the ISO if you don't already have it. This will start the download in your default browser.
Once the download has finished and the ISO file has been selected, select the USB key you want to install Linux on in the Step 3 dropdown menu. Click on Create to make the bootable key. We suggest you shouldn't have any files on the USB key before you start to avoid losing anything important.
After the USB key has been selected you can choose how much space to dedicated to persistent storage, that's a place to keep documents on the USB key to use in more than one session. Once that's selected click on Create and the USB memory key will be prepared for use.
There's not much else to say except to highlight how helpful the ability to download the ISO images is. A real timesaver.
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A very useful tool if you don't have an optical drive and want to try out a version of Linux
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