View Full Version : USB Boot w/NTFS, Network support

06-16-2006, 05:20 PM
I'm looking for a Linux Distribution that I can install on a USB drive that I can boot at any recent computer.

Here's what I want to be able to do:

Essentially, carry around my computer on a flash drive.

More practically, I want to be able to boot to my USB drive and have a Linux OS that will recognize NTFS partitions, be able to access a Network and perform rudimentary functions like email, Internet, Word Processing, etc.
Further, I want it to be a fluid system that I can change configurations, add or remove applications, save documents (to the USB drive in a docs folder) and update.

My purpose is two-fold. First, I want to experience the practicality of taking my own computer environment (complete with my current emails, documents, and other projects) with me everywhere I go without having to carry a laptop, etc. Second, I want to be able to use my 'computer' to access files on the 'host' pc and perform basic repair functions like virus and spyware scanning of the NTFS or FAT 'host' pc and maybe some other basic things.

Any suggestions? I've used Linux off and on for years, but I'm no technician - otherwise I'd have just built it myself.


Harry Kuhman
06-16-2006, 07:30 PM
Writing to NTFS has long been a problem for Linux. Personally I feel that this is a deliberate problem created by Microsoft, who are well known to hate Linux, and don't want Linux to be able to write to Microsoft partitions, even when Linux might be the only tool that can read a NTFS partition when Windows claims it can't. Maybe particularly when Linux might be the only tool that can read a NTFS partition when Windows claims it can't. With customers now well taught to do "sexcurity updates", I suspect that Linux developers are shooting at a moving target, and that if they come up with a way to write to NTFS properly for a while it will soon break. And the spin will be negative on Linux, not on where it belongs.

Of course, I would expect that they would have liked to do this with FAT partitions as well, but they are too well understood and this simply couldn't happen. But not so with NTFS. I can offer no other explination why so many good programers have had so much trouble with this issue.

So if you do come across some tool that you think can do this jiob, be very very careful with it. It may not wiork tomorrow or on the next system you come across, or even on one it seemed to work well on before.

12-31-2006, 11:48 PM
well i can answer PART of you request


mandriva has taken their live distro and put it on a 2gb flash key, mine should be here next week.

however i dont believe that mandriva plays well w/ NTFS, however my sole reason for buying that was to figure out how to move it to a 120gb usb powered HD to do exactly what you have suggested.

have your ENTIRE personal distro, email, apps everything, carrying around in your pocket.

so if anyone knows how to move a distro onto a USB device THAT informatin would be appreciated.

because my GOAL is to move XANDROS onto a usb device, since it does read and sometimes write ntfs