Live USB creation

for a Linux distro

(Mandriva One 2008)

(with web-search links for finding
more recent info on making 'Live USB'
sticks for other Linux distros)

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This 'Live USB' Creation page

! Note !
A few more notes may be added,
if/when I re-visit this page again.

In any case, you can use WEB SEARCH links
below to find current information on making
'Live USB' sticks for Linux distros.


This page is a guide for creating a 'Live USB' stick of a Linux 'distro'.

    This description is reproduced from an old blog-like page (now 'dead') that was at linux/ mandriva-linux-one-2008-live-usb-creation.html

I reproduced the page here (text & images) for my own use/reference --- as well as to preserve the info for others, in case that site or page disappears (which it indeed did).

The requirements are

  • a Mandriva One 2008 CD

  • a PC which will run the CD in 'live' mode --- in particular, the PC needs to run the Mandriva disk/USB partitioning utility, the 'DrakX partitioning wizard', that is on the live CD (most PC's will)

  • a USB 'stick' ( = 'drive' ), at least 4 GB.

The guide starts now. My additions and re-wordings (except the most trivial corrections, such as fixing verb tense or substituting a different 2 or 3 letter preposition) are indicated in left-and-right brackets --- namely, [ and ] .

    2010 Mar UPDATE:
    This method of Live USB Creation is out of date now. In fact, I find that I prefer Ubuntu Linux now, and Ubuntu has a built-in method of creating a Live USB stick for Ubuntu Linux.

    In a Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala) install (or Live CD try-out), one can use, from the top panel, System > Administration > USB Startup Disk Creator.

    See web-links at the bottom of this page for alternate methods of making 'Live USB' sticks, for various Linux distros.

START of the '' Guide on how to
make a Live Mandriva (2008) USB drive,
for netbooks and other PCs

We will review in this guide how to create a live USB 'key', so we can boot Mandriva 2008 Spring on the Asus EEE PC [or try it on some other 'netbook', like an Acer Aspire One].

Mandriva 2008 is one of the most complete linux distributions, and the [post-beta] version of 'Mandriva One Spring 2008' came out a few days ago, so it is a good occasion to create a live USB to test it on the [Asus] EEE.

Mandriva is selling USB disks with the OS pre-installed, and there isn't an easy USB live creator like the one provided with 'eeexubuntu' or 'eeepclinuxos' [Linux distros that may come pre-installed on Asus EEE PC's].

The process isn't that hard though, as we will see in this step-by-step guide.

[Spoiler alert: It involves using the Mandriva 'DrakX' disk partitioning wizard, initiated from a 'Mandriva Live' GUI interface.]

  • Download and 'burn' the Mandriva One 2008 Spring edition to CD.

    I downloaded the 'mandriva-linux-one-2008-spring-KDE-int-cdrom-i586.iso' file, but you may want a Gnome version if you prefer that environment.

  • Boot your new live CD disk on your production PC. On the desktop you will find a live install icon. [See image below.]

[In the live-install GUI interface,] Choose Custom disk partitioning and click next. [See image below.]

Now you have to select your USB key. [See the next screenshot.]

On our PC, it was the second tab named sdb. You need a 4GB USB key, or an SDHC card.

Before applying the next steps, please be aware of the risks implied, you could end up formating the wrong disk or messing up the mbr [master boot record] of your PC.

Select your [USB] disk, click on Delete, and Auto allocate. [See image below.]

Mandriva created an Ext3 partition [on the USB drive] as well as the swap in an automated fashion. [See image below.]

[Click Done.] The Live Install will ask for the Bootloader options, as on the picture below.

The most important thing is to choose your USB disk ('sdb' in our case).

Leave 'Grub with graphical menu'. [See image below.]

Finally, mandriva will ask for the drive you are booting from.

Choose the USB disk ['sdb']. See image below.

You can start the installation.

The process was painfully slow (especially when you are impatient to test the distribution), about 35 minutes.

As we mentioned in earlier posts, installing 'eeexubuntu' or 'eeepclos' took only about 7 min or so.

We [] have written an article about Mandriva 2009 Live USB creation on the eee box as well.

[The technique uses the 'unetbootin' GUI utility and a set of several 'fix' files in a tar-gzipped file.]

END of Guide on
making a Live Mandriva (2008) USB drive

    You might be able to create Live USB sticks for other Linux distros, such as Ubuntu flavors, by using the 'Gparted' disk partitioning utility, instead of the 'DrakX' utility used here.

Some external links on creating Linux 'Live USB boot drives' :

There are some guides on creating 'Live USB boot drives' for many varieties of Linux (Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, etc.) at

There is a 'Linux on a Pendrive HOWTO' (2009) at ''. (TLDP = The Linux Documentation Project)

(for Linux distros)

To find more information on making 'Live USB' sticks for Linux distros (especially Ubuntu distros), you can try WEB SEARCHES on keywords such as the following.

You can also try Wikipedia pages like the following, and following links on those pages for even more information.

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Live USB Creation for a Linux distro
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Page history:

Page was created 2009 Aug 07.
(To preserve Live-USB-Creation info at an page, now dead.)

Page was changed 2010 Mar 04.

Page was changed 2021 Nov 18.
(Changed some HTML code for images so that the images are sized in proportion to the width of the browser window.
Also added some Wikipedia links to the 'Introduction' section and some following sections.
Also did some minor reformatting and rewording on the page. Also added a section of WEB SEARCHES for more information, and current information, on creating Live-USB-sticks & Live-CD's for Linux distros.)