Universal USB Installer: Install Linux operating system on a USB flash drive

Universal USB Installer is a free and open source application for Windows that allows you to install any Linux on your Pendrive or USB drive.  After that you can boot from that Pendrive or you  can say that you have a portable Operating System in your pocket.

To create a portable OS you will need to have any version of Windows installed on your PC. Having an OS in your pocket looks really cool, you can boot from any PC and your customized OS would be in front of you. You can carry your files anywhere. The most promising feature of this tool is that if you don’t have the disk image of your Operating System, you can also download it directly from Internet. You can also create USB Windows 7 installer from this tool, all you need is the disk image of your favorite Operating System.

How to install Linux on your Pendrive

Here is the tutorial how to install any Linux on your Pendrive using a tool on Windows that is Universal USB installer.

  1. Run Universal USB Installer.
  2. Click on I agree
  3. In the first drop down menu select the Operating System you would like to install. Here I have selected Ubuntu.
  4. From the “Browse” button locate the .iso file of the Operating System or mark the check box near it to download the .iso file.
  5. In the last drop down menu, select the Pendrive or other drive in which you would like to install Linux.
  6. When you select your device it will show a check box and a slider component.
  7. Check the box if you want to erase the contents of your device.
  8. From the slider select the persistent size of your drive.  Persistent means that how much space you want to be left for your files.
  9. Click create.
  10. After that a screen will appear click close and your portable OS in your USB device is ready.

The tool is available on www.pendrivelinux.com.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

How to create a Rescue Disk on USB Flash Drive using Universal USB Installer may also interest you.

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Lavish loves to follow up on the latest happenings in technology. He loves to try out new Windows-based software and gadgets and is currently learning JAVA. He loves to develop new software for Windows. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software is always recommended, he feels.


  1. i used it before to put knoppix, and hiren’s bot cd on usb drive. is there any one that can put XP on usb drive?

  2. Juan Figueroa

    Sure, try WinToFlash, is very good and easy to use.

  3. Tried that.Work fine for windows 7.but for xp, it boots and starts fine. but before that part where i have to choose the partition ,or while copying files ( don’t remember exactly ) it gives a blue screen with error that stops the whole operation. any other alternatives?

  4. Dancarendt

    Used the pendrive installer to install Ubuntu 11.10 on an FAT32 high-speed new flash drive, with 4GB persistent file selected; in Acer Aspire 5736Z-4148 (4GB RAM, 2.30 GHz dual core Intel) although the pendrive then installed in #1 boot position the Acer sounded audio alarm as if nothing in boot position; then Ubuntu screen came up with option to try which was selected; a few scrolls of command lines ran, then the screen went black about one half-hour; then a very dim Ubuntu came up; mouse/mousepad controls worked, sound worked, but Ubuntu didn’t respond to its own brightness/contrast controls nor to those of Acer; response was exactly the same whether using 32 bit or 64 bit versions of Ubuntu 11.10; Googling, I found a number of people had similar experiences; also that Ubuntu itself says some computers can’t use the pendrive alone and that as to Acer only a few 32 and 64 bit units are “certified” by Ubuntu for Linux purposes.

    Of course, Windows 7 is unfazed. My experience suggests that what I ran into simply means a particular Acer product can read media designated in total as programming media but NOT media where only a portion of it is designated programming data (e.g., I’ve used Microsoft tools where you go online and they format the WHOLE drive then put the tool on, and these work just fine in the Acer #1 boot pos; whereas the Linux Pendrive system leaves your device a pendrive with programming files on it…this makes the Acer act like something’s not right).

  5. Xantes

    A better – and I would dare saying best option – is “LiLi USB Creator”. Works better and neater than any other app.!

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