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

There are a number of uses for this, from simply test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or working on the go from someone else’s computer but securely with your own OS, personal files and settings.

There are 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 quick guide details both methods in a few easy steps.

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