Install Linux from USB Drive

It couldn’t be easier for Microsoft Windows users to try, test or fully install Linux Mint using a “Hybrid” image which can boot to the full Operating System for testing or be installed alongside Windows for full time use. When you complete the steps below you’ll have a full operating system with most all the tools you’ll ever need and it runs or installs on just about any PC Desktop, Laptop, Netbook or Surface Pro right from the USB stick. It’s all free and it’s your choice – run it from the USB stick, install it alongside Windows (you’ll have an option at startup to choose Windows or Linux) or if you really like it install it as your full time OS.
Have Fun!

A moment first – Why have I chosen Linux Mint?

  • It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use.
  • It’s both free of cost and open source.
  • It’s community-driven. Users are encouraged to send feedback to the project so that their ideas can be used to improve Linux Mint.
  • Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers.
  • It’s safe and reliable. Thanks to a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture, Linux Mint requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, no anti-spyware…etc).

Now lets get to it!

What’s needed:

  • USB Flash Drive – 2gb or larger
  • The Universal USB Installer – free 1mb download
  • Any PC that can boot from a USB drive – Netbook, Desktop, Laptop, Surface Pro…
  • Linux ISO – I use Linux Mint Cinnamon, free 1.2gb download
    > Linux Mint Cinnamon is an easy to use complete package with Office Suite, email client, Internet tools and much much more. Everything you need in one free download.


  • You can use the completed USB drive to run Linux from on just about any computer.
  • You can install Linux Mint and leave an existing Windows with the option to run either OS at startup. Requires aprox 50gbs of free disk space
  • Install Linux to overwrite Windows or other prior operating system

Lets build a bootable drive!

  1. Insert your USB drive
  2. Launch the Universal USB Installer
  3. Choose Linux Mint (or the Linux version you’ve downloaded)
  4. Brows to the Linux Mint ISO file. Example: linuxmint-16-cinnamon-dvd-64bit.iso
  5. Pick your USB drive, choose “format” to wipe all data from it
  6. Click Create
  7. 5 minutes and you’re done!

Boot off the USB drive

  1. Restart your target computer
  2. Boot from the USB drive
  3. Linux Mint loads

Run or install Linux Mint

  1. Connect to WiFi and get to work or…
  2. Install Linux Mint from the Desktop installer icon
    1. If you have Windows already installed on the computer Linux Mint will ask what you want to do:
      1. Install alongside Windows
      2. Replace Windows

Screenshots of the USB Installer process, the Windows Install options, and of Linux Mint

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