I can’t be the only person who finds it bothersome burning a cd just to install linux. What a waste (it’s not like you use the cd all to often afterwards, except as a coaster). So here are the quick and dirty instructions for making a debian linux install usb stick (adjust /dev/sdb accordingly, failure to do so can pretty must kill any data on a harddisk):
- wget ftp://ftp2.de.debian.org/debian/dists/etch/main/installer-i386/current/images/hd-media/boot.img.gz
- wget http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0_r5/i386/iso-cd/debian-40r5-i386-netinst.iso
- zcat boot.img.gz > /dev/sdb
- mount /dev/sdb /mnt
- cp debian-40r5-i386-netinst.iso /mnt
- umount /mnt
I stumbled upon http://portableapps.com/ a few days ago, and now I have a whole lot of nice applications on my 1GB USB stick. Besides the applications provided by the website, I also have Skype and Photoshop running on my USB stick. After Playing around with the menu a bit, I found a unofficial mod called Portable Apps Menu Mod R31 which is definitely a must for anyone wanting to customize the menu (nice theme support, ability to hide applications from the menu, categories, …). I few minutes ago I even found a theme site for the mentioned menu mod.
I choose Adobe Photoshop 6.0, since it doesn’t really care where it is started from, and is still fairly “small”. Definitely something I’d suggest for anyone with a licence for that version (should be possible to obtain one cheaply since it is pretty outdated).
Skype was a bit more of a challenge to get running off my USB Stick. I followed these instructions to make a batch file to start skype, and used this tool to convert the .bat to a .exec (since the Portable Apps Menu only looks for .exe files)
I just found a “loader” for Ultraedit: http://usb.smithtech.us/apps/index.php This is very cool, since I love this editor, and it has always been a pain to only be able to use it at home.
Another good site for portable applications is http://www.portablefreeware.com