Have you ever had a time where your computer’s HD died or your Windows/Mac operating system crashed and your computer was unusable? It’s always good to have a spare USB key that has a bootable operating system on it. What does a bootable operating system mean? Well, a bootable operating system just means that you can plug in your USB key into your laptop or desktop machine, turn on the power and it will boot from the USB key and you have a fully functioning operating system. Yep, that’s right!

My recommended LIVE bootable OS is the Ubuntu operating system. It’s a Linux operating system, but is very similar to Windows and Mac in look and feel. It includes Open Office by default, so you have a word processing you can use. Firefox also comes loaded so you can immediately get on the internet.

What else is cool about a USB bootable OS:

  • It’s a secure system. Everything is built each time your machine turns on. So there is no chance of viruses or security holes in the system. If you ever downloaded something that would infect your system, it would be wiped when you reboot your machine.
  • You can carry this on your key chain and have instant access to an operating system which can be used on any laptop/desktop machine you can get your hands on. Sounds a bit like James Bond right? For example, your friend has a laptop laying around, you don’t know the access information and you just want to browse the web or do some work. Easy, plug in your USB key, turn on the machine, and voila you have a machine to work online and do things.

Pretty cool right? So how do you get this setup? Easy!

Just over here: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/ and download the Universal USB Installer.

Now download the Ubuntu Desktop Version (it’s free or donate, they work hard for you!) here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

Now plug in your USB key and open up the USB installer. Select the ISO file of Ubuntu you downloaded and select the options and hit the button. In about 5-10minutes you will have your built USB key. Now just reboot your machine with the key plugged in, you may need to tell your computer to select the boot options so that you can select the USB key and you will then be tapped into Ubuntu desktop. It’s that easy! Enjoy!