" Until world domination is complete, you simply cannot count on
Linux being available everywhere you travel. Thus, when you're
vacationing or on a business trip and need access to a Linux
environment — or get the inevitable PC troubleshooting help
request — you'll have to have a bootable distribution with
you. A variety of tools can help you tailor a live USB distro to
your liking, including data persistence and encryption, so grab an
unused USB flash drive from the desk drawer and make exactly what
you need this weekend.
"The first question you need to answer for yourself is what
distribution you wish to use as the basis for your live USB key.
Most of the popular desktop distributions provide live CD images
for testing or installation purposes, and include a utility to
install such an image onto other media, including external hard
disk storage or a flash drive. With the rise in popularity of
optical-drive-less netbooks and tablets, providing USB as an
installation path guarantees that the distributions will continue
to make booting from flash a priority. If you are simply interested
in building a portable environment like the one you use at home,
you should start by looking for such a utility within your
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