Puppy installation On Pen Drive / USB

Posted: November 14, 2008 by Narendra Shah in Linux Box

In this simple USB Puppy Linux tutorial we illustrate how to easily install Puppy linux on a USB flash pen drive using the Universal installer included on the Puppy Linux CD. Puppy is a unique Linux compilation that is super small, yet contains many useful tools and utilities. Most versions of Puppy Linux will fit on even a 128MB USB stick. Making it great to install to those older tiny thumb drives you might have sitting around.


Puppy Linux Screenshot

What you’ll need to create a USB Puppy:

  • 128MB or larger USB Stick
  • PC with a CD reader/burner

The process:

Puppy Linux contains it’s own Universal Installer so installation is fairly straightforward.

  1. Download Puppy linux.
  2. Burn the ISO to CD.
  3. Start your computer via Puppy CD.
  4. Once Puppy has loaded, from the Taskbar, Click: Start-> Setup-> Puppy universal installer
  5. Puppy Linux USB Install

  6. Follow the onscreen instructions which will walk you through the Puppy USB installation process
  7. When finished with the Puppy USB install, reboot your PC and go into system BIOS to change your boot order to boot from the USB device
  8. Save your settings and reboot your PC to enjoy running Puppy Linux from USB


How to boot the PC from a USB pen drive

Most modern PCs support booting from a USB drive. If not already configured, it is a matter of invoking the BIOS setup when the PC first powers-up. Most often this is done by pressing the DEL key, but some PCs require a function key to be pressed, such as F2. Then, what is called the “boot order” can be setup, and you would typically set CD drive first then hard drive, or you can include a USB drive or floppy drive in the boot-check sequence.

In the BIOS setup you may find some choices for different types of USB drives, such as “USB ZIP”, “USB FLOPPY” and “USB HDD” — the letters “HDD” mean “Hard Disk Drive”. A pen drive will usually work with the “USB ZIP” setting, but it depends on the BIOS and you may have to choose “USB HDD”.

If you have an older PC that cannot boot from USB, or you have an odd pen drive that the BIOS doesn’t recognise (it happens!), there is a fall-back. This fall-back applies also to PCs that cannot boot from a CD drive. This is to use a boot floppy. Puppy has something especially for this situation, called WakePup, developed by Puppy enthusiast “pakt” — look in the “Setup” menu and you will see an entry “WakePup create boot floppy”. This will create a floppy disk that your PC can boot from. The WakePup floppy disk scans the PC and finds Puppy on a USB drive, hard drive, or CD/DVD drive.

Note however, as it is a DOS-based system WakePup can only recognise ISO9660, FAT and NTFS filesystems. CDs use the ISO9660 filesystem for holding files, so that is okay. USB pen drives are usually formatted with FAT16 filesystem, so that is also okay. MSDOS and Windows 95/98 installations are in hard drive partitions with FAT filesystems, so again okay.
WakePup will recognise Puppy installed in a NTFS (Windows XP) hard drive partition, but I believe this is still experimental. WakePup will not recognise Puppy in a Linux partition.


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