Ever wished you can carry an entire operating system in a small USB stick and use it on any computer, just for the sake of browsing the internet, replying to emails, calling friends on Skype or checking your Facebook account ?
There are situations when you may want to install an operating system in your USB drive. Some of them may be :
- You just discovered that the shared computer is running on Linux and you are a Linux illiterate.
- You are very skeptical on using anyone’s else computer and operating system and have the fear of getting hacked by keylogger programs or other spy programs running in the background.
- The shared computer which you are using is not very user friendly, the computer is pathetically slow with a large number of applications running in the background.
- You don’t want to use the parent operating system, all you want is a dedicated operating system which can be used from any computer – directly from your 1 GB USB thumb drive or a 120 GB removable hard disk
XPUD is a tiny 64MB Operating System based on Linux which can be used to browse the internet and perform common internet related tasks from any computer. Think of XPUD as similar to Google Chrome OS - you can turn your USB drive into a netbook and carry out normal internet browsing, without leaving any trace on the host computer.
Install XPUD Operating System On a USB Stick
1. First download the XPUD ISO image (64MB) and then download the Universal USB installer (863 KB).
2. Note the Drive letter of your USB stick by opening Windows Explorer. Be extremely careful, because if you enter a wrong drive letter in the next step, your host operating system might get completely damaged.
3. Open the Universal USB installer and select “XPUD” in the Linux distribution drop down option. Next, select the location of the XPUD ISO image file in Step 2, as shown below:
4. Finally choose the drive letter of your USB drive in “STEP 3: Select the FAT32 USB Flash drive from the drive list”. This is the drive which will be formatted and all the files of XPUD operating system will be loaded.
5. Hit the “Create” button and The universal USB installer will create a bootable USB drive of the XPUD operating system.
All done, your XPUD portable operating system has been installed on the USB stick. The USB stick is bootable, hence you can use it on any computer and boot the operating system directly without having to use the parent operting system at all (Windows Or Linux but not MAC).
Running XPUD From Your USB Drive
1. Once the Operating system has been installed on your USB drive, insert it to any of the USB ports and restart the computer. When the computer is restarting, hold down the “F9″ key, this will allow you to boot from the USB drive.
2. You will now see XPUD’s initial screen, choose your preferred language and hit the Return key as shown below:
The Interface of XPUD And Settings
XPUD’s interface is very simple, user friendly and clutter free. There are 4 main sections on the left – Home, Menu, Files And Settings.
The Home Tab: Shows whether you are currently connected to the internet or not and lets you restart or turn off the computer.
The Menu Tab: The Menu tab lists all the applications that comes by default with the xpud operating system. This includes a web browser (Firefox), Facebook, YouTube, Google Calendar, Meebo and a media player.
Here are some more hands on images of the XPUD operating system, running from my 8GB USB drive:
(Click on the images to View the enlarged version)
You can further download the opt plugins, and put them under opt/ directory of your bootable device, they’ll be auto loaded while xPUD is booting. There are some very useful apps such as Skype for video calling, Open Office for creating documents, presentations and spreadsheets and Dropbox for managing or sharing files with friends from the cloud.
XPUD Installation and Usage – Video Tour
I have detailed all the above steps from installation to usage in the following video (hands on with a digital camera).
Have you ever used any portable operating system ? Share your ideas or links in the comments below: