Posted on May 23, 2012 by Jingles | No Comments
In the world of Linux there are more flavours than you can poke a stick at. If you are looking at switching to Linux then one of the biggest challenges you will face is finding your favourite flavour of Linux. There are so many flavours to try, it can be intimidating and time consuming. Luckily there are plenty of ways to sample different flavours of Linux, some are easier than others.
The most common way of trying a different flavour of Linux is to burn a live CD. A live CD will let you load Linux into memory from the live CD rather than installing it on your HDD. It’s quicker and easier than dual booting Operating Systems.
But the problem with live CDs is that they are not persistent. That means that any changes you make aren’t remembered, i.e. next time you boot from the CD you will be back at square one. You will have to change settings, install programs etc. again because changes you made will be forgotten when you reboot or shut down your PC. Although this could also be a blessing in disguise for noobs who might be prone to breaking things.
If you need or want persistence you could use Linux in a Virtual Machine which can be slightly harder and take a little longer than burning a CD, but it’s still easier than dual booting and you get persistence.
Another problem with live CDs is that they eat up blank media like a kid eats candy, sure CD/DVD-Rs or CD/DVD-RWs are cheap but they still cost money.
If you have a spare USB flash drive (even if you don’t you can pick one up for less than the cost of a spindle of CD/DVD-Rs) then I’d suggest trying Universal USB Installer “a Live Linux USB Creator that allows you to choose from a selection of Linux Distributions to put on your USB Flash Drive.”. It’s as easy as 1 2 3 to use, it’s relatively noob friendly, although it’s not 100% idiot proof, and takes care of creating the bootable USB flash drive for you.
You select which flavour of Linux you want to try from the drop down menu. If you don’t have the ISO then the program will provide you a link to the home page. If you have the ISO then you point the utility to the ISO, sometimes it’s smart enough to find the ISO itself. Then you tell it the drive letter of your USB flash drive, click create and wait. It will take about 5 minutes after which you will have a fully bootable USB flash drive containing your selected flavour of Linux.