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UNetbootin – freeware lets you create a live Linux installation on a USB drive


UNetbootin is a cool bit of freeware which lets you create a live bootable Linux system on a standard USB memory stick. It’s Windows only, but a very cool way to try out a Linux distro on your machine without having to laboriously install the thing.

You’ll need to download an .ISO file first, but there’s lots available on the site for you to play with. A fun way to see just how fast your machine can be with a non-bloat operating system running on it.

 UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions without burning a CD. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. You can either let UNetbootin download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you’ve already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn’t on the list.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • Actually, UNetbootin is available for Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX. And just to clarify, it handles downloading the ISO file once you select the distro you want to try, although it will also handle one you've previously downloaded manually as well.

    • Ah thanks for that Dave, I didn't see the Mac option.

  • What's the easiest way to create a multi-boot DVD drive?

    I have several live ISOs (mint linux, bart pe, Lsoft Active Boot, etc) that I'd love to burn on a single dvd and have the option to load any upon boot!

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