If you have a low-end device, it can be hard to smoothly use the operating system. That’s why Linux contains various types of lightweight and portable distros. Portable distros provide a convenient approach to using Linux from a USB flash drive. You can carry these fully functional operating systems in a USB and connect them to your machine.
It also comes in handy when you want to use someone else’s device but only works on your OS. However, the wide variety of these types of Linux distros sometimes confuses the beginners. This blog will give you a complete information on the best Linux distros for USB.
Best Linux Distros for USB in 2023
This section gives a detailed information on the top 7 Linux distros that you can install on a USB and carry anywhere.
1. Puppy Linux
Puppy Linux is a family of lightweight Linux distributions and an operating system that emphasizes ease of use and low memory requirements. This Linux OS is a collection of various distros to deliver the unique features. You will be surprised when you use the Puppy Linux as a first-time user because this little distro has some features which aren’t even available in the full-fledged distros.
- Although 256 MB of RAM is recommended, Puppy Linux needs 128 MB of RAM and a 333 MHz CPU.
- A live CD is less than 150MB in size. While a portable version that you can carry on a USB drive without needing to be installed is under 100MB.
- There are several variations of Puppy Linux. The first variation is an Ubuntu-based release called Tahrpup. By using this version, the user can benefit from all the applications and support provided by Ubuntu. Slacko, the second iteration, is based on Slackware binaries. The third variation, known as Wary, is created to accommodate the older technology than the others. The fourth variation, Quirky, serves as a base for exploring new concepts.
- It is about 100 MB in size.
- Puppy Linux allows the users to add some additional programs as needed instead of being limited to what is already installed.
- The Puppy Linux interface supports a variety of themes, and customizing the appearance of the desktop is simple.
- It can work on 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems. By enabling the persistence option, it can preserve your settings and data.
- Puppy Linux makes you feel like you’ve suddenly gone back 20 years. Since Puppy Linux is designed to run on computers with meager resources, the software is often outdated, making it appear 20 years old.
- It is not as light as it used to be, but not as light as it was a year or two ago.
- Puppy has yet to precompile packages.
- There is no built-in stacking for the JWM window manager because it has low resource distribution.
2. Peppermint OS
The Linux Peppermint OS operating system is incredibly fast, stable, and lightweight. The Peppermint OS Linux distribution, which runs on the Xfce desktop environment, is based on Debian and Devuan Stable. It provides a pleasant atmosphere for the new users of Linux which runs on hardware that does not need a lot of resources.
- The dark theme and XFCE Whisker menus are well-prepared. Adding a board to the bottom and sliding the panel up is easy.
- Since the Whisker Menu and other tweaks make it feel like we’re using the XFCE desktop environment like hotkeys, we arrived at the world’s fastest and lightest system.
- ICE SSB makes the creation of web applications that work locally accessible.
- All software is hosted by The Software Boutique, which is part of The MATE Welcome Software Center.
- After installing the base distribution, enough applicable back-end packages are loaded by default to make the system functional for everyday use.
- Respin PPA updates were done on Peppermint OS 9 (32 and 64-bit).
- In the LXDE desktop environment, Peppermint Seven uses the Xfwm4 window manager and the Xfce bottom panel.
- Many users face double-click-related issues.
A portable operating system based on Slackware is called Porteus. It can be run from fixed and removable media, including a USB flash drive or compact disc, and requires no installation. There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Porteus. It is a fast and modular live USB OS based on Slackware. Porteus is developed as the new version of Slax (Slackware-based distro) with KDE3 as a default desktop for a stripped-down KDE4 environment for an x86_64 flavor.
- Linux live scripts are the basis of Porteus which has been significantly improved and changed.
- It can be modified on a portable device, loaded on a hard disc, or run from a disc or USB flash drive.
- The user chooses which programs to install before packing them into Porteus. Only after selecting a few settings from the menu – including one of four window management systems, the browser, and other features – does the system download.
- Slackware uses the Porteus package manager.
- Without system hardware, software debugging is difficult.
- Making a new board takes a lot of time and cost.
Slax is a premium Linux operating system that is portable, lightweight, fast, and has an excellent design. You can carry it in your pocket. It doesn’t require installation because it works directly from your USB flash drive. Slax offers a beautiful graphical user interface and a thoughtful collection of pre-installed tools including a file manager, text editor, terminal, and more despite its modest size.
- The Slax distribution is flexible and easy to adapt.
- Additional applications can be installed and removed using Slax modules.
- Slax modules are entirely self-contained, so there is no need to load an additional software using conventional package management such as Debian’s APT.
- Despite the excellent layout, Slax needs an installer like Tinycore which is simply inexcusable.
- It is slow on older machines.
- The release of Slax only happens sometimes because only one person maintains it.
One of the first live OS distributions is the Debian-based KNOPPIX OS which you can instantly boot from a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. KNOPPIX is a platform for commercial demos of software products and can be used as a Linux demo, for training, as a backup system or as a rescue system.
- It offers multimedia applications built with MP3 support.
- It would be tempting for anyone without a broadband connection who wants to install a full version of Linux with compatibility for many proprietary file formats such as MP3.
- The Knoppix operating system is based on Debian. Updating or installing the software is accessible using Apt package management.
- Linux can be installed and run with Knoppix on hardware which is at least 4 years old.
- The Knoppix operating system is primarily intended for live use. As a result, it starts up slower than the other distributions when installed on a hard drive.
- There are more efficient ways to learn the essential workings of Linux. Installing a distribution like Slackware, Fedora, or Ubuntu is recommended.
6. MX Linux
The MX community has developed and packaged an additional software for the MX Linux distribution which is based on the stable version of Debian and uses core anti-X components. It’s a line of operating systems which are designed to combine the beautiful and efficient desktops with high levels of reliability and reliable performance.
- With automatic configuration, MX Linux recognizes the hardware quite well.
- All MX tools now run on MX Linux which has improvements.
- Essential applications recieve frequent upgrades for users.
- It offers different tabs for Fluxbox and KDE versions.
- For several MX applications, MX Linux offers multilingual localization.
- MX Linux provides a helpful and friendly user support forum.
- Although MX Linux is reliable and generally efficient, it is neither cutting-edge nor as adaptable as some other systems.
- The Xfce of MX Linux is laggy.
7. Ubuntu GamePack
Ubuntu GamePack is a distribution that is made up of Debian with free and open-source software. It is one of the most famous Linux distributions. The best operating system for gamers is Ubuntu which is pre-installed on many Linux devices. Ubuntu GamePack guarantees to launch over 8,5000 games developed by Linux Windows including consoles Sega, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, PSP, ZX Spectrum, etc.
- Good overall layout. Learning the Ubuntu desktop environment is easy. You only realize how important this is to navigation once you use a Sterrible UI/UX.
- Excellent guidance and help. For all needs, Ubuntu has a great support system. In addition, it receives regular updates to ensure that the software that you are using is up-to-date.
- Open-source. The most important thing is open source.
- Free and easy.
- Popular Windows games may work differently than expected.
- It becomes laggy while using some programs.
This is all about the best Linux distros for USB which you can try in 2023. These operating systems offer speed, security, stability, and, most importantly, a great user experience. If you’re currently using Windows, we included some specific options to make the transition from Linux to Windows easier.