Install on flash disk


Install Nanolinux on your flash disk

core2usb installer

Probably the easiest way to install the Nanolinux ISO image file on a flash disk is using the core2usb installer available here:

This installer runs on Windows, however, needs no installation procedure. You just click on the program in explorer to run.

In the core2usb window you select nanolinux-xxx.iso as the ISO image file and then the flash disk where you want to install Nanolinux. If you then click on the install button everything will be done for you.

Core2usb copies the "boot" directory from the CD and adds the "waitusb=5" boot option to the syslinux.cfg file. Then it copies the "cde" directory to the flash disk renaming it "tce" as required for a hard disk installation. Then you got a flash disk to run Nanolinux.

Linux Life utility

An alternative to make a bootable flash disk with Nanolinux is to use the LinuxLife program on Windows. You can download it here:

Nanolinux is not yet in the compatibility list of LinuxLife but will work fine if you copy the nanolinux-xxx.iso file to Coreplus-current.iso which is supported by LinuxLife.

After loading LinuxLife you will be presented with a display asking you to select your options in five steps:

  1. Select the flash disk drive you want to install Nanolinux on.

  2. Select the Coreplus-current.iso image file. This is the copy of the Nanolinux ISO file you made before loading LinuxLife.

  3. Nothing to be done in step 3

  4. I would recommend to uncheck to hide the files, since this provides more flexibility.
    The last checkbox that allows to start LinuxLife from Windows will download a portable version of Oracle VirtualBox and install that on the flash disk.

  5. Now you can install Nanolinux on the flash disk by clicking on the flash image. Make sure that the traffic lights for step 1 and 2 show green. The traffic light for step 3 will remain yellow but LinuxLife will proceed anyway.

Run Nanolinux from the flash disk

a) Booting the flash disk

Just stick the flash disk into your PC and start that. The BIOS should allow you to select the boot device from a menu after pressing e.g. PF12. You have to do that quickly before e.g. Windows will start. If you then select the USB device which presents your flash disk, the PC will use that to boot from. This way Nanolinux will start from the flash disk now.

Since Nanolinux runs completely in memory, all new files will be lost when you terminate your session. You can, however, save files permanently if you copy them to the flash disk which may be called e.g. "/mnt/sdf1", "/mnt/sdb1" or "/mnt/sdb2". The command "ls /mnt" will show you the available disks and their names.

b) Starting from Windows if installed with LinuxLife

Open the flash disk in Windows explorer. There will be a VirtualBox folder on the flash disk and in there the program "Virtualize_This_Key.exe". If you click on this program, Oracle portable VirtualBox will load and run Nanolinux.

However, VirtualBox assumes that Nanolinux supports mouse pointer integration. This is not the case and you have to turn that off from the machine menu in Virtual box for the mouse pointer to work fine. A click onto the Nanolinux desktop will activate the mouse for Nanolinux. Pressing the Ctrl-right key will make the mouse available for Windows again.

Command line procedure

If you prefer to do the installation from the Linux command line here are instructions for that:
A few changes to these instructions are needed to use them with a Nanolinux ISO image.