[SOLVED] can I install Linux from a flash drive to an internetless computer?
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can I install Linux from a flash drive to an internetless computer?
My mother in law got hooked up with a computer that had a bootleg copy of windows, which has now deactivated itself. She now has no OS or access to the internet. Can I download Linux to a flash drive from my computer and then install it on her computer from the flash drive? and then install Firefox the same way?? if so, how would I do it, just plug in the flash and click on an install program, or copy an iso?
Furthermore, many Linux distros have their own USB installer that is specific to the distro.
Most Linux distros come with Firefox preinstalled, so you probably won't need to worry about that... but I have to ask, what is the use of Firefox on an internetless computer?
Furthermore, I have to ask, what is your level of expertise with Linux, and will you be available to provide 24/7 support to your mother-in-law as she deals with the steep learning curve of an unfamiliar operating system? If the answer is "no", then in my opinion, spending a few dollars for a non-bootleg copy of Windows may actually be the best use of your time and money.
I am not familiar with Linux nor have I ever used it, but I'm pretty handy with software in general. The computer will have internet access once we get past the deactivated windows OS, which is blocking all internet access. I would advise them to get a legit windows copy myself, but when someone buys a $75 computer, they might not be interested in that option. This will mainly be a computer for the grandkids to mess around on when they go over there, so I thought if anyone could figure Linux out they could.
As stated above, Unetbootin will help you to get a Linux ready to install on a flashdrive. I would recommend an easy to use distro like Linux Mint, Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS. They all come with Firefox preinstalled. Also I would recommend you to install it, too, maybe in Virtualbox, to learn a bit about it, so that you can help, if there are problems. Maybe you are a future Linux user, too.
I am not familiar with Linux nor have I ever used it, but I'm pretty handy with software in general. The computer will have internet access once we get past the deactivated windows OS.
So, win is hosed (no bad thing). "Bootlegs" aren't good anyway, for lots of reasons.
I'll second the recommendation that you look at http://distrowatch.com and scroll down for the "page hit ranking" list. Choose one (or several) from the top ten. Maybe burn the iso you download to a CD (generally easier to boot from).
Try it. You might be surprised how well it all works.
If you encounter problems you cannot resolve for yourself, there's a lot of help available here.
Yes, you can install Linux from a flash drive, assuming the computer is capable of booting from a flash drive. You may have to change some settings in the BIOS to enable that setting.
Here's good general intro to Linux for persons who are new to Linux; it's oriented towards Ubuntu, but it's full of good general information. It should help you understand a lot of the terminology.
When I was first investigating Linux, I mucked about for quite a while in a most bewildered state and ended up with Slackware. It's still my favorite, but I probably wouldn't recommend it for someone who just wants to surf the web, use email, and write the occasional document.
The Linux terminology is different, the directory structure is different, and the variety can be whelming, if not overwhelming.
It's different, but it's not difficult. But it's not Windows and don't expect it to fit into a Windows frame of reference.
It's like an American driving in the UK--you're on the left side of the road, not the right, and everything looks different, but the car still has brakes, gears, and stearing wheel. They are just laid out differently and sometimes have different names (it's a bonnet, but when you open it up, there's still a motor there).
If the computer in question has a CD drive, it's probably easiest to download and burn a CD image from a *.iso file and install from the CD drive. You can get additional software once you get on line.
Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Linux.
I'm guessing, and gleaning from numerous replies, that burning a CD is the way to go. I downloaded a iso file of ubuntu to my flash drive, but I couldn't get anything to work, not realizing until just now that you have to get the computer to boot from the media with the iso on it, then install. you can't just click on the thing....
I recommend you start a separate thread with the specs of your mother-in-law's computer and ask the community what distros it would recommend.
Go ahead with the Ubuntu install, but there's also another distro called Lubuntu which you might be interested in. Ubuntu is great for new Linux users, but Lubuntu (modified Ubuntu with LXDE) might be more appropriate for her computer because Lubuntu is less resource hungry.
I recommend you also burn live rescue CDs such as PartedMagic or SystemRescue to use for recovery or emergency. You might also want to burn liveCDs such as Puppy Linux, Slax, Slitaz and/or Knoppix. These will run off the CD and don't have to be installed in order for you to use them. This way, if you come across any install problems, you'll have a backup plan.
I'm still curious ... why would you want Firefox on a computer without an internet connection?
Firefox does make a decent file/directory browser - good for reading documentation, text files, PDF's etc., or maybe use it for testing web apps in a development environment (server runs on local machine, sort of thing), or for reading books, browsing sourcecode?
EDIT - and, the OP did imply that the machine would have an internet connection eventually.
Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 09-29-2010 at 08:35 AM.