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Old 11-13-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Need Guidance on Flavor of Linux

Hi folks, I wouldn't consider myself a newbie to software and hardware, but Linux is certainly not a strong suit for me, so I'm sure I'll be posting more questions than answers on LQ. So thank you in advance for your patients and help.

The Problem: I'm in a situation where I'm "movin' & grovin" a lot for the military. Not knowing when or where I'll be sometimes and not always being able to use my own hardware. I only need to really use "web access" stuff, that requires CAC card access. Avoiding having to install drivers on machines that aren't mine would be optimal.

I'd played with installing Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Linux Mint on flash drives and it all goes okay, but I cannot, for the life of me, tell which is more efficient for my needs. Sometimes I'll be on my desktop which is more than powerful enough to run any flavor of Linux, then sometimes I'll be on an old iMac Core Duo… and I'm sure it's NOT 64 bit.

My dream would be to install a version of Linux on a thumb/flash drive to be able to boot into Linux from any machine on the planet. I'm assuming that my best bet would be a 32 bit version and a UI that doesn't tax the hardware too hard.

Old 11-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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If you want something light that is actually designed to run from USB rather than HD, you might find Puppy useful.
Old 11-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Knoppix has a fairly awesome reputation as a Live distro.

Other good advice here:

I have no experience with CAC so I don't know if it works with Linux, you'll need to verify that before getting too far with your project.

Also at the risk of stating the obvious, it is extremely unlikely that the military's computer usage policies allow you to "boot into Linux from any machine on the planet" so please follow the rules and don't get into any trouble.
Old 11-13-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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that looks good, I'll certainly give that a try.

I will not be booting into classified computers with the drive, that's a definite no no. My intention is to access DOD email and DOD websites that require CAC access without using a OS that isn't controlled/administer by myself. Having access at "home" is nothing new, it's actually a small requirement from my command. I do access these DOD websites all the time from my personal computer, I would just prefer a more safer way of knowing where my data is sitting. I'd like to separate my personal computer from my work computer without having to completely by new hardware. And if worst comes to worst... In a situation where I'd have to use a co-workers personal laptop, I'd rather boot into the drive and then access those needed sites, and when I'm finished... leave the laptop knowing I didn't leave any data that was important to me.
Old 11-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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i would also vote for puppy, it lives in the RAM of the machine and is blazing fast even on old computers. I used it on my dads old laptop with 512MB and it worked well. No problems


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