We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Operating systems software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Linux Live USB Creator review


Manufacturer: LinuxLiveUSB

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Linux Live USB Creator makes it easier to install Linux. Read our full review to find out more.

There used to be a time when Microsoft Windows ruled the operating system world. But in recent years, the free and open source Linux operating system has taken a big bite out of Windows' dominance. But Linux has always had an image problem of seeming too difficult and unwieldy to install and learn, with a steep learning curve attached. Take a look at the latest Linux "How-To" tutorials.

Linux Live USB Creator (LiLi for short) aims to take the sting out of a newcomer's introduction to the operating system by making it as easy as possible to get started. All you need is a USB stick with enough space—a minimum 2GB should do the trick—and five minutes of your time to install it. No user manual required. See also How to try Linux with no strings attached.

After downloading and installing the software (developer Thibaut Lauziere also offers a portable version), open it up and you will see a simple straightforward user interface, showing the various steps needing to be completed. Once each step has been successfully carried out, the traffic light icon on the right hand side will turn green.

First, you need to point the app towards the location of your USB stick in the computer.  Secondly, you need to choose the source of the Linux installation file. For example, you may have it already downloaded onto your computer. If so, point it towards that file.

If not, you can click "download" and a big drop-down menu of various Linux distros (and some non-Linux options) will be presented as possibilities.  Just choose the one you want to download.  For newcomers, it's probably easiest to choose Ubuntu as it's an easy Linux distro to get started with.

Linux Live USB Creator

Once you've done this, the "persistence" level should be automatically at green. "Persistence" means that you can keep your preferences and data on your USB stick, after rebooting (normally this information is discarded).

Next come LiLi's personal options, which you must decide yourself. I enabled all three options but you need to decide for yourself what you prefer.

Finally, if everything looks OK, click the yellow lightning flash to begin the installation of your chosen Linux distro to your USB stick. In my case, it took only a few minutes and it was immediately ready to go.

There are two possibilities to run your new Linux distro. The first one is to reboot your computer and let Windows boot from the USB stick. However, this means you are running only Linux with no access to Windows. The second (and preferable) option is to go to the stick and choose "Virtualize This Key," which will launch the excellent VirtualBox software.

This is the software equivalent of a sandbox where you can run software programs inside, independent of the operating system you are currently using. In other words, you can be running Windows and at the same time, have Linux running inside the VirtualBox window.

The only downside to this option is that a huge amount of CPU is going to be required to run both OS's simultaneously. So you may notice things slowing down slightly as a result. If it gets too bad, try closing some non-essential programs.

In a word, Linux Live USB Creator should be on everyone's PC, as it is essential for everyone to learn that there is a world beyond what Microsoft has to offer. With it being portable, you can easily carry it about on a USB stick and introduce Linux to everyone you know.

Linux Live USB Creator Expert Verdict »

OPERATING SYSTEMS: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows 8 Desktop, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Linux has always come across to most people as something too complicated to install and learn. But with Linux Live USB Creator, you can now install one of many Linux operating systems onto your USB stick, and operate it with absolute ease.

  • LilyPond review


    LilyPond is a free music-score creation software program, but it's not easy to use.

  • Linux Mint 9 review

    Linux Mint 9

    Introduce some minty freshness to your PC with the free Linux Mint 9 operating system, a variant of Ubuntu 10.04.

  • CrunchBang Linux review

    CrunchBang Linux

    CrunchBang Linux is a free lightweight Linux operating system that eschews some of the bells and whistles of more user-friendly distros such as Ubuntu and Peppermint Ice.

  • VirtualBox 2.2 review

    VirtualBox 2.2

    VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualiser for x86 computer hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, its makers claim it is the only open source professional-quality virtualisation solution. That's right, it's free.

  • Parallels Desktop 8 vs VMware Fusion 5 comparison review: best way to run Windows on Mac

    Parallels Desktop 8 vs VMware Fusion 5 comparison: best way to run Windows on Mac

    The two best options for running Windows (or any other OS) on your Mac are Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion. Here we compare Parallels and VMware to answer the question: what's the best way to run Windows on a Mac?

IDG UK Sites

Amazon's Fire Phone reduced to £99: The best smartphone deal you'll find all day

IDG UK Sites

8 reasons you should start a blog

IDG UK Sites

Floating hard drive offers safe storage for daredevil filmmakers

IDG UK Sites

Apple Q1 2015 financial results: $74.6 billion revenue, record iPhone sales of 74.5 million