This guide shows you how to create a bootable Linux Mint USB drive with persistence.
Click here for an alternative guide for creating a Linux Mint USB drive which will work on computers with UEFI.
1. Download Linux Mint
The current version of Linux Mint is version 17.
To get Linux Mint 17 visit http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php.
There are a number of download options available and the one you choose to download will be based on the specifications of your host machine.
If you have a new and modern computer then click on the link for Cinnamon. If you have a 64-bit computer click on the 64-bit link otherwise click the 32-bit link. If after following this guide you decide that Cinnamon isn’t your thing then try again but go for the KDE version.
If you have an older computer then click on the link for MATE. Again if you have a 64-bit computer click on the 64-bit link otherwise click the 32-bit link. If after following this guide you decide that MATE isn’t your thing then try out the XFCE version.
Ignore the links with no codecs and the OEM versions.
When you get to the download page click on the link of the server that is closest to you.
The download of the Linux Mint ISO should start and depending on your speed can take some time.
2. Create a bootable USB drive
Insert a blank USB drive into your computer.
To create a bootable USB drive the tool that I advocate using is the Universal USB Installer from www.pendrivelinux.com.
Follow the above link for pendrive Linux and scroll half way down the page until you see the “Download UUI” link. Click on the download link and wait for the program to download.
When the download has completed double click on the executable.
When the license agreement screen appears read it and then click “I Agree” if you accept the license.
Creating the drive is fairly straight forward.
The first thing to do is choose your distribution of choice, in this case Linux Mint, from the dropdown list.
Click on the “Browse” button. Find the downloaded Linux Mint ISO.
Select your chosen USB drive letter and make sure that the “We will format” option is checked.
At this point you can create the USB drive so that it persists data. This makes it possible to install software when using the live Linux Mint version and it will still be available the next time you boot from the USB drive.
Click “Create” to continue.
A summary screen will tell you what is about to happen.
Basically your USB drive is about to be completely wiped and Linux Mint is about to be installed as a live image to it.
If you are happy to continue click “Yes”.
You will now see a progress bar showing how far through the process the installer is and how long it is expected to last.
Reboot your computer and Linux Mint should now boot from the live USB.