Join Scott Simpson for an in-depth discussion in this video Using a portable Ubuntu Live Disk, part of Learning Ubuntu Desktop Linux (2014).
One of the really neat features of Ubuntu and some other Linux distributions, is that you can run them from a USB stick. This is called live mode, and it can be useful if you want to work in your Linux environment, and bypass whatever operating system is installed on the computer you're using. Of course, this requires that you are able to restart the computer you're using, and it's almost always slower than running a virtual machine or a native install. Before you use a live boot on someone else's hardware, make sure you have permission to do so. It also doesn't save your files unless you've specifically set aside space for that, and you can do that with a UNetbootin tool.
But, if you need to have a desktop environment that's separate from a particular computer, it's a good option. So, in the previous movie, I booted my system up so that it starts from the USB drive. Here, I have a menu that gives me the option of trying Ubuntu without installing, and I'll do that. It takes a while to load, because it's all coming from a USB drive, instead of a fast internal hard drive. But after a bit, I'm at the desktop. I'll talk about all of the things you see here in the next few chapters, but this is a completely usable Linux environment. You can use the software and connect to the Internet if you're hardwired or join a Wi-Fi network.
The biggest thing to remember about this live environment is that anything you save on the desktop or in your documents or anywhere else, will be gone when the system shuts down. If you need to work with files, I'd recommend carrying another USB stick or setting up a partition on this drive with a UNetbootin, as I mentioned earlier. Or, you can use cloud file services or remote servers to store your files on. But that's something I'll get into later in the course. Next, let's take a look at installing Ubuntu on a computer
- Installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine
- Installing Ubuntu as your main operating system
- Navigating the Unity Dash
- Exploring the hardware and system settings
- Working with files and folders
- Browsing the web
- Creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Working with photos in Shotwell
- Backing up your data
- Sharing files