Putting Damn Small Linux on a USB stick from Windows PC.

Written by Tom on Thursday 07/06/07

Having a stand a lone OS on a USB memory stick is a novelty and very easy to achieve via Damn Small Linux.

1 Format the USB memory stick to FAT23.

2 Download Damn Small Linux (dsl-embedded.zip 50 MB) from here. (most of the links didn’t work for me)

3 Download Syslinux (syslinux-3.36.zip 2 MB) from here.

4 Copy all extracted files from syslinux to the USB stick.

5 Copy all extracted files from dsl-embedded.zip. (Everything below the dsl-embedded directory) to the USB stick.

6 From the command prompt navigate to the USB stick \\\\syslinux-3.36\\\\win32 then run syslinux.exe n: (where n is the drive letter of the USB stick, ensure that
the ‘:’ is present )

7 With the USB stick plugged in reboot the PC and go into the BIOS. From my BIOS I had to first enable booting from USB device then set the boot priority to USB device first CD second etc.

Then I could reboot and guess what? The PC booted from the USB stick and in a minute I was using DSL.

I did notice that the BIOS settings only lasted until the next time I re-booted without the USB stick plugged in. So it looks like I have to go through step 7 each time I wish to boot off the USB stick.

The easier option is to plug the USB stick into the Windows PC and double click on the 'dsl-base.bat' that is located on the root directory of the USB stick. This will use the Virtual Machine provided by Qemu.

It's fast to load approx 40 sec on a PIV.

I do not claim any originality in this article.