Sunday, February 17, 2008

Playing with Pendrivelinux

Always intrigued by alternative operating systems, I decided to play with Pen Drive Linux this weekend...a portable open source operating system which can be booted to from a USB flash drive, or can be run from within Windows without rebooting (for those whose BIOS doesn't support booting from a USB flash drive), from a "virtual machine" environment. It is way cool!

Initially, I tried to get Pen Drive Linux to boot from my thumbdrive, after downloading & extracting to my USB Flash Drive & running the makeboot.bat file, as per their instructions found at:

I went into the BIOS and selected USB Flash Drive as my primary boot device, & also enabled the External Boot Device option. However, when I rebooted my laptop (Sony Vaio) it still booted to Vista. I even tried starting the boot further back (cold boot), but it still went to Vista. I verified that the file needed to boot to Linux was in the root of my thumb drive, it was. I must be doing something wrong...I'll figure it out later.

Anyway, I am currently entering this blog from within Pen Drive Linux. What I discovered after some poking around, is that there is also a download which enables you to launch Linux from within Windows, without having to reboot. This is just what I needed. :) I downloaded Qemupdlv1.0.1.exe from

and extracted it to my thumb drive (2G SanDisk Cruzer) to the Qemupdl folder. I ran the LaunchPDL.bat file and here I am.

It gives me something fun & different to play with. Here are some screenshots:

My stats browsing to my blog using the Pen Drive Linux OS & the Gnome browser Epiphany:

So much for today's fun! It is a glorious day out & I'm finally feeling a bit better from my flu. Time to go outside and take in some sunshine. :)


Mr. Pendharkar said...

Check this out for some more fun :

[Akash Pendharkar]

podi said...

Am taking a look at the alternative proposed by you. Got stuck with the lack of the linux image for pendrivelinux08. Any further inputs on alternative operating systems please, I want to give a small brief on them.
Tried Puppy Linux, Ubuntu and now pendrivelinux. Anythig similar to ringcube's option for Windows to carrying the desktop environ around. Regards

JasonD said...

I found that with mine, I had to go into windows and manually format the USB as FAT. (AKA: FAT16) For some reason, FAT32 has some issues with boot-loading for them.

I also used another version called "Fidora-9", which used an actual loader to make the full boot-USB setup. (I did not see if the format was FAT16 or FAT32, but it loaded right-up.)

With the pendrive, I also ran into a small problem where I tried to run the "Persistent" version with the FAT32 after I used the emulated windows version. In windows, I setup the resolution for 800 x 600, because it ran in a window. I could not see the icons on the bottom. Once I got it loaded from a boot-load, it tried to stretch the 800 x 600 to my wide-screen laptop. It didn't like that. The desktop was not visible, only bars of colored lines. Switching to FAT16 fixed that also, because it restored the persistent file on the new install.

OMG, I love this thing! Internet, e-mail, printing, 3-D desktop, Word-processing... Tools, games, and the ability to expand...

All wrapped up in the palm of my hand, ready for use in almost any other computer, without having to use other peoples virus infected and compromised software... WOOT.

Oh, forgot about the image-editor, and a bunch of other stuff in there.

So much for using it to restore windows... I am using it to replace windows. Setup one for me, one for my mother, and one for my sister. I'll leave windows broken. I could use the drive space for other things. Like photo's of penguins and you-tubes of me juggling three OS's while I whistle the windows shutting-down sound-effect. Dee doooh dee doh... "Good-bye"... LOL

PammiePi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PammiePi said...

Hi Jason;

I would like to see that You-Tube video. LOL. It is way cool. I threaten to reformat my laptop to run some flavour of Linux, Vista is extremely slow (& I'm pegged out in memory) & I'm just tired of these bloated Windows OS's. Win2K wasn't too bad, but I'm not at all impressed with Vista.

MK said...

Its good to see qemuPDL booting from within Windows. I am facing an issue. While qemuPDL is running I want to access regular disk drives like C: or D: But fdisk -l does not show any other drives. How do I access C: or D: or USB flash drives from qemuPDL ?

- MK