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Linux Live Session

Table of Contents

What is a Linux Live Session

Linux is a great tool for troubleshooting. It can run off a USB drive in a live session. This allows you to use a wide range of tools to manipulate the disks, data, and hardware of your computer/OS without worrying about anything running on it.

Frequently Asked Questions

But I use Windows!

That’s fine, a Linux live session can be used regardless of your operating system.

I don’t want to install Linux!

The live session does not install Linux onto your main disk, the computer just boots into a USB drive containing Linux. Your main disk won’t be touched at all unless you choose to.

I don’t know Linux!

Our live session is designed to be very easy to use for Windows users to understand, so Windows users should find it pretty straightforward.

1. Obtaining media

r/Techsupport Rescue Media

A Linux ISO has been made for r/Techsupport that has many of the proper tools pre-installed to make rescuing a system easier. If you are unfamiliar with Linux we recommend that you use this version.

Download

Source files for Debian live-build

The username and password for the media is user and live

Official Xubuntu Media

You may also use the official Xubuntu ISO and load your own tools as needed.

Download

2. Creating bootable media

This will require a USB drive that is at least the size of the ISO you downloaded.

Warning: This will wipe all existing data on the USB drive.

  1. Download and run Etcher
  2. Select your downloaded ISO
  3. Select your target drive
  4. Click “Flash” and wait for it to finish.
Alternative steps, without using Etcher

Windows

  1. Download and run Rufus.
  2. Select “ISO Image” and then browse for the ISO image.
  3. Select which flash drive you want to put the installer on.
  4. Select the target system type (GPT/MBR) depending on your motherboard’s capabilities.
  5. Click “Start” and wait for it to finish.
  6. Eject the USB flash drive.

macOS

  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. First, without the flash drive inserted, run diskutil list in the Terminal.
  3. Plug in the flash drive and run diskutil list again. You can do this to identify the drive device path. The device path is in the form of /dev/diskN, where N is a number (example: /dev/disk1).
  4. Unmount the flash drive you have identified. diskutil unmountdisk /dev/diskN.
  5. Convert the ISO image. hdiutil convert /path/to/image.iso -format UDRW -o /path/to/ubuntu.img
  6. Run dd if=/path/to/image.img of=/dev/rdiskN status=progress to create a bootable drive from the image. Using /dev/rdiskN instead of /dev/diskN usually results in faster media creation.
  7. Wait until dd finishes. The terminal will display the next prompt when it’s done.
  8. Eject the USB flash drive: diskutil eject /dev/diskN.

Linux

  1. First, without the flash drive inserted, run lsblk in the Terminal.
  2. Plug in the flash drive and run lsblk again. You can do this to identify the drive device path. The device path is usually in the form of /dev/sdX, where X is a letter (example: /dev/sdb).
  3. Run dd if=/path/to/image.iso of=/dev/sdX status=progress to create a bootable drive from the ISO.
  4. Wait until dd finishes. The terminal will display the next prompt when it’s done.

You can also follow our Ventoy guide to make one flash drive that can boot multiple ISO files, but that is a little more difficult.

3. Boot the live media

  1. Press your ‘Boot menu’ key when you power on the machine to access your boot options.
    • You may need to go through BIOS and change boot priority if you cannot find or hit the boot options key during boot.
  2. Choose your USB
  3. Once it boots select ‘Try’ or ‘Live’

Things to do