an iso for 'all' intel/amd computers

Jonathan Marsden jmarsden at
Sat May 25 22:45:54 UTC 2013

On 05/25/2013 12:07 PM, Nio Wiklund wrote:

> I think it is good to have a portable live or persistent live system
> on a USB pendrive. You need not carry a computer, only the pendrive,
> and you can borrow almost any computer to run it.

There are some alternatives to be considered:

(1) For ultimate portability, store your computing environment in the
cloud, and access it (using a browser, or vnc, or freenx, or RDP, or
whatever remote protocol you prefer) from any computer with an Internet
connection ... there is no need to carry anything physical at all :)

For example, Amazon gives you a full time 24x7 "micro" EC2 instance, for
free, for a year... an old article about doing that to set up a Ubuntu
(Maverick -- 2 year old article!) desktop in the cloud that uses freenx
for remote access is at:

(2) For more security, don't depend on borrowing other people's
machines, just carry the computer... Raspberry Pi at US$35 is as
low-cost as some larger USB sticks.  Yes, it has other tradeoffs, but
you know you are running your own portable computing environment, not
one someone else changed (deliberately or otherwise) when you inserted
your USB stick into their machine.

(3) Less radically, just carry two USB sticks, one for i386 and one for
amd64.  Most PCs have at least two USB ports, so you should be able to
sync data between the two when appropriate.

(4) Or, maybe, carry 3 USB sticks -- two bootable ones for i386 and
amd64, and a third with your data, which you mount as /home with
whichever of the first two boots on a given PC.

> Clonezilla i686-pae boots from CD, Lubuntu 12.04 i386 non-pae boots 
> neither from CD nor USB. Lubuntu 12.04 64-bits boots from CD. Ubuntu 
> 12.04.2 boots from USB, but I think it is 'licensed'. A brand new 
> download of debian-live-7.0.0-amd64-lxde-desktop.iso does not boot
> from USB, but it boot fine when no UEFI.

> I can try again, but what I know is that for example Ubuntu 12.04.2 
> boots from USB repeatedly without any problems. A 32-bit system with
> the same 'license' or 'key' should work too, and would be a good
> candidate for a truly portable system.

Truly portable?  Would it boot on my Raspberry Pi?  No.  On my
Pandaboard?  No.  On a Samsung Chromebook?  No.  On "my" loaner PPC
iBook?  No.  So your "truly portable" image would not boot on at least 4
of the general purpose computers available to me in my house.

I think "truly portable" is based on your own personal definition...
unfortunately you are being vague about what exact set of computers you
want this portability to work on.  Clarity matters.

If you have a specific requirement for single-USB-stick portability
between a particular set of machines, and current Ubuntu and Debian ISOs
don't quite do what you need... OK... learn enough to "scratch your own
itch" and fix that.  Report your results, and make them available to
others.  It might take you 100 hours work, but if you are smart and
determined, and what you want is possible, then you can do it, and you
will learn a lot in the process!

Declaring this as "a truly portable system" (which it is not, unless you
define "truly portable" only in the narrow way you seem to want it to be
defined) and expecting others (the tiny set of Lubuntu developers) to do
the work for you, seems unrealistic.


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