Linux on your keychain

Okay so there it was trying to research ways of protecting or encrypting a USB flash drive, which incidentally is coming up pretty dry. It seems that most people who come up with clever ways of doing this are more interested in selling the idea or the product to the US be flash drive company than to a user of USB flash drives. Anyway, so there I was looking around, and I kept running into references of running Linux from flash drive. This is really intriguing — the idea of carrying a complete working operating system in your pocket walking up to a computer putting in the USB flash drive, hitting reboot and having that computer that set up exactly the way you want using the OS that you want and securitie you want.

The idea that you can just reboot nearly any computer with a new operating system and completely get rid of any existing security threat, at least the software ones, is pretty attractive. However, I wasn’t able to try this out. After downloading 100MB or so of the Runt 4.0 Linux system, I found that my USB flash drive was not bootable on my Sony laptop. Stil this is a really sexy idea to me, I’ll have to see if my desktop or perhaps my wife’s computer can be made to boot from USB.

On a slightly different note, all of this made me pine a bit for Linux. A long time ago I admin’d a small network of Unix worktations, and ever since then I’ve had soft spot for Linux. However, the spot was never soft enough to put up with the extensive technical wrangling that always seemed to necessary to get even the right monitor selected, let a lone a printer working.

So last night I decided to try an evaluation of Novell’s Suse Desktop distribution. I’ve only just installed it, but I’m pretty impressed. More later.

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