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I don't have linux. I'm on Windows (XP or 7).

I'd like to have just a linux USB key only to boot and have the command line to launch some command line programs. How may I simply create that USB key (256 Mb available) ? Do you know some Windows tools that would allow me to do that without having to make all by hand each time ?

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You can use Tiny Core Linux; it takes 8mb

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Additionally, Tiny Core Linux makes it easy to tailor your own distribution, say to work well with your Windows installation. – Charles Stewart Jun 26 '13 at 19:51

In 256 Mb you can have GUI, web browser, text editor and a music player! Install puppy linux on your usb. It is a fully operational Linux with a nice UI (and terminal to run commands). You can find instructions at pendrivelinux.
If you want something even smaller then have a look at Damn Small Linux.

Edit: You can set init to 3 from 5 in file /etc/inittab after installation.

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I don't want any UI, just the command line at boot. – Oliver Dec 31 '11 at 10:02
updated answer based on the comment. – Aditya Patawari Jan 1 '12 at 14:18

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