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I am looking to be able to run a live copy of Linux off of a 4GB usb stick. I would like this to be a sandbox/learning environment, and my requirements are:

1) No persistence. Everything that is done while the Linux OS is running is completely reset upon reboot. I understand that I can do this using Unetbootin by just leaving the persistence slider at 0.

2) No access to my computer's hard drive. Is it possible to do this in such a way that the OS running on the USB has no access to make changes to the computer's hard drive?

3) Also, any recommendations are appreciated for a distro that will allow me to do this easily while being lightweight (perhaps under 1GB .iso, for example) and preferably based on Debian.

Hopefully, these will be trivially easy questions for you guys, but I was not able to find a definitive answer to #2 in my web searches.

Thanks for your help!

  • Tails – earthmeLon Jan 12 '15 at 21:31
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    Are you asking for a way to make a trusted OS. There is no way that you can protect your hard-disks this way, if the OS can not be trusted. – ctrl-alt-delor Jan 12 '15 at 21:36
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Have a look at Kali Linux. It is used for forensics and penetration testing and will not mount or modify anything on its host unless you do it manually.

You could also check out TAILS, which has a interesting feature set and focuses on privacy.

Both should be able to meet your requirements.

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