I'm wondering if it was possible to have a USB stick from which I can boot some Linux distro like Peppermint and have the same stick act as a normal storage drive at the same time (as in a separate partition).

I'm not talking about having persistent storage for the OS, I just want a USB drive on my keychain upon which I can put files really quickly and also boot from.

  • Welcome, it's perfectly possible, it all depends on how do you create the usb. Feb 10, 2021 at 21:21
  • Well, whatever works. I don't care if I install via Startup Disk Creator or some Windows tool. I want to install a Debian based OS like Ubuntu or Tails or peppermint.
    Feb 10, 2021 at 22:34
  • With tools that burn the ISO in the usb (SDC is one if I'm not wrong), you won't be able to create partitions. With rufus or yumi in windows, you can use gparted to resize and create partitions, but should be tested. I create bootable usbs installing grub to it, so I partition first, which gives total control of the drive structure. But this is a more complex task. Feb 10, 2021 at 22:39
  • Is there a guide for this somewhere? I can't figure it out.
    Feb 12, 2021 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Ok, I've messed around a bit and finally figured it out. Here is what I did:

  1. Delete all partitions on the USB drive
  2. Create a FAT32 partition for your OS (15GB in my case) and leave the rest unallocated
  3. Install your OS (Tails via Startup Disk Creator in my case)
  4. Boot into your OS
  5. Boot back into your main OS (Ubuntu in my case)
  6. Create a new ntfs partition with 1GB leading space and 10GB following space


To "5.": I don't know why but if I don't do this gparted will give me errors.

To "7.": I think the amount of leading/following space doesn't matter. I just wanted to be generous with leading space. I found out that Tails OS uses the following space for persistant storage which is why I chose 10GB.


I am not an expert in any of this. If anyone knows better then please comment below. This is just what worked for me.

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