I have an old HP server, would like to

  1. Plugin USB and ethernet cable
  2. USB boots a linux distro and starts running sshd with default user/password

I can then ssh into the box from my laptop. I was wondering if the above setup/startup is possible ?

  • I think ssh wants a password. So if you have a persistent live system, you need to do something, for example create a second user (alongside the default one) and make ssh log in with that user. But if you run an installed system via USB, there is no problem with ssh, should be easy according to this link. Depending on the age of the HP server, it might not want to boot via grub and USB, unless there is an MSDOS partition table and a boot flag.
    – sudodus
    Jun 20 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


There are many ways to do so, depending on which distribution you prefer. You can either create your live iso usb or install your distribution on the usb.

The easiest/most documented I can think of is by creating your own Archiso, specifying your preferred sshd setup by editing/changing the relevant files.

Keep into account that a live iso is not writable (to update it, you need to recreate the live iso). If you want it to be editable, you can opt for an installation on a removable medium.

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