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Here's a distro of linux made to be on a usb:
A good distro, even better that it runs inside Windows.
runs inside Windows
So that means I can read/write linuxfs in Windows?
Please confirm that and I for sure use it.
I'm not sure, but it runs as a virtual machine, so I don't know if it has access to your local drives.
DS:L runs within QEMU, you could also use some other knoppix based distro's to runs within this exact qemu VM. But qause it runs within an seperate Virtual Machine you can acces the internet acces but not the fisical HDD drives etc, you could use samba or FTP to share documents between these seperates pc's. Therefore I was really pleased to find this OOo portable version so I could ditch the work arounds oof Knoppix with qemu/ dsl.
So the short answer is No, but there are some work around's to get it "working" -ish.
Take a look at http://damnsmalllinux.org/ they have an enabled version.
Just saw this post, and thought I might suggest Puppy Linux. I haven't actually used this distro, but it seems awesome.
Check it out at http://www.goosee.com/puppy/
Checked out Puppy
looks good as well
Also try Boot Everywhere/Anywhere Linux
(it's one of the two)
and also SimplyMepis
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."
Can I just confirm, will this run linux as an "application" / "virtual machine" or do I have to boot from the USB drive?
I have used cygwin in the past but the instrructions for making that portable are terrible.
about DSL, I can say this is really easy to use as a vm within a windows session, you do not need too reboot for a linux session. This DSL embedded solution is easy to get running, just start the batch file and in a cmd enviroment it wil emulate a pc. Cause DSL is based on Knoppix, you could use other knoppix images to run within qemu, but use a light DE like icewm, blackbox or fluxbox. It is quit usable, I used a knoppix derivate with qemu before I found these portable apps.