FaunOS: The Portable Linux

FaunOS is a portable (easy-to-carry), fully integrated Linux operating system with over 500 preinstalled packages. It is specifically designed to run from a portable USB Memory Device (USB Flash Drive). It can also run from a DVD.

FaunOS does not change or install anything on your hard drive--unless you specifically ask it to. This means it is safe to take your USB to a friend's computer and boot from it (see minimum requirements below). When you finish, shutdown, and remove your USB key from your friend's computer, there is no trace of any of your activity on that computer.

Features include

  • Ability to save files back to the USB flash drive.
  • Tools that allow permanent installation to a hard drive. Supports the following install options on a hard drive:
  • Permanent Arch Linux Installer using archin
  • Frugal install (not to be confused with Frugalware Linux) installs the compressed FaunOS files to a hard drive permanently leading to an “unbreakable desktop” meaning the end user can totally ruin everything at runtime. To revert back to the starting point all the user has to do is reboot the machine and everything goes back to normal since all changes happen in RAM (unless the FaunOS session is saved on shutdown).
  • Ability to install additional packages before permanently installing FaunOS to the hard drive.
  • FaunOS Installer for creating additional FaunOS USB drives from within FaunOS.
Minimum Requirements:

Generally speaking, if you have a fairly new PC (say 1 or 2 years old), then FaunOS should run okay on your hardware. Here are the specifics:

Minimum USB capacity (if installing to a USB key): 1 GB
Target machine hardware requirements:
  • Architecture: x86
  • Minimum RAM: 512 MB; 1GB or more recommended. Minimum 1.5GB required for "In Memory" boot option.
  • Minimum Processor Speed: 500 MHz
For USB key boot:
  • The target machine must be bootable from a USB. Alternatively, you can make a special bootstrapping CD (see instructions below) to boot from.
You can download the FaunOS USB flash drive image over HTTP or Torrents. Click here to download over HTTP, or torrent. (Download Size ~933 MB).

Use RawWrite on Windows or dd on *nix and Mac OSX to write the FaunOS USB flash drive image to your USB flash drive. Here’s a dd example on Linux assuming the USB flash drive is /dev/sdb:


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