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Install Tinycore on a USB Drive

This method may be used to install Tinycore on a USB drive.

For other installation methods, see the Index.

Before installing Tinycore, save a copy of all files you want to keep. All files will be lost.

Be aware: Older computers may not be able to start an operating system on a USB drive.

Use the Latest Version

Use the latest version of Tinycore. New versions have improvements and additional features.

Things You Need

A computer.

A USB drive.

The CorePlus CD. (as of this writing version 5.4 works for this method)

Download multicore

Download the latest version of the multicore iso from one of the mirrors, and write it to a CD.

Run Tinycore

Put the multicore CD in the drive, and restart the computer, so it runs Tinycore with the installer.

At the boot: prompt, type


Mount the ISO

Click on the Mount Tool.

Click on the CD drive so it becomes mounted. It will be green when mounted.

The CD drive will be something like sdc, without a number at the end. Hard drive and USB drive partitions are normally something like sda1, with a number at the end.

Run the Installer

To run the installer, click TC-Install in the wbar or menu.

Another option is to click the Run icon, and type


Select Tiny Core.

Select the location of the tinycore.gz file. It will be in /mnt/sdc/boot. If not sdc, use the correct drive.

Select Frugal.

Select Whole Disk.

Select the correct drive. Warning: If you select the wrong drive, everything on that drive will be lost.

Click the Forward arrow.

Formatting Options: Select ext2.

Click the Forward arrow.

Boot options: You may leave this blank.

Click the Forward arrow.

Click Proceed.

Tinycore will be installed.

Restart the Computer

You can restart the computer and run Tinycore. Remember to remove the CD.

Have fun using Tinycore.

If the computer will not start Tinycore on the USB drive, see If a Computer Won't Start from a CD, DVD or USB Drive

Also see: Install Applications, Make Extensions for Settings, Backup, Options when Installed on a USB Drive and Maximize the life of a USB Drive.

Use Passwords

If you want to use passwords to prevent other people from logging in, you can set up a menu, as explained in Extlinux Bootloader, and add passwords, as explained in Extlinux Passwords.

Another option is to use Tinycore Passwords.

Persistent opt

If persistent opt is used on a USB drive, in most situations, it results in less writing to the usb drive. Most people change settings in opt, less often than they backup.

When setting up persistent opt in a USB drive, it is ideal to use the UUID.

To set up persistent opt, edit the bootloader configuration file, adding persistent opt (/mnt/sda1/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf. It may be a partition other than sda1.).

You should already have tce=UUID=“9aff3da3-474d-440d-bb6c-3240afe84ac6” (the number will be different). To set up persistent opt, copy the UUID number for opt, like this

opt=UUID="9aff3da3-474d-440d-bb6c-3240afe84ac6" tce=UUID="9aff3da3-474d-440d-bb6c-3240afe84ac6"

Use the UUID number for your USB drive.

After setting up persistent opt, edit /opt/.filetool.lst, and remove all references to opt, so it is not included in backup.

Other Options

Using the Core2usb installer on Windows

Core2usb is a Windows native program that makes it easy to install Tinycore or Core from the downloaded ISO image to a bootable pendrive. Core2usb can be found on Sourceforge.

Install from a Hard Drive or USB Drive

To install from a Hard Drive or USB drive, copy install.gz to the tce directory (not /tce/optional) of the Hard Drive or USB drive.

Restart the computer for it to be loaded.

Load install.gz

install.gz can be loaded from any directory by opening the Control Panel, then clicking Load Starter Pack.