Browse Definitions:
Definition

live USB (operating system on a stick)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A live USB is a distribution of an operating system (OS) on a portable device that plugs into or connects to the universal serial bus (USB) port on a computer. Such devices include not only storage devices like USB drives and external hard drives but also consumer devices like smartphones and media players. 

Live USB is a type of LiveDistro, which refers to a distribution of any operating system that can boot and run from removable media. That capacity makes it possible for users to carry their operating system of choice for use on other computers. Most live USBs have been Linux-based, often used to run that OS on Windows systems without making any changes to the host computer. Windows To Go is the first Microsoft operating system, other than those for embedded systems, to boot and run from a USB device. 

Live USB is sometimes referred to as an operating system on a stick. In fact, the device can function as a "computer on a stick" because the increasing storage capacities of USB devices mean that users can store not only the operating system but also, if desired, applications and files. 

This was last updated in October 2012

Continue Reading About live USB (operating system on a stick)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • wear leveling

    Wear leveling is a process that is designed to extend the life of solid-state storage devices.

  • storage area network (SAN)

    A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of ...

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close