It has been possible to install SystemRescueCd on a USB stick for a long time. There are several reasons for doing that:

  • You can boot SystemRescueCd on a computer which has no CD/DVD drive
  • It’s easy to fit a USB stick in your pocket to have it with you all the times
  • You can write your own files on the USB stick at any time
  • You can create a backstore to preserve your modifications

Unfortunately the installation was not always easy, especially if you want to install it from Windows or if you have old versions of the utilities required for the installation. You either had to boot on the CDRom edition to run an automatic installation program (sysresccd-usbstick) or you had to follow manual instructions if you did not want to burn the ISO image on a media.

SystemRescueCd-1.5.5 comes with new installers for Linux and Windows that make it easy to install SystemRescueCd on a removable device. In other words it will be possible to just download the ISO image and run the installer. They come with up to date copies of the programs required during the installation so that it works even on system where recent versions of these tools are not installed.

If you are running Linux on your computer, you just have to execute the script called “usb_inst.sh” which is stored at the root of the cdrom ISO image. So can simply mount the iso image using “mount -o loop systemrescuecd-x86-x.y.z.iso /mnt/cdrom” (where /mnt/cdrom can be replaced with any empty directory of your system where you want to mount the cdrom image) and then you run “usb_inst.sh” from the mount directory. This script is a modified version of “sysresccd-usbstick” so it can be used with the same options on the command line. By default it runs in the semi-graphical mode where you just have to select the removable device you want to use.

If you are using Windows you will have to download the cdrom ISO image and the installation program. And then you just have to execute the installer and select the ISO image and the USB device you want to use for the installation. The installer can be executed directly from the download directory, there is no need to install files on your hard-disk. This installer has been developed to use the Win32 API directly to produce a very compact program that does not require any external library to run. You have to run the installer as administrator, it’s required to install the bootloader on the removable device. If you run it as a normal user you may have to type an administrator login/password in a dialog box at the end of the installation.

For more details please read the official documentation about installing SystemRescueCd on a USB stick.