Why Boot off a USB device?
Security & Forensics
This distro of Linux I was using has a lot of forensic and security tools. If I were doing digital forensics on the laptop, this would be beneficial. After going through some online courses on digital forensics, I see this is a common method of work.
When developing I may need to be developing for the Linux distro my production environments use. I’ve built tools that get deployed to a specific linux distro, only to find out that the production distro doesn’t have the same tools/libraries I’m calling and they are difficult to get working. It would have been easier if I developed for the distro I was working with.
If my production environment uses something like Debian or CentOS then I could pre load the OS on the USB and do the dev work there, committing all work to Github off the USB.
It also runs super fast. I thought the USB would be slow, but it’s lightning fast. I think perhaps the entire OS is loaded into memory.
Best of Both Worlds
Then when I want to play a game, or have to use Microsoft Office, or use tools for work that are windows based… I can boot back into Windows.
What’s the Problem with Acer?
Acer would recognize the USB in the boot menu (ESC on boot), but the when I selected the USB as the boot device, it still loaded Windows!
I had a heck of a time getting a Linux distro booting off a plugged in USB to my Acer laptop. After some digging around online I found out how to get it working.
You need to change a setting in Bios (hold f2 on boot) under the Boot menu. There is an option there for “Launch CSM.” For me it was greyed out, so I couldn’t access it. I first had to change a setting under security to turn off Secure Boot. Once I turned it off, saved and reopened BIOS, I could reset Launch CSM.
This gave me a new option in the boot screen for my USB device. I choose the new one and it booted fine.