help me get started

Hi Have been strongly recommended to download linux operating system onto flashdrive with at least 2gmb as my windows xp 32bit is inhabited by trojans. Am at library and cannot seem to work out how to download onto usb without invovling self in pengulinux free trial of a costed tool or encountering problem with being administrator on public computer. Was told free and should be easy. Can anyone help? Do I have to download from a friends computer? or is there a way to do it at library?. Thanks.

You have most probably been told to create a Linux “LiveUSB” stick.

First, are you sure your PC/Laptop can boot from a USB stick?

This will create a bootable USB stick, and make NO changes to your hard drive at all, but don’t expect it to boot as quickly as it would from a hard drive… a 4GB USB stick would be best, then set a 2GB persistence file (see below).

If you are new to Linux, can I suggest either Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick), or Linux Mint 10 (Julia)… if for no other reason than you’ll find help easier to come by.
(links to their homepages below)

Instructions for creating a LiveUSB (on a Windows PC)…
Download the Ubuntu or Linux Mint LiveCD ISO image from their homepages, then follow the instructions from “Step 2” on this page:

(will work for Mint too)
Just make sure you set a “persistence” file during creation of the LiveUSB… see pic below

http://linuxforums.org.uk/MGalleryItem.php?id=952

Then all you have to do is boot from the USB stick, by either setting USB as the first boot device in the BIOS, or hitting the “boot device selection key” when you switch your PC on then selecting the USB stick… usually the F10 key but varies from manufacturer to manufacturer… and when asked, select “Try Ubuntu” (or Mint) rather than “Install Ubuntu” (or Mint).

The Ubuntu and Linux Mint homepages:
Ubuntu:
http://www.ubuntu.com/
Linux Mint:

(try Mint 10 main edition, with the GNOME desktop, and I suggest the DVD version rather than the CD version)

If you are unsure whether to get the 32bit or 64bit versions… get the 32bit version (i386), that will run on PC’s with 32bit and 64bit CPU’s… 64bit (AMD64) will only run on PC’s with 64bit CPU’s