Download from sourceforge

Ubuntu 12.04 based, 64bit only
Just base apps installed (Firefox. VLC,Image Viewer…) more are easily installable through the applications menu, by just clicking on a Launcher.

How to make a Live-USB stick:

The Easiest way: Use Unetbootin.

Available for Win, Mac and Linux.
Open Unetbootin, (e.g in openArtist: Press WindowsKey+Space, type unetbootin), select your ISO (“Diskimage“) and your USB-stick (“USB-Drive“, which is formatted with fat32, and is empty).

Under "Space used to preserve files across reboots", you can choose to make it persistent (=writeable). This allows you to use openArtist not only for just installing it from USB-stick, but also to have it as bootable & writable live media; All changes you do while running it will be saved. All files you create/edit/download, all system settings and installed / updated programs.

If you with to add persistent mode, enter the amount of space which should be reserved for persistence and hit create.

This will create a file called casper-rw with the size you specified, during the creation of the usb stick.

File-size limitation is 4GB on Fat32. As a side-note, it's possible to make a live-USB stick with e.g ext2, which can go beyond that limit, but thats out of scope of this tutorial here.

Using dd
openArtist’s ISOs are hybrid ones, so that they can be burned to DVD and also written directly to a USB-stick on a hardware-level.

On Linux,

Use disk-utility, fdisk, gparted or similiar to be SHURE which drive is your USB-stick.
Check e.g in nautilus, disk-utility that the USB device is not mounted, and use /dev/sdx instead of /dev/sdx1, where x is the letter of your drive (a,b ..). These are very common mistakes!

Overwrite the USB-stick:
Warning: This will irrevocably destroy all data on the stick.
And If you choose the wrong drive, you will destroy more...
So be SHURE to double check.

dd if=openArtist.iso of=/dev/sdx

where x is the number of your USB-stick. You can also add bs=4M to speed up the process.

OR if you want to use a GUI for that, use Air-imager.

On Windows,

you can also use dd from chrysocome (dd --list is a good starting point to find your USB-stick, and then dd if=C:\\openArtist.iso of=\\.\x: bs=1M --size --progress, where x is the mount point of the stick you see with --list)


there is also dd available, but creating USB-sticks for OSX is a bit trickier, as it uses EFI and not BIOS. Ubuntu answers have the steps to create a USB-stick on OSX

As I process the ISOs I generate with isohybrid, with flags --efi and --mac (these produce ISO 9660 images which contain also boot partitions for EFI and x86-Mac), you could also try to dd directly with the ISO. But I do not have tried that myself yet. Btw, PPC macs are out of game - wrong processor architecture ;-)


Using Universal-USB-Creator

This Windows-only program is, in contrast to Unetbootin, more kind to the ASCII-Art I created for the Live-CD's bootmanager of my Distro.
(Note that once openArtist is installed to disk, grub takes the bootmanager’s role, with no theme applied, simple white text on black)

How to make it persistent by hand

This is handy if you want to add persistence afterwards, create a second persistence file to switch e.g between different computerĀ“s drivers/settings, or if yours was getting slow (YES that happens) or broken. It’s less effort than generating everything form scratch again.

One way of making it persistent by hand is to download a casper-rw file (that's a read- and writeable disk-image in one file) from these zipped files with 128, 256, 512MB, 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12GB file size, and then append "persistent" to isolinux/isolinux.cfg, as described beneath.

Open the file isolinux/isolinux.cfg on your stick and add in “persistent” at the end of the line that begins with “append”,
and save the file, so your isolinux.cfg should look something like this (do NOT forget the — at end!)

default unetbootin
label unetbootin
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet nosplash persistent --

To create a casper-rw file yourself, use Casper-RW-Creator ( .exe on win, .sh on Linux; On OSX, only Unetbootin seems an applicable solution to create a custom sized casper-rw image.), or use this commandline in Linux/Cygwin

dd if=/dev/zero of=casper-rw bs=1M count=1000 && mkfs.ext3 -F casper-rw

Copy that unzipped casper-rw file to the root directory of the USB stick.