Installation of Kicksecure on a USB

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Kicksecure can be used as a plug-and-play operating system on a USB data stick. This is particularly interesting for users looking for a portable persistent or live operating system.


This USB option is designed for:

  • A) Users who want to boot into non-persistent live mode which does not save user created data after reboot, and/or
  • B) Users who want to boot into persistent mode (saved data is still available after reboot).

Once installed on a USB data stick, simply plug in the stick, boot Kicksecure, and manage tasks requiring robust security.

Installation / Use[edit]

Two options for Kicksecure on USB.

  • A) Non-persistent ISO Live Mode USB installation, also referred to as ISO Live Mode;
  • B) Persistent USB installation, also known as USB installed Kicksecure.

Persistence in this context means that users' data created during a session of Kicksecure will be persistent. For example, documents created and bookmarks added will still be available after a reboot in persistent mode.

Choose an option below.

ISO Live Mode

To set up ISO Live Mode.

1. Download the ISO.

2. Flash it to a USB according to the instructions.

3. Boot.

4. Done.

USB Installed Kicksecure

To set up USB installed Kicksecure (persistent mode),

1. Download the ISO.

2. Flash it to a USB according to the instructions.

3. Boot.

4. Click "install to hard drive," and select a different USB device as the installation target.

5. Power off.

Shutdown the live session.

6. Remove the USB stick that contains the Kicksecure installer ISO.

7. Keep the USB installed Kicksecure connected.

8. Boot the Kicksecure USB.

Why not just flash a persistent Kicksecure image to USB? Such an image has not been developed yet due to technical challenges. Therefore, a "detour" through flashing a Kicksecure ISO is required to run the Kicksecure installer. Note that very few Linux distributions offer such functionality.

There is also a different option for advanced users. See footnote. [1]

Opt-in Live Mode

Live Mode boot option selectable in boot menu.

This could be considered "selection mode", "opt-in mode" or "mixed mode".

Follow the same steps as for USB installed Kicksecure.

Live mode is facilitated by pre-installed grub-live software package. grub-live allows the host operating system - in this case, Kicksecure on a USB data stick - to boot into live mode. This can be done by selecting live mode in the GRUB boot menu. See Live Mode.

Advantages of Kicksecure on USB[edit]

  • Easy Try-Out: An easy way to try out Kicksecure without needing to install Kicksecure on your computer.
  • Simple Dual Boot: It is much easier to install an operating system a separate USB drive than attempting to set up dual boot on the same hard drive.
  • Better Security: A higher level of security is achieved by installing the host operating system(s) on a dedicated, (encrypted), external disk(s) such as a USB flash drive or others. [2] In case of using Dual Boot using physical external media reduces the risk of malware running on other operating system(s) infecting the Kicksecure host operating system.
  • Unplugging: When Kicksecure disk(s) are not in use, they can either be removed or hidden.

See also[edit]


  1. Advanced users could also create a Kicksecure USB stick by following these instructions:
    1. Take a USB data stick with at least 16 GB of space.
    2. Install Debian on USB. Instructions are available on the Debian Additional online guides explain how to install Debian on a USB.
    3. Distribution-morph Debian into Kicksecure. Instructions for this can be found in our Kicksecure for Debian installation guide.
    4. Done.
  2. e.g., eSATA or FireWire. FireWire should generally be avoided:

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