Making a 'parasite' PC

  8 years ago


In all likelihood many people who boot a machine from a USB drive already exploit these concepts without using the term... "parasite PC".
Why call it a parasite PC?
A parasite is something that requires a host to live off.

In our context it means that you have a USB (pen drive) that can function as a PC when it is connected to a physical localhost (i.e. a computer machine). I say 'function' because by itself a USB is not a PC but with appropriate software installed AND plugged into a machine (a host)... it will be the smallest portable PC that you're likely to carry around, albeit a portable PC that by itself doesn't have a keyboard, CPU, RAM etc... hence it being a parasite.
What would be the application of such?
My workplace is a Microsoft Windows environment... hundreds of 2003 and 2008 servers and mix of XP and Windows 7 clients. I use my parasite PC: 
  • whenever I have to sort-out-fix-find some or other malware-virus that was supposed to have been taken out but wasn't for whatever reason
  • for data or partition recovery (using Testdisk)
  • once in awhile I get to actually install Mint somewhere and I get to show off my parasite PC
  • mainly for bragging rights... and specifically as a means of bragging about Mint

On this last point, my colleagues know by now that if I'm gonna be presenting a meeting (in an actual meeting room and using whatever available multimedia is there) then I'm gonna boot with my parasite PC, remote to whatever LAN services or shares I might need and present whatever I have to present but promoting and using Mint at the same time.

How do you make it?
Easy... in two simple steps: use the Startup Disk Creator to put Mint on a USB and then boot with it and configure it to your needs... i.e. install appropriate apps and configure the appearance as you like it.
Whenever someone is showing off their latest gadget... and no matter how BIG the cool factor might be, I enjoy interjecting and I am still surprised that my 8GB USB-come-PC wins... and occasionally another Mint convert as well!
calinux 8 years ago

haven't found yet a tutorial for making the perfect 'parasite PC' with Mint.
first time tried Julia on a 8GB USB microHDD then last saturday bought a Kingmax 8GB micro pendrive (2mm thick) to be able to carry the Katya parasite in my coins wallet.
tested Katya so far on three ThinkPads: T410, W500, T60P everything ok
vesamenu.c32 boot error - understand is same since Mint 9 - type live all the time or edit first line in syslinux.cfg.
don't like the way it holds the persistent stuff (actually not the system settings / prefs. but the docs, downloads & media) in the casper-rw, inaccesible from win and hard-accesible from other linux.

tacoz 8 years ago

your forgot to add IMHO!
tutorials should provide some (a) context, (b) application and (c) the howto... this tutorial meets those requirements. this tutorial is not rocket science or about complex configs or programming. it is a tutorial about a concept. tutorials are not limited in scope, particularly for this community. was there something in the easy steps that you didn't understand? I felt it would be redundant to write a tutorial that spells out how to plug in a USB drive or how to install apps or configure the desktop appearance... IMHO.

remoulder 8 years ago

This is not a tutorial, it misses the point which is that it is meant to actually show how to do something!