Running an operating system, such as Linux, on a USB flash drive (Linux flash drive) can have many advantages and there are several options of portable Linux versions that will allow for this.
The portability of your information is the main advantage, since you can have software applications, settings, browser, and files with you wherever you go. You just need a computer that has an available USB port and the permission to run an executable file from a removable device. You can even install Linux from USB flash drives.
Alternatively, if the computer is setup to do so, you can boot directly from your Linux flash drive (bootable Linux drive) which bypasses the operating system installed on the computer. This allows for a much more secure connection and does not make your authentication password or files visible to the computer. But, there is an inherent issue with booting directly from most secure USB flash drives. Typically, secure flash drives require that a portable software application is executed on a non-secure partition of the flash drive in order to enter a password that will allow access to the encrypted partition of the drive. This can’t happen when booting directly from a secure flash drive, as it is the secure and encrypted portion of the drive that is immediately required but is inaccessible due to the fact that there is no way to run the password authentication software during the boot process.
When creating your own secure Linux flash drive, the only way around this problem is to use a USB flash drive that utilizes hardware authentication- that is when the authentication is performed on the drive itself, versus software authentication where a password is entered via software.
Two types of secure USB flash drives that use hardware authentication are biometric flash drives and LOK-IT Secure Flash Drives. Uniquely with LOK-IT, a PIN code is entered using an onboard PIN-pad so no software is used within the flash drive at all. This makes the entire flash memory available for use as a portable Linux operating system, and importantly, ensures that if drive is lost absolutely nobody can access all of the information stored within your portable operating system.