Table of Contents

How to Install TigerOS on a Live USB

TigerOS installation homescreen


This post is about how to install TigerOS (version 28), RIT’s Linux distribution, on a live USB.

1. Obtain a USB

Ideally, this USB should be at least 8GB, and should have nothing stored inside it. This is because the USB’s contents will be overwritten if it needs to be repartitioned or re-formatted. 

If the USB is empty and formatted, or is partitioned to hold multiple drives, continue to step 2. 

a. Formatting a USB


  1. Plug the USB into the computer, and take notice of the USB drive’s name. 
  2. Open the Disk Utility application, and select the USB drive you plugged in (the USB drive’s name should match the drive you plugged in). Then, click Erase.
  3. Format the USB drive as “MS-DOS (FAT)” and the scheme as “GUID Partition Map.”


  1. Plug the USB into the computer, and take notice of the USB drive’s name. 
  2. Open the file explorer, and find the USB drive (the USB drive’s name should match the drive you plugged in). 
  3. Right-click on the USB drive and click “Format.” 
  4. Once the pop-up menu appears, under the “File system” header, select “FAT32.” Next, under the “Allocation unit size” header, select “default allocation size.” Then, under the “Format options” header, select “quick format.” Lastly, click “start.”

Linux (most distributions): 

  1. Plug the USB into the computer, and take notice of the USB drive’s name. 
  2. Download GParted here or install it at the terminal using: $ sudo apt install gparted
  3. Run GParted at the terminal using: $ sudo gparted
  4. Select your USB drive (the USB drive’s name should match the drive you plugged in).
  5. Right-click on the USB drive, and select “FAT32” and click “Format to.”
  6. Click the green checkmark located in the top panel. 

2. Download TigerOS 

For most users, the latest stable version of TigerOS will be the best download option. 

3. Make the USB bootable 

a. Download an image writer program 

*Linux, MacOS and Windows support image writing in the command line, so you can use that option if you feel comfortable. If you feel more confident using a graphical user interface, here are some popular ISO writing programs: 

(Look below for terminal installation)
Universal USB InstallerFreex

Gnome Disks Terminal Installation 

Although Gnome Disks uses a graphical user interface, the easiest installation process is through the terminal. 

sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility

sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility 

sudo pacman -S gnome-disk-utility

sudo dnf install gnome-disk-utility

# OpenSUSE 
sudo zypper install gnome-disk-utility

b. Write the ISO to the USB drive


a. Open Etcher.

b. Click “Flash from file,” and select where you downloaded the TigerOS ISO.

c. Click “Select target,” and select your formatted USB drive. My USB happens to be named Qubes because it also has Qubes installed. Do not worry if your USB drive has a different name.

d. Click “Flash.”


a. Open GNOME Disks. Do not worry if your application’s color theme is different.

b. Select your formatted USB Drive. Your header and partitions may differ from mine.

c. Select the partition that you want to install the TigerOS ISO on. If only one partition is shown, select that partition. I am installing it on a partition named “TigerOS.”

d. Click the settings icon in the bottom left panel, and select “Restore image.” Wait for the pop-up box to appear.

e. Then, find where you stored the TigerOS ISO, and click “Start Restoring.” Wait until finished. 

Universal USB Installer

a. Open Universal USB Installer.

b. Under the “Step 1” header, select “Fedora Live Desktop.”

c. Under the “Step 2” header, check “All ISOs Shown,” and click “Browse,” so you can navigate to where you saved the TigerOS ISO file. Select the TigerOS ISO file. I saved my TigerOS file in the downloads folder. If you saved your TigerOS file in another location, your file path will look different.

d. Under the “Step 3” header, select the name of your USB drive, and click “Create.” 

4. Try live booting if possible

What is live booting?

Live booting is where you use a live USB or CD to boot an operating system on your computer without making changes to your computer’s hard drive. This way, you can temporarily experience an operating system without installing the operating system on your computer. 

Unfortunately, not all operating systems offer live flavors; Fedora, the Linux distribution TigerOS is based on, does. This means that you can live boot TigerOS on your computer.

Why live boot before installation?

Live booting is important because some operating systems may not support your computer’s hardware, or may not come preinstalled with your computer’s firmware drivers. By live-booting before installation, a user can tell if their computer’s divers are missing or unsupported.


A user wants to run Debian on their computer, but the user’s computer has proprietary WiFi drivers. This is an issue because Debian’s installer only comes with free-software installed. In other words, although most of Debian’s functionality works out-of-the-box, the user cannot connect to WiFi because they did not download the proprietary drivers. Since the user ran Debian on a live USB, the user can turn off their computer, and boot into their computer’s original operating system to connect to the internet; then, the user can download the missing drivers on a separate USB drive. After that, the user can install Debian, and transfer the proprietary WiFi drivers during the installation process. Now, the user has Debian installed with the proprietary WiFi drivers, and can connect to the internet.

Finding missing drivers 

It is hard for operating systems to include every computer’s drivers because there are so many computer models and drivers. As a result, it is normal for an operating system to exclude some of your computer’s drivers, and it should not defer you from experimenting with new operating systems. Finding and installing missing drivers is easy. However, you need to know which drivers you need to install. The easiest way to find the drivers you need is by live booting your desired operating system on your computer. If you notice that you cannot connect to the internet, you know that you need to install drivers for your internet card. If you notice that your mouse or touchpad does not work, you know that you need to install drivers for your mouse or touchpad. 

Things to check during the USB live boot are:

  • Internet connectivity 
  • External devices like mice, printers, keyboards, and drawing tablets 
  • Graphics cards
  • Video 
  • Sound

Downloading missing drivers 

Once you know what does not work, you can boot into your original operating system and look at the hardware and firmware. You need to find the hardware/firmware’s name and version for each issue that did not work during your live boot. Then, you can search each hardware/firmware’s name and version, and download the drivers on a separate USB drive. 

After you have downloaded the missing drivers on a separate USB, you can begin the installation process (step 5).

5. Installing 

a. Plug the live USB into the computer 

b. Press the boot option keys 

Turn the computer on, and press the boot option keys for your computer. You need to click the keys immediately after you turn the computer on, or else it will boot into your original operating system. When the boot menu appears, select TigerOS.

c. Start TigerOS-Live 28

Once TigerOS’s initial boot process is finished, you should see a screen that looks like this. Select “Start TigerOS-Live 28” by hitting enter.

d. Select “Install to Hard Drive”

Wait for the booting process to finish, and the two pop-up boxes to appear. Then, select “Install to Hard Drive” in the left pop-up box.


At present, TigerOS only supports the following majors: Computer Science (CS), Web and Mobile Computing (WMC), Computer Information Technologies (CIT), and Software Engineering (SE). However, that does not mean you cannot use TigerOS if you are not in one of those majors; it just means that you will need to manually download software for each of your classes.

e. Select basic configurations

e.1. Language and dialect

e.2. Keyboard layout and time zone

This tutorial uses the default setup. If you would like to change the keyboard layout, click “KEYBOARD” under the “LOCALIZATION” header, and select your preferred keyboard layout. If you would like to change the date or time, click “TIME & DATE” under the “LOCALIZATION” header, and select the current time and date.

e.3. Installation destination 

Click “INSTALLATION DESTINATION” under the “SYSTEM” header. Select the location of where you would like to install TigerOS.

If you are dual-booting or have multiple partitions on your computer, make sure this is the correct location because you do not want to overwrite another partition.

e.4. Begin Installation

Click “Begin Installation” in the bottom right corner. Then, wait for the configuration process to finish; it normally takes 5 to 15 minutes. 

e.5. Set up root 

Select “ROOT PASSWORD” under the “USER SETTINGS” header.

Then, select a root password. Make sure to store this password in a safe place! You need the root password for things that require admin access.

Click “Done” in the top left corner.

e.6. Set up a user profile 

Select “USER CREATION” under the “USER SETTINGS” header. 

Fill in the user’s username and password. Then, click “Done” in the top left corner. 

Ideally, your password should not be weak. I am setting this up as a demo, so I am just using a simple password.

Select “Finish configuration.” Then, select “Quit.”

e.7. Manual reboot

Once the installation process is finished, you should see the TigerOS home screen.

Fedora, the operating system TigerOS is built on, does not automatically reboot after installation. As a result, the user should manually reboot boot by opening the panel in the top right corner, and selecting the power button.

Then, wait for the pop-up box to appear, and select “Power Off.” 

Wait a few minutes to make sure the computer has shut down properly. 

While the computer is shut down, remove the live USB drive. 

e.8. Power on the computer

e.9 Set up default settings

Select the language, and click “Next.” 

Select the keyboard layout, and click “Next.”

Review the privacy settings, and click “Next.”

Review online accounts, and click “Next.” Or, click “Skip.” 

You should end with a screen that looks like:

Now, TigerOS is set up on your computer!

6. After installation 

a. Updating 

It is a good idea to regularly update your computer. To get the latest updates, open the terminal:

sudo dnf upgrade


If you enjoyed this post about how to install TigerOS, checkout my series about contributing to TigerOS. You also may be interested in my other articles on open source software.

Portrait of Olivia Gallucci in garden, used in LNP article.

Written by Olivia Gallucci

Olivia is an honors student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She writes about security, open source software, and professional development.