3.4.10. From a USB Storage Device (Stick, CD, DVD, Floppy)
If booting from an USB device is supported from the BIOS, it is possible to install Linux from this drive. Besides some old laptops, almost all laptops equipped with USB ports support this feature.
First you have to configure the BIOS to boot from an USB device. Sometimes it is possible to use a certain key combination (e.g. <ESC>) during the boot process to select the boot device.
Second you have to install Linux on the boot medium (let's say an USB-Stick) and make it bootable. There are some special Linux distributions available, which are dedicated for such purposes, e.g.:
Feather Linux is a Linux distribution which runs completely off a CD or a USB pendrive and takes up under 64Mb of space. It is a Knoppix remastered (based on Debian/GNU Linux), and tries to include software which most people would use every day on their desktop. See these instructions about installing Feather Linux on an USB drive .
Partboot is dedictated to USB floppy drives and tailored for Linux laptop and notebook installations (you may find tools to resize your partitions as well as PCMCIA support and more).
Damn Small Linux (DSL) is a business-card size (50MB) Live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop.