This how to explains a step by step procedure to install Damn Small Linux (DSL) onto a USB Card or a Pen Drive.

Open the DOS Cmd Prompt.

  1. Click on the “Start” button, on the Windows taskbar.
  2. Click on “Run” and place your cursor in the text box.
  3. Type in cmd.exe and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. Save any files you might need from the USB drive, either through windows or the command-line:xcopy /e /i X:* tempbackup Note: for here and in the steps below, replace X: with the actual drive letter of your USB drive.
  5. Format your USB Card as FAT32:FORMAT X: /fs:FAT32
  6. Download a zipped archive called syslinux from
  7. Unzip the archive to a directory.
  8. Run Syslinux by typing syslinux -ma X:. (Make sure to be in the correct directory on command prompt. It would be C:win32 if you extracted the files to C:.)
  9. Download the latest archive ( from a Damn Small Linux mirror site.
  10. Unzip the archive to a directory.
  11. Copy all the files from the DSL directory to the root of your USB drive.
  12. Restore any files you saved from the first stepxcopy /s tempbackup* X:rmdir /s tempbackup
  13. Restart and boot from your USB drive.


  • To save any configuration changes, such as your shared keys, make sure to run the Backup utility from the System menu, obtained by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop. When prompted for a device name, leave off the /dev part, that is, you’d normally just type sda1. It will automatically restore the backup on your next boot.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Install Damn Small Linux On a USB Card. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Feedbacks: We appreciate feedbacks and suggestions about our website