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Mobile hard drive carries Linux

The drive, loaded with the open-source OS, can be plugged into the USB port of any computer to turn it into a Linux machine.

Peripheral maker LaCie released on Thursday a mobile hard drive loaded with MandrakeSoft's version of the Linux operating system.

The GlobeTrotter device, with Mandrakelinux 10.0, can be plugged into the USB port of any PC to turn it into a Linux desktop, without any modifications to the host PC. GlobeTrotter can store up to 40GB of data, including applications and personal settings. The software includes productivity suite and the integrated personal information management suites KDE Kontact and Novell Evolution.

The $219 device comes with 30 days of Web-based support and will begin shipping in late August.

"The existing (market) was lacking a device capable of carrying a full work environment but (that) is not a computer in itself," Francois Bancilhon, CEO of MandrakeSoft, said in a statement. "GlobeTrotter is just that device."