Multiboot Linux distributions from one USB key

Running a Linux distribution from a USB flash drive or USB key is now a common practice, but running more than one on the same USB key would be really cool. On any UNIX-like operating system, you can use the dd command to transfer an ISO installation image to a flash drive, but not multiple images. That is, setting up a Linux USB multiboot on a flash key from a Linux distribution is, as far as I am aware of, not possible.

On Windows, however, Your Multiboot Installer (YUMI) makes the process as easy as can be. YUMI is one of the applications I wrote about in 4 gui applications for installing Linux from USB key. This article features screen shots to show the process of multibooting more than one Linux installation image on a USB key.

Related Post:  How to install Oracle JRE on Fedora 20 and use alternatives to switch between it and OpenJDK

These screen shots show how I used it to “install” Ubuntu 12.10 and Fedora 18 on the same 8 GB USB flash drive.

This is YUMI’s window. The Ubuntu 12.10 installation image was on the disk already, so I just needed to point YUMI to it, made sure that the USB key was selected clicked Create.
YUMI Linux multiboot Ubuntu USB key

Yes.
YUMI Linux multiboot Ubuntu USB key

Yes, of course!
YUMI Linux USB multiboot Ubuntu USB key

Repeated the process with Fedora 18.
YUMI multiboot Ubuntu USB key

And just like that, I have two Linux installation images on the same USB key.
YUMI Linux USB multiboot Ubuntu USB key

This is YUMI’s boot menu. Not the prettiest, but this is not a beauty contest.
YUMI Linux USB multiboot Linux USB key

This is the Ubuntu 12.10 end of the boot menu.
YUMI Linux USB multiboot Ubuntu USB key

And this is the Fedora 18 end of it.
YUMI Linux USB multiboot Ubuntu USB key

Related Post:  How to configure caching in Nginx

YUMI is a cool application, and it’s Free Software, released under the GPL version 2. The question that I have, and a few readers have asked here, is why is there no Linux edition. And if the author is not interested in coding one, why can’t some other coder grab the source and port it to Linux.

After 4 gui applications for installing Linux from USB key was published, a reader referred to another application with the same functionality as YUMI called MultiSystem. It runs on Ubuntu, so I’ll take it for spin later today to see how it compares to YUMI. YUMI, by the way, is available for download from here.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Hola! Did you notice that LinuxBSDos.com no longer run network ads?  Yep, no more ads from the usual suspects that track and annoy you across the Internet. But since I still need to pay to keep the site running, feel free to make a small donation by PayPal or your favorite cryptocurrency.

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Xrp
  • Bitcoin cash
  • Bitcoin sv
  • Litecoin
  • Binance coin
  • Cardano
  • Ethereum classic
Scan to Donate Bitcoin to bc1qzvlte2m224zkayhdc7fdfjkp2rsgt0l5a496ua

Donate Bitcoin to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Bitcoin

Scan to Donate Ethereum to 0x0F4362DFF77F3Ba0Dc637F5f3Eba35D09a2fA60C

Donate Ethereum to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Ethereum

Scan to Donate Xrp to r4ggjvL36njsMCYTkJ3S7cTHscPsMsSGQv

Donate Xrp to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Xrp

Scan to Donate Bitcoin cash to qrs0dedzp9t55af3nfwypydghp29r0xguy9s20fz2k

Donate Bitcoin cash to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Bitcoin cash

Scan to Donate Bitcoin sv to 15K9TLyVDBtLuG9cYvXCX9SSkq9C9oUKHK

Donate Bitcoin sv to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Bitcoin sv

Scan to Donate Litecoin to LetJ9QQMb7u2LMZ9Tu6rtHwcBcQFW98fbG

Donate Litecoin to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Litecoin

Scan to Donate Binance coin to bnb1ga8trq08ssqepd90v6225nzfgy448pu5pw8gxp

Donate Binance coin to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Binance coin

Scan to Donate Cardano to addr1qx2354yw49etstfljpdhwja3ajjlt487lg95vu9ngy2q6vu4rf2ga2tjhqknlyzmwa9mrm997h20a7stgectxsg5p5esq5l7d9

Donate Cardano to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Cardano

Scan to Donate Ethereum classic to 0xcD6CC972a2297FcafACDcfE042C55C69516a9264

Donate Ethereum classic to this address

Scan the QR code or copy the address below into your wallet to send some Ethereum classic

Subscribe for updates. Trust me, no spam!

Sponsored links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.

Upcoming events

10 Responses

  1. “…a reader referred to another application with the same functionality as YUMI called MultiSystem. It runs on Ubuntu, so I’ll take it for spin later today to see how it compares….”

    I look forward to your report on MultiSystem and how you manage to get it running under Ubuntu (assuming you’re successful). I couldn’t figure out how to do it (my inability to read French is probably part of it).

    1. It runs under Ubuntu, but why does it have to install all that stuff with it. And I hate having to consult documentation just to use a graphical application.

  2. Quote
    That is, setting up a Linux USB multiboot on a flash key from a Linux distribution is, as far as I am aware of, not possible.
    Answer
    You do need to catch up with what can be done when it comes to multibooting Linux distribution on a flash drive without using windows, I have several Linux distributions on 8 and 16 gig flash drives, I can add and remove distros at will, I don’t have windows on any of my systems what so ever. Thank you, you have just reminded me I need to install my multiboot flash drive software on my systems and to check if the software has been updated since I used it last year, If you would like to know more you can email me

    1. Well, how about you just share it with the rest of us here. Just give us the URL of the software you used. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest

On social media
Via my newsletter

Partner links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2021.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.
Hacking, pentesting distributions

Linux Distributions for Hacking

Experts use these Linux distributions for hacking, digital forensics, and pentesting.

Categories
Archives

The authors of these books are confirmed to speak during

Algorithm Conference

T-minus AI

Author was the first chairperson of AI for the U.S. Air Force.

The case for killer robots

Author is the Director of the Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Why greatness cannot be planned

Author works on AI safety as a Senior Research Scientist at Uber AI Labs.