How to Set up Multiboot USB Drives With Ventoy In Linux
Ventoy is a free, multi-platform, open-source program for creating multi-boot USB flash drives. You don’t have to reformat your USB devices over and over again. Just create a bootable USB stick once and add as many ISOs as you want in the future. Ventoy automatically creates menu items for newly added ISOs and adds them to the start menu. After creating a multi-boot USB, boot the system from the USB stick, select the ISO you want to boot and start using the system as soon as possible. It’s as simple as that!
Ventoy ships have dozens of useful functions, which are listed below
- Very easy to install and use.
- Fast (limited to the copy speed of an iso file).
- You don’t have to get the ISO. All you have to do is download it directly from the ISO file.
- Supports Legacy + UEFI.
- Supports safe loading of UEFI files.
- You can create startup disks with ISO files larger than 4 GB.
- Almost all types of operating systems are supported. The developer claims that more than 200 ISO files have been tested with Ventoy.
- The automatic installation is supported. Meaning – You can add your own template or script for automatic implementation. For example, boot script for Redhat/CentOS, xml autoYast for SUSE, pre-configuration script for Debian. Place the script or template on a USB stick and ask Ventoy to use it for automatic installation. You can also update these scripts at any time. There is no need to create a new ISO file, just use the original ISO.
- Write protection on the USB stick during boot.
- Normal use of USB memory sticks is not affected. This allows you to use the USB flash drive for other purposes (e.g. to copy files).
- Update Ventoy when a new version is available, without creating a bootable USB stick. Non-destructive data when updating the version.
- It is not necessary to update Ventoy when a new distribution is released.
- To add a new operating system, copy/paste the ISO to a USB stick. There’s no reason to start over.
- Supports Memdisk mode. On some machines the ISO cannot start. In this case, you can use the Memdisk mode. In this mode, Ventoy loads the entire ISO file into memory and then downloads it.
- the frame of the expansion modules.
- Download the native style menu for Legacy & UEFI.
- Cross platform. It supports Linux and Windows.
- Free and open source!
Creating Ventoy Multiboot USB Drives under Linux
You must first find the name of your USB stick. The following manual describes the different ways to find information about hard disks under Linux.
I’m going to use the fdisk command to find information about my USB stick:
$ Ship’s disc -l
Data media /dev/sdc : 14.54 GiB, 15597568000 bytes, 30464000 sectors
Disk model : Cruzer Blade
units: Sectors 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Input/output size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Type of reader: dos
Reader ID: 0x4d924612
As you can see the name of my USB stick is /dev/sdc.
Then you can download the latest Venta script from the release page. At the time of writing this manual, the latest version was 1.0.10.
Go to the place where you downloaded the script and unzip it. I unzipped it in a folder called Ventoy in Desktop. CD in the Venta directory:
Dollar Risk Disk
Now execute the following command to create a multi-boot USB stick:
$ ship sh -I /dev/sdc
Replace /dev/sdc with the name of your USB stick.
You will be asked to confirm the process of creating a bootable USB stick. Check the name of the USB stick, enter Y and press ENTER to continue:
* Ventoy2Disk Script *
* lung panda [email protected] *
Media: model /dev/sdc
: SanDisk Cruiser Blade (scsi)
Size : 14 GB
Look out! Look out!
You install Ventoy in /dev/sdc.
All data on the /dev/sdc drive will be lost! !!
Can we continue? (y/n)j
All data on the /dev/sdc drive will be lost! !!
Check again. Can we continue? (y/n)j
Creating partitions in /dev/sdc …
mkfs on disc partitions …
make efi bold fs …
mkfs.fat 4.1 (2017-01-24)
mkexfatfs 1.3.0 Create
… ready for use.
The file system has been created successfully.
Write data to hard disk …
Data synchronization …
esp Partition handling …
Inversion: /home/sk/Desktop/ventoy/tmp_mnt : Target engaged.
rm: Cannot remove ./tmp_mnt: The device or source is busy
The installation of Ventoy in /dev/sdc has been successfully completed.
A multi-boot USB stick is created in seconds. The above command creates two sections. You can check this with the fdisk command:
Data support /dev/sdc : 14.54 GiB, 15597568000 bytes, 30464000 sectors
Disk model : Cruzer Blaze units: Sectors 1 * 512 = 512 bytesSector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Input/output size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytesDrive type : Volume ID: f2f0556
Original boot-end sectors Device type
/dev/sdc1 2048 30398463 30396416 14.5G 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sdc2 * 30398464 30463999 65536 32M ef EFI (FAT-12/16/32)
Now copy the ISO files in the first section. In the file manager you will only see this first part.
You can also go to the location where you saved the ISO files and copy all ISO files from the command line using rsync, as shown below:
$ rsync *.iso /media/$USER/ventoy/ process -ah
Note that some Linux distributions allow USB to be installed in the /run/media/ directory.
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go! We just made a multi-boot USB stick with Ventoy.
Boot your system with a USB stick and you will be satisfied with the Ventoy boot menu:
Select the operating system you want to start and press ENTER to start it!
Here is a brief visual demonstration of a multi-boot USB stick created with Ventoy :
Cool, huh? That’s right!
Downloading ISO images to RAM
As I said before, ISO images cannot start up on some machines, especially in the legacy BIOS mode. This is where Memdisk mode comes in handy. When recording mode is activated, Ventoy loads the entire ISO image file into memory and loads from there.
To activate the backup mode, press the F1 key before selecting the operating system. You will see a message in the upper right corner when Memdisk mode is enabled.
The ISO is now loaded into the memory:
To return to normal mode, press the F1 key again.
Sounds like reading:
Believe it or not, Ventoy is one of the easiest, fastest and most ingenious tools I have ever used to create multi-boot USB Flash Drives. It worked!
I hope this helps.
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