One of the advantages of most Linux distributions is that you can run them from a live USB without having to install the operating system on your machine. However, if for some reason you need bootable media for many Linux distributions, you will probably consider getting a set of different USB drives for each. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of different USB flash drives for every Linux distribution you want to run. So if you want to be able to boot multiple Linux based OS from the same bootable USB, you can create a multiboot USB like this:
Use YUMI to Create Multiboot USB on Windows
If you want multiple Linux operating systems installed on a single USB drive and ready to boot whenever you want, you can use a handy app called YUMI to do it. The application is only available for Windows (download), but you can use Wine to run it on Mac or Linux system.
note: I’m running YUMI on a MacBook Air running macOS Sierra using Wine.
To create a multiboot USB using YUMI, simply follow the steps outlined below:
1. Start YUMI. On the main screen of the application, choose drive letter corresponds to the USB drive you want to use as a bootable USB.
2. Next, choose the name of the distribution you want to install. We will install Ubuntu as the first bootable Linux distribution. Moreover, Choose the ISO file For Ubuntu (or the OS you want to install). When done, click on “To create”.
3. The application will install the necessary components to the USB drive. Once complete, you will be presented with a dialog asking if you want to install more distributions. Click “Yes“.
4. You will return to the main screen. Just choose the name of the operating system you want to install (I’m using Elementary OS). Moreover, Choose the ISO file for the distribution you want to install.
5. When the process is complete, it will ask if you want to install more distributions. You can do keep adding as many distributions as you want on your USB drive. However, we will stop at 2 distributions for this tutorial.
You now have a bootable USB disk that you can use to live boot into any of the operating systems you have installed on it. If you want to start any Linux distribution you have installed on your USB drive, simply restart your computer and use the USB drive as the boot medium. The process for doing this varies slightly depending on the brand of your laptop. If you’re using a Mac, you can check out our guide to do the same.
Running YUMI with Wine on MacOS Sierra
If you want to use YUMI on a Mac like me, you can follow the steps below to install and run it right away.
one. Download Wine Staging from official website. This will download a .pkg file to your Mac that you can run to install Wine Staging on your Mac.
2. After installing Wine, right-click on the YUMI.exe file. “open withSelect ” and “Wine Staging“from the menu.
3. YUMI will launch right on your Macand you can follow the steps given in the previous section to install multiple Linux distributions on your USB drive.
You can use this method to use YUMI on Mac. I haven’t tried it on any Linux distribution, but the process for running YUMI on Linux using Wine should be similar to running YUMI on a Mac.
SEE ALSO: 10 Must Have Linux Apps to Install
Easily Create Multi-Boot Linux USB with YUMI
Now that you know how to install multiple Linux distributions on the same USB drive and boot to any of them, feel free to use YUMI to install multiple Linux distributions on your USB flash drive. However, make sure that each operating system has at least 4-8GB of free space on the USB drive so that they can run smoothly.
So, have you ever wished you had a single USB drive with multiple bootable Linux distributions? How did you do it? Also, if you know of other methods to create a bootable Live USB with multiple Linux-based operating systems, let us know in the comments section below.