Ventoy is another excellent Multiboot USB boot creation software tool that can be used to copy, boot and run multiple ISO files from USB. Functionality is intuitive and relatively straight forward. You simply use the GUI utility to format and prepare your thumb drive, then drag and drop your chosen ISO files onto your flash drive. The ISO files are directly copied over and added to the boot menu. This should result in a ready to boot USB device.
Much like the YUMI exFAT bootable USB maker, (which currently uses the VTOY bootloader), this is also Open Source software. Anyone is welcome to dig in to see how it works, submit improvements, use it in their project, or branch from it. It supports both legacy BIOS and UEFI boot options, and also works with UEFI secure boot.
Table of Contents
How does Ventoy work?
Ventoy is a Multiboot USB tool that works by creating a hidden 32MB VTOYEFI bootable partition which houses the boot menu, GRUB boot loader and core related files. While another exFAT partition is created and used for storing the bootable ISO files. This method allows for the storage of file sizes larger than 4GB.
The exFAT partition VT creates on your flash drive can also still be used for traditional storage purposes. This is unlike tools such as Win32 Disk Imager or Etcher that use DD to Write, or Burn ISO to USB. Those types of tools effectively overwrite the disk content with one single image, essentially creating a USB clone of the source ISO file. Although in some cases (if the disk extents of the source are set properly) you can still create a secondary partition on the device to continue to use for storage purposes.
Additional plugins are available to enhance this tool. These plugins include features like using a custom theme, persistence for Ubuntu distributions, the ability to run full Linux distributions from a VDisk file, or VHD Boot to make Windows boot from USB. A .json file is used as the plugin entry point and to further customize configurations.
Authors Website: VT Project Page
Ventoy Windows Bootable Flash Drive Creation
Warning: You cannot initially run this tool from your USB device. It will need to format the drive, so store and run it somewhere on your computer. Additionally, you should be aware that during "Install", any content currently on your selected device will be wiped clean!
- Download and unzip using 7-zip or similar software.
- Then, navigate to the Ventoy folder and Click Ventoy2Disk.exe
- (1.) Next, select your USB device from the dropdown. (2.) Click Install.
4. Next, simply Drag and Drop ISO files onto your USB drive.
Note: You can drag and drop multiple ISO files at once.
5. Reboot your PC and enter your Boot Device Menu (typically F9, F12, or ESC), and select your flash drive as the boot device.
6. From the Boot Menu, choose an ISO to launch, and enjoy!
Creating a Bootable USB from Linux
Navigate to the latest releases section on github. Note which Ventoy-x.x.xx-tar.gz version is the most recent.
- From your Linux desktop, open a terminal Ctrl+Alt+T
- Next, to download, as a single line, replacing 1.0.95 with the latest version, type
- To extract the .tar.gz file, type
tar -zxvf ventoy*.tar.gz
- Now change to the directory, replacing 1.0.95 with version, type
- To locate which /dev/sdX is your USB device, type
sudo fdisk -l
- To Install Ventoy on your USB, replacing X with your actual flash device letter, type
./Ventoy2Disk.sh -i /dev/sdX
- Then simply copy an ISO file to your USB flash drive.
- Finally reboot, set your BIOS or UEFI to boot from the device. Boot to see if it works.
- Upon startup, you should be presented with a Boot Menu containing the name of the ISO files you have added. Simply select an ISO from the menu to boot into.