YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) is a USB Boot tool that can be used to make a Multisystem Bootable USB drive. Quickly create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple ISO files. Use it to boot your favorite Live Linux Operating Systems, Linux and Windows Installers, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, backup, penetration testing, diagnostic tools, and much more. This tool makes it easy for anyone to create their own customized multi purpose Bootable USB.
YUMI is the recommended successor to our Universal USB Installer and older MultiBoot ISOs tools. Which were amongst the first tools made for the purpose of creating a USB bootable flash drive. Files are generally stored within the Multiboot folder, making for a nicely organized Portable Multiboot USB Drive that can still be used for traditional storage purposes.
Though YUMI was originally intended to be used to store and run various “LIVE Linux” Operating Systems and tools from USB, using it to install Linux from a Flash Drive to a Hard Drive should work with most distributions. If you find a distribution where the installer does not work, please let me know.
YUMI Multiboot Bootable USB Flash Drive Creation
This tool works much like Universal USB Installer, except it can be used to run more than one distribution from your Thumb Drive. Distributions can also be uninstalled using the same tool!
NOTE: A YUMI exFAT variant is still in the works. In the interim, Legacy or UEFI variants are recommended. Here are the key differences:
- YUMI Legacy supports either NTFS or Fat32 format. BIOS USB boot only.
- YUMI UEFI supports Fat32 only. BIOS and UEFI USB booting (Distro dependent).
YUMI Legacy (BIOS USB Boot Only)
You can use this version if your computer supports BIOS booting, and if you do not plan to run your Windows installers from YUMI in UEFI mode. Most modern motherboards still have Legacy BIOS firmware support though CMS Legacy mode.
Install ISO Files to USB from the Setup Screen
Run ISOs from the Multiboot USB Boot Menu
BACKUP DATA: You must Backup any data you wish to keep before using the “Format” options. When choosing the “Wipe Entire Disk” option, all partitions sharing that disk number will be wiped clean.
YUMI Legacy Download and Changelog:
Oct 18, 2021 YUMI-22.214.171.124.exe: Updated to support writable persistence for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu 20.04+.
YUMI SHA-256: 5623083B23B9EB2E7F43AF9E67B5F33FCB6A2C4B2296CCEAB30FC020D9E3CB61
YUMI UEFI (BIOS and UEFI USB Boot)
The YUMI UEFI variant utilizes GRUB2 for both UEFI and BIOS booting. Note that this UEFI version is not compatible with the legacy variant. In addition, your USB drive must be Fat32 formatted to support booting in UEFI mode. It utilizes the fat32format utility to format drives larger than 32GB as Fat32.
Drag and Drop ISO Support
The “Try Unlisted ISO” option supports the ability to drag and drop additional ISO files to try into the /multiboot/ISOS folder. They will be autodetected and their entries automatically appended to the Boot Menu.
BACKUP DATA: Backup your content from ALL partitions on your selected USB drive before using the “Wipe and fat32 format” option. The entire disk will be wiped clean!
Diskpart is used to wipe the select drive clean and then create a single partition using the same drive letter. Fat32format is used to format the large partition as fat32.
SECURE BOOTING: If it is enabled, you will need to disable secure boot from your computers BIOS/UEFI system firmware menu, before booting.
YUMI UEFI+BIOS FAT32 Download and Changelog:
Oct 18, 2021 YUMI-UEFI-0.0.4.2.exe:Updated to support writable persistence for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu 20.04+.
YUMI UEFI SHA-256: F8D54CDC39AF4F47DB86AEDABDCE65B915E0E2057017E2688D1C45BF9FA5F6EA
Running YUMI from LINUX: WINE is NOT currently working.
YUMI Basic Essentials
NOTE: For legacy YUMI, your USB drive must be Fat32/NTFS formatted, otherwise Syslinux will fail and as a result, your drive will NOT Boot. NTFS may not work with every distribution but is required for storing files over 4GB. YUMI UEFI currently must use Fat32 format.
YUMI Legacy or UEFI can be used to format your select USB drive, but be aware that all partitions on the select disk will also be deleted. Ensure that you have made a backup of any information you want to keep before using YUMI on any drive.
Basic Essentials to create a Multi System Bootable USB Drive
Recommended: You’ll have the best experience when using YUMI on a Fast SSD Flash Drive. Here’s a list of recommended Fast Flash Drives.
- 2GB+ Fat32 or *NTFS Formatted USB Flash Drive.
- Computer that can boot from USB.
- Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 Operating Environment.
- YUMI (to create a Multiboot Bootable USB).
- Your favorite ISO Files.
Please inform me of unlisted “FREE” Live Linux distributions or version revisions, and I will attempt to update YUMI to support them. Additionally, developers who wish to have their Live Linux distribution added, can direct me to a copy to try.
YUMI UEFI Changelog
10/18/21 Version 0.0.4.2: Updated to support writable persistence for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu 20.04+.
08/28/21 Version 0.0.4.1: Updated to support newer Archbang and Archlinux.
08/22/21 Version 0.0.4.0: Fixed error “YUMI will not attempt to install on (disk 0). Did you select a drive?” after uninstalling a distribution and then proceeding to install another. Allow previously selected disk number to persist on subsequent installs.
05/04/21 Version 0.0.3.9: Allow running from earlier; I.E Windows 7 versions. Moved checkpoint to prevent format and wipe option from appearing if OS is not at least Windows 8.
04/26/21 Version 0.0.3.8: Set to display drives detected by Windows as Local Drives (fixed) disks in addition to the standard USB Drives (removable media). Added secondary confirmation message before proceeding to Wipe and Format a drive. Added a checkpoint to prevent YUMI from starting if the operating environment is not at least Windows 8.
04/21/21 Version 0.0.3.7: Fixed Windows 10 Installer to work with newer Windows 10 ISOs with an Install.wim larger than 4GB. Also added support for LinuxCNC.
04/16/21 Version 0.0.3.6: Fixed broken System Rescue option. Also set to show USB Drives (removable media) only. Devices listed as local (fixed) disks are not displayed.
03/19/21 Version 0.0.3.5: Updated to support memtest 86+ 5.3.1. Also removed some distros that are no longer in development. Fixed some broken links.
01/19/21 Version 0.0.3.4: Added Try Unlisted ISO option. Switched to use diskpart to wipe and create a single partition, then use fat32 format.
01/11/21 Version 0.0.3.3: Updated to use Grub2 MBR instead of chain loading from Syslinux. Also added additional drive checkpoints.
Legacy YUMI Changelog
10/18/21 Version 126.96.36.199: Updated to support writable persistence for Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu 20.04+.
09/29/21 Version 188.8.131.52: Bug Fixed – distributions were not being removed from the boot menu after using the remove installed distros option.
08/04/21 Version 184.108.40.206: Updated to extract and run AmogOS with persistence from a directory.
07/23/21 Version 220.127.116.11: Updated to support AmogOS.
05/04/21 Version 18.104.22.168: Allow running from earlier; I.E Windows 7 versions. Moved checkpoint to prevent NTFS format and Wipe options from displaying if OS is not at least Windows 8.
04/19/21 Version 22.214.171.124: Set to show Local Drives in addition to USB Drives. Include an additional confirmation prompt before proceeding to Wipe and or Format. implemented a checkpoint to prevent YUMI from running if not at least Windows 8.
04/19/21 Version 126.96.36.199: Updated to support Linux CNC. Also corrected Super Grub2 Disk entry.
04/16/21 Version 188.8.131.52: Set to show USB removable media only. As a result, devices listed as local (fixed) disks are no longer displayed.
03/19/21 Version 184.108.40.206: Removed some distros that are no longer in development. Also fixed several broken links.
01/11/21 Version 220.127.116.11: Moved persistent file creation back to local drive when using NTFS format (You’ll need to make sure you have enough empty space to store the persistent file locally while it is being created). Also created additional checkpoints for drive selection.
How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive (Windows)
- Run* YUMI following the onscreen instructions.
- Then, Run the tool again to Add More ISOs/Distributions to your Drive.
- Restart your PC. But be sure to set your Boot Menu to boot from the USB device.
- Select a distribution to launch. Then, boot and enjoy!
That’s really all there is to it. If all went well, then you should be booting your favorite distributions from your custom Multi-Boot USB device!
Creating a MultiBoot Bootable USB Flash Drive (Linux)
The following instructions were performed from an Ubuntu host environment.
NOTE: The following method is currently broken and will be updated at a later point.
I. Format your USB Flash Drive to use a Single Partition: Open a terminal and type
fdisk -l(and note which device is your USB Drive)
fdisk /dev/sdx(replacing x with your actual usb device)
d(to delete the existing partition)
n(to create a new partition)
p(for primary partition)
1(to create the first partition)
Press Enter(to use the first cylinder)
Press Enteragain (to use the default value as the last cylinder)
1(to mark the first partition active “bootable”)
t(for partition type)
c(to use fat32 partition)
w(to write the changes and close fdisk)
II. Create a Fat32 Filesystem on the USB Flash Drive: Type
umount /dev/sdx1(to unmount the mounted partition)
mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n MULTIBOOT /dev/sdx1(to format the partition as fat32)
Remove and reinsert your USB flash drive, or remount it III. Install WINE:
To install WINE from within an Ubuntu operating environment, first open a terminal and type sudo apt install wine, then press enter. Once WINE is installed, launch YUMI as you normally would by simply clicking the YUMI-18.104.22.168.exe
How a YUMI Bootable USB Works
YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) enables each user to create their own custom Multiboot UFD containing only the distributions they want. Presented in the order by which they are installed. A new distribution can also be added to the Bootable USB each time the tool is run.
If you run YUMI from the same location you store ISO files, then they should be auto detected (*See Known Issues Below), eliminating the need to browse for each ISO.
Other Notes: If MultibootISOs was previously used, you must reformat the drive, and start over. YUMI uses Syslinux directly, and chainloads to grub only if necessary, so it is not compatible with the older Multiboot ISO tool.
Create a Bootable USB containing the following distros or tools
Note: Supported Distributions vary between UEFI and Legacy variants.
— Debian Live 32/64 Bit —
- Debian Live
— Fedora 32/64 Bit —
— Linux Mint 32/64 Bit —
- Linux Mint
— OpenSUSE 32/64 Bit —
- OpenSUSE 32bit
- * OpenSUSE 64bit
— Puppy Linux 32/64 Bit —
- DPup Exprimo
- Lucid Puppy Linux
- Precise Puppy Linux
- Racy Puppy Linux
- Slacko Puppy
- Wary Puppy Linux
— Ubuntu 32/64 Bit —
- * Ubuntu Gnome
- ** Ubuntu Server Installer
- *** Ubuntu Secure Remix
- **** Ubuntu Studio
— Other Distros Alphabetical —
- CAELinux (Computer Aided Engineering)
- CentOS Live
- Damn Small Linux (DSL)
- gpxe (Net Bootable Distros)
- OSGeo Live
- Peach OSI Linux
- Pear Linux
- Pinguy OS
- Scientific Linux CERN
- Semplice Linux
- SLAX (Tiny Slackware Based Distro)
- Slitaz (Another Tiny Distro)
- Sparky Linux
- Sugar on a Stick
- System Rescue CD
- Tails (Anonymous Browsing)
- Liberte (Anonymous Browsing)
- TinyCore (A Tiny Linux Distribution)
- Ultimate Edition 3
- Zorin OS Core
———— NetBook Distributions ————
- EasyPeasy (NetBook Distro)
- Jolicloud (NetBook Distro)
- Ubuntu Netbook Remix
- xPUD (Netbook Distro)
————— Antivirus Tools —————
- Acronis Antimalware CD
- AOSS (Malware Scanner) system\stage1
- AVG Rescue CD (Antivirus Scanner)
- AVIRA AntiVir Rescue CD (Virus Scanner) ; does install to root of drive
- Bitdefender Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Comodo Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Dr.Web Live CD ; does install to root
- F-Secure Rescue CD
- GDATA Rescue CD
- Kaspersky Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Panda SafeCD
- Windows Defender Offline
—————– System Tools —————-
- Acronis True Image
- BackBox (Penetration Testing)
- BackTrack5 (Penetration Testing)
- Boot Repair Disk
- Clonezilla (Backup + Clone Tool)
- DBAN (Hard Drive Nuker)
- Deft (Forensics)
- DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux)
- EASEUS Disk Copy (Disk Cloning Tool)
FreeDOS (Balder img)
- GParted (Partition Tools)
- GRML (system rescue)
- HDT (Hardware Detection Tool)
- Kali (Penetration Testing)
- Memtest86+ (Memory Testing Tool)
- Matriux (Penetration Testing)
- Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
- Ophcrack (Password Finder)
- Parted Magic (Partition Tools)
- PING (Partimg Is Not Ghost)
- Partition Wizard (Partition Tools)
- Redo Backup And Recovery (Recovery Tools)
- Rip Linux (Recovery Distro)
- Trinity Rescue Kit ; does install to root of drive
- Ultimate Boot CD (Diagnostics Tools)
- Web Converger (Web Kiosk)
- —————– Other OS/Tools —————-
- Linux Live Tools for OCZ
- Linux CNC
- Hiren’s Boot CD ; does install to root of drive
- Falcon 4 Boot CD ; does install to root of drive
- Hiren’s Boot PE
- Sergei strelec WinPE
- Other WinPE
- Kon-Boot Floppy Image
- Windows XP/8/10 Installer
- ~~ Windows To Go
—————– Bootable ISOs —————-
- Try an Unlisted ISO (SYSLINUX)
- * Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB)
- ** Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB Run from RAM)
YUMI Troubleshooting, Known Issues, Bugs
The Persistence feature is currently broken with Newer Debian based distributions due to changes upstream. Debian now requires the persistent block file and label to be named persistence instead of live-rw, and it must hold a persistence.conf file containing / Union.
With the Legacy variant, if you encounter a message stating
An error (1) occurred while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won't be bootable.
Make sure your USB drive is formatted using a Fat32 or NTFS partition with an MBR (Master Boot Record). An exFAT formatted Partition will not work. GPT (GUID Partition Table) Fat32 or NTFS Partitions are also not currently supported.
If you encounter a message stating
Insane primary (MBR) partition. Can’t find myself on the drive I booted from
First, replace your chain.c32 file located at multiboot/chain.c32 with (you’ll need to unzip the file) -> This zipped chain c32 File
If replacing the chain.c32 file does not fix the problem, your Bootable USB drive may be improperly formatted, contains more than one partition or MBR, or your BIOS is not properly detecting the USB drive as USB-HDD, and/or its firmware needs to be updated. You can try these methods to Format and Restore your USB Drive
Windows to Go/Installers – Options Explained
YUMI Legacy Variant:
The Windows to Go option creates a VHD file that is 20GB in size. As such, it requires the drive to be formatted NTFS. Fat32 cannot support a file more than 4GB in size. Many flash drives you might find at local department stores won’t be fast enough. You’ll need a Very Fast Flash Drive. When Windows boots from the USB for the first time, it’ll go through the setup process and then reboot. You’ll need to boot using your Windows to Go menu option a second time to finalize the setup process and finally boot into your full Portable Windows.
The Single Windows Installer/PE options are most likely to work for both stock and modified ISO files. When using it, you are limited to storing one Windows Installer per USB drive (I.E. one Win XP and one Win Vista 7 or 10). The Multiple Windows Installer/PE options allow for storing more than one stock Windows Installer per drive. Generally, only unmodified Windows ISO files will work with this option.
-wimboot option stores the extracted Multi Windows Installers in their own directory. -bootmgr option moves the bootmgr and bcd files to root of drive. (note: -bootmgr option does require a Windows Vista or later host to run bcdedit).
Traditional YUMI is not natively UEFI capable. However, it is possible to boot and run your Windows Installers from UEFI. To switch between added Windows versions, navigate to the multiboot/win-directory (replacing win-directory with the Windows version you want to boot) on your USB. Once there, move the bootmgr, bootmgr.efi, and entire boot folder to the root of your USB drive. Then reboot, booting your computer from the UEFI compatible USB. If all went well, it should boot straight into your chosen Windows Installer.
Try an Unlisted ISO – Options Explained
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub Partition 4) – This boot option will attempt to boot the ISO file using Grub. It adds a 4th partition table to the USB device and uses this as a placeholder for the ISO. This method should successfully boot most Linux based distributions.
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub) – Same as boot option 1, but attempts to boot the ISO without using a 4th partition as a placeholder for the ISO.
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub From RAM) – Same as boot option 2, but attempts to store the ISO in system memory and boot it from there. Useful for cases where the ISO is small, and you’d like to boot the OS and then move the USB to different machines and subsequently boot the OS from them as well.
- Try Unlisted ISO (via Syslinux) – The original default YUMI supported boot option. Syslinux works to boot many distributions, but not all.
- Try Unlisted ISO – This boot option will attempt to boot the ISO file using Grub Partnew. It works by creating a 4th partition table on the USB device (a 4th partition must not already exist) to use as a placeholder for the ISO. Then, either the configuration file or Linux and Initrd files are located and Boot is attempted. The “Try Unlisted ISO” option found in YUMI UEFI supports the ability to drag and drop new ISO files to try into the /multiboot/ISOS folder. They will be autodetected and added to the menu.
Multiboot folder and volume name.
YUMI attempts to store most added distributions within the multiboot folder. This is also the root directory set for syslinux. In some cases, YUMI also expects the Volume Label of your USB drive to be MULTIBOOT in order for OpenSUSE, CentOS and several other distributions to boot. YUMI will attempt to automatically create this Volume Label, however it can sometimes fail. So please ensure that the Volume Label of your USB remains MULTIBOOT if you expect your distributions to boot.
When booting linux distributions from some laptops such as the Lenovo Yoga with a touchscreen, the acpi=off boot parameter might be necessary in order to successfully boot.
My PC wont Boot from my Flash Drive, but BIOS supports USB boot!
Some Flash Drives ship formatted (without a partition), as a result, YUMI requires the drive to contain a partition with a MBR (Master Boot Record). To ensure compatibility, you can also use YUMI to format your device as NTFS or Fat32.
How to force a rebuild of the Syslinux MBR:
This is very useful if your YUMI prepared USB drive is somehow no longer bootable.
From the multiboot folder on your flash drive, delete the hidden file ldlinux.sys and then rename the libcom32.c32 file to _libcom32.c32. Then use YUMI to install any menu item. YUMI will notice that the file is missing and will then attempt to reinstall syslinux and repair the master boot record. Once finished, rename _libcom32.c32 back to libcom32.c32.
Other Known Issues:
TAILS – If your Bootable USB is detected as a “fixed” hard drive and not a “removable” disk, (a few Sandisk drives have the removable bit flipped this way), you’ll have to remove occurrences of the boot parameter “live-media=removable” from the Live64.cfg file found at “\multiboot\tails-amd64-3.3\EFI\BOOT\” or consequently TAILS will fail to find the live filesystem.
The files for Flacon 4, Hiren’s Boot CD, Trinity Rescue Kit, Backtrack, Avira Antivir, and Dr.Web Live are stored outside of the multiboot folder. Most other distribution files remain contained within the multiboot folder. Feel free to inform me of a simple working solution!
YUMI supports Windows XP Install from USB via ISO. In order for the Windows XP installation to succeed, you must perform the following steps;
1.) To begin an install, select (Stage 1)
2.) Upon first reboot, you must select (Stage 2)
3.) Finally, after (Stage 2) is complete – upon the second reboot, select (Stage 3) to boot the drive where you installed Windows XP. If this option fails, simply remove the USB and reboot!
* YUMI does support NTFS, however not all distributions will boot from an NTFS formatted device. Though Windows to Go and distributions containing files over 4GB require using NTFS.
Troubleshooting Boot Errors:
While trying to run an ISO from USB, If you get a Boot error saying:
Error 60: File for drive emulation must be in one contiguous disk area
This generally happens on the persistence file, when using YUMI Legacy with NTFS format. You may have to do this after adding an Ubuntu based distro with persistence on an NTFS drive. Though still possible, Fat32 filesystems don’t encounter this issue as often.
You’ll need to defragment your ISO or persistence file:
Defraggler <— recommended (free version works fine).
Defragmenting an ISO File
When using the “Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB)” options in YUMI Legacy, broken or non-bootable menu entries can be fixed by editing its corresponding entry found in \multiboot\menu\menu.lst
If you don’t have a floppy drive and get fd0 errors while booting, simply add floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 to the append line for the troubled entry. Although the best fix is to simply disable floppy in BIOS.
Persistently Saving Changes: YUMI uses the casper-rw persistence feature for some (but not all) Ubuntu based distributions. Yes, you can also have multiple persistent distributions, as each distro utilizes its own casper-rw file. * Persistence will not always work on NTFS formatted USB drives. Additionally, some distributions will not boot via NTFS.
Ophcrack Tables. In order to load Ophcrack tables, the tables folder needs to exist at the root directory of the USB device; (example F:\tables\vista_free). You can Get Ophcrack Tables from the Official Ophcrack site. Once downloaded, simply unzip them to the root of your USB. Because you’re using this method, you can have your Windows XP and Vista/7/10 tables all working together on the same device.
YUMI on Linux: Current versions of YUMI no longer run from WINE.