How to install multiple bootable operating systems on a USB flash drive
Having a USB stick from which we can boot an operating system or another can be really interesting, and it will also give us a lot of versatility. If you want to know how to get it, keep reading.
Thanks to a USB key, we can transport several Linux distributions or different Windows installation systems, in order to realize different ways of starting our computer from its internal storage.
This can give us very interesting versatility, we can already have a different operating system on a PC, without having to change the one you already have.
We are going to see several programs which can perform this task and which are also free. We should only have a quality USB stick that has 8 GB minimum From space.
The list of applications that allows us to easily create this type of USB stick that we can take with us and that allows us to load our own operating system on any computer is short. Here we leave you the four most representative and easy to use:
WinSetupFromUSB is highly recommended program to get bootable USB stick and mainly to get external installer system for Windows. It is only compatible with versions of Windows from XP, although Linux can also be used.
The way to work is very simple:
We open WinSetupFromUSB and select the USB key. Then we mark the button where the operating system is located that we will use. Then we add the ISO image operating system, by clicking on the box with three dots to the right and selecting in the mask where it is saved. Then click on GO. Once the installation is complete, we will see a message from Work completed. To install a second operating system, just repeat the same process.
XBoot is a portable support therefore we can bring it to any side on a USB stick without installation. It can be used to create a bootable USB drive, but also to make a CD or DVD.
To achieve our goal, you just need to do the following:
We open the program from its executable file and now we just drag the ISO we want, to drop it into the main frame. Then we click on the button Create a USB key. The program will ask us to select the USB stick on which we want to install the ISOs. Next we need to put the type of boot sector you want to use. If the USB drive is formatted as FAT32, XBoot recommends Syslinux. If the USB memory is formatted as NTFS, it is recommended Grub4DOS. Now we just give in Okay and we would have our starter unit ready.
MultiBootUSB is a well-known program for generating bootable USB stick with different operating systems, although they should only be Linux because it is not compatible with Windows.
In this case, we have an executable file that installs the program on the computer, not like in the previous cases where they were portable.
Using this software is extremely simple and the steps are as follows:
We select the USB stick in Select a USB disk. Then right next to it Select an image, click on the button that says Browse then we select the ISO image that we want. We remind you that although MutiBootUSB works on Windows and Linux, it can only create Linux Live USB systems. When we have chosen the image, we click on Install the distribution.
YUMI is a different operating system. The first thing we need to do is choose the distribution we want from the list before we navigate to the ISO itself.
We also have two versions of YUMI:
YUMI Legacy– Works with NTFS or FAT32 format. YUMI UEFI– Supports FAT32 only, as well as BIOS and UEFI USB boot via GRUB2.
If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 11, you must select the version YUMI UEFI, because it is the part of the software that works with the most modern operating systems.
The way to work is as follows, knowing that this application only works to have Linux:
The first thing to do is to select the USB key. Then we select the distribution, in this case, Lubuntu. Then we choose the ISO. You can select the option Download link, which will take us to the download page for the selected distribution or operating system. All you have to do is click on To create and ready. If we want to add more distributions, we repeat the process we just did.
With these programs that you just saw, we will be able to manage bootable USB drives for Windows and Linux to boot different types of operating system from this external device.
This is something that can be very useful and it is good to always have it in case we need it at some point.