[lubuntu-users] Is it possible to 'multi boot' ISO's with MKUSB?

Nio Wiklund nio.wiklund at gmail.com
Sat Jul 30 21:47:39 UTC 2016

Hi scrooyahoo,

[replying inline]

Best regards

Den 2016-07-30 kl. 22:58, skrev scrooyahoo at riseup.net:
> I'm looking into MKUSB and OBI.
> I see OBI can pick tar-balls stored on a stick. But is it also possible
> to work with multiple ISO's?

The OBI does not work with iso files. But there are other tools, that 
can make multiboot USB drives, for example according to this link:

'One pendrive for all PC (Intel/AMD) computers - single-boot dual-boot 


It works for Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros, but you have to fix the 
menuentries in grub.cfg for the other linux distros.

There are also multiboot-usb, multisystem and YUMI

> Would be nice to have 1 stick that can load:
> 32 bit
> 64 bit
> pae
> and eventually also the PPC

It is possible except PPC, because it has a different architecture, and 
needs different machine code.

> And also to make a stick with all 32 or 64 bit *buntu's side by side.

You can make such a pendrive according to the link above or get one.

Some people like that, but I think it is better to consider pendrives as 
temporary devices.

I store iso files in my main computer's 'data' partition, and flash one 
of them to a pendrive, when I want to use it. If you want to bring many 
iso files in the pocket, you can have a second pendrive with iso files. 
It is a good idea to have fast USB 3 pendrives. They are faster in USB 2 
ports too, because the flash memory hardware is often limiting the data 
transfer speed. See this link:


I use mkusb (to wrap a safety belt around dd alias 'disk destroyer'), 
most of the time making simple live-only pendrives that are cloned from 
the iso files. Most iso files today are 'hybrid' iso files, which means 
that they work when cloned, so it is a very simple process.

It is a lot of work to keep a multiboot pendrive up to date, it can 
easily lag behind. It is somewhat complicated to keep the boot script 
(grub.cfg or a corresponding file for other bootloaders) up to date and 
working if you have several different distros.

There is also Ubuntu AIO at


> Specially now that 8GB is about the smallest stick size thats still
> available in stores.
> This would it make it less of a hassle to try a few distros.
> I now have 4 Sticks in use for Lubuntu 16.04 64, 32, and alternate 64
> and 32bit
> that puts about 28GB doing nothing.
> I have tried 2 multiboot options i could find but for some reason only
> one of those partially works.
> OBI looks like a good solution, but most distro's sit in a ISO.

Please try and find out which way you want to manage your iso files and 
boot drives :-)

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