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

Israel israeldahl at gmail.com
Sun Jul 31 13:28:55 UTC 2016

One other thing to add...
You can boot from an ISO file via Grub
It has been a while since I have done this, so some things may have 
changed... and NOT ALL DISTROS use casper as the root directory for the 
initrid/vmlinuz files, so look in the ISO for the file you need... for 
example Fedora is quite different
Some also need very specific boot parameters (like Arch)
So consult the ISO if you are using something besides *buntu, this is 
specifically targeted at *buntu use.
## this will be different on your computer, use the TAB completion
## some are something like (msdos1,1)
*set root=(*hd1,1*) *
## use tab completion here as well if you need
*set isofile=*"/path/to/FILENAME.iso"
## same as the root you set
*loopback loop*(hd1,1)*$isofile*
## the main thing is to include the path to the vmlinuz, and set the 
boot= that directory name... you might also need vmlinuz.efi if you are 
doing an efi boot
*linux (loop)/*casper/vmlinuz *boot=*casper
## some distros use different compression... so just check
*initrd (loop)/*casper/*initrd*.lz
*You**can also add a custom grub entry menu.

This could be done from a USB stick, technically, where you keep a bunch 
of ISO files, and make custom GRUB entries and boot each on separately

Again, I have not done this in a few years, (I have been using mkusb to 
overwwrite the same USB stick, like Nio) so things may have changed some.

**On 07/30/2016 04:47 PM, Nio Wiklund wrote:
> Hi scrooyahoo,
> [replying inline]
> Best regards
> Nio
> 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 
> multi-boot'
> https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2259682
> 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:
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/FromUSBStick#Prerequisites
> 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
> http://linuxaio.net/
>> 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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