We can make a bootable USB flash drive containing more than one operating system. This drive called multiboot drive. You can make it from Linux by using Multisystem. I show you how to use Multisystem to create Ubuntu, elementary OS, Fedora, and Antergos inside a 16 GB USB drive.
- To install Multisystem, you need to enable all your repositories. See What To Do article at preparation section.
- After enabling them all, now do these commands.
sudo apt-add-repository 'deb http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot all main' wget -q -O - http://liveusb.info/multisystem/depot/multisystem.asc | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install multisystem
Explanation: to install Multisystem, we need 4 commands. First command above tells Ubuntu to add Mutisystem Debian Repository. Second command tells Ubuntu to get verification key for security (to make sure that the repository is correct). Third command tells Ubuntu to reset the repositories list so the new repository added (Multisystem) will be used for further. The last command installs Multisystem.
|Installing Multisystem and Dependencies|
Burn Linux ISO Images To The Drive
- Insert your USB drive to USB port. Mount it.
- Open Multisystem.
- Multisystem main window will detect your USB drive. In this example, I use Kingston DataTraveler. So it detects the same device. If it doesn't detect it on your machine, mount the drive and click the reload button.
- Then select your drive and click Confirm button.
- A dialog will appear saying that the Grub2 will be installed in MBR. It means Multisystem will install bootloader into your USB drive (not HDD). Click OK.
- Now you see a blank Multisystem window like this.
- Click the disc icon below Select an .iso section to open ISO file.
- Select ISO file.
- A black window will appear. It is a Terminal asking you for your password. Enter it.
- The terminal will do the burning process. Wait until finished.
- Repeat points 7 - 10 for another ISO.
- The result in Multisystem is it reads your drive to has 4 operating systems like this.
|Select Your Drive|
|Confirm GRUB Installation|
|Multisystem Is Burning|
|One Operating System Burnt into The Drive Successfully|
|Multisystem Reads My Drive Contents|
Actually when you install Multisystem, you will install QEMU dependencies too. By using QEMU, you can try your USB without restarting nor testing on another machine. QEMU is a great virtualization hypervisor. It is relatively lighter than Virtualbox. Just go to main window > Boot Tab > click Test your liveusb in QEMU. See picture below.
|Testing The Drive with QEMU Virtualization|