Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, April 20, 2015 at 11:56

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.


Install Multisystem

sudo apt-add-repository 'deb all main'
wget -q -O - | 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

  1. Insert your USB drive to USB port. Mount it. 
  2. Open Multisystem. 
  3. 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.  
  4. Select Your Drive
  5. Then select your drive and click Confirm button.
  6. 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. 
  7. Confirm GRUB Installation
  8. Now you see a blank Multisystem window like this.  
  9. Main Window
  10. Click the disc icon below Select an .iso section to open ISO file. 
  11. Select ISO file.  
  12. Select ISO
  13. A black window will appear. It is a Terminal asking you for your password. Enter it.
  14. Multisystem Is Burning
  15. The terminal will do the burning process. Wait until finished. 
  16. One Operating System Burnt into The Drive Successfully
  17. Repeat points 7 - 10 for another ISO. 
  18. The result in Multisystem is it reads your drive to has 4 operating systems like this. 
  19. 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