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How to create a bootable live USB with multiple Linux distributions

One of the advantages of most Linux distributions is the fact that you can run them from a live USB, without having to install the operating system on your machine. However, if for some reason you need to have bootable media for many Linux distributions, you are probably considering getting a number of different USB drives for each. Well, luckily, you don't need many different USB flash drives for every Linux distribution you want to run. So if you want to be able to boot into multiple Linux based operating systems from the same bootable USB, Here's how you can create a multi-bootable USB:

Use YUMI to create multi-bootable USB in Windows

If you want to have multiple Linux operating systems installed on a single USB drive, all ready to start whenever you want, you can use a handy app called YUMI to do it. The app is only available for Windows (download), but you can use Wine to run it on a Mac or Linux system.

Note : I am running YUMI on a MacBook Air running macOS Sierra, using Wine.

To create a multi-bootable USB using YUMI, you can simply follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Start YUMI. On the main screen of the application, select drive letter corresponding to the USB drive you want to use as a bootable USB.

2. Then select the name of the distribution you want to install. We will install Ubuntu as the first bootable Linux distribution. Also, select ISO file for Ubuntu (or the operating system you want to install). Once this is done, click "Create" .

3. The application will install the necessary components on the USB drive. Once this is done, a dialog box will appear asking if you want to install more distributions. Click on " S "

4. You will return to the main screen. Simply select the operating system name you want to install (I am using Elementary OS). Also, select ISO file for the distribution you want to install.

5. Once the process is complete, you will be asked if you want to install more distributions. May continue adding as many distributions as you want on your USB drive. However, we will stop at 2 distributions for this tutorial.

You now have a bootable USB disk that you can use to boot live to any of the operating systems you installed on it. If you want to boot into any of the Linux distributions that you installed on your USB drive, simply restart your computer and use the USB drive as the boot medium. The process for doing this varies somewhat depending on the brand of your laptop. If you are using a Mac, you can refer to our guide to do the same.

Running YUMI on macOS Sierra with wine

If you want to use YUMI on a Mac, like me, you can follow the steps below to get it up and running in no time.