How to Create a Multiboot Linux USB Drive Using Linux

Put several Linux distributions in on a thumb drive

Create a multi-boot USB drive for Linux using the MultiSystem tool. The tool supports an ISO image to support burning directly to USB.

The vendor's website and documentation are primarily in French.

Installing MultiSystem

Download MultiSystem and burn the disc image to a USB key.

Booting MultiSystem

After you've burned the USB stick, reboot your computer using the USB drive as the boot drive. This process launches MultiSystem in a live session.

Adding Linux Distributions to the USB Drive

Add Linux Distributions Using Multisystem screenshot

Download some Linux distributions to add to the drive. After you have downloaded all of the distributions you wish to add to the USB, open the downloads folder on your computer using the file manager installed on the computer.

Drag the first distribution into the box that says Select ISO or IMG on the Multisystem screen.

The image will be copied to the USB drive. The screen goes black and some text scrolls up and you will see a short progress bar highlighting how far through the process you are.

It takes a while to add any distribution to the USB drive and you should wait until you are returned to the main Multisystem screen. The progress bar is not particularly accurate and you may think the process has hung.

After the first distribution has been added it will appear in the top box on the Multisystem screen. 

To add another distribution drag the ISO image to the Select ISO or IMG box within Multisystem and again wait for the distribution to be added.

How to Boot Into the Multiboot USB Drive

Boot into the multisystem screenshot

To boot into the multiboot USB drive, reboot your computer leaving the USB drive inserted and press the relevant function key to bring up the boot menu before your main operating system loads.

From the boot menu choose your USB drive.

The MultiSystem menu loads, and you should see the Linux distributions you chose at the top of the list.

Select the distribution you wish to load using the arrow keys, and press return.

The Linux distribution will now load.

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