Just copy the ISO to USB using Ventoy (Linux and Windows) to create a bootable USB drive

Vento Is a fairly new open source tool that can create bootable USB drives using Linux or Microsoft Windows ISO files. You install this tool on a USB drive, then copy some ISO files to the USB drive, you can boot from it without making other changes (so there is no need to reformat the USB drive every time you create a bootable USB drive , And there is no need to extract ISO file content). The application is available for Microsoft Windows and Linux. It only has a graphical user interface on Windows; on Linux, you need to use it from the command line. When copying multiple ISO files to a USB drive, Ventoy will provide a menu at startup, from which you can select the ISO to boot. You can even create a multi-boot USB drive by adding ISO files for certain Linux distributions and Windows ISO files on the same USB, as shown in the screenshot at the top of this page.
It is worth noting that you can continue to use the USB memory stick for other purposes. After installing Ventoy on the USB drive, you can use the USB drive to start the ISO file copied to the USB drive, but you can also copy other files to the USB drive, which will not affect the operation of Ventoy.
In order to use the entire USB drive for other purposes, you do not have to format it. Delete all ISO files from it and use it as a regular USB drive (Ventoy only takes up a few MB of space and is not visible when the USB drive is installed). When you want to boot an ISO with the same USB drive, just copy the ISO file (or multiple ISOs) to the USB and boot from it. Ventoy provides both traditional functions and UEFI secure boot support, and it has passed 260 Testing of multiple ISO files, including Debian, Ubuntu (and its flavors), CentOS, RHEL, Deepin, Fedora, SLES, openSUSE, MX Linux, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Pop! _OS, Solus OS, Zorin OS, Arch Linux, Puppy Linux, Tails, Slack, Kali Linux, Mageia, Slackware, Gentoo, NixOS, ALT Linux, KDE Neon and many other Linux distributions, as well as Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2012/2012 RS, 2016 and 2019.
Other features of Ventoy:

  • Persistent support for Ubuntu, MX Linux, Linux Mint, Elementary OS and Zorin OS
  • Automatic installation-suitable for Windows and all Linux distributions that support automatic installation, but only tested on RHEL7/CentOS7/Fedora, Debian/Ubuntu Server and SUSE
  • Support WIM file boot (traditional + UEFI)
  • Supports ISO files larger than 4 GB
  • Upgrade the Ventoy installation on the USB drive without formatting the USB

Read on to learn how to install Ventoy on a USB drive (from Microsoft Windows or Linux) and how to use Ventoy to create a persistent bootable USB drive.
Bootable USB drive related:

  • bootiso: Easily boot an ISO to a USB drive from the command line
  • How to use WoeUSB to make a bootable Windows 10 USB on Linux
  • Use Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Debian to create persistent storage Live USB (UEFI,> 4GB persistent support)
  • Rufus: Create persistent storage Live USB from Ubuntu or Debian via Windows

The download button above links to Ventoy binaries for Microsoft Windows and Linux. If you want to build it from source code, See this pageOn Windows, Ventoy comes with a graphical user interface, so it is very simple to use. To use it, unzip the downloaded Ventoy .zip file and launch the Ventoy2Disk executable file.Ventoy Windows GUI

Select the USB drive from the device list, you can also choose to enable secure boot support (from Option Menu), then click Install Button to install Ventoy to the USB memory stick. Now that Ventoy is installed on your USB drive, you can create bootable USB drives by simply copying some ISO files onto the USB, whether they are Linux distribution ISOs or Windows 10/8/7 ISO files. Ventoy .tar.gz file, you will find 3 folders and 2 scripts, Ventoy2Disk.sh is used to install Ventoy on the USB drive, CreatePersistentImg.sh is used to create a persistent image to be used with Ventoy.
However, before installing Ventoy on a USB drive and creating a bootable USB drive, you need to find out the device name of this USB drive, and if it is installed, uninstall it. Please follow the steps below to install Ventoy on the USB drive of Linux.1. Find out the USB drive device name and available partition
Insert the USB into the computer and run the following command (you can also use lsblk Either sudo fdisk -l Instead; or use Gparted in the terminal (if you prefer GUI):

sudo parted -l

This will output the disks and partitions connected to the computer, including USB drives. You need to determine which of the listed devices is a USB drive based on the model name, disk size, etc.
example of parted -l Show the command for the USB drive connected to my computer:

sudo parted -l
..........................
Model:  USB DISK 3.0 Pro (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdd: 31.0GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  31.0GB  30.9GB  primary               boot
 2      31.0GB  31.0GB  33.6MB  primary  fat16        esp

In this example output, you can find the USB device name by looking under “Disk”, so in my case, /dev/sdd.
The partitions are listed under the disk logo, so in this example there are 2 partitions: 1 and 2 (since the device name is /dev/sdd, The partition is /dev/sdd1 with /dev/sdd2).2. Unmount all installed USB drive partitions
If the USB drive has partitions mounted, please uninstall them before proceeding (otherwise you will not be able to install Ventoy on the USB, which is necessary to create a bootable USB drive) by opening a terminal and using the following command:

sudo umount /dev/sdXN

Replace /dev/sdXN USB device partition. Make sure to uninstall all installed disk partitions.
In my example, the USB drive device name is /dev/sdd, Whose partition is /dev/sdd1 with /dev/sdd2, So in this case, the command to uninstall them would be:

sudo umount /dev/sdd1
sudo umount /dev/sdd2

3. Installing Ventoy on a USB disk is important to note that all data on the disk where Ventoy is installed will be lost! Make sure that the USB device name is correct to avoid accidentally losing data on the hard drive.
In order to create a bootable USB drive just by copying the ISO file to the USB, you need to install Ventoy on the USB drive. Open the terminal and navigate to the folder where you extracted Ventoy (this folder contains Ventoy2Disk.sh script).
Then install Ventoy on a USB disk that does not support secure boot, please use:

sudo ./Ventoy2Disk.sh -i /dev/sdX

Or, to install Ventoy on a USB disk with secure boot support, use:

sudo ./Ventoy2Disk.sh -i -s /dev/sdX

In both commands, you need to replace /dev/sdX Use the USB device name you found in step 1.
The system will ask you to confirm that the USB device name is correct twice-enter y then press Enter The key to continue.
example:

sudo ./Ventoy2Disk.sh -i -s /dev/sdd

***********************************************************
*                Ventoy2Disk Script                       *
*             longpanda  [email protected]                 *
***********************************************************

Disk : /dev/sdd
Model: USB3.0 DISK (scsi)
Size : 31 GB

Attention:
You will install Ventoy to /dev/sdd.
All the data on the disk /dev/sdd will be lost!!!

Continue? (y/n)y

All the data on the disk /dev/sdd will be lost!!!
Double-check. Continue? (y/n)y

Create partitions on /dev/sdd by parted ...
Done
mkfs on disk partitions ...
create efi fat fs /dev/sdd2 ...
mkfs.fat 4.1 (2017-01-24)
success
mkexfatfs 1.3.0
Creating... done.
Flushing... done.
File system created successfully.
writing data to disk ...
sync data ...
esp partition processing ...

Install Ventoy to /dev/sdd successfully finished.

Now that Ventoy is installed on your USB drive, you can create bootable USB drives by simply copying some ISO files onto the USB, regardless of whether they are Linux distribution ISOs or Windows 10/8/7 ISO files. Boot from the USB drive and you will see a list of available ISO files-click on any one and you will launch the selected ISO file and possibly install the Linux distribution or Windows version of the USB drive you have copied to.

How to create a durable bootable USB drive with Ventoy

When creating a regular Linux live USB, you can install software, download files, make changes to the system, etc., but all these changes will be lost after rebooting. The persistent real-time USB can save any changes you make to the real-time system, so it will still exist the next time you start.
Ventoy supports the creation of bootable USB drives with persistent support. The Linux distributions that Ventoy supports for persistence include Ubuntu, MX Linux, Linux Mint, Elementary OS and Zorin OS. Although it may be more effective, it has not been tested. Generally, any Ubuntu-based Linux distribution can be used.
The following instructions assume that you have already downloaded, extracted and installed Ventoy on a USB device (see instructions above). It is worth noting that this requires the CreatePersistentImg.sh script, which can only be downloaded from Ventoy Linux (Ventoy for Windows does not have a similar solution)1. Create a persistent image file
To create a durable bootable USB drive, the first step is to create a back-end image file. This is a simple disk image with labels. you can use it CreatePersistentImg.sh The script (located in the folder where you extracted the Linux version of Ventoy) to create this image file.
Open a terminal, navigate to the folder where you extracted Ventoy (the folder should contain the CreatePersistentImg.sh script), and run the following command to create an image file of 4 GB in size:

sudo ./CreatePersistentImg.sh -s 4096

This will create a 4 GB EXT4 image file with a default label of casper-rw. 4096 represents the size of the image file (in MB), if you want to increase or decrease the size, please change this number.
You can view all available options by running the following command:

./CreatePersistentImg.sh --help

2. Copy the permanent image file to the USB drive
The created image file is called persistence.imgAnd should be in the Ventoy folder (located in CreatePersistentImg.sh script). Insert the USB memory stick with Ventoy installed, then copy persistence.img File to USB drive 3. Create a Ventoy json configuration file that contains the path to the ISO and persistence files
On the USB drive where Ventoy is installed, create a file named ventoy. Create a file named ventoy.json, And then open the file with a text editor.
Inside the file, paste the following:

{
    "persistence" : [
        {
            "image": "/ISO-file-name.iso",
            "backend": "/persistence.img"
        }
    ]
}

Replace ISO-file-name.iso Use the ISO file name (include the path if it is not in the USB root directory), and persistence.img And the persistent image file name and path (in case you changed the name and did not place it in the root directory of the USB).
For example, if you have an ISO ubuntu-20.04-desktop-amd64.iso And a named persistence.img, Are placed in the root directory of the USB drive (in the lowest level directory, the directory will be opened when you click the USB drive icon), ventoy.json The file will look like this:

{
    "persistence" : [
        {
            "image": "/ISO-file-name.iso",
            "backend": "/persistence.img"
        }
    ]
}

You can add multiple ISO files with persistence as needed, for example:

{
    "persistence" : [
        {
            "image": "/ISO-file-name.iso",
            "backend": "/persistence-ubuntu-20.04.img"
        },    
        {
            "image": "/linuxmint-19.3-xfce-64bit.iso",
            "backend": "/persistence-linux-mint-19.3.img"
        }
    ]
}

Make sure the path and syntax are 100% correct. For example, if you miss (or have an extra) comma, or the path is incorrect, persistence will not work.
For more information, see Ventoy Persistent document.Ventoy bootable USB drive persistence

When finished, save the file and boot from this USB drive. After clicking the ISO for which you have added persistence, you will see a menu that allows you to boot with or without persistence, as shown in the screenshot above.
h / t: Conductor is on HN

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