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Bootable USB - Ventoy


Staff member
So if you're installing an operating system, gone are the days when you can fit an OS on a floppy disk or a CD-ROM. More than likely it's best to move to a USB flash drive. Normally, copying the ISO image file to a USB drive won't be recognized if you try to boot into it. The files have to be prepared in a way that the computer will recognize the image.

One program we've used if it's just one ISO you need is called Rufus. Rufus will run a process that will unpack the ISO in a way that the computer can boot into it (as far as I know).

Ventoy is different in that once the USB drive is set up properly, you can then copy ISO images into it, and it's ready to go. If you need to update one of the images, you just delete the old one and copy in a new one. Every time you boot into your USB stick, it will find all the ISO's stored there and you have access to boot into any of them.

Original reference can be found here: https://www.ventoy.net/en/doc_start.html

For a Windows install of Ventoy, it looks fairly straight forward (let us know if you have trouble though and we can check it out). Below are the steps through Command Line in the terminal.

Linux Steps
1. You can download the newest Ventoy from here. (a link on this page will likely take you to Github for the download)

2. You'll end up with a file something like 'ventoy-1.0.20-linux.tar.gz'.

3. If you double click that, you should get a window like this where you can extract or unpack those files. Choose a location like your Desktop (make a new Ventoy folder there) if you want it in plain sight and accessible, or you could make a Ventoy folder in your Home folder to have it available but out of sight for the most part.

4. Once the files uncompress, go into your new Ventoy folder (make sure you can see the 'Ventoy2Disk.sh' file).

5. Right click and 'Open Terminal Here'. If that option isn't available to you in your Linux, open the terminal and navigate with commands to your Ventoy folder. [Ean or someone, make a post about Terminal navigation and commands, then link it here]

6. They'll ask you to run this shell script as root:
sh Ventoy2Disk.sh { -i | -I | -u } /dev/XXX

Inside those squiggly brackets, the options are -i, -I, and -u. You don't need all of them. It details what each of them means in an image below that, but you likely only need to use -i. Check out the original reference article at the top if you want more details on this command, and these modifiers.

So the code you'd use (including sudo for root access) is:
sudo sh Ventoy2Disk.sh -i /dev/XXX where XXX is the mount point of your USB such as "sdb"

7. Once that finishes, you should be able to copy ISO files for operating systems (including Windows 10!) into the main directory. You can also sort them into various folders, like "Linux" and "Windows", and Ventoy finds them all when you boot into it. Applications like Clonezilla also work.
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