It’s been quite some time since a new and innovative freeware program has been released. I remember, many moons ago when Sandboxie was first released and terms such as “sandbox” and “isolation technique” were akin to a foreign language for many. These days, of course, sandboxing has become a well-known and popular security mechanism.
Ventoy, a free and open-source multi-boot USB flash drive creator, is one relatively new freeware release that has managed to reinvent the wheel. Most of you would be familiar with Rufus, the popular bootable USB flash drive creator, and Ventoy is like Rufus on steroids.
With Rufus, you can only create one bootable flash drive per ISO but by using Ventoy you can load multiple ISOs onto a single flash drive only limited by the capacity of the flash drive. For example, say you had three Linux distros you wanted to check out via live bootable media. With Rufus, you would need to create three separate bootable flash drives, one for each distro. However, with Ventoy you can place all three distros on a single USB flash drive.
Ventoy achieves this by creating a separate, very small, hidden boot partition that also holds files that act an an interface with the main partition. Once you have created the Ventoy multi-boot USB flash drive, which is very straightforward, you simply drag and drop your ISOs into the main partition. Then, when you boot from the Ventoy flash drive, you’ll be presented with a list of the ISOs, simply select which ISO to load, and… voilà.
What’s more, Ventoy can be updated non-destructively, meaning you can update the Ventoy software on the same (existing) USB flash drive, no need to keep re-creating the bootable drive with each update. But wait, there’s more… you can also use the Ventoy flash drive for storing data, in the normal manner. Obviously, provided there is enough free space:
- Ventoy is an open-source tool to create a bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI
- Ventoy is 100% open source and very simple to use
- With Ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files to the USB drive and boot them directly
- You can copy many files at a time and Ventoy will give you a boot menu to select them
- Most types of OS are supported (Windows/WinPE/Linux/ChromeOS/Unix)
- USB normal use unaffected
- Data nondestructive during a version upgrade
Ventoy is the perfect tool for those who would like to check out several Linux distros without needing to create separate bootable media for each. In a freeware market that has been devoid of anything new and/or innovative for quite some time, Ventoy is like a breath of fresh air.
- More details and download link: Ventoy Home Page
- Please read our earlier guide: Ventoy: Create Multi-Boot USB Flash Drive
10 thoughts on “Ventoy: Superb Multi-Boot Flash Drive Creator”
It’s very good but sometimes doesn’t play well with Secure Boot enabled. You have to add it to Secure Boot for each computer you want to use it with. Either that or turn off Secure boot before trying to boot the Ventoy drive.
Secure Boot is permanently disabled on all my machines. I’ve been running Windows machines for 20+ years without Secure Boot, both before and after it was introduced, with never of problem.
Both Secure Boot and TPM are, in my opinion, control mechanisms being passed off as security measures.
While it can be an annoyance, I disagree somewhat. It very possibly could provide security. I will agree that I have never seen such an instance. But, it could happen. I leave it turned on. My point was that most people do and will have issues with getting Ventoy to work because of it.
Secure Boot might help with security in a corporate environment where multiple networked computers are operated by multiple users but in a home PC situation, I seriously doubt it.
We’ll have to agree to disagree Donald.
Well that’s exactly what it’s meant to do: prevent the user from booting software of their choice unless approved by whoever holds the private “Secure” keys.
You can’t have both. It’s either “Secure Boot” or freedom to run Ventoy, UBCD, Free DOS, small Linux distros, etc.
That’s a good point about corporate vs home environments. However, what it does and how useful it is isn’t really the point. The point is that the great majority of users are running with Secure Boot enabled and therefore will have issues using Ventoy. This should have been pointed out in the original article. It should not have been ignored.
“Secure Boot” is like “Democratic people’s republic”. It’s not secure for the user, it’s secure for whoever wants to turn PCs into walled gardens.
I’ve just read Jim’s posting. He’s right.
My thoughts precisely Panos.
Fair point Donald. It didn’t cross my mind simply because I have never had Secure Boot enabled. But you are correct and, thanks to your comments, others will now be aware.
Secure Boot not a big problem the problem is 1st efiventoy partition is too tiny only 32mb i am modder and for improvement i want to intrigate grub2FM
And refind and grub2dos intrigate with ventoy but disk size ristricted to strach via. Checksum ….