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