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Ventoy – An Open Source Tool to Create Bootable USB Drive

Ventoy Create Bootable USB Drive
Written by Divine Okoi
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Ventoy is a robust free and open-source tool for creating bootable USB drives for ISO/IMG/EFI and WIM files. Unlike 99% of flashing tools in the market today, Ventoy comes with a menu for selecting boot files which can be run directly as well as installed anew – no extraction needed.

This means that you wouldn’t need to repeatedly format your flash drive for new installations. Just copy several ISO files to the drive and Ventoy will create an easy-to-use boot menu for you.

Ventoy supports Legacy BIOS and UEFI in the same way and that is combined with support for GPT and MBR partition styles. As if that is not enough, it features a “Ventoy Compatible” concept which enables it to support any ISO file. It also supports most operating systems including Windows, Linux, Vmware, Unix, Xen, and WinPE.

You should note that Ventoy will format your drive the first time it is installed but you can continue to use your flash as you normally would afterward. Unless you choose to manually reformat it with NTFS/FAT32/UDF/XFS/Ext2 etc, you need only copy ISO files to it and the menu will be arranged alphabetically.

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You can also use plugin configuration to restrict Ventoy’s search to ISO files in a fixed directory (and its subdirectories). Mind you, the full path of the ISO files should not contain any space or non-ASCII characters.

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Features in Ventoy

  • Free and open-source software. Source code available on GitHub.
  • Two ISO file view modes: List and Tree.
  • Supports ISO files larger than 4GB.
  • Supports Legacy + UEFI the same way with native boot menu style for all ISO files.
  • Supports MBR and GPT partition style.
  • Supports UEFI Secure Boot.
  • Supports persistence and auto-installation.
  • Supports plugins.
  • Supports file injection.
  • “Ventoy compatible” concept for supporting all ISO files.
  • Supports Menu Alias/Menu Style/Customized Menu.
  • Supports file injection and USB drive write-protected.

Installing Ventoy on Linux

It’s pretty straightforward, download the installation package, like ventoy-x.x.xx-linux.tar.gz and decompress it. Next, run the shell script as root:

#sh Ventoy2Disk.sh { -i | -I | -u } /dev/XXX

where XXX is the USB device. For example, /dev/sdb.

Updating Ventoy

It is safe to update Ventoy when there’s a new version because all the files in the first partition will be unchanged and the upgrade operation is the same as with platform-specific installation. When Ventoy is already installed on the USB drive, Ventoy2Disk.exe and Ventoy2Disk.sh will prompt you for an update.

As you can imagine, Ventoy is a nifty tool for creating bootable USB devices and its power is evident in not needing to extract the ISO image files and its compatibility for all ISO files.

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Have you tried Ventoy yet? How do you like it compared to alternatives such as ISO Image Writer, and MultiCD? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About the author

Divine Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a Cybersecurity graduate student with an enthusiasm for open-source software. With over 700 articles under his belt, he continues to recommend the best software that the market has to offer.