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Recently, I have made a number of USB sticks to install OS's (several Linux flavors, BSD, Windows) from, on machines that didn't have CD drives.

Now, I would prefer to not overwrite the install USB sticks all the time, since it's handy to have them, but neither do I want to pile up USB sticks that I only need every 6 months.

It would be great to have a bootable USB stick that fires up some minimal system, lets you choose an ISO image and then reboots from there. How would I go about this? Do I use some minimal Linux? Is there some kind of modified / specialized boot loader? Can I set up GRUB to do this? Should I use virtualization?

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3 Answers 3

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Try Yumi. It can be used to create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple operating systems and other utilities.

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I use MultiBootISOs from
http://www.pendrivelinux.com/boot-multiple-iso-from-usb-multiboot-usb/
on a regular basis, I carry around 3-4 of my favorite flavors of Linux and a couple diagnostic ISOs

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Pendrive works great. I put 3 Linux variations on my USB stick as well as HBCD, XP, and Windows 7. In total I can boot to 6 different ISOs, and you can do more than that if you have the space. –  ubiquibacon Mar 29 '11 at 18:51

You can do this with grub. Just partition the stick like you would a hard drive for the same purpose. One caviot: Windows OSes can only mount the FIRST partition on a USB stick.

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