Enterprise & Mac Linux USB Loader: boot Linux on Intel Mac

If you own a Mac and want to try out Linux on it, the first resistance you’ll face will be at the bootloader. Loading Linux on a Mac is not straightforward due to Apple’s own EFI tweaks. Enterprise is a tool to create Linux bootable USB without any external tools like rEFIt or rEFInd. Continue reading Enterprise & Mac Linux USB Loader: boot Linux on Intel Mac

MultiWriter: duplicate multiple USBs at once

GNOME MultiWriter is a useful tool for organizations and individuals shipping Live Linux distros in USB devices… or if you want to create multiple bootable pen drives of your favourite distro for all your family members. Author Richard Hughes has announced the availability of the tool in his a few hours back. Originally a part of the ColorHug project, MultiWriter is now an independent tool on GitHub. The author intends to move the project to git.gnome.org.

The utility writes a .img or .iso file to multiple USB devices at once. The limit at the time of writing is 24 devices. However, users have reported that the performance on regular hardware deteriorates rapidly with more than 10 devices. USB devices with capacity ranging from 1GB to 32GB are supported.

Some specific use cases for MultiWriter:

  • Copy a specific ISO for QA testing for a small number of users
  • Create a GNOME LiveCD of Fedora Rawhide for a code sprint
  • Create hundreds of LiveUSB drives for the ColorHug project


The tool is in a very nascent state at the time of writing and depends on GNOME libraries tightly. Steps to compile from source:

$ git clone https://github.com/hughsie/gnome-multi-writer.git
$ cd gnome-multi-writer
$ ./autogen.sh
$ make

Webpage: MultiWriter

Create bootable Ubuntu USB from terminal

ubuntu_logo_81x81Ubuntu comes with the Startup Disk Creator utility to create a bootable Ubuntu USB which you can test out live or use to install Ubuntu on the hard disk. It is possible to create a bootable USB drive from the cmdline without using any GUI-based utility. Here are the steps:

  1. Plug-in your USB drive and check the device node:
    $ lsblk
    NAME                                                MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
    sda                                                   8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk
    ├─sda1                                                8:1    0    60M  0 part  /boot/efi
    ├─sda2                                                8:2    0  28.6G  0 part  /
    └─sda3                                                8:3    0 437.1G  0 part
     └─luks-c28f4a93-2771-4172-a828-254d14f60eaf (dm-0) 252:0    0 437.1G  0 crypt /media/user/DATA
    sdb                                                   8:16   1   968M  0 disk
    └─sdb4                                                8:20   1   968M  0 part  /media/user/PEN

    In my case it is sdb.

  2. Unmount your pen drive volumes if mounted automatically (mountpoint will show in the last column)
    $ umount /dev/sdb4
  3. Copy the contents of Ubuntu iso to USB
    $ sudo dd bs=4M if=/path/to/distro.iso of=/dev/sdb && sync

You have a bootable Ubuntu pen drive ready!

LiLi: Linux USB creator on Windows

How about trying out Linux from USB for a change? Sounds tricky. It’s not a big deal with tools like LinuxLive USB Creator (LiLi) available on Windows. All it needs is an ISO of the Linux distro you wanna try and a USB pen drive. It’s similar to Unetbootin in functionality but the LiLi interface is much more attractive to say the least. It’s also easy to use for anyone. Features:

  • Many distros supported. Literally 100s of them!
  • No reboot required
  • Supported persistent space to save your work for selected distros
  • Wipe the USB
  • Can download ISOs and installs on USB
  • Automatic integrity check
  • Free and open source

Download LiLi from its website to use it. Portable versions are available.

Webpage: LiLi

MultiSystem: use multiple distros from one USB

MultiSystem is a software to install and live boot multiple Linux based distros on the same USB pen drive. It uses the GURB2 bootloader and provides option to boot into any of the installed flavours at the GRUB menu Using MultiSystem to install distros is quite simple if you have created a live USB before. There are some non-geek tutorials to help you as well:

Another software to achieve the same – SARDU