If you would like a simple application you can use to create bootable USB drives with multiple operating systems, then consider YUMI, which means ‘Your Universal Multiboot Integrator.’ You can even use the lightweight and free application to include other useful utilities in your bootable disk, including diagnostic, disk cloning and antivirus tools. YUMI is similar to other Universal USB Installers, but it supports the installation and uninstallation of multiple distributions.
The application boots extracted distributions using syslinux, and if necessary, it boots multiple ISO files using grub. It was primarily designed to run different “LIVE Linux” Operating Systems. In other words, it is meant to run the OS live from USB instead of installing it on a hard drive.
YUMI is a portable application that does not require installation, which allows users to save it on different storage media, including local hard disks and USB flash drives. This makes it possible to use the application on multiple computers from a single USB disk.
The process of creating a bootable USB disk requires three steps:
- Selecting the drive to use as USB device
- Selecting a suitable distribution of Linux
- Selecting a relevant ISO file
The second step provided us with a long drop-down list of Linux distributions, including Debian Live, Fedora, Linux Mint and OpenSUSE Live, all with either 32- or 64-bit versions. We could also choose to view or remove installed distributions and format the USB drive we selected. We then clicked the ‘Create’ button to initialize the process.
We added other distributions running the application several times. We could also add various utilities like Boot Repair Disk, Partition Wizard, Offline NT Password and Registry Editor, System Rescue CD, HP SmartStart, antivirus programs and installers for different Windows operating systems.
YUMI can download files you want to include in your bootable disk if they are not available locally.
We found it relatively easy to create bootable USB flash drives with multiple operating systems and other utilities using YUMI, but we noticed that it required significant duration and some advanced knowledge, especially about the LINUX platform. Its documentation provided scanty details, and we found some things trial and error. For example, we discovered that some ISO files were not compatible with some types of USB devices, and others only worked with FAT drives.