Create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files using Ventoy

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Ventoy is a free and open-source tool used to create bootable USB disks. There are many other applications that can create bootable disks but Ventoy comes with its sets of features. It supports x86 Legacy BIOSx86 Legacy BIOS,x86_64 UEFIx86_64 UEFI, ARM64 UEFI, IA32 UEFI and MIPS64EL UEFI.

Ventoy is also supported by various Operating Systems such as Windows, Unix, VMware, WinPE, Linux, Xen e.t.c. In this post we will install and use Ventoy to create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files.

Ventoy has many advantages and below are some of them:

  • It allow one to copy multiple files at a time and is fast when copying files.
  • Easy to use
  • You do not need to Format the disk over and over, just copy files into it and boot directly.
  • Supports both MBR and GPT partitions.
  • Supports secure boot i.e IA32/x86_64 UEFI.
  • Does not need continuous in disk for ISO and IMG files.
  • Supports ISO files larger than 4 GB.
  • Has plugin framework.
  • Injects files to runtime environment.
  • Do not need to update when a new distro is released
  • Has theme customization.
  • ventoy has a dynamically switchable menu between Treeview and Listview modes.
  • Auto installation supported in Windows, RHEL 7 and 8, CentOS 7 and 8, SUSE, Ubuntu server e.t.c

We shall cover the use cases of Ventoy, installation process on Linux and Windows.

How to Install and Use Ventoy

Ventoy can be installed on various Operating Systems using the following steps:

Install Ventoy to USB Drive on Linux

Install curl and wget tools on your Linux system

# Debian / Ubuntu #
sudo apt update
sudo apt install curl wget

# CentOS / Fedora / RHEL #
sudo yum -y install curl wget

# Arch / Manjaro #
sudo pacman -S wget curl

Ventoy can be downloaded from the Ventoy download page. You can also get the latest release with the commands below:

VER=$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/ventoy/Ventoy/releases/latest|grep tag_name|cut -d '"' -f 4|sed 's/v//')

Choose the linux.tar.gz file and download it on your Linux system.

wget https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy/releases/download/v$VER/ventoy-$VER-linux.tar.gz

Extract the downloaded file.

tar -xvf ventoy-$VER-linux.tar.gz

The extracted file contains two setup scripts.

  1. A script that can be used to run Ventoy on Linux Command Line
  2. A script that can be used to run Ventoy on Linux web browser.

Install Ventoy to USB drive using Linux Command-Line

To install Ventoy to your USB drive using the command line, attach the device, navigate to the extracted folder then run the command below.

cd ventoy-$VER

You will be asked to confirm if you really need to format your USB drive as it will lead to data loss in case there was any on the drive.

That having been said, you need to backup any data that is currently on the drive before you can use it for Ventoy. Replace /dev/sdX with your USB drive path.

$ sudo sh Ventoy2Disk.sh -i /dev/sdX
**********************************************
      Ventoy: 1.0.78  x86_64
      longpanda [email protected]
      https://www.ventoy.net
**********************************************

Disk : /dev/sdb
Model: VendorCo ProductCode (scsi)
Size : 29 GB
Style: MBR


Attention:
You will install Ventoy to /dev/sdb.
All the data on the disk /dev/sdb will be lost!!!

Continue? (y/n) y

All the data on the disk /dev/sdb will be lost!!!
Double-check. Continue? (y/n) y

Create partitions on /dev/sdb by parted in MBR style ...
Done
mkfs on disk partitions ...
create efi fat fs /dev/sdb2 ...
mkfs.fat 4.1 (2017-01-24)
success
mkexfatfs 1.3.0
Creating... done.
Flushing... done.
File system created successfully.
writing data to disk ...
sync data ...
esp partition processing ...

Install Ventoy to /dev/sdb successfully finished.

In the case above, /dev/sdX is my USB device (/dev/sdb for me). Make sure you choose the correct disk ID in that case. You can always check the disk ID by running the lsblk command.

# lsblk
......
sdb           8:0    1  29.8G  0 disk 
├─sdb1        8:1    1  29.8G  0 part 
└─sdb2        8:2    1    32M  0 part 
mmcblk0     179:0    0  29.3G  0 disk 
└─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0  29.3G  0 part /home/vic/data
nvme0n1     259:0    0 238.5G  0 disk 
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0   238G  0 part /

Install Ventoy to USB Drive using Linux Web Interface

The second option for installing Ventoy to your USB drive is through a web interface.

On your terminal, navigate to the extracted folder.

Run the VentoyWeb.sh script as root to start Ventoy server.

$ sudo sh VentoyWeb.sh

===============================================================
  Ventoy Server 1.0.78 is running ...
  Please open your browser and visit http://127.0.0.1:24680
===============================================================

################## Press Ctrl + C to exit #####################

Access the web interface using your browser on http://127.0.0.1:24680

install-Ventoy-web-on-linux-1024x452

The USB drive will be visible if you had already plugged it in, otherwise, plug in the USB drive then refresh the page.

You can then proceed to install Ventoy to the USB drive. You will be asked to confirm if you really need to format the disk as this will lead to data loss in case there was any on the USB disk.

install-ventoy-web-on-linux-2

If you accept to format the drive, you will be asked to confirm once more. The installation process then begins and runs for a few seconds.

You will be notified upon a successful installation:

install-Ventoy-web-on-linux-2-1

You can also note that the Ventoy version in the package is same to that on the drive.

install-ventoy-to-USB-drive-linux-web

Install Ventoy to USB Drive on Windows

For Windows systems, Ventoy is installed easily by downloading the latest version. You have to download the Ventoy zipped file from the release page, unzip and run Ventoy2Disk.exe file.

The application provides a graphical interface where you can select the USB drive that you wish to setup and click Install.

setup-ventoy-on-Windows

How to Use Ventoy on Linux / Windows

After a successful installation, the USB drive is divided into two partitions. The first partition is formatted with exFAT. You can reformat this partition using any of your preferred filetypes; NTFS/FAT32/UDF/XFS/Ext2/3/4…etc.

To add your files, copy them anywhere on the USB drive. Ventoy supports multiple image types such as iso/wim/img/vhd(x).

install-ventoy-on-usb-drive-1024x413

Ventoy will then search through the directories and subdirectories to identify the available disk images.

The images will then be listed on your boot menu and you will choose the one that you wish to use.

how-to-use-ventoy

Select the OS that you wish to install then proceed with the installation.

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