There are many applications available to create multiboot USB drives. Some of the popular ones include Ventoy, Etcher and Popsicle. Today, I have stumbled upon yet another useful application called MultiCD that can be used to create Mutiboot CD, DVD, and USB images in Linux.
What is MultiCD?
MultiCD is a simple script that will combine all ISOs and make a single ISO, so that you can burn it in a single CD, DVD, or USB drive. So, you don't need to carry lot of individual CDs or DVDs or USB drives when installing any OS. MultiCD is a command line tool, so you can use it on Desktop and Server editions.
MultiCD supports almost all popular distributions including the following:
- Arch Linux,
- Linux Mint,
- Kali Linux,
- Pinguy OS,
- Zorin OS,
- Puppy Linux,
- GParted Live,
- Hiren's boot CD,
- and many.
Visit the following link to find out the complete list of supported distributions here.
In this brief tutorial, let me show you how to create a multiboot CD, DVD, USB images using MultiCD in Linux. MultiCD should work on almost all Linux operating systems.
Install MultiCD in Linux
MultiCD is hosted in GitHub.
Git clone to the MultiCD repository as shown below.
$ git clone https://github.com/IsaacSchemm/MultiCD.git
Cloning into 'MultiCD'... remote: Counting objects: 3017, done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (15/15), done. remote: Total 3017 (delta 6), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 3002 Receiving objects: 100% (3017/3017), 921.05 KiB | 210.00 KiB/s, done. Resolving deltas: 100% (2040/2040), done. Checking connectivity... done
The above command will clone the MultiCD repository, and save it the local system in a folder called MultiCD.
Go to the MultiCD folder, and make the script executable as shown below.
$ cd MultiCD/
$ chmod +x multicd*.sh
Copy ISO Files to MultiCD Folder
Now, copy the ISO images that you want to combine into one, and paste them in the MultiCD folder.
Please note that In most cases, you can use the original filename of the ISO and it will be detected by MultiCD, or you can use the filename in the supported distros list.
If the ISO you want to use is not in that list, or if MultiCD's plugin for that ISO is too old to work, you can try using the generic plugin instead, which will load the ISO into RAM and boot it with memdisk. To use the generic plugin, simply name the ISO [something].generic.iso.
For example, if your ISO name is archlinux-2022.04.05-x86_64.iso, you must rename it as arch.iso, and for Linux Mint Debian Edition ISOs, rename it as mintdebian.iso. For Ubuntu edition, rename it as ubuntu.iso. Clear? Check the supported distros lists page for other distributions.
Still confused? Well, look at the following screenshot.
As see you above, I have changed ArchLinux 2022 ISO name as arch.iso and changed the name of Ubuntu ISO as ubuntu.iso. for some distributions, you don't have rename their names. MultiCD will detect those ISOs without renaming them.
Create Multiboot CD, DVD, and USB Images Using MultiCD
Now, execute the following command from the MultiCD to create Multiboot image.
Give a few moments to MultiCD to create the multiboot image. You'll see the following message when the process is completed.
99.63% done, estimate finish Wed May 3 16:19:47 2023 Total translation table size: 2048 Total rockridge attributes bytes: 11073 Total directory bytes: 32768 Path table size(bytes): 190 Max brk space used 23000 381431 extents written (744 MB) WARNING: isohybrid not found. Install isohybrid (from the syslinux-utils package) to use your multicd on a USB drive Cleaning current directory... Cleaning up - removing symlinks to files in current directory
Congratulations! You have combined two ISOs into a single ISO file. The newly created ISO image is saved in the
We have just built the multiboot cd image. Now, use any bootable creation tools like Ventoy to create the bootable drive using multicd.iso or burn the multicd.iso file in a DVD, and boot your system using it.
Choose your OS to boot, and start installing it.
Similarly, you can create as many multiboot images as you want, and burn them in a single DVD or USB drive. When the new version of the ISO is released, just download ISO, and put it in the MultiCD folder, and run the script again to create a new multiboot image. Just be careful about the ISO name. You should rename the ISO as mentioned in the supported distros lists page. Otherwise, MultiCD script will not detect the ISO.
MultiCD is one of the must have tools in a System administrator's arsenal. If you ever wanted to create the Multiboot CD/DVD/USB drive, MultiCD is perfect choice to try. The downside of this script is you just have to rename the ISO files before building the Multiboot Image.
- How To Create Multiboot USB Drives With Ventoy In Linux
- Etcher – A Beautiful App To Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards
- Popsicle – Create Multiple Bootable USB Drives At Once
- Bootiso Lets You Safely Create Bootable USB Drive
- How To Create Bootable USB Drive Using dd Command
- How To Write An ISO To The USB Drive Directly From The Internet
- How To Create An ISO From A Bootable USB Drive In Linux
- How To Create Custom Ubuntu Live CD Image
A 6 OS operating system usb image is located at http://Multibootcd.exton.net
Use single app rufus.exe for MS Windows http://rufus.akeo.ie for writing. ISO image to a USB Flash drive.
Git URL is incorrect. Change transport to http:// instead of git://
Good catch. Thanks for the heads up. I just fixed it.