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Multi Boot Linux From USB

Jan 02, 2011, 19:05 (0 Talkback[s])

"Running Linux from a USB stick is a fun and sometimes useful distraction. It can be handy if you want to try another distribution, for example, but can't commit to the drive space. Or perhaps your netbook insists on running Windows while your heart hankers for Ubuntu. But running a single, monogamous distribution can be a little limiting, and there's only one reason why you can't squeeze a few more alongside on any decent-sized USB stick: it used to be quite a difficult process.

"Don't get us wrong, multi-booting off a hard drive has become relatively easy. Distributions will do all the hard work for you, and even manually adding your own options to the Grub bootloader isn't that difficult or dangerous any more. But a Live USB installation is different. The root file system is compressed into a single file, and this needs to be expanded into an area of open temporary memory as the system boots, usually through some custom Grub trickery and an ISO loader. With multiple Linux distributions on the stick, this process needs to be configured for each. And while it's possible to do this manually, it's a long and arduous task. Fortunately, there's a better solution available."

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