I’ve been using Open Source Tools ‘n Apps for a long time. Have recently switched from Microsoft Office suites to the open source LibreOffice productivity software suite, and it is working out great! Still use Microsoft Office occasionally, since I have a lot of old docs, and it is still useful at times as a secondary word processor. However, most of my computers just have LibreOffice on them, and its Writer is my present ‘n future word processor.

If the open source Firefox web browser doesn’t start improving, then it will be headed to my ‘Secondary Stuff‘ pile along wid Microsoft Office! It just refuses to open far too many sites, for some reason/s, and I am tired of it!?! Microsoft Edge opens those sites easily. Something is just wrong wid Firefox recently, and I can’t figure it out!?! Maybe it’s the Beta version? Maybe I’ll try one of their stable versions…(?!) Maybe it is just slow sites? Maybe my internet connection?!? 😕

BeeBEEP is the probably the best open source office messenger, and I sometimes use it to communicate between all my computers and their various OSes. It works wid “Windows, Linux, MacOSX, Raspberry and OS/2,” so it is truly an open source Tool ‘n App!

I have loads of USB bootable drive creators, and most are probably open source, but I forget which ones. I use Rufus, balenaEtcher, USB Image Tool, Win32DiskImager, UNetbootin, Fedora Media Writer, Universal USB Installer (UUI), and occasionally YUMI.

Been seeing a new USB bootable drive creator being mentioned the past couple or so months, and finally started testing it yesterday…

 

Ventoy ‘A new bootable USB solution

Ventoy is a fairly new open source Tool ‘n App to create bootable USB drives, but I haven’t found when it actually started…which is weird, IMHO. 😕

What sets Ventoy apart from most other bootable USB solutions, is that it places the ISO (image file) directly on the USB drive, and that multiple ISO’s may be added to boot or install different systems. Sorta like YUMI, the original “Multiboot Bootable USB Flash Drive Creation,” but perhaps wid a more modern ‘Feel‘ to it…so far. 😉

Download ‘n Extraction ‘n Install

I downloaded the ventoy-1.0.61-windows.zip file to my “Downloads” folder, then “Extract All…” there, and then moved that extracted ventoy-1.0.61-windows folder to my “Utility” folder.

Opened the folders until the Ventoy2Disk.exe shows up:

That pic shows the folders path at top, and the icon Ventoy2Disk.exe file at bottom left. Click on icon:

That’s the installer…I’m now using an old 3.0 32GB DataTraveler, so that 16 GB SanDisk was for testing, and a pic. Click on Install:

It has an interesting way of doing this Ventoy installation, and that pic is a GParted view of the final installation wid some ISO’s on the 32GB DataTraveler.

That “VTOYEFI” 32 MiB partition is where the Ventoy2Disk.exe installs the actual Ventoy Tool/App/Utility (OS?). That “Ventoy” 28.87 GiB partition is where you Copy ‘n Paste or Drag ‘n Drop or delete the ISO’s. You don’t actually see what’s in the “VTOYEFI” 32 MiB partition when the USB Ventoy folder is opened. Here’s another view from Windows 11 Computer Management:

OK … Here is the actual Linux USB Ventoy folder view:

  • (UPDATE: doing another test ‘n noticed that the easy-3.1-amd64.img.gz file didn’t show up in Boot Menu. Tried changing file to .iso, which showed it in Boot Menu, but it wouldn’t open for testing or installing. Did some more checking, and that .gz is a GZ File. It needed to be extractedDUH!?)

OK, 2nd try … Here is the new Linux USB Ventoy folder view, after that easy-3.1-amd64.img.gz file is extracted, then placed back into the Ventoy USB:

Now EasyOS is an extracted easy-3.1-amd64.img file w/o that .gz on the end. 1st Test: Just tested the Ventoy USB again, this time the Boot Menu saw EasyOS, and booted right into it. Puppy Linux ‘n EasyOS Linux are special Distros that do ‘Thangs no other Distros can do. I don’t understand how they work, but they are amazing. 2nd Test: Anyway, even on the Ventoy USB, EasyOS Linux remembered all the settings from the “1st Test” and booted back into them.

So, Ventoy also handles IMG files ‘n not just ISO files. I used 7-Zip file manager (also open source) to extract the GZ File.

Using the Ventoy USB

5 ISO’s are in the “Ventoy” folder. ISO’s are added by Copy ‘n Paste or Drag ‘n Drop, and they can be deleted when no longer needed.

  • No more having to reformat a ‘Live’ USB when you are finished wid it.

As you can see, I also added a GParted ISO & a Clonezilla ISO, which means I don’t have to boot up a Linux Computer to just use GParted! 😉 Just boot up the Ventoy USB, and select GParted from Boot Menu.

Here is what the Boot Menu looks like:

I ‘Borrowed‘ that pic from the Ventoy website’s Screenshot section, so it isn’t showing what ISO’s I have. I can ‘Live’ test and then install the Distro if I like it.

  • No more having to reformat a ‘Live’ USB when you are finished wid it.

770 Tested Image Files” – wow! Here’s some tested Linux images:

I tested Fedora, Redcore, Clonezilla, and GParted yesterday; however, didn’t see GParted in that list (eyes started to cross whilst looking), but it worked great! I use GParted a lot, but maybe less from now on.

  • No more having to reformat a ‘Live’ USB when you are finished wid it.

Oh, just saw GParted in “770 Tested Image Files” list.

News Clips

Conclusion

I like it a lot!!! One reason for doing this post, is that I tried it a few weeks ago, but it looked too confusing at a first quick glance. Then I kept seeing more news on it, and even saw SparkyLinux recommending it when I was doing that post. At that point I felt it deserved a second look instead of just a glance. 😉 Maybe the pics will help anyone who might be interested…

  • No more having to reformat a ‘Live’ USB when you are finished wid it.

May buy a 32 GB Samsung DUO Plus USB Type-C Flash Drive 32GB to use, since my main working computer has the faster USB Type-C port, which would speed up copying an ISO to the USB. Have a 64 GB version already, but I save it for special needs and/or emergencies (might test the transfer speed tho).

Forget why I stopped using YUMI, but had used it a lot in past years. For some reason, the new Ventoy method seems…maybe easier? It is easy ‘n handy, for sure, and works great on the DataTraveler’s fat partitions. A lot of USB’s won’t work wid the Linux ext4 file format – see the Linux ‘n USB Flash Drives page for more info.

Will add this post to the TidBits ‘n Gadgets page, in the ‘Tids & Gads‘ new section, and to the Windows 11 page.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!