Capture-MultiBoot-v3 (1)Ever wanted to try out lots of different LiveCD’s on your thumb drive without the hassle of installing them one at a time? Say hello to MultiBoot LiveUSB which does just that. You just drag and drop as many .iso files as your drive can handle onto the application window and you’re done!

Upon booting from your USB stick, MultiBoot displays a graphical menu for you to select which OS you want to boot into. Log out, restart and then pick another! It’s a great way to try out various OSes on your netbook without the need of an external DVD drive.

The main benefits of using – as well as installing from – a Live USB is speed. Unbridled speed. I installed Ubuntu from a USB drive a few days back and it was took less than 5 minutes from boot to restart. You’ll also find using a ‘live USB’ desktop much more responsive too as there is no disc to spin and seek from.

Using MultiBoot LiveUSB

It should go without saying that in order to cram lots of different OSes onto a USB drive it needs to be a bit roomy. To use Multiboot to any extent you’ll need a USB stick, SDHC card, compact flash, USB external hard drive, etc of at least 2GB.

MultiBoot supports all main Ubuntu versions and associated spins Xubuntu, Kubuntu & Lubuntu. Most other Ubuntu-based derivatives work well as does pretty much every other OS that is available as a live CD.


Installing MultiBoot LiveUSB is a bit of a faff. You need to download this .tar.gz, extract it and then double click on the script inside. This will prompt you for your root password and then proceed to install.

Once installed MultiBoot can be run from the Applications > Accessories sub-menu and the rest really is as easy as it sounds.


I had to battle to get MultiBoot working at first; the application requires that a USB drive be formatted in FAT32. This can easily be done using the Disk Utility app in the System menu however MultiBoot refused to recognise that I had a drive connected. A lot of pulling out/plugging back in later and it did eventually notice it.

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