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azvasKvklenko ,

What’s a use of USB sticks anyway outside of booting operating systems? They perform worse (or on par at best) than modern wifi adapters

hector OP ,

I had an oral to pass for my graduation and I needed to put my slides somewhere (PDF)

reddeadhead ,

I’m not sure about others but none of my computers support PXE boot over wifi.

azvasKvklenko ,

That’s what I’m saying - booting OSes is the only legitimate use now unless you want to put stuff on an offline machine (eg installed Linux and need to put broadcom proprietary driver packages on it to be able to connect, cuz no access to an ethernet cable)

merthyr1831 ,

I’ve not tried netboot yet but that might also be a cool option for people who like to install new ISOs often. Ventoy gang for life, tho

crushyerbones ,

Why is everyone suggesting ventoy and stuff and no one is telling you to just reformat drives you no longer need? Or are they all live OSs in use? Am I missing something?

hector OP ,

We like data hoarding ;) !

interdimensionalmeme ,

Correct answer, pxe boot your iso and transcend the need for boot usb sticks

bruhduh , avatar

Teach us your ways sensei

8Bitz0 ,
bruhduh , avatar

Thank you

interdimensionalmeme ,

You can also netboot into iscsi drives which is another entire level of awesome.

stargazingpenguin ,

I know my use case isn’t the standard for everyone, but at this moment I have six different Linux distros in use. I keep my most commonly used ISOs on a Ventoy so I can easily install an OS on a machine I’m rehabilitating, or maybe just because I want a change of pace. I could write the ISO I want to the drive every time I want to change something, but it’s a waste of time when I can have 15 or 20 of them ready to go on one drive. It’s just my particular use case, I’m sure others have other reasons they prefer it.

teawrecks ,

I mean, they clearly already know how to do a fresh image of a live OS on a USB key. But the number of keys involved sounds like they don’t know you only need one.

seaQueue , avatar

Wait until you discover ventoy

YIj54yALOJxEsY20eU ,

I’ve tried three times and it’s never worked for me :/

pingveno ,

I tried the hybrid that works under UEFI and legacy BIOS. It didn’t work on at least one system. Did you try UEFI only?

independantiste , avatar

I got a 128GB dual connector usb-c/usb-a drive, and installed ventoy on it. I have my normal files and for my ISOs I simply put them in the ventoy folder. It works really well.

pelotron , avatar

I started using Ventoy as of my last distro hop and wonder what kept me from using it sooner.

____ ,

Used it in a pinch once, and realized how incredibly awesome it is. Now, it’s my go-to.

Haven’t tried data and files on same stick, but…. Now I want to.

morbidcactus ,

I have an nvme enclosure with a 256 gig drive in it, I think I partitioned a quarter of it for ventoy, rest is for regular storage. It’s really nice to have if I do family support, have any iso I need and any utility I might need on top of that. Is it overkill for my needs? Yeah, but it’s nice to have and I didn’t go for anything fancy, just a cheap crucial drive.

hallettj , avatar

This is why I switched to labelling USB sticks with two-character codes, and I keep a file that lists the current content of each stick.

possiblylinux127 ,


fin ,

Ventoy with 20% trojan possibility

9point6 ,

Ventoy, as everyone else says, is your friend here.

Though I saw something similar in a video recently which I’m gonna call out for completeness, the IODD devices that let you change the image on the fly:

Obviously not as cheap as a usb stick and ventoy, but a pretty cool alternative for those with the additional use cases

JetpackJackson ,

Thought that said “Kalt” for a moment lmao

mbirth ,

Same here. Like “Cold! Look elsewhere…” 🤣

far_university1990 ,

Finde ich kühl

JetpackJackson ,


ricecake ,

Yeah, look at image before title, wondered if it was a salt shaker and what language uses kalt for salt.

Hrm, USB stick salt shaker…

JetpackJackson ,

Would it salt your laptop or would it just be a little portable saltshaker on one end lol

ricecake ,

I kinda like a little thingy that has a USB plug on one end under a cap, and a salt shaker on the other. Or maybe like a little hot sauce shaker, if we’re moving away from salt.

JetpackJackson ,

Alright, you can have the hot sauce one, I’ll take the salt one lol!

Steamymoomilk ,

The linux kalt.

Sorry gnu/linux/kalt

JetpackJackson ,

Too late, ten million gnus are converging on your location /s

mbirth ,

It’s a shame these never took off. I’d love for my various USB drives to have displays that show their labels and maybe even contents.

TimeSquirrel , (edited ) avatar

That'd make it highly file system dependent with no way of updating the firmware. All these drives stopped working after the FAT32->ExFAT switch.

ares35 , avatar

those were so long ago they're small enough that windows would still be able to format them fat32 even with its built-in limitations on formatting that filesystem.

what would be completely useless is scrolling through a larger flash drive' or card's files, one or two at a time.

mbirth ,

What makes you think there’s no way of updating the firmware? Also, they could be made so that there’s a simple API (like a serial device exposed via USB) and apps for Win/macOS/Linux to update the label. But I guess the demand was never there.

TimeSquirrel , (edited ) avatar

What makes you think there’s no way of updating the firmware?

I don't know, but the amount of USB drives I've seen with a readily identifiable serial or jtag port and API documentation is exactly zero. 😉

I think most of them were one-and-done, as in, code/hardware was designed once, and never iterated on again, at least not for devices already in the field.

Deebster , avatar

I used to have some with e-ink displays that showed how full they were, but I always wished I could use them to show a label instead.

smileyhead ,

You might want to try Ventoy and have it all on one USB.

stargazingpenguin ,

Check out Ventoy! Unless you need a single ISO on the drive, it’s just something you install to it and then copy and paste ISOs to the folder on it. No flashing needed, it runs them for you. I’ve got 128GB drives almost filled with every ISO I could possibly want.

MicrowavedTea ,

Also worth mentioning you can copy more files on it afterwards and it works as normal storage too.

user224 , avatar

Also worth noting, you should create file named .ventoyignore in the directories with other files. Otherwise Ventoy searches everything which slows it down.

stargazingpenguin ,

I’m going to do that, I didn’t realize that was possible! Thanks!

aBundleOfFerrets ,

I personally just set the index depth to 0 in the config so it only searches the root directory for bootable files

stargazingpenguin ,

I’ve definitely done that before! I’ll use a Ventoy as a portable OS to test things I don’t want to break my main system, then shut it down to reset to normal. It’s nice to not need a second stick to bring in or save other files while doing that.

Chewy7324 ,

Note that some devices aren’t able to correctly mount the second partition.

I guess this is because the first partition is used to boot ventoy, while the second partition holds data and some devices (e.g. printers) won’t mount the second partition.

PS: I nearly wasn’t able to hold a presentation because of this, luckily a second stick/phone/copy on web storage saved me, iirc.

aBundleOfFerrets ,

This only ever really applies to devices without UIs or otherwise embedded OSs, and personally I wouldn’t trust a drive with more than a handful of files in such a device anyway.

sirico , avatar

I have a durable metal ventoy usb on my keys with portable apps basically a walking IT dept, I mean I am a solo IT/Dev and I’m pretty basic so…hmmm

wizardbeard , avatar

Solo IT/Dev? I’m so sorry.

mbirth ,

Check out the Victorinox @work series - so you can have your USB and screwdrivers always with you.

Magister , avatar

I need this, my local dollar store sells 32GB USB2 key for $5, I have one for MX, MX-AHS, MX32bits, antix, etc I have multiple 32GB keys with just 1 or 2 GB used, I will check this ventoy!

stargazingpenguin ,

It would definitely be worth checking out, I wiped all of my individual sticks after I started using it. Also, I don’t know if the speed would make much difference in your use case, but SanDisk 32GB USB3.0 drives are usually less than $8.

hector OP ,

Wow this seems amazing, I could test so many things lol! Thanks for solving my problem :)

stargazingpenguin ,

Glad to help!

pastermil ,

Man, I hope the BSDs would get some love on Ventoy some day :')

grue ,

Does it work for Raspberry Pi images?

possiblylinux127 ,

Unlikely, as it doesn’t support ARM to my knowledge

aBundleOfFerrets ,

It does support arm!! Most arm devices do not support UEFI though, and have very proprietary boot processes requiring custom kernels and such, so your milage may vary. UEFI arm (like on Libre Computer boards) will work flawlessly.

brokenlcd ,

For rpi images i think the best option would be PINN; but it’s not a 1:1 equivalent since every time you add an image it needs to wipe partitions and start from zero.

TheButtonJustSpins ,

You typically image directly onto the SD card for a Raspberry Pi, not off a bootable drive.

SpaceNoodle ,

But then I’d have to buy one big drive instead of just reusing one from the box of 1-4 GB jobbos

GamingChairModel ,

Those small USB drives are too slow anyway, often limited to USB 2.0 interfaces or slow flash modules. I’ve switched over to an SSD specifically because of how slow booting and installation is from a standard 10-year-old USB stick.

mbirth , (edited )

Put your SSD into this case and enjoy proper CD/DVD/BluRay emulation, multiple VHDs and much more.

EDIT: Not an ad, @Okus . Just the only case that has all these features. And it’s no affiliate link, so I don’t even get anything if somebody clicks on it.

stargazingpenguin ,

Sounds like the regular way still works for you then! I’ve given away most of my smaller drives, I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything smaller than 32GB right now.

thermal_shock ,

lol usb 2.0

dino ,

not enough upvotes

velox_vulnus ,

Ventoy does not work for distros like NixOS and Guix. You’re going to have to use dd.

stargazingpenguin ,

It still works for installing the OS though, at least in the case of Nix. I’ve not tried Guix so far, but I’ve installed NixOS on two machines in the past year using Ventoy.

velox_vulnus ,

I have experience with both the distros, and I’ve used them extensively for my personal projects in both of the machines I have. It’s a hit-and-miss, according to the NixOS forums. Using Ventoy causes Stage-1 boot to fail, and in both the machines and distros I’ve tried, it hasn’t worked.

stargazingpenguin ,

Interesting. I wonder if it’s an incompatible UEFI/BIOS? Both of the machines I put it on were fairly new, one was first boot on a server I built, the other was a recent laptop that I decided to run it on for a while.

DmMacniel ,

Hector… This is an intervention!

hector OP ,

What do you mean ;)!

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