Nowadays, USB drives are reasonably priced and very easy to get. USB drives are a great option for storing data and files and carrying them anywhere in your pocket. When compared to other storage media such as CDs and DVDs, USB drives are safer, faster and much more versatile. USB drives are also ideal for other tasks like software installation and operating system installations.
You can use USB drives to:
- Create USB installation media from ISO images for operating system installations
- Run Antivirus software before Windows load up.
- Work on a computer that does not have an operating system installed.
- Running an operating system other than the one installed on a computer by creating a Live USB.
- Update a BIOS / UEFI or other firmware from DOS.
- Run low-level utilities.
In this guide, we are going to talk about a software that can help you with the tasks that we’ve mentioned. To create these Live USB or bootable USB drives, the market offers a lot of software solutions. The vast majority are free, some of them are open source and also cross-platform compatible.
But what if what we want is to install multiple operating systems on a USB drive? Well, Rufus software can do this easily for you. Rufus is a utility that allows you to make bootable USB drives and Live USB drives easily. Rufus offers an easy to use and intuitive graphical interface. The only thing you have to do from your end is to follow the instructions properly and then load the ISO image files of your preferred operating systems to the software and it will take care of the rest. The only drawback of Rufus is that it is only available for Windows computers. So if you own a Linux or a macOS computer, you have to use an alternative like Win32 Disk Imager.
Win32 Disk Imager is almost the same as Rufus. You can install Disk Imager using Wine. It can work on both Ubuntu and macOS. It offers an experience similar to the Rufus, perhaps a little slower. Unlike Rufus, you can not download the ISO images directly from Win32 Disk Imager. When using Win32 Disk Imager to create a bootable USB drive or a Live USB drive, you have to download the necessary ISO files manually.
When you are using the tools we mentioned above, you will have to enter the BIOS / UEFI of your computer and set the USB as the first boot method to your computer boot from the USB flash drive.