Ventoy is an open-source tool that enables you to create multiple bootable USB files. With ventoy, you do not need to format the USB drive in order to create another bootable file, You will just copy the image file and then ventoy gives you a list to select from when booting your machine. It supports Linux, Windows, VMware, Unix, ChromeOS, WinPE.

The most common tool that is used in Windows for creating a bootable USB drive is Rufus. It is also small and simple to use just like ventoy. The only disadvantage is that it supports one .iso at a time, hence you would have to format it every single time you want to boot with a different operating system. Others include balenaEtcher, UNetbootin, WoeUSB, WinSetupFromUSB, and others. Common with all those is that they only flash one .iso at a time and some are dependent on a specific Operating System.

Alternatives to Ventoy include MultibootUSB, Easy2Boot and YUMI which allow loading of more than one Operating System from its DISC Images.

Ventoy though has a lot of cool features that include:

  • Fast, you just have to format the drive with ventoy application and copy the image files.
  • 100% open source
  • Can be used with USB/SSD
  • Directly boot from the image file, No extraction needed
  • Supports Both MBR and GPT partitions
  • Plugin Framework and GUI Plugin Configurator
  • ISO Large than 4GB are supported
  • Customize theme and menu style
  • supports most types of OS, tested with 780+ iso files.

In this guide, I will show you how to install ventoy on a Windows system and boot from the USB drive.

Install Ventoy on Windows System

To install ventoy, You would need to download its zip file that contains the application.
Visit ventoy official download site to get the zip file.

It will redirect you the ventoy Official GitHub site that has the latest release of the application. Click on the one for Windows and the download starts immediately. It is a small file.

Once the download is complete, Find the file and extract the program.

At this point after extraction, You would want to insert you USB drive into your machine where we will install ventoy from. So insert your USB drive and click on the ventoy2disk application to start the installation.

It opens an installation setup wizard that has the information of the USB drive that will be used to install ventoy. Note that it picked up automatically. If the drive does not show up immediately, then click on refresh to allow it to pick it up. If you have inserted more than one drive into your machine, use the dropdown arrow to select the one you want to use. Click on Install.

It will give a warning to ask you if you are okay with the drive being formatted and you would click Yes.

It will ask again to doublecheck if you are sure and once you click Yes, the installation begins and finishes up really fast. It opens a new window of the drive, named Ventoy.

Next up would be to copy the image files onto the drive. Remember you can copy more than one.

VentoyPlugson

Ventoy provides a lot of features that can be accessed via the ventoy.json file. You can customize the theme and menu style from the file manually. However, since not many people might be familiar with json, it has a GUI plugin configurator that is called VentoyPlugson.

You just have to open it from the ventoy folder that you extracted by clicking on VentoyPlugson.

It opens a dialog with the USB drive that has ventoy in it and you click on Start.

It opens the GUI plugin configurator in a web browser that you can now use to customize your theme and menu.

The data that you edit from the GUI configurator is saved in a ventoy_backup.json file.

To Exit, You just click stop and it will give you a warning that the browser will also be closed. Click Yes to close it.

It even has a log from the time you opened the plugin to when you closed it.

Booting from Drive using Ventoy

You can shut down your machine or restart it. Easier way, Shut Down.

Remember to press the key repeatedly when you turn on the machine, which will take you to your BIOS with respect to your machine. Mine is F12

Once you press the key to the BIOS setup, It opens and you choose to boot from USB drive.

Once you select that, It opens the ventoy boot menu as follows. With all the image files that you copied into the drive.

Select the image file corresponding to the Operating System that you want.

Booting from Windows 11 ISO on Ventoy

I selected Windows 11 and it automatically picked it and started opening. At the moment I did not want to install Windows 11 hence I cancelled the operation. But if you are interested in installing it, Follow the Windows setup dialog to install. It is very easy.

Booting from Ubuntu 20.04 ISO image on Ventoy

Next up I tried Ubuntu 20.04 and it automatically installed and opened as follows.

Booting from Hiren’s BootCD

Next I tried Hiren’s BootCD and it also automatically installed and opened.

Apologies for the blurry images, Its hard getting a screenshot from the BIOS setup. But you guys get the whole point right?? That is all for creating a bootable drive using ventoy.

Closure

Point to note is that for you to boot from another OS, you have to exit the one you are currently on by shutting Down or Powering off then booting again from the BIOS setup and selecting the one you want.

You can put as many image files as you want with respect to the space of your drive and just boot/install directly from the drive.

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