Yumi - A Workhorse of a Different Colour
by Alan German
Yumi is a really neat
utility program, extremely useful for those who have need
of its features, but a real oddity nonetheless. The
program can create a multi-boot USB drive, capable of
booting any one of a number of different operating
systems or disk utilities. The odd thing is that,
although the resulting drive will boot various Linux
systems, Yumi itself is a Windows application.
such as UNetbootin, that produce a bootable USB drive
from an ISO distribution have been around for some time.
Essentially, these burn an ISO image to a USB memory
stick rather than to a CD. For many modern computers,
that are capable of booting from an external USB drive,
this provides a useful way to live-boot any given Linux
distro or bootable utility system. If the resulting
product doesn't suit the user's requirements, the USB
drive can simply be reused rather than having to throw
away yet another "coaster".
Now that storage is so cheap and, in particular, that USB
memory sticks are very affordable in capacities of 8, 16,
or even 32 GB, using a single USB drive for an individual
operating system becomes rather inefficient. Enter Yumi -
with its capability to store a variety of different
bootable systems on the same stick.
Clearly, this can be very useful for the Linux user who
wishes to maintain a live-boot version of the current
distro, plus utility programs such as Gparted and
Clonezilla, all while trying out various new distros.
However, the product also has some application for
Windows users who, for example, wish to keep a bootable
version of Gparted handy to tweak their disk partition
scheme, or who require a bootable antivirus rescue disk
(e.g. for AVG or Kaspersky).
Yumi downloads as a self-contained EXE file. Running the
program produces a simple dialogue screen. To install a
bootable system, one first selects the target USB memory
stick using the initial drop-down menu, then the distro
to be installed from the list provided in the second
drop-down menu. The program now provides a link for the
relevant web site where the specified distro package may
be downloaded or, if this is has already been done, lets
the user browse the hard disk to locate the existing ISO
file. The next step is to select the ISO file itself and
press the Create button. A progress report indicates the
steps being taken to install the software. Finally, a
message indicates "All finished, Process is
Removing any installed item is even simpler. Check the
"Remove an Installed Item" box on the main
dialogue box, select the desired product to be removed
from the list displayed, and press the Remove button.
So, there you have it, a free and extremely efficient
utility to provide multi-booting capability from a USB
Originally published: January, 2013
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The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.