Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
by Alan German
I have gone through a couple of iterations of multiple
boot systems for large-capacity USB memory sticks. The
first piece of software that I used for this purpose was
Yumi (see: Yumi - A Workhorse of a Different Colour).
This program worked fine until I purchased a new
laptop which used the Unified Extensible Firmware
Interface (UEFI) to manage the boot process rather than
the traditional Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).
The introduction of UEFI required a switch to Easy2Boot
(see: Multi-Boot for UEFI) since, at the time, Yumi
didnt support UEFI. Now, in my view, Easy2Boot was
something of a misnomer. Sure, it booted several
operating systems from the same USB drive, but it
wasnt necessarily all that easy to set up and use.
It needed a supplementary program (RMPrepUSB) to
initialize the USB drive; it required renaming the .iso
files to .isodefault in order to simplify the boot
process; and I found the final boot menu to be somewhat
The good news is that there is now a new version of Yumi
that supports UEFI. At present, it is in beta, but my
testing has shown it to run almost flawlessly on my UEFI
laptop. And, it has the simple user interface, operating
procedures, and the straightforward final boot menu that
I liked the first time I used the program.
YUMI is an acronym for Your Universal Multiboot
Installer and is available from Pendrivelinux.com.
I downloaded the current beta version of the software as
the file UEFI-YUMI-BETA-0.0.0.2.exe. There is no
installation required. Simply running the .exe file
brings up the main screen (see screenshot) where you can
select the target USB drive, a distribution
to copy to the target drive, and the .iso file for the
distro of choice.
In the sample screenshot, Drive G: in Step 1, labelled
MULTIBOOT, is the target drive. In Step 2, Linux Mint has
been selected as the distro to be installed and, in Step
3, the 64-bit version of the current release, Linux Mint
Mate Edition (Version 18 - Sarah) has been set for
copying from Drive M: (my LINUXDISTRO USB drive
containing the downloaded file). I only use the resulting
multi-boot disk to either install a distro to my hard
drive or to run a bootable utility such as GParted.
Consequently, in Step 4, I dont set any persistence
on the final drive for use as storage.
Hitting the Create button starts the copy process with a
progress bar counting down the time required. On
completion of the installation, a dialogue box offers an
opportunity to copy more distros to the target drive or
allows exiting the program.
Note that, while the principal use of Yumi is normally to
install multiple operating systems, it is also possible
to add anti-virus software, system utilities (e.g.
GParted), and rescue disks (e.g. Windows 10 Installer),
to the target drive.
There appears to be an issue with Yumis built-in
disk formatter in the current beta version of the
software. A Failed to open device warning
message appears in the log window, and the USB drive is
not actually formatted, when the format option is checked
under Windows 10. The programs developer is aware
of this issue and it may be fixed by the time that you
read this. In the interim, the workaround is to format
the external USB drive in Windows, should this be
required in order to create a blank disk.
Other than the above-noted issue, the beta version of the
UEFI-enabled Yumi is working just fine. So, it looks as
though this will be my multi-boot utility of choice going
Version Beta 0.0.0.2
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Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
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