Make your USB a Swiss Army knife with MultiSystem

Are you one of those linuxers who loves to have a stack of live CD's with every available distro just to watch? "How does it work?"? If so, and if you also feel that this has already started to affect your economy, then this is done for you.

MultiSystem it will make your USB flash drive a true Swiss Army knife since it will allow you to quickly create a Live USB Multi-system. In short: you will have a bootable USB where the only limitation is the same capacity of the USB itself.


  1. Have installed Debian,  Ubuntu or some derived distribution like Linux Mint since the installation script is specifically designed for these distributions.
  2. A USB stick with enough capacity for the number of distros you want to install.
  3. An internet connection.



  1. The first thing is to download the installation script here!
  2. You extract it, it can be in your personal folder, you will see the file "", Then you open a terminal -Applications> Accessories> Terminal- and type this in the directory where you have extracted the sh file: sudo ./
  3.  In a few seconds, you will have installed MultiSystem and you can access the program from Applications> Accessories> MultiSystem.


How It Works

Its use is like taking candy from a baby, you just start the program, drag the ISO file of the distro you want to install on your pendrive and MultiSystem It will take care of all the work in a few minutes and have it available in a practical menu so you can choose what you want the next time you start your PC from that USB pendrive.

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

42 comments, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   Courage said

    Have Debian, Ubuntu or a derivative distribution such as Linux Mint installed since the installation script is specifically designed for these distributions.

    Well, good, what a funnel law, the width for some and the narrow for others

    1.    pandev92 said

      It is also for archlinux-chakra

      Method N ° 1-Bis (Ubuntu / Debian base)
      Add manually to the voter file sources.list, you can click it, recharge your sources, you install the multisystem package.
      ## Ajoutez le Depôt de MultiSystem
      sudo apt-add-repository 'deb all main '
      ## Ajoutez la clé publish
      wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
      ## Rechargez les sources
      sudo apt-get update
      ## Installez MultiSystem
      sudo apt-get install multisystem

      #Utilizers of Debian,
      # Après l'installation de multisystem adjoutez votre $ USER au groupe adm.
      sudo usermod -a -G adm "$ SUDO_USER"

      Méthode N ° 1-Ter (Paquet pour Archlinux)

    2.    Aliana said

      Multisystem YES works for any pc.

      For those who want to use Multisystem without installing it on their pc, I'll tell you.

      If you look around the Multisystem website a bit, you will discover this:

      It is a live Ubuntu 12.04 with Multisystem pre-installed.

      If you create a penlive with this iso, it will be useful to boot from any distro (even from a winbugs) without having to install the application.

      Truki: create two penlives with this iso, then from one of the penlives start Multisystem and add distros to the other penlive, and vice versa.
      So I have created several multi-record penlives with several distros and tip the same Myltisystem, so that each pen is both a live and a lives generator.

      You take those lives and another with the isos and you can go around doing penlives to friends.
      Obviously, when a new version of a distro comes out (say Ubuntu 14), you can delete the old one (Ubuntu 13) and add the new one.

      Multisystem allows you to create a persistent live (only in one distro for each penlive).

      In addition to isos from distros, it makes it easier for you to find and install tools for win, such as antivirus, recovery, etc (investigate).

      The good thing about this utility is that the list of distros it accepts is VERY large.

  2.   Lucas Matias said

    Very good, it comes from 10 😀

  3.   proper said

    For it to be installed in the other distributions, they must have installed some software to virtualize such as VirtualBox and from a VM create the bootable USB 😛

    1.    Courage said

      Well ... yes, but that is very dirty, I could already put a tar.gz

  4.   Coward & Anonymous said

    @Courage. Three days and you got me fed up ... jo'er.

    Sure you already donated to the project to claim them.
    Join the development team, or schedule it and share it, we will gladly "evaluate" your improvements.

    Ah Happy 2012 very good blog !!! (delete if duplicated, please)

    1.    Courage said

      And are you collaborating, bigmouth?

      Well shut your mouth baby.

      You sure are an ubunct, so go to the Ubuntu Mosque to worship $ huttlegates

      1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

        EH EH!!! ¬_¬
        We started the year badly ...
        If you can't assimilate criticism then I have overestimated you, learn this:
        «Having heaters and trolls is great, because that is what gives you the measure that you are doing a good job«

        1.    Courage said

          Am I right or not? Before looking at the speck in another's eye, let him look at the beam in his.

          Criticisms can be made less loaded

          1.    David Segura M said

            Come quiet, we all have opinions and they are respectable, you can respond to criticism (even if they are of the "flamer" type and others) but without disqualifying, whether it is "ubiquitous" or not, it does not make it better or worse. it is best to respond with a cool head.

            1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

              He is not a simple reader, he is a writer of the site ... for what he writes and reflects in his comments the site will be judged, he cannot come leaving comments like that.

  5.   burjans said

    Excellent, it will be taken into account.

    Happy New Year!! 😉

  6.   self-management said

    I have used it for a long time and am delighted with it. But there is a rival that I knew about recently that if you have tar.gz to install it in other distros. Someone has tried? Especially in other distros? How are you doing?

  7.   jelpasajero said

    Hello everyone.
    Self-management, I have just tried it, everything is correct, it has created a live USB that starts in Spanish and whose persistent option works without problems.
    If you still want to have a live USB without persistence but that starts in Spanish, you have to modify the syslinux.cfg file and add this at the end:

    default unetbootin
    label unetbootin
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper locale=es_ES
    bootkbd=es console-setup/layoutcode=es quiet splash --

  8.   jelpasajero said

    Sorry, it wasn't complete:

    default unetbootin
    label unetbootin
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper locale=es_ES
    bootkbd=es console-setup/layoutcode=es quiet splash --

  9.   jelpasajero said

    A thousand pardons, I don't know what happens, at the end of the splash it has two hyphens, not one.

  10.   jelpasajero said

    Today is not my day, I have a thick brain, very thick, but very thick. Everything said above is for Ubuntu.
    Hopefully it's my last post.

    1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

      Hello how are you 😀
      What happens is that when two are put together - in a row, they come together and appear to be one.
      When you want to put code, to avoid any kind of problems (which are not the only conflicting ones) you can use the tags «CODE» HERE-YOU PUT-THE-CODE «/ CODE» (changing «and» to «<" and ">»… without the quotes).

      I edited your previous posts to put it this way, I hope you don't mind.

  11.   David Segura M said

    Very interesting post, by the way to mention that this program is in the repositories (at least in Mint 10 it is, so surely it is in Ubuntu too) and it works very well, perfect replacement for when I used YUMI in windows.

  12.   jelpasajero said

    Mo bothers me at all, and thanks for the information.

  13.   Oscar said

    Very good data I will take it into account.

  14.   franc said

    I have a problem with Tuquito in Multisystem and I don't know how to continue ..

    When I start Tuquito through USB, what appears to me is a black background and a message like this:

    "Please provide a name for this Disc, such as 'Debian 5.0.3 Disk 1':"

    ..And when I go to write it does nothing, as if it did not recognize the keyboard. I tried other distros and they are perfect ..

  15.   Xalitriren said

    Thank you.

    To have a more versatile and complete Swiss army knife, an entry that deals with how to create a Live USB that is worth booting in as many computers as possible would be great, be they standard PC, Mac, ... (with BIOS or (U) EFI) . There seems to be little information out there (I haven't seen anything in Spanish). The best I have found I copy it below.



    Nobody say this isn't possible because I will shoot you. After writing two somewhat-wrong guides, I have finally corrected my process. In this post is the instructions to create a linux USB drive and boot Ubuntu from it (and also refit on macs).

    Step 1 - USB Linux
    This is the step where we make a usb drive that we can run linux off of. In order to boot your usb drive, your pc bios must support it. Mac's bios (not the efi) doesn't support this, however mac users can use refit, which is discussed later.

    Get yourself some of these:

    1. A USB key (at least 1GB if you want to run Ubuntu)
    2. Fdisk (this comes with ubuntu, but not debian)
    3. grub-pc (this is also a default ubuntu package)
    4. The tools necessary to create fat filesystems (this comes with ubuntu but not debian)

    1.1 - Formatting
    This will delete all your USB data.

    Firstly, unmount all partitions on your USB drive.

    Open your terminal and:

    sudo -s

    Now you will be at the fdisk prompt, about to edit the partition map on your usb drive. Now enter these commands:


    What these do should be pretty obvious once you have entered them.

    Now, lets create a new mbr table:


    Next, let's make some partitions. 4MB for grub and the rest for ubuntu and other things:


    + 4M


    Now we need to create the filesystems. Open up your favorite disk manager and format the 4MB partition as ext2 and the other one as fat32. Then mount them both.

    1.2 - Linux on USB

    Note: Grub may not run correctly when used with computers with grub installed on the internal hard drive, especially mac computers.

    Now we need to install grub onto the usb drive. Use this command:

    sudo grub-install –root-directory =.

    Now open up that disk manager again and set the bootable flag on the 4MB partition.

    Step 2 - Ubuntu on your USB Drive
    Now we will add ubuntu to your flash drive. This will allow you to boot into ubuntu live from your flash drive. Grab the following:

    1. An Ubuntu live cd iso
    2. About 700MB free space on your fat partition

    2.1 - The Files
    Do this:

    1. Mount your fat partition
    2. Copy the iso to the root of your fat partition
    3. Name the iso "Ubuntu.iso"

    We now have the iso copied to the fat partition. Brilliant.

    2.2 - The Bootloader
    Do this now:

    1. Mount your 4MB ext2 partition
    2. Check if you have write permissions for the partition. If not, run the next step as superuser
    3. Run «gedit» in terminal
    4. Enter the following:
    menuentry "Ubuntu Live from ISO" {
    insmod fat
    search.file /Ubuntu.iso root
    loopback loop /Ubuntu.iso
    linux / casper / vmlinuz boot = casper iso-scan / filename = / Ubuntu.iso
    initrd /casper/initrd.lz
    5. Save this file as /boot/grub/grub.cfg

    Step 3 - USB Linux for Macs
    You will need:

    1. Access to Mac OS 10.4.6 or later with elevated permissions
    2. To format your flash drive with an additional partition at the end (16MB should do)

    Here are the steps to make the flash drive bootable on EFI Macs

    1. Download rEFIt from here. You should grab the one packaged as a gzip
    2. Format that third partition on your flash drive as hfs +. This can be done in disk utility by formatting it as "Mac OS Extended". You can pretty much choose any of those, but I would recommend not choosing a case sensitive file system.
    3. Copy the «efi» folder you just downloaded into the hfs + partition (it's inside the refit-bin-x.xx folder you downloaded from the above link)
    4. Open up to terminal
    5. Execute the efi / refit / file. This needs to be the one on the flash drive, not the one on the disk. What this does is blesses rEFIt so the Mac's equivalent of a BIOS can find it.
    6. Reboot your computer holding the option key. You should know what to do then.

    Once in the rEFIt menu:

    1. You will need to boot linux from HD (it will have the red / orange flash drive icon)
    2. IMPORTANT: if you have a non-default MBR on your internal HD # 1, the last step will fail. There is no way around it. The only way it will not fail is if your MBR is default of if you already have grub installed on the internal HD. For example: if you have windows installed on the internal HD and push boot from HD (flash drive), windows will boot. Yes, I know, Apple did a ****** job emulating a BIOS.

    1.    nxs.davis said

      It would be good if you made a post about this 😀

    2.    Aliana said

      @ Xalitriren
      Good contribution, but as I said above if you want you can have a penlive with Multisystem preinstalled and persistent, you can have several distros on the pen, although only one can be persistent (you can choose the one you want to make persistent).

  16.   Despair said

    My 2nd gen memories don't recognize me.
    I have tried it on Elementary Luna Build from August and Ubuntu 12.10 without success.
    Any idea of ​​the reason or a solution?

    1.    tower frames said

      the pendriver or the memory must be in the FAT file system

  17.   Luis Carmona said

    It is now available on Arch Linux via AUR.

    # yaourt -S multisystem

  18.   Edgardo said

    Hello .. the info is very good, I installed it perfect but when I wanted to run it I got an error sign: usser: edgardo is not admin .. what can I do because I am not an expert user, I am new .. thank you!

    1.    Edgardo said

      I forgot to mention that I have LMDE 64bits ..

  19.   Edgardo said

    Hello, the solution was to put in the terminal ..
    sudo usermod -a -G adm "$ USER"

    1.    tower frames said

      or directly it also works, at least it worked for me usermod -a -G adm username

  20.   andres said

    Hello, I will tell you about my case, everything was going very well I did several tests like about 8 maybe more I tested with many distros and all windows both complete and litle, but now that I wanted to do the configuration as I wanted my bootable usb, unfortunately I can no longer format it and I cannot lets enter it connects and disconnects I try to format it both in ubuntu or windows and sometimes I can not recognize it and then no, well the first usb maybe I said it was already very old and stopped working.

    Well I bought another and what do you think I did the same but now it was only 3 times I told you how it was:

    In the tests that I was doing the first one that bootie everything excellent, the second slower the third much slower the fourth took about 25 min to boot and the fifth because it reached 45 min and nothing desperate me and format the usb I reloaded everything again and we repeat the operation and the same.

    And reaching the fourth time of trying to format it, it gave me the same problem again, I believe that this program is not supported by the usb because they end up useless it only serves you a while or only to boot and then they stop working why? That is my question, what does this program ask to damage the USB or why it does not allow them to be formatted again and at the end of so many times you connect it or recognize it and there comes a point where the USB LED does not turn on, you know something because if it is like this I prefer to continue using cd or dvd

    1.    Aliana said

      Tip: DO NOT mix on the same penlive created with Multisystem GNU / Linux distros and win installation lives. For each operating system, a different pen.

      If you can put any win tool, for example an antivirus (Kaspersky live) in a pen with GNULinux distros, I have tried that and it works.

      And if problems persist, try other pen-s of other brands and sizes.
      This is what someone who has created literally dozens of penlives with Multisystem tells you.
      I have tried live and installed many distros with this utility without any problem.
      I have used live mode distros created with Multisystem not for hours, but for weeks on a pc without a hard drive, without any problem.

      Follow my advice to create two pens with the Multisuystem iso from this link and install distros from one to the other:

      And read this long but juicy howto:

      1.    Aliana said

        I forgot: I have tried and used MultiSystem also from SD and mSD memories without problems.


        In case I have not explained myself before, I will try to summarize how I do it (valid system for any distro, even for winbug $):

        1 I download the MultiSystem iso from this link:

        2 I put it on a penlive (A) with the command dd, unetbootin, whatever you prefer.
        Use a pendrive of at least 8 GB (I use 16 GB, nowadays they are very cheap), the larger it is, the more distros they will fit and the more fun they will have.

        3 I launch that MultiSystem penlive (A) from a pc, (I repeat, at least 8 GB).

        4 I insert another pendrive (B) formatted in FAT 32 (although MultiSystem can also format it) and the first thing I do is install the MultiSystem iso to (B).

        5 Now, from pen A or B I add isos of distros from one to the other.

        In the end, we have not one, but two multi-record penlives. And each one of them is in turn a penlive generator, having the MultiSystem iso in each one.

        Now you only need one of the penlives, a disk or pendrive with isos of distros (although the utility is able to connect you to download the distros it is better to carry them) and you can go around creating penlives to everyone 🙂

        The list of supported distros is huge:

        Of course, if a new version of a distro (Debian 7.5, Ubuntu 14, Mint 17) comes out, you have to delete the old version (Debian 7, Ubuntu 13, Mint 16) and put the new one on the pen.

        Trick: you can make one of the persistent distros, but only ONE per penlive, and that if we leave enough space for it (I recommend a minimum of 1 GB, to be able to update programs and save files on that distro).

        The only thing that MultiSystem does not support is updating the system. you can install languages, update programs, add browser extensions, etc, but DO NOT try to give a persistent distro an aptitude update or a pacman -Syu.

        I hope I have explained myself well, and sorry for so much post. But I assure you that I have been using MultiSystem for a LONG time without problems.

        I suggest the editors of this site do a more in-depth article on this utility, because it deserves it.

  21.   tower frames said

    Good evening, I am a Multisystem user, frequently, especially to create a persistent liveusb, but I have noticed that for the most recent versions of Debian and specifically derived from Debian branch 7, persistence does not work, do you happen to know what happens?

    1.    Aliana said

      As I said above, I have been using MultiSystem for a long time and it has not given me that problem. I used it precisely to install Wheezy since I wrote.

      I have it installed on Debian, but I use it mostly from another penlive.

      Trust me: instead of messing around, download the MultiSystem iso, put it in two pens (with dd, unetbootin or whatever you like) and from there try. I have tested it like this with many pendrives and with many distros without any problem.

      I share the best howto about this great utility:

  22.   strings said

    Thanks for this script, if I can understand it.

  23.   fedu said

    I GET
    Error: xterm

    I don't know what could be

    1.    David said

      Although months ago the solution was posted here for those who do not know sudo apt-get install xterm -y

  24.   David said

    Well, for months I have tried to work with this system, let's say that for 2 or more years with different operating systems; even change pc at some point. for other reasons. but I have not been able to DRAG and DROP, in the interface it simply does nothing, if I click on the icon that has a cd with connection, I look for the .iso. It takes a few minutes and then returns to the same screen as if nothing, for that reason it still does not work for me, in fact I just formatted my system, put a different one and even so, in my case I can't just add the .iso