Ventoy is a cross-platform application touted as a “new bootable USB solution”. Since the first release was over a year ago (which is like a century in internet time), it’s not so new anymore. It is newer, however, than most other solutions. Other solutions, I might add, that aren’t nearly as easy to use as Ventoy.
My days of writing one ISO file to one USB drive at a time are over. It’s not hard to do it that way, but it’s extremely tedious. That’s especially true when the number of USB drives you can use for this purpose are limited. An ISO file is an archive file that contains an identical copy (or image) of data found on an optical disc, like a CD or DVD. Nowadays, however, USB flash drives and micro SD cards are used more often than optical discs.
I used a 64-gigabyte USB flash drive to house the Ventoy application. There are several ways to do it, but I wrote the livecd.iso file to the flash drive and then once I booted it up, I installed the application onto the same flash drive. I then copied the latest Windows 10 ISO file to the data partition, along with several Linux distributions. As far as software goes, I’m already prepared to help a relative transition from Windows to Linux.
Just to be sure, I booted up the Ventoy USB flash drive and then used it to boot up several of the ISO files on it. It works well enough for what I need it to do. I can’t use it for saving persistent data and I haven’t investigated the reason I can’t (and I probably won’t). If I want to run the latest Puppy Linux ISO file, I’ll just use one of my other, smaller USB flash drives. After all, Puppy Linux weighs in at less than 500 megabytes in size.
Ventoy is suited for people who can use more than one operating system, including Windows and any number of Linux and BSD distributions. If you’re not a Linux distro hopper (someone who changes Linux distributions as often as I change my underwear), it may be overkill. Writing one ISO file to one USB flash drive may be a better option for you.
I don’t like to reboot often, so I won’t be using Ventoy as often as some people. Tedious tasks annoy me, and booting from USB flash drives annoys me enough to avoid doing it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Apparently, it doesn’t bother distro hoppers enough to slow them down, and they’re always writing about one Linux distribution or another, sometimes in a professional capacity.
I’m going to test Ventoy on my 256-gigabyte micro SD card, with the card reader built into my laptop computer (which I’ve tested to run at USB 2 speed), when I find it. I recently moved from Hawaii to Maryland and some of the things I use are still tucked away in various suitcase pockets. If I have any issues with it, I’ll update this post (I doubt I’ll have any issues with it, but you never know).