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This is what I would like to have on it...

  1. Windows installation media and OS.

  2. Xubuntu 18.04 LTS and Xubuntu 20.04 LTS...one persistent, and the other not...sometimes. And other times both persistent.

  3. Unlimited storage.

Yes I did see this question. It started off promising, but it went nowhere, unfortunately.

EDIT: by "unlimited" I mean as much as the capacity of the USB would allow.

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  • If you elaborate on 'it went nowhere', someone may be able to offer you a solution.
    – KGIII
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 23:49
  • 1
    I just find it better to have Winodws on its own flash drive. And use Windows installer as then it splits the .win file, so it fits on a FAT32 partition which is required for UEFI boot. Then easy to do full install of one Ubuntu to another large flash drive or SSD (which is then almost as fast as internal drive), and then use grub2's loopmount to boot many other ISO as you can fit on drive or have space for data if desired. ISO boot & link to examples help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot
    – oldfred
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 23:53
  • 2
    I would like to have unlimited storage too! Let me know if you find it.
    – user68186
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 0:01
  • @KGIII no solution
    – JJrussel
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 1:48
  • 1
    Ventoy will accomplish all three easily, it 1) will boot the Windows installer ISO. 2) will boot an ISO either Live or Persistent modes. 3) It will make persistence files greater than 4GB and having XFAT file system has "unlimited storage". Information on the persistence plugin is on this page: ventoy.net/en/plugin_persistence.html If you want help with persistence me know. Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 5:40

2 Answers 2

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Ventoy

Ventoy will accomplish all three easily:

  1. Ventoy will boot the Windows installer ISO. If you want to actually run Windows from USB, Rufus has an option to install Windows to Go. it takes hours and hours to install.

  2. Ventoy will boot an ISO either Live or Persistent modes. It will boot multiple ISO's.

  3. Ventoy will make persistence files greater than 4GB and having exFAT file system has "unlimited storage". Information on the persistence plugin is on this page: https://www.ventoy.net/en/plugin_persistence.html

If you want help with persistence me know.

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  • I just gotta say, you're a wealth of information.
    – JJrussel
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 21:47
5

Multiboot USB - Windows to Go + Ubuntu Full install + ISO's

Creating a USB drive that will run Windows to Go, Ubuntu Full install and boot Linux and Windows ISO's is a little more complicated than installing Ventoy.

I will outline the process that worked for me:

  • Use Rufus to install Windows to Go. This is a very slow process and may take overnight.

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  • Use a Ubuntu Live pendrive to install Ubuntu alongside Windows on the USB, in the same BIOS/UEFI mode as Windows.

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  • Drop the Linux ISO's of interest into a folder on a ext4 or NTFS partition. (ISO's on a NTFS partition may have trouble shutting down). Windows ISO must go on a XFAT or NTFS partition.

  • Edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg adding menuentries for the ISO files.

  menuentry "ubuntu-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso" {
     rmmod tpm
     set isofile="/ubuntu-20.04.1/ubuntu-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso"
     loopback loop (hd0,1)$isofile
     linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=$isofile noprompt noeject quiet splash maybe-ubiquity persistent persistent-path=/ubuntu-20.04.1/ fsck.mode=skip toram --
     initrd (loop)/casper/initrd
  }

For booting Windows ISO on MSDOS partition table:

menuentry 'Windows Recovery Environment (on /dev/sda1)' --class windows --class os $menuentry_id_option 'osprober-chain-592C85254E2CD0B7' {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    set root='hd0,msdos1'
    if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1  592C85254E2CD0B7
    else
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 592C85254E2CD0B7
    fi
    parttool ${root} hidden-
    drivemap -s (hd0) ${root}
    chainloader +1
    ntldr /bootmgr
}

For booting Windows ISO on GPT partition table substitute:

    insmod part_gpt
    insmod ntfs
    set root='hd0,gpt1'
  • Add persistence folders and files for the ISO's if required.

Reference:

How to Create a Full Install of Ubuntu 20.04 to USB Device Step by Step

BIOS/UEFI Template Image for Booting ISO Files

Installing Windows 10 without USB with ubuntu 18.04: this is not a bootable disk error

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