In the last couple of years I have been running Ubuntu (full installation) from my old 64GB USB 3.0 on my native Windows laptop: on system startup, from Windows bootloader, I can choose to boot from USB and this would load my grub bootloader that I previously installed on the same USB drive. So far, so good.

I recently bought a way more performant 256GB USB 3.0. What I'd like to do now is to have the possibility to choose between Ubuntu or Kali from grub when booting from USB. The steps to achieve this configuration are not clear to me, actually I don't even know if it is a feasible thing. I do not want to boot Kali from a different USB than the one where Ubuntu is running, mainly because I only have one USB 3.0 port on my laptop and this pendrive has such a huge capacity that I don't need all this space for a single OS.

At first I thought about installing Ubuntu on my new USB, then using dd to install the Kali iso on a USB partition that I can create during Ubuntu's installation procedure, but then I thought this would probably fail, trying to erase completely the pendrive. Am I mistaken? Any help is really appreciated.

  • Search for Yumi in google it should be what you're looking for , never tried it though but seems to be easy to use pendrivelinux.com/multiboot-create-a-multiboot-usb-from-linux
    – storm
    Apr 8 '16 at 8:19
  • I've investigated a lot and already saw these tools to have multiboot on USB; though it seems they only provide live versions of the distros, and what I want is to have a full installation of Ubuntu alongside Kali
    – marcellodg
    Apr 8 '16 at 9:29
  • Why don't you create a partition for each OS then install both Ubuntu and Kali on dual boot like doing it for a hard drive ?
    – storm
    Apr 8 '16 at 9:43
  • After reading a lot on the internet, I think I'm going for the way you're suggesting. While installing Ubuntu, I'm going to create another partition for Kali. I will then go for a Kali manual installation in the partition I created earlier. What stopped me from doing this until now is that I'm insecure on the grub installation, but everything should be fine if I simply install it on my external usb.
    – marcellodg
    Apr 8 '16 at 9:59

let me know if I'm mistaken... you want a persistant version of ubuntu and kali on a usb stick and to be able to switch between the two during bootup using grub...
Here's what you should do:

  1. kali has issues installing from usb sticks so unless you resolved that issue i reccomend taking you kali distro and putting it on a cd in order to get it to properly install to your USB. make sure grub for kali goes to usb stick.

  2. install ubuntu to usb stick... overwrite the grub from kali on stick and ubuntu should detect kali... if it doesn't you may need to use some grub editor to add a second boot and basically change the partition it boots to...

if i'm wrong then Ahmed Jerbi probably has your answer.
Good luck and hope you are successful in this endevor!

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