How to create multiboot dvd

  11 years ago

Hi all...

There are hundreds of Linux distributions that you can find as a bootable CDs or DVDs available on the Internet these days. Many of them are indispensable for a variety of purposes. I consistently find use of one or the other. You can have GParted for partitioning, Backtrack for fun ;) or CloneZilla to clone your hard disk etc. Make a pick and you add another one to the stack of CDs.

While all these tools are fine and dandy, carrying a number of CD’s along is too much of a hassle. Specially if you do some job as callout in customers house... Add to that the fact that many of the above are considerably smaller than a single CD’s capacity.

If you ever wondered how you could combine multiple ISO files and how to burn a single ISO image file onto DVD that could let you use all of them, the answer lies in this 'tutorial'. I am going to combine Linuxmint9-32bit and Linuxmint10-32bit ISO images and show you how to burn an single ISO image file comprising all of them. The tool that I would be using is a shell script appropriately known as the “Multi CD”. You can download Multi CD here. The process of creating a composite image is not so hard and not rocket science either! :)

step 1)

create empty folder and name it as 'mydvd' or whatever you want to call it


download the tar ball from the Multi CD downloads section or from my website (here) and extract it to a 'mydvd' folder.


download ISO images of your loved Linux distros (in my tutorial linuxmint 9 and linuxmint 10 both 32bit)


drop all the ISO images that you just download into the 'mydvd' folder.

# now its only a matter of executing the script :)


now execute which is in 'mydvd' folder.. If its not working you have to make it executable.

# wait couple seconds until doesn't finish the job. ( you will see progress in terminal window)


the result is a bootable ISO image that would allow you to use any of the constituent images (in my case linuxmint 9 and 10) that you dropped in the folder (in my case folder called 'mydvd').

The multiboot ISO is sitting in the 'mydvd' folder as multicd.iso Burn it to a DVD and it’s ready for use!

have fun ;)

PS: Guys have you even attempted combine multiple ISO files into one before? Do you know of any other tools or easier way to do it then this one? Please share it with us and let us all know about them. THANKS

jahid_0903014 9 years ago

promoting in advance, need to try it..

Bobster 11 years ago

Thanks for that, Ill try it out.
I am puting Mint Lisa both 32 and 64 bit versions on there, with sysrescue,
then in another file called "other: I am putting the 1st Backup (clean install) and Virtualbox iso with Guest editions.....would that work? dunno but Ill try. what do you think?

Anleoje 11 years ago

Thank you ;)

Hairybiker 11 years ago

Found an "issue" if I ad a PMagic 6.6 loops it loops in the boot menu., i.e. select PMagic and choose default, it goes back to 20sec left on the timer.
The iso on it own is fine.

Hairybiker 11 years ago

Just completed a multi dvd of Mint 11 64b, LMDE 64b (latest) & sysrescue.
Very nice!

Hairybiker 11 years ago is down for me so the script fails, even though I have s syslinux installed.
Edited your script and removed the checks to see if it is installed & it is working now.

efthialex 11 years ago

Very nice tutorial. It's really helpful!

kazztan0325 11 years ago

Nice tutorial.
I promote this.

But I just think it would be better if some screen-shots (at least a screen-shot of 'Multi CD') were inserted in.

And I have one thing on my chest.

You wrote:
"now execute which is in 'mydvd' folder.. If its not working you have to make it executable."

I guess possibly some newbies don't know how do they make the file executable, and possibly they don't know how to execute the file (i.e. what code do they input in Terminal).

So it would be better for newbies if you would give a particular explanation about what I wrote above.

Alexio 11 years ago

What about creating a multiboot USB drive?

Multi-System can be installed and used to create a bootable USB/SD with the GNU/Linux of your choice.

You can also choose the boot loader to be installed on the flash drive: Grub, Grub2 or Burg.