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[Guide] Creating a Multi OS Multiboot USB Install Drive: OSX/Windows/Linux

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This guide will explain how to create a USB drive that can be used to install OSX, Windows, and Linux from a single USB drive. This USB drive can be very helpful in urgent situations such as: fixing broken OSX install (chameleon, kext, etc), installing/repairing Windows, or running Live CD of any Linux OS.


I am not responsible for any consequences to your system by following the guide below. If you do follow this guide, please make sure to attain a valid purchased copy of the OSes you plan on installing. I am not responsible for your actions.

This guide is just my experience and am sharing it with you guys for educational purposes.

This entire guide, including creating OSX installer USB is solely for experimental reasons.



  • USB drive of 16GB or greater is recommended
  • An existing working install of OS X
  • An existing working install of Windows
  • An existing working install or live version of Linux
  • YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator (Download)


  • We will create three partitions on the USB: 1) for OSX installer 2) for Linux and Windows installers 3) for storage. The thrid partition is not required but recommend. 
  • We will use traditional methods to create OSX installer USB but targeted to the first partition.
  • We will use YUMI to load up multiple OSes onto the second partition
  • We will fix the partitions tables and set the OSX install partition to active, so that the USB boots to Chimera/Chameleon


  1. From an existing running OS X, start Disk Utility and create 3 partitions are below:

    -- InstallOSX (Format: Mac OS Extended Journaled) Size: minimum 8GB

    -- Multiboot (Format: MS-DOS FAT) Size: Recommend minimum 8GB or desired amount to fit all OSs (Ubuntu, Windows, Mint, etc)

    -- Storage (Format: MS-DOS FAT) Size: Whatever you desire to have as separate storage
  2. Format the partitions above, and make sure to choose GUID Partition Table scheme!
  3. Use your desired method to create a OSX installer, but make sure to set the destination to InstallOSX partition (first partition) to create the OSX USB installer.
  4. Go to a Windows PC and run YUMI. Load up all the desired ISOs for the Windows/Linux onto the second parititon (Multiboot)
  5. Load up Linux and insert your USB drive. Go to terminal and insert the following commands:
    sudo apt-get update       
    sudo apt-get install gptsync //This will install gptsync 
    sudo fdisk -l //Use this command to determine the name of your USB drive Ex: 'sdb' or 'sdc'
    sudo gptsync /dev/sdb  // Make sure to change the 'sdb' to whatever is the name of your USB drive

    This above commands with sync your partition table to create a hybrid GPT/MBR partition scheme

  6. Boot into an existing running OSX, insert your USB drive, and start the Terminal


  7. Make the InstallOSX partition active by using the following commands:

    sudo diskutil list //Use this command to find out the USB drive's name. Ex: disk1 or disk2
    sudo fdisk -e /dev/rdisk1 // Make sure to change 'rdisk1' to the name of the disk you found from diskutil list 
    p // p will print the partition table of rdisk1. Determine the partition number for your "InstallOSX" partition, it should be 2
    f 2 // This will make partition 2 active. Change '2' to the number that is your "InstallOSX" partition 
    w //This will write to the partition 
    y //Type y to confirm writing 


Your are done! Now you have a multiple OS install USB. Pop in the USB and make sure to set the BIOS to boot from USB first. The Chimera/Chameleon boot loader should show up with all the partitions on the USB and you PC. The first partition will be the InstallOSX and the second will be your Multiboot partition. When you select the Multiboot partition, it should load GRUB with list of all the Linux/Windows isntall options.


Helpful References




Edited by Zythyr, 29 March 2014 - 07:18 AM.

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