If you’re an owner of multiple computers, or at the very least the user of multiple Linux distributions, you’ll no doubt be aware of how annoying it can be to have to make live USB sticks over and over. There has to be a better way, right? There is!
Introducing Linux AIO: it’s a tool that takes all current spins of popular Linux distributions (think Ubuntu and Fedora) and compiles them into one flashable ISO file. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a fascinating take on the concept none-the-less.
So, how does it work?
Downloading Linux AIO
Linux AIO has many, many editions. Sad to say, there isn’t just one ISO image you can place on your drive and select from the most popular Linux flavors out of the gate. Instead, you’ll need to sift through the available editions and determine which one you want the most.
Here’s a complete list of every edition available for download: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, LMDE, Debian Live, Fedora, Zorin OS, Trisquel, SolydXK, ROSA, Tanglu, ALT Linux, Point Linux, Porteus, PCLinuxOS, and Korora.
Clicking on any of these links will take you directly to a download page where it is possible to download the Linux AIO image you’ve selected.
1. Try to avoid using the torrent links when downloading, as it appears to have very little seeds and is overall very slow.
2. You may notice that some Linux AIO images come in “parts.” This is done for the sake of download speed. When you get both parts downloaded to your Linux desktop, right click on the “001” file and extract it. If it’s not possible to extract this file, you may need to install “p7zip” to your distro (or its equivalent depending on what you’re using).
Finding p7zip is different depending on what you’re using, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find. Just open your package manager, either with terminal or a graphical tool, and search for something similar to “7zip.” After that, just install it and try extracting again.
Making the live disc
Once you’ve chosen your Linux AIO ISO file and downloaded it, it’s time to make a Linux live disk. Making a Linux live disk with an ISO file can be done in several ways, but few are as easy as using Etcher. Follow our Etcher guide here to make the Linux AIO live disk and then return when everything is completed.
Note: Be sure that your USB flash drive is at least 8 GB in size, as Linux AIO takes up a lot of space.
Linux AIO is largely a collection of live disks. That’s the extent of the software. When you boot your live USB disk, you’ll be prompted with a selection menu. This selection menu will show every single official flavor of whichever Linux distribution you choose.
From here it is possible to use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to select whichever spin you’d like. Once selected, the regular live disk boots as if you’d downloaded an official spin from the Linux distro’s website.
Inside the live disk you’re able to do everything you’d do in any other Linux live disk, including install it.
What makes Linux AIO special?
This software makes installing Linux distributions much easier. For example: you own many computers, and each one runs a different version of Ubuntu. Your laptop runs Ubuntu Mate, your gaming PC runs traditional Ubuntu, and other family members run other various flavors of Ubuntu.
With this tool all you need is one USB stick loaded with the latest Linux AIO Ubuntu ISO. It’ll be incredibly easy to put any of the necessary versions of Ubuntu Linux on all the computers you own without the need to remake a USB stick over and over or to buy multiples.
Making live Linux USB sticks are a pain. You have to re-format, re-download and it just gets tiring. That’s why I really am impressed with Linux AIO. It’s not perfect, and certainly has some work ahead of it, but overall it’s a refreshing tool for those who have the unlucky task of installing multiple spins of a Linux distribution.
Would you use Linux AIO in place of your current method for installing Linux? Let us know below!
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons