I want to create a live Linux USB, that would have support for old and new devices (probably having two kernels installed, that you chose on boot, depending on the PC using). I would also like to be able to boot from a Mac.

So basically, I would like to create a boot everywhere live USB. I was using Puppy Linux with a retro kernel, but I would also like to have new features from the new kernel, if the device supports them.

The second problem is when trying to boot from a Mac, since Macs use GPT partition table where older machines use MBR. So I am wondering if this is even remotely possible to achieve? I don't want to carry 3 USB drives with me all the time and I want to use my system everywhere I go :)

The next step, IF this works would be to have the same USB for ARM, Intel...

1 Answer 1


I do not think this is going to be possible with a single USB thumb drive. You'll likely have to have multiple ones for at least some of the reasons you've already highlighted.

If something like this were even remotely possible I'd model myself after something like these, since they seem to be successful in booting on at least some of the setups that you've mentioned:

The tool that I would spend the most time investigating if it can aid you in this endeavor would be this one from the Pendrive Linux project, YUMI - Your Universal Multiboot Installer.

  • Well, one possible solution I've found is to format the USB as ISO9660 (or CDFS) but its read-only, maybe I could create two separate partitions. The other one is to use a hybrid of GPT and MBR, but people are saying its not any good...I found these discusions on reboot and apple
    – Alko
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:18
  • @Alko - I wouldn't expect to be able to do that, but it's always good to try things, it's how people learn how things "really" work vs. how they "think" they work. It shouldn't take a lot of time to confirm this.
    – slm
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:21
  • @Alko - as you've already fleshed out in your OP, there are several hurdles to overcome, I would make that a list and verify them independently 1st. If they work as you want, then you'll likely be able to string everything together as you'd like. Don't go directly to trying to make the image is what I'm really saying though. You'll get frustrated and wrapped around the axel!
    – slm
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:23

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