Ventoy for Easy2Boot

‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ is a slightly-modified version of Ventoy configured to run on an Easy2Boot USB drive.

A new eBook ‘Getting started with Ventoy’ is available here as a PDF – it applies to any USB drive that contains Ventoy including Medicat (not just E2B USB drives).

Ventoy for Easy2boot

You can Legacy boot to Ventoy from the E2B Menu system, or UEFI-boot to Ventoy from the agFM menu system (F5).

Note that if you UEFI64-Secure Boot to agFM, you can still run Ventoy and can even boot to non-secure payloads.

You can also download and run the latest ‘official’ unaltered version of Ventoy as a disk image (agFM v1.72 and later) – see here for details.

Add\Update ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’

See here for details.

Documentation

The eBook (PDF) ‘Getting started with Ventoy‘ is now available and contains full details including step-by-step exercises, examples of how to add payload files, persistence, adding themes, etc.

‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ is a very slightly modified version of the official Ventoy version.

Simply follow the official Ventoy documentation if you want to know more about Ventoy and how to configure\modify it.

Note: You can use any folder on the first NTFS partition to store payload files but I recommend using the same folders that are used by Easy2Boot under \_ISO. Ventoy configuration files, etc. are placed on the first (NTFS) E2B partition in a \ventoy folder.

Only standard file extensions are recognised by Ventoy (e.g. .iso) – non-standard extensions such as .isodef or .imgPTN are not recognised by Ventoy and so will not be listed in the Ventoy menus. You can instead add E2B filename extension suffixes – e.g. xxxxx_.isodef.iso or xxxxxxx_.isowin.iso so that E2B and agFM will use the suffix instead of the file extension.

Some versions of Ventoy have hidden hotkey features:

  • Ctrl+i to change boot mode of some ISOs to be more compatible
  • Ctrl+w to use wimboot to boot Windows and WinPE ISOs (e.g. Strelec WinPE)
  • Ctrl+r for ventoy debug mode
  • Ctrl+h or h for help
  • m checksum a file
  • F7 to use a text-mode menu in case UEFI-booting from an ISO causes a blank screen when using a graphical meu system).
  • To debug – Press c to enter the command line – type vtdebug on and press Enter and then ESC to return to Ventoy menu. Debug messages will then be displayed when you select a payload. You can also press e to edit a menu item but most menu items just call a Ventoy internal function.

Ventoy themes + json file

Create a new \ventoy\ventoy.json on the first partition of the E2B USB drive to configure Ventoy.

See the Ventoy plugins pages for more details.

You can see some sample  configuration files in the \ventoy\Sample Ventoy config files folder on the 2nd partition. These can be copied to the \ventoy folder on Partition 1 (the NTFS partition).

You can set the base folder to \_ISO using the ventoy.json file if you wish.

The Ventoy download contains a Windows .exe file ‘VentoyPlugson.exe‘. This is a browser-based application that allows you to configure a ventoy.json file without needing a text editor and it will automatically update the ventoy.json file with the correct syntax. Note that it will only work on a drive containing an ‘official’ Ventoy Partition 2 (it will not work on an E2B partitioned drive). You can switch in an official Ventoy image file, use VentoyPlugson.exe to configure it, test it, and then switch back to the agFM ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ Partition 2 once you are happy with the ventoy.json file. See the Ventoy eBook for more details.

Themes

A .zip file containing a complete \ventoy folder and a ventoy.json sample file which chooses at random one of six different themes is available here (the menus were originally from AlToy but have been modified to work correctly).

Tip: when creating a new Ventoy theme, always test the F1, Ctrl+r, Ctrl+w and Ctrl+i menu hotkeys to ensure the hotkey text appears correctly on the menu – also check the position of the countdown timeout counter number.

One of the six different themes.

See the Ventoy eBook for more themes and details on how to make and modify your own themes.

The eBook also contains details on how to remove the Ventoy version string from any theme.

Reload agFM (F6 External User Menu)

Ventoy allows you to create your own External Menu /ventoy/ventoy_grub.cfg menu file. If you press F6 in the Ventoy menu system then it will load this external menu file.

  1. Copy the file from Partition 2 “\ventoy\Sample Ventoy config files\ventoy_grub.cfg” to the Partition 1 \ventoy folder (i.e. same NTFS partition that contains E2B)
  2. Edit the “\ventoy\ventoy_grub.cfg” file on Partition 1 to add extra grub2 menu entries, if you wish.
  3. You can now boot to Ventoy from agFM – then press F6 in Ventoy to load the ventoy_grub.cfg menu and re-load agFM.

\ventoy\ventoy_grub.cfg

if [ -e ${vtoy_efi_part}/grubfmx64.efi ]; then
 menuentry "Load agFM Menu" --class=custom {
 if [ "${grub_platform}_${grub_cpu}" = "pc_i386" ]; then
     linux ${vtoy_efi_part}/e2b/loadfm
     initrd ${vtoy_efi_part}/e2b/grubfm.iso
 else
         if [ "$grub_cpu" = "x86_64" ]; then chainloader ${vtoy_efi_part}/grubfmx64.efi; fi
         if [ "$grub_cpu" = "i386" ]; then chainloader ${vtoy_efi_part}/efi/boot/bootia32.efi; fi
 fi    
 }

 if [ "${grub_platform}_${grub_cpu}" = "pc_i386" ]; then
 menuentry "Load Easy2Boot Menu" --class=custom {
     insmod ntldr
     set root=${vtoydev},1
     ntldr ${vtoy_iso_part}/grldr
 }
 fi
 fi
 menuentry '<-- Return to previous menu [Esc]' --class=vtoyret VTOY_RET {
     echo 'Return …'
 }

Note: Re-loading agFM and Ventoy more than once may exhaust memory and grub2 may crash! It is more reliable to reboot back to agFM rather than reload agFM from within the Ventoy menu using F6.

Compatibility

Both agFM and Ventoy use grub2, but the grub2 graphical menu themes may not be suitable for all systems. For instance, systems with small displays can cause issues, graphics corruption or no display when UEFI-booting to some ISOs or display is slow and key presses are slow or unresponsive, etc.

If you work on a wide variety if different computers, I recommend you use a text-mode menu (even though it is not as pretty). For Ventoy, you can modify the \ventoy\ventoy.json user config file and add:

{
    "theme_legacy": {      
        "display_mode": "CLI"
    }      
}

Instead, you can press F7 in the Ventoy menu (if it gets that far) to switch to text-mode before booting from a payload file.

This avoids problems such as a slow, unresponsive menu system or a blank screen when UEFI-booting from a Windows/Linux ISO file (graphics output is directed to the wrong/non-existent screen!).

Reporting problems

If you find any issues, please first reproduce them on an official Ventoy USB drive before reporting the issue to the Ventoy developers. Do NOT report issues found with the modified (and usually outdated) ‘Ventoy for Easy2Boot’ version.

Before reporting a problem try one of the special switches (e.g. Ctrl+i, Ctrl+r, Ctrl+w, F1) before selecting the payload file. This may fix non-booting or ‘non-visible’ issues. Also try the Text Mode menu (press F7) before selecting the payload file.

Note: Ventoy is free and Open Source. If you like Ventoy, please make a donation to support the author’s work.

For USB booting, I highly recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro USB 3

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