This is one of the hardest Linux utilities, one of the most important, and one of the easiest to forget. With Linux it seems like even when you find a distribution you like (Debian in my case), it generally doesn’t stop a lot of people from wanting to try other distributions. And for those of us who go distro-hopping, it generally means re-flashing the same USB over and over again with different images using dd, or it means burning a lot of DVD’s. The DVD’s are actually kind of nice to have around, and I’d actually be interested in creating some cover art, and buying some disk labels to decorate my shelf with. The problem with DVD’s is generally they become obsolete pretty quickly.
But there is one magical tool that takes the trouble out of all of this. And that is Ventoy. Ventoy is a simple yet amazing tool. You write it to a USB, and then all you have to do from there is drag and drop ISO files onto the disk. When you boot from the USB, you will then be greeted with a select list of which image you want to boot to. Which means you can slap it on a 32 or 64GB USB and just having a rolling list of all of the images you want to boot to. Pretty useful. The reason I didn’t make a note of it before was because I wrote it to a USB once before thinking that was the end of my issues. Then when I installed Linux, I accidentally wrote over the Ventoy USB trying to install a separate home partition and there went all of my ISO’s.
It’s a useful tool, and I keep forgetting the name. So here it is in blog-form so I can find locate and install the utility again. Next time I use it, I’ll try not to do anything stupid.
Occasionally pretty great Linux utilities will get posted to r/Linux. And I think “that looks cool”, and I make a mental note of it. Then a few weeks later when I actually go to to try and use it, I can’t find the post, or remember enough keywords to search for it. Yes, I know there is a save post feature on reddit, but more often than not i forget about it, and don’t really use it.
So I figured that I should make a category on my blog for interesting Linux Utilities. That way I can go back and find them later, and maybe bring attention to some attention to some cool looking projects (as-if there is anyone reading this blog).
The first utility we’ll be highlighting is Deskcreen. And the concept behind deskreen is super cool. Basically it takes any computer with a web browser and turns it into a second monitor. And the reason I think this is amazing as it makes it easy to add on more monitors.
For example at home I have a thinkpad x240. And when I want to attach a second display to it, i have to grab a mini-dp to hdmi converter to put it on my desk and then connect all of the wires to make it work. If this utility works how I think it does, I could basically grab an Android tablet, put it on a browser, put it in full screen mode, and then be able to put it on my desk or be able to pull it out anywhere and have a second screen without the need for connecting wires all of the time.
That sounds extremely appealing to me. So recently I just got a mobile monitor to connect to, so I’m still messing around with that. But if I need more screen real-estate I have the option of trying a tablet as another display. Nice.