Home Command line utilities Etcher – A Beautiful App To Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards
Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards Using Etcher

Etcher – A Beautiful App To Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards

By sk
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Etcher is a beautiful, simple and free GUI tool that allows you to create bootable USB drives and SD cards in Unix-like operating systems. It is created using JS, HTML, node.js and Electron. No more complicated install instructions, It will work just fine out of the box. You don't need to be an advanced user to install and use it. Etcher is cross platform tool, so It works on Windows, Mac OS X and on almost all GNU/Linux distributions. Etcher is also available command app, so you can also use it on your Linux servers that doesn't have any graphical user interface.

Install Etcher

Head over to the Etcher download page and download the latest installation file depending upon your distribution's architecture. I use 64 bit Arch Linux, so I downloaded 64 bit installer file.

$ wget https://github.com/resin-io/etcher/releases/download/v1.4.4/etcher-electron-1.4.4-linux-x64.zip

Once downloaded, go to the download location and extract it.

$ unzip etcher-electron-1.4.4-linux-x64.zip

Go to the folder extracted folder and make the Etcher installer file as executable as shown below.

$ chmod +x etcher-electron-1.4.4-x86_64.AppImage

Then, start Etcher using the following command:

$ ./Etcher-1.0.0-linux-x64.AppImage

If it ask you to install Etcher on your system, just select Yes.

On Debian and Ubuntu and all DEB based systems, there is an official repository. Run the following command to add the Etcher repository:

$ echo "deb https://deb.etcher.io stable etcher" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list

Add Bintray.com's GPG key:

$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61

Update the sources list and install Etcher as shown below.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install balena-etcher-electron

On RHEL, Fedora, CentOS, you can install Etcher as shown below.

Add Etcher repository:

$ sudo wget https://balena.io/etcher/static/etcher-rpm.repo -O /etc/yum.repos.d/etcher-rpm.repo

Update the repository list and install Etcher using command:

$ sudo yum install -y balena-etcher-electron

or

$ sudo dnf install -y balena-etcher-electron

After installing Etcher, launch it from menu. It will be probably found under System settings menu.

Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards Using Etcher

Here it is how Etcher default interface looks like.

As you see in the above picture, the Interface is really simple and beautiful. You can easily find out how to burn an Image, can't you?

Let me show you how to create an Ubuntu bootable USB drive.

To do so, insert your pen drive. No need to select the usb drive, Etcher will do it automatically for you. Click on "Select image" and select your OS image. once you selected the image click Flash.

You can also flash multiple at once. Click on Change option in the above wizard and choose the devices you want to flash.

Now, Etcher will start to burn image on your USB drive.

After burning the image, your USB drive will be safely ejected automatically.

Remove the USB bootable drive and start installing the OS using the newly created bootable drive.

Like I said, Etcher is also available for command line mode. To install it, you must install Node.js with npm. Refer the following link to install NpdeJS on your Linux machine.

After installing npm, run the following command to install Etcher:

$ npm install -g etcher-cli

To burn an Image, just use the following command with exact OS image path:

$ sudo etcher <path/to/image.img>

Uninstall Etcher

If you're not happy with Etcher, run the following commands to uninstall it depending upon the distribution you use.

To uninstall Etcher on Debian, Ubuntu, do:

$ sudo apt-get remove balena-etcher-electron
$ sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/balena-etcher.list
$ sudo apt-get update

To uninstall Etcher on RPM based systems, do:

$ sudo yum remove -y balena-etcher-electron
$ sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/etcher-rpm.repo
$ sudo yum clean all
$ sudo yum makecache fast

Or,

$ sudo dnf remove -y balena-etcher-electron
$ sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/etcher-rpm.repo
$ sudo dnf clean all
$ sudo dnf makecache

To uninstall Etcher CLI version, use the following command:

$ npm uninstall -g etcher-cli

If you have downloaded the Electron file, simply remove it.


Suggested read:


Introducing Etcher Pro

Etcher Pro is the next commercial stand-alone hardware device that allows you to write to multiple cards or usb disks at once, at extreme speeds. Compared to a traditional Disk Duplicator, Etcher Pro is faster and less expensive, while at the same time easier to use and packed with features, so that you can do much more than just copy SD Cards. If you want to keep up with our progress, sign up on the Etcher mailing list to receive regular updates!

Conclusion

While testing Etcher, I noticed that Etcher is not only simple to use, but also fast and safe. It burned a 4+ GB sized CentOS 7 OS image to my USB drive within 2 minutes. As far as I tested Etcher on my Arch Linux desktop, I didn't find any issues so far. The developers of Etcher are working to extend its features such as writing images simultaneously to multiple drives and more. Hope this tool will help you. Give it a try, you won't disappointed.

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8 comments

James Carroll July 8, 2016 - 7:49 pm

Is it possible to make a windows 7 usb install stick with this?

Reply
SK July 9, 2016 - 8:17 pm

I never tried Windows ISO. Sorry I couldn’t help. Check yourself and let us if it works.

Reply
Ofir Reuveni February 20, 2017 - 6:26 pm

This is the only guise that helped me to install Etcher, The others only wasted time
Thank you 🙂
Can you update link to the latest version ?

Reply
blue July 3, 2017 - 7:58 pm

Will etcher replace reFind’s boot manager capability? I would like to run Ubuntu 16.04.2 Server LTS side by side with my MacOS Sierra on my laptop. Which means I want to be able to choose the OS I would like to run, OR better yet if I want to run MacOS I would just turn on the Mac. And if I want Ubuntu, then that is the only time I will hold on to the Alt/Option key and then I can choose Ubuntu Server to run.

Reply
flyinfunks September 17, 2018 - 11:38 am

Will this work on an Arch I built myself…. until now I could only run in sandbox inside a vm?

Reply
sk September 17, 2018 - 7:19 pm

It works well on Arch Linux.

Reply
nono October 30, 2018 - 4:51 pm

$ sudo apt-key adv –keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu:80 –recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61
doesn’t work on my Lubuntu 18.04

$ sudo apt-key adv –keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 –recv-keys 379CE192D401AB61
works for me

🙂

Reply
sk October 30, 2018 - 7:13 pm

Thanks mate.

Reply

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