Creating bootable USB on Linux is easy! We already have shared a few guides on this topic. We can create bootable USB devices using dd command, Etcher, Bootiso, MultiCD and Mkusb. As far as I tested, Etcher can be able to flash multiple USB devices at once. Today we will learn about yet another USB bootable device creator named Popsicle. It is a multiple USB File Flasher written in Rust. Meaning - It can be able to flash multiple USB devices in parallel. Popsicle is the official USB flashing utility for Pop!_OS. For those wondering, Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based OS developed by System76, an American computer manufacturer. It comes pre-installed with Computers shipped by System76. Now let us learn how to create multiple bootable USB drives using Popsicle, all at once.
- Popsicle supports USB 2 and USB 3 devices.
- Supports parallel writing, so we can write bunch of USB devices at once in couple minutes.
- We can verify ISO images with the SHA256 or MD5 chekcsum.
- We can view the writing progress, speed and completion of each device.
- Can write ISO or IMG image types.
- Both command line and graphical interfaces available.
- Works under Pop!_OS, Ubuntu, Ubuntu official flavors and Ubuntu derivatives.
- Free and Open source!!
Popsicle comes pre-installed with Pop!_OS by default, so you don't need to install it.
Since Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu, you can install Popsicle on Ubuntu and its derivatives using official Pop!_OS PPA as shown below.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:system76/pop
$ sudo apt install popsicle popsicle-gtk
Once installed Popsicle, remove the PPA. Because, it will keep asking you to upgrade to the next available Pop!_OS version.
$ sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:system76/pop
You can add the PPA again when you want to update the Popsicle later.
Create multiple bootable USB drives using Popsicle
Open Popsicle from Dash or Menu. It is available under name "USB Flasher" or simple type Popsicle on your Dash.
Plug in your USB devices and choose the image (.iso or .img) you want to write on your USB device(s).
Choose the USB devices to flash from the list and click Next. The usb device list will automatically update as you add or remove new devices.
Now the USB flashing operation will start.
This will take a few minutes. You will see the following message on successful completion.
Now safely remove the USB drives and use the newly created USB bootable devices to install OS or test the live environment.
USB bootable drives can be used in multiple situations where you want to,
- Test or install OS,
- Recover existing OS,
- Backup files from the system when you can't boot,
- Determine hardware or software issues,
- Fix boot loader etc.
Like I already said, Popsicle has both CLI and GUI.
If you'd like to write images from command line, the command would be:
$ popsicle -a <path_to_image>
Here, -a flag is used to flash all detected USB devices. You can, however, flash a particular device like below.
$ sudo popsicle /home/sk/Soft_backup/ISOs/ubuntu-18.04.2-live-server-amd64.iso /dev/sdc1
Replace /dev/sdc1 with your USB device path. Type y to confirm and hit ENTER to start flashing the USB device.
Are you sure you want to flash '/home/sk/Soft_backup/ISOs/ubuntu-18.04.2-live-server-amd64.iso' to the following drives? - /dev/sdc1 y/N: y W /dev/sdc1: 834.00 MB / 834.00 MB [===========================================] 100.00 % 8.82 MB/s
For help, run:
$ popsicle --help popsicle_cli 0.1.5 USB Flasher USAGE: popsicle [FLAGS] <IMAGE> [DISKS]... FLAGS: -a, --all Flash all detected USB drives -c, --check Check written image matches read image -h, --help Prints help information -u, --unmount Unmount mounted devices -V, --version Prints version information -y, --yes Continue without confirmation ARGS: <IMAGE> Input image file <DISKS>... Output disk devices
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Hope this helps.