Home Bootable USB Popsicle – Create Multiple Bootable USB Drives At Once

Popsicle – Create Multiple Bootable USB Drives At Once

By sk
Published: Last Updated on 9,264 views

This guide explains what is Popsicle and how to create multiple bootable USB drives using Popsicle, all at once, in Pop OS, Ubuntu and its derivatives.

What is Popsicle?

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.

Popsicle is a multiple USB file flasher utility written in Rust. Posicle can be able to flash multiple USB devices in parallel. It 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.

Features

  • 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!!

Install Popsicle

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.

Launch popsicle usb flashing utility
Launch Popsicle

Plug in your USB devices and choose the image (.iso or .img) you want to write on your USB device(s).

Choose ISO or IMG image
Choose ISO or IMG image
Choose iso image from local drive
Select ISO or IMG image from local drive

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.

Choose USB devices to flash using Popsicle
Choose USB devices to flash using Popsicle

Now the USB flashing operation will start.

Create multiple bootable USB drives using Popsicle
Create multiple bootable USB drives using Popsicle

This will take a few minutes. You will see the following message on successful completion.

USB bootable drives creation completed
USB bootable drives creation completed

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.

Popsicle CLI

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.

Sample output:

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

Resource:

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3 comments

Philip Ruckle Jr. January 9, 2020 - 2:05 am

Could not install popsicle and popsicle-gtk on my Lubuntu aptop. Got the repository, but those files were not found = Unable to locate.

Reply
sk January 9, 2020 - 12:02 pm

I tested Popiscle on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop and it works good. I am not sure if it works under Ubuntu flavors and derivatives.

Reply
Mike August 17, 2020 - 4:34 am

Running on command line worked for me. Example: “sudo popsicle Win10_1909_English_x64.iso /dev/sdc1” run from within the folder the ISO was locate in. For me the GTK version stalled at zero bytes and did not progress (Lubuntu 20.04) at all.

Reply

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